While we've recently seen some weird and wonderful prototype devices from Oppo that play around with what's possible from a smartphone screen, we're still waiting for a true foldable from the company – a wait that could soon be over.
According to a tip from a Chinese source (opens in new tab) (via GSMArena (opens in new tab)), the foldable handset is going to break cover next month, November 2021. It's been rather quiet on the foldable phone front recently, so a brand new device would certainly be welcome.
This particular leak suggests the new device will be sporting an 8-inch, 120Hz refresh rate screen, but we don't get many other details. We've actually been waiting for an Oppo foldable phone to arrive for most of this year.
The joy of specs
While this particular leak doesn't give us much in the way of information besides that release window, previous leaks have. It sounds as though the foldable could be powered by a Snapdragon 888 chipset, like many top-end Android smartphones of 2021.
There will be a 32MP camera on the front and a 50MP camera on the back apparently, with Android 11 the software on board the phone. While Android 12 is now rolling out to Pixel handsets, it's going to take a while for it to arrive on other devices.
What we don't know yet is what sort of price this foldable phone will be available for, which is likely to go a long way to determining how much of a success it is. As soon as anything is made official by Oppo, we will of course let you know.
Analysis: the rise of the foldable
Foldables have been with us for several years now, but it's fair to say they haven't really broken into the mainstream yet. That could well change in 2022, thanks to Oppo and other phone manufacturers thinking of pushing out foldable handsets in the future.
While the Pixel 6 and the Pixel 6 Pro are now official, we still haven't heard anything from Google itself about the long-rumored Pixel Fold. If and when it does appear, it's likely to push up interest in this particular form factor by several notches.
Then of course there's the as-yet-unconfirmed foldable iPhone: Apple doesn't like to rush in when it comes to new technologies, so by the time that an iPhone Fold shows up (if it ever does), we would expect foldable phones to be pretty well established.
In the meantime, we've got the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3, the Motorola Razr and others flying the flag for foldables. They remain on the expensive side, but that will change as the cost of the technology comes down.