When OnePlus said it was making a foldable, I was thrilled. I used all the other foldables by Chinese manufacturers, and while they exceled on the hardware side, the software still needed a bit of polish. That's why I was keen on seeing what OnePlus would get up to in this area. And although I personally prefer fold-out devices as they offer a tablet-sized screen in a small form factor, I wanted to see OnePlus make a flip phone as well.
Flip phones have significantly higher mainstream appeal, and it felt like OnePlus was missing out. OnePlus' mandate under OPPO is to launch just a few devices a year that target different niches — that's why we didn't get a OnePlus 11 Pro this time, nor are we going to see a 11T anytime soon. That's also the reason why the brand won't come out with another foldable for at least a few quarters — the OnePlus Open will be its showcase device.
Then I got started with the OPPO Find N3 Flip, and realized one thing immediately — this is the OnePlus flip phone I've always wanted. The Find N3 Flip has a gorgeous design aesthetic, and the vertical cover screen makes it unique among flip phones. But what stands out with the device is the addition of the alert slider, a staple of OnePlus phones for nearly a decade.
In fact, you can just switch out the OPPO badge for OnePlus on the Find N3 Flip, and nothing would be amiss. The foldable ticks all the boxes for a OnePlus phone: it has a striking design, large camera island that looks like a smaller version of the one on the OnePlus 11, well-optimized software with plenty of customizability, fast charging tech, and the alert slider.
OnePlus always relied on OPPO for the production of its phones, but it had its own distinct design and software ethos. That line has blurred in the last two years as both brands started integrating resources — OnePlus phones now use ColorOS, and OPPO is adding all the unique touches that made erstwhile OnePlus devices a fan favorite.
It started with Hasselblad integration on OPPO phones, which was exclusive to OnePlus before the merger of the two entities. Then came ColorOS 13 and the debut of AOD styles that have always been limited to OnePlus phones. With the Find N3 Flip, we're now getting the alert slider on an OPPO phone. The way I see it, both brands are one of the same now, with the only difference being the markets they target.
While the OnePlus Open won't be official for another week, the leaked design renders suggest an aesthetic that ties in nicely with the Find N3 Flip; it's almost as if these two devices were designed to co-exist. As to why one is sold under the OPPO moniker while the other is getting the OnePlus label, it's all about North America.
OnePlus is the only Chinese manufacturer to have a foothold in North America, and that's valuable. OPPO understands this very well, so for phones that have a potential of doing well in the region, it is using the OnePlus label. That's why the Open is sold under the OnePlus brand; OPPO wants to challenge Samsung in North America with the foldable, and this is the only way to do so.
As for the Find N3 Flip, we may get to see a rebranded version of the device eventually launch under the OnePlus name, but it is more likely that the Find N4 Flip could be marketed as the OnePlus flip phone instead. The biggest downside with the phone getting OPPO branding is that it won't debut in North America, and that's a real shame.
But if you're in any of the countries where the Find N3 Flip is set to launch, know that it is a OnePlus phone hiding under the OPPO badge. As for what it's like to use, let's just say that the Find N3 Flip is my favorite flip phone; I used it for just over two weeks now, and it has notable upgrades over its predecessor. The cover screen is much more usable, the cameras are markedly better, and the crease is barely visible — it easily beats Samsung in several key areas.
So if you're looking to buy a flip phone but were waiting to see what OnePlus has to offer, you don't need to tarry — that device is already here.
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Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.