Oppo launched its new flip phone globally this month. The Find N3 Flip is Oppo’s answer to Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 5, and Oppo has packed it with big upgrades. One of key improvements came by way of the cover screen software, which now vastly expands what you can do from that 3.26-inch display without needing to flip open the phone.
The Chinese phone maker says the Find N3 Flip’s cover screen can now run more than 40 mini apps including Gmail, Google Calendar, TikTok, and Google Maps. It also comes with a keyboard and a speech-to-text feature, which means you can compose emails without needing to unfold the phone.
Oppo flip phone basics
All this added functionality on the Find N3 Flip comes as a welcome addition, especially since the Find N2 Flip had no support for third-party apps. But you’ll need to learn basic gestures for a smooth experience on the Find N3 Flip. Let’s run through the basics.
Double-tap the cover screen to wake itSwipe down to view your control shadeSwipe up to view your notificationsSwipe to the left to view your widgets or mini appsLong-press the cover screen to change your wallpaper
Oppo named its redesigned camera bump the cosmos ring. It sits very close to the cover screen.
How to use the cover screen
Now you’ve got that out of the way, here are the ways you can use the cover screen.
Quick access to apps: A key purpose for the cover screen is convenience, or the ability to quickly access some of your favorite apps without having to flip open the phone. The cover screen displays apps in a 3×4 grid format, but first you’ll need to curate the apps you want to easily access. I started out with the Camera app, Google Calendar, Spotify, Gmail, and Google Maps. Here’s how to quickly access your favorite apps:
1. To add apps to cover screen, tap Settings > Foldable features > Mini Apps
2. Tap the app that you would like to access from the cover screen, and it’ll move to the Added section
3. Swipe left on the cover screen to start using any of those apps
The cover screen doesn’t sit flush with the body and has slightly raised edges to it that feels odd.
Taking photos using the rear cameras: As I mentioned in my Find N3 Flip review, taking selfies or group photos is one of my favorite ways to use the cover screen. That’s because you can use the cover screen as a viewfinder for any of the three rear cameras, which include a 50-megapixel main lens, a 48-megapixel ultrawide lens and a 32-megapixel telephoto lens. Here’s how to take photos with the rear cameras from the cover screen.
1. Tap the camera icon on the cover screen and it’ll turn into a defacto viewfinder
2. Toggle between the ultrawide, main and portrait cameras. You can even shoot video if you want
3. Press the side button to click the photo
What taking a selfie can look like on the Find N3 Flip
Reply to emails: The cover screen has support for a full QWERTY keyboard. It appeared when I hit the reply button to an email on Gmail or if I did the same on the Messages app. But the narrow cover screen of the Find N3 Flip can make for a cumbersome typing experience. It’s easier to reply to emails using the speech-to-text feature, which lives on the Gmail app or the Messages app.
1. Open Gmail app
2. Tap compose or reply to email button and that should bring up the keyboard
3. Tap the microphone icon, and begin speaking
Control your music: Whenever you play a song on the Spotify app, and flip the phone closed, a pillbox will appear at the bottom of the cover screen. From there you can play, pause and skip songs. You can also tap the pillbox to open up Spotify’s mini app.
Oppo’s Find N3 Flip’s cover screen is designed to be more than just a notification center. The vertically oriented cover display mimics the user experience of a traditional smartphone screen, partially thanks to its shape. This helps Oppo avoid the compatibility issues faced by cover screens on Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Motorola’s Razr Plus, but it also means the screen is narrower. You can read more details in our Find N3 Flip 3 review.
Flip phones are seeing a drastic transformation in comparison to their book-style counterparts — and much of that change is happening on the front screen.