Smartphone makers unwrap new foldables at MWC

Simnikiwe Mzekandaba
By Simnikiwe Mzekandaba, IT in government editor
Johannesburg, 02 Mar 2023
Oppo’s Find N2 Flip will be launched in SA this month.
Oppo’s Find N2 Flip will be launched in SA this month.

Mobile World Congress 2023: Oppo and Tecno this week introduced their flagship devices, joining other smartphone manufacturers that have entered the foldable phone market.

Honor and TCL also unveiled new devices at the mobile industry’s annual trade show, in Barcelona.

Chinese smartphone brand Tecno launched its first premium flagship foldable smartphone, the Phantom V Fold. It debuted the Spark Pro 10 selfie phone, as well as an upgraded Megabook S1 2023 laptop.

Tecno’s Phantom V Fold is the newest product from the device maker’s premium smartphone sub-brand, Phantom, and the first left-right foldable smartphone to be equipped with the Dimensity 9000+ processor.

It also features a five-lens photography system, including a 50MP main camera with a light-sensitive custom sensor, a further two rear lenses, as well as two front lenses.

Tailored for Gen Z, Tecno’s Spark 10 Pro features a 32MP selfie front camera with dual flash for capturing selfies in any light, as well as a 50MP rear camera.

The company says the Spark 10 Pro's MediaTek Helio G88 gaming processor creates a smooth user experience for daily use.

Tecno is a smartphone brand from China’s Transsion Holdings, which also counts Infinix and Itel among its phone brands. In March 2020, Transsion made its South African debut, announcing local availability of Tecno smartphones at major retail stores and online outlets.

Tecno marks its MWC Barcelona debut by showcasing its new range of smartphones.
Tecno marks its MWC Barcelona debut by showcasing its new range of smartphones.

Oppo also showcased its flagship devices at the mobile technology event. It said these served as “firsts” for the Chinese smartphone brand.

These included its pocketable smartphone, the Oppo Find N2 Flip, as well as the WiFi 6 Router AX5400.

“By bringing new technology breakthroughs to market, we are unlocking new possibilities for smart living to better serve our users worldwide,” said Billy Zhang, president of overseas sales and service of Oppo.

The Find N2 Flip is Oppo’s first foldable smartphone and was launched globallyin London last month.

ITWeb understands Oppo will launch the pocketable flip phone in SA this month.

Speaking at a media briefing at MWC Barcelona,Oppo’s overseas CMO Elvis Zhou revealed the company’s overseas shipments now account for more than 55% of its business.

“We are proud to attract a worldwide audience with a premium brand, such as the Find X and Find N series. At Oppo, we prefer to spend more time on R&D to deliver a more refined product.

“With the introduction of Find N2 Flip, we put the user experience in first place. Following the global launch of the first vertically folding phone, Find N2 Flip, we have received positive feedback... and I’m confident it will become a viable smart device for a wider range of users.”

He indicated Oppo’s IOT business will expand, launching more products to the global market this year.

Oppo’s IOT products are currently sold in more than 50 countries and regions, he stated, adding this forms an ecosystem with over 1 000 product models.

Oppo’s overseas CMO Elvis Zhou.
Oppo’s overseas CMO Elvis Zhou.

Earlier this week, technology brand Honor announced the global availability of the Honor Magic5 Series and the Honor Magic Vs, which are the latest iterations in its Magic Series line-up.

This also marked the brand’s first step into the foldables market, competing with the likes of Samsung and Huawei.

The Honor Magic5 Pro features dual-curved ultra-narrow bezels on both sides and a star wheel triple camera design, comprising a 50MP wide camera, 50MP ultra-wide camera and 50MP telephoto camera.

With a 6.81-inch display screen, the Magic5 Pro features a discrete display chipset to improve the visual quality of moving images. It supports 66W wired and 50W wireless super charge.

It will be available from the second quarter of this year.

George Zhao, CEO of Honor Devices, stated: “The Honor Magic5 Pro, our latest flagship all-rounder, and the Honor Magic Vs, our first foldable flagship to be launched in the global market, push industry benchmarks in every aspect of smartphone user experience, in line with our vision to enable a smarter life for everyone.”

The Magic Vs foldable phone is a first for Honor to debut outside of China.

Coming in at 267g, the smartphone is 12.9mm thin when folded and has an almost fully flat screen when unfolded. Like the Magic5 Pro, it features a 5 000mAh battery.

The 6.45-inch device is equipped with a rear triple camera system comprising a 54MP IMX800 main camera, 50MP ultra-wide and macro main camera, and an 8MP three times optical zoom camera.

Honor this week announced the global launch of the Magic5 Series and Magic Vs at MWC Barcelona 2023.
Honor this week announced the global launch of the Magic5 Series and Magic Vs at MWC Barcelona 2023.