While almost all other foldable phone manufacturers have two types of foldable phones, Huawei is the only phone manufacturer to ship three kinds, which are the Hauwei P50 Pocket (Flip), the Huawei Mate XS (Outward Folding) line and the Huawei Mate X (Inward Folding) line. This last one is getting an update today in the form of the Mate X3.
The Huawei Mate X3 is the most common form factor for foldable phones, meaning it has an outer screen and a large inner screen. How thin and light it is set it apart from all other foldable phones like this. At just 5.3 mm unfolded, it’s razor thin and at 239 grams, the Huawei Mate X3 is lighter than a non-folding iPhone 14 Pro Max.
It’s also a proper flagship phone with a gorgeous screen, fast performance and an excellent camera with a long-lasting battery. All of this does come at a price, but with one look at the Mate X3, you can tell that it’s targeted towards the premium end of the market.
Pricing and availability
The Huawei Mate X3 will be released in the UAE and Saudi Arabia in the middle of May, along with the Huawei P60 Pro. The phone comes in two colours, Black and Dark Green, but just one configuration, which is 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. Here’s how the Mate X3 is priced in different parts of the world.
|Huawei Mate X3
|12GB / 256GB
|12GB / 512GB
In the UAE, the Mate X3 costs AED 7,299. Huawei is running launch promotions where if you pre-order the phone, you get the Huawei Watch Buds for free which is a super sweet deal as that costs AED 1,799 by itself.
Design and display
The Huawei Mate X3 is currently the lightest foldable phone in the world. At just 239 grams, it is lighter than the Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max and creates that defining moment where foldable phones are comparable in weight to standard phones.
The phone comes in a finger-print resistant black colour and a gorgeous vegan green finish that’s soft to the touch. You also get a quad curve foldable design that smooths the Mate X3 edges, giving a premium feel. The front screen is protected by Kunlin glass to help it against accidental falls. Huawei has also gotten the Mate X3 IPX8 certified, meaning it can survive a splash in the water.
The phone is held together by a strong hinge that can hold the screen at any angle. Both the front and inside screens are beautiful OLED panels with high refresh rates of 120Hz, supporting a billion colours. The outside screen measures 6.4 inches and has a 1080 x 2504 pixels resolution, while the inside screen measures 7.85 inches with a 2224 x 2496 pixels resolution. Both the screens are sharp with pixel densities of around 420ppi.
Features and performance
The Huawei Mate X3 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor, which is last year’s flagship processor but still runs impressively fast. Coupled with 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, the phone should handle all tasks you throw at it effortlessly. Huawei uses a new-gen graphene-based cross-hinge cooling system to keep the phone cool.
Unfortunately, there is no 5G support, and you’ll be stuck with LTE speeds- there is dual SIM support, though. A fingerprint sensor sits on the right side and quickly unlocks the phone. You also get stereo speakers on the top and bottom of the phone and a thin USB-C port that Huawei says it had to redesign to fit.
On the software side, the phone comes with EMUI 13.1, which is based on Android 13 and is the equivalent of HarmonyOS 3.1, which remains exclusive to China. As expected, the phone does not support Google Mobile Services, but Huawei has rapidly increased the collection of apps in its alternative App Gallery.
A GBox app is available that can run a virtual instance of Android with Google services allowing you to install Google Apps such as Photos and Google Maps and sync your data with your Google account. It usually works well, but it’s not the real thing.
There are three cameras on the back of the Huawei Mate X3 and two selfie cameras as punch-hole displays- one on the outside and one on the inside screen. Here a the specs on the cameras present on the Mate X3
- Primary: 50 MP, f/1.8 with OIS
- Ultrawide: 13 MP, f/2.2
- Telephoto: 12 MP, f/3.4 5x optical zoom with OIS
- Selfie cameras: 2 x 8 MP, f/2.4
The phone comes with the Huawei XMage branding and RYYB sensor allowing you to take great shots in the daytime or nighttime. The primary camera can record video at 4k at 60fps, while the front cameras can do 4K at 30fps.
Huawei has also reworked the camera app, allowing quicker access to Zoom and selecting between Original, Vivid, and Bright styles to give your phones a personal look.
Battery & Charging
The Huawei Mate X3 has a 4,800mAh battery which is about as big as we’ve seen on foldable phones. Charging speeds are fast at 66 Watts but not the fastest in the industry.
You get support for fast wireless charging at 50W and reverse wireless charging to provide power to your earbuds or wearables.
Abbas has been covering tech for more than two decades- before phones became smart or clouds stored data. He brought publications like CNET, TechRadar and IGN to the Middle East.