While the foldable phone market is all-but limited to Samsung in the U.S., that isn’t the case elsewhere — especially in China and other parts of Asia. Huawei has been involved in the foldable market almost as long as Samsung, and has revealed the brand new foldable Mate X3 in China. It’s also thinner and lighter than an iPhone 14 Pro Max and Galaxy Z Fold 4.
The Huawei Mate X3 is a book-style foldable, much like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, which opens up to reveal a 7.85-inch display. That display features an adaptive 1-120Hz refresh rate and 2496 x 2224 resolution. On the outside is a 6.4-inch cover display, with 120Hz refresh rate and FHD resolution.
The Mate X3 also happens to be the lightest commercially available foldable phone, weighing just 8.4 ounces (239 grams). The iPhone 14 Pro Max weighs 8.47 oz (240 grams), and the Z Fold 4 weighs 9.28 ounces. The X3 also undercuts the Huawei Mate XS 2, which weighs 8.99 oz and previously held the title of lightest foldable phone
While the difference in that weight is negligible between the Mate X3 and the iPhone, it’s still a pretty notable accomplishment. Particularly given how hefty Samsung’s current foldable flagship is.
The Mate X3 is also significantly thinner in its unfolded state, measuring 0.2 inches (5.3mm). Apple’s most premium model is 0.31 inches thick, while the Z Fold 4 is 0.24 inches thick in the same configuration. For comparison’s sake the Mate XS 2 was 0.21 inches thick when unfolded.
Other features of the Mate X3 include a triple-lens camera module, complete with a 50MP main lens, 13MP ultrawide and a 12MP telephoto lens with 5x optical zoom. There’s also two 8MP hole-punch cameras, each housed on one of the phone’s two displays.
The CPU is a little disappointing, with the Mate X3 packing in the Snapdragon 8 Plus 4G chipset. It’s not the oldest chip around, but considering the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 will likely come with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy, it feels like Huawei should have gone for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. At the very least include 5G, because this isn't 2018 anymore.
Other points of note include a 4,800 mAh battery, 66W fast charging, 50W wireless charging, 7.5W reverse wireless charging, IPX8 water resistance, dual SIM and a “free stop hinge” which allows you to fold the phone in a variety of positions.
Of course, Huawei doesn’t sell phones in the U.S., so you won’t be able to buy a Mate X3 unless some serious political changes happen in the next few months. You’d also have to go without Google services, including access to the Google Play store, which isn’t a particularly enticing prospect.
Still, it’s good to see that the foldable phone business is evolving, even if a lot of these devices aren’t going on sale in the United States. Someone has to keep Samsung on its toes while we patiently wait for the likes of the Google Pixel Fold, iPhone Flip and OnePlus V Fold.