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HUAWEI Mate X3 announced: Everything but the kitchen sink (and Google support)

HUAWEI's latest foldable phone packs a ton of features into a svelte, water-resistant frame.
By
March 23, 2023
Huawei Mate X3 family
Huawei
TL;DR
  • HUAWEI has announced the Mate X3 foldable phone.
  • It features a 7.85-inch folding screen and a 6.4-inch smartphone display.
  • The foldable also brings a slim design, light weight, and water resistance.

HUAWEI was part of the first wave of foldable phones, delivering the outward-folding Mate X back in 2019. The company would offer the Mate X2 in 2021 as its first inward-folding Galaxy Z Fold-style device. Now, the company has revealed the Mate X3.

The new foldable offers the same book-style form factor as the Mate X2 and Galaxy Z Fold series, featuring a 7.85-inch internal folding screen (2,496 × 2,224, LTPO 120Hz) and a 6.4-inch FHD+ curved smartphone display (LTPO 120Hz). It doesn’t seem like the folding screen uses ultra-thin glass protection, but HUAWEI still says that it’s got an impact-resistant design.

The Chinese brand has also worked on slimming down the device, as the Mate X3 weighs in at just 239 grams and measures just 5.3mm thin when unfolded. We’re guessing this measurement doesn’t include any camera bump or hinge, but it’s still a svelte design in theory. In fact, the weight makes it lighter than Samsung’s Z Fold 4 (263 grams) and only slightly heavier than the Galaxy S23 Ultra (234 grams). You’ve also got a so-called “feather sand glass” back that’s supposed to be resistant to fingerprint grease.

Huawei Mate X3 official
Huawei

However, one major design-related upgrade is the addition of an IPX8 rating. This is still a rarity in the foldable space, with only Samsung phones offering this rating. HUAWEI is also offering a wet hand mode, so the device will recognize your touch input with, you guessed it, wet hands. Either way, the fact that the brand has managed to offer this IP rating while still keeping things slim is a pretty noteworthy achievement.

Thankfully, the Mate X3 hinge is of the free-stop variety too, meaning it can stop at any point between fully open and closed. This indeed allows for some Flex Mode-style features, such as using the partially opened device as a stand for the camera app, media player, video calling client, and more. The phone can also be placed on a surface while partially opened, showing the weather, time, and more akin to a smart display.

What else does the Mate X3 bring to the table?

As for core specs, the Mate X3 brings the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 4G chipset, 256GB to 1TB of storage (expandable via Huawei’s proprietary NM card format), a 4,800mAh battery, 66W wired charging via HUAWEI’s proprietary standard, and 50W wireless charging.

Huawei Mate X3: Hot or not?

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The foldable is also bringing the heat when it comes to photography. There’s a chunky rear camera bump, consisting of a 50MP main camera with OIS (RYYB color filter), a 13MP ultrawide camera with macro support, and a 12MP 5X periscope camera. Periscope cameras are a rarity on foldable phones, so we’re glad to see one here. Otherwise, both screens are equipped with punch-hole cutouts for an 8MP selfie camera, although you can use the rear cameras for selfies too.

Other HUAWEI Mate X3 features include Bluetooth 5.2, dual-SIM support, an IR blaster, a side fingerprint scanner, and two-way satellite messaging via Beidou satellites.

There’s no word on global availability just yet, but the Mate X3 starts at 12,999 yuan (~$1,904) in China. Needless to say, this device will likely be more expensive than the Galaxy Z Fold 4 if it ever leaves its home market. Of course, the big downside is that you won’t be getting Google integration if it does come to more markets.