Latest Huawei Mate X3 review The third foldable phone from Huawei is a book-shaped gadget with a more streamlined and lightweight design than prior iterations.
Since this is a Huawei phone, Google services are not natively supported. This is a huge disappointment because the Chinese tech business has once again outdone competitors like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 and the Google Pixel Fold in terms of hardware.
Here is my ambivalent assessment of the Mate X3.
Build and design
latest Huawei Mate X3 review The Huawei Mate X3 is remarkably thin for a book-style foldable at 11.08mm thick and 5.3mm when unfolded, 3mm thinner than the Mate X2 smartphone. This represents a significant engineering achievement for a gadget with two full displays. With only 239g, the weight is equally amazing. As of this writing, it is one of the slimmest and lightest book-style folding devices available. It isn’t larger or thicker than a typical smartphone, so it won’t protrude from your pocket, unlike other thicker or broader folding phones.
The rear camera’s huge, circular bulge makes a statement. The centre placement distributes the weight so that the phone doesn’t lean to one side even while it doesn’t lie flat on a surface. The Mate X3 is also available in a black glass form. However, the unit I reviewed had a dark green vegan leather finish. I adore the leather finish because it doesn’t attract fingerprints and adheres to surfaces firmly.
Display and speakers
On the Mate X3, there are two wonderful screens to consider.
It has a 6.4-inch screen with a 20.9:9 aspect ratio. That is a bit thinner than you would find on a typical phone. However, websites and programs work normally without text, image compression, or squishing. I frequently forgot I was using a foldable device because I used this screen like a regular phone. The interior foldable screen has a 7.85-inch extension and a resolution of 2224 x 2496, which is higher than the cover screen’s 1080 x 2504 resolution. The OLED panels in both displays offer 120Hz refresh rates. Both screens provide vibrant colours and less glare when used outdoors in the sun. The larger display will provide the greatest experience, but the exterior monitor is still attractive if you must use it on the run.
Huawei Mate X3 review There is no denying that the internal display has a crease when opened. However, rather than facing you directly, it’s more obvious when viewed from a side angle. The ding didn’t appear as noticeable when I held the Z Fold 3 with another one. It has a similar firm, durable, and non-spongy feeling to other flexible displays. In keeping with a phone of this kind, the outer edge bezel is slightly thick.
The exterior display is purportedly four times more impact resistant than the Huawei Mate X2 – yet I warn against any knocks or drops while using it. Huawei’s own Kunlun strengthened glass covers the outer screen simultaneously. Both its interior and external screens have selfie cameras. This compromises the interior panel’s cleanliness but provides flexibility and a larger screen for video conversations. The punch hole design is subtly hidden in the corner, making it less noticeable.
Details and performance
12GB RAM/512GB storage with a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset in the UK.
The Huawei Mate X3’s Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 CPU. This is the sole configuration of the phone available in the UK, along with 12GB RAM and 512GB of storage. It is available in China with 12GB and 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB of storage. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, found in the Samsung S23 series, is the most recent Qualcomm chipset on the market; the 8+ Gen 1 is the same chip found in the premium Huawei P60 Pro.
However, this robust smartphone can handle demanding apps, gaming, and multitasking. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 performs worse on our official Geekbench 5 test than it does. View other results from our benchmarking below: This phone has no lag or stuttering issues, so you shouldn’t be concerned about performance. Despite the phone getting pretty warm, I could play the demanding game Genshin Impact on medium graphics settings with only some popping. Due to Huawei’s tense relations with the US trade industry, you’ll have to settle with 4G rather than 5G, which is not ideal given the high cost.
Charger & battery
85% of a day’s use is typically recharged in 30 minutes. Support for wireless and reverse wireless charging
The Mate X3’s 4800mAh battery is comparable to that of other foldables of its design.
After watching videos, taking photos, making calls, and other common activities, the phone typically lasts one day of normal use. Given that the battery drives two displays, it performs roughly on par with what I would expect from a typical flagship phone, which is respectable. The phone scored poorly in our PCMark10 battery test, managing only seven hours and eight minutes. However, this was consistently using the primary display. I switch between the outer and inner screens while using the system in the real world. Additionally, it is consistent with most other book-style foldables’ results in our tests.
You receive 7.5 reverse wireless charging, 50W wireless charging, and 66W wired charging. The phone can be charged from empty to 85% in 30 minutes using a conventional charge; however, for the quickest charging, make sure “turbocharging” is turned on when plugging the phone in.
Performance and updates, not a native Google back EMUI 13.1, based on Android 12.
Huawei Mate X3 review Instead of the most recent Android 13, the Huawei Mate X3 uses EMUI 13.1, based on Android 12. I hate to say it, but the software makes it impossible to suggest this phone to anyone dependent on Google’s apps and services. Additionally, there is no Google Play Store.
This extends beyond services like Drive, Photos, and Docs; because Uber and Citymapper steal data from Google Maps, they are also useless. The Huawei AppGallery app store does not allow downloading other popular apps like WhatsApp, Facebook, Netflix, or PayPal.
Some apps can be sideloaded, but the procedure is cumbersome, and not all apps will download from the first APK site you discover. Technically, sandboxing can make Google work. Don’t purchase this phone if you aren’t sure what this signifies!
Price and availability
In addition to costing a premium £1,999/€2,199, the Huawei Mate X3 isn’t sold in the US like other Huawei phones. It is available straight from Huawei or through Amazon for British readers.
Additionally, it is importable from VMall.
The Google Pixel Fold and the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, which don’t have the same software issues, are more expensive than this, making them very pricey. I wouldn’t suggest spending £2,000 on this phone if you’re used to the Android operating system.
Other book-style foldable cannot match the Huawei Mate X3’s hardware. Its light and thin body is amazing, and the OLED screens and back body are delightful. When closed, it performs similarly to a typical smartphone. Unfortunately, using it without Google-supported apps is rather challenging. The Huawei apps are less user-friendly and organized, and sideloading can only take you so far. The battery life is also not particularly good.
- Android 12 specs with EMUI 13.1
- Interior: 2.224 x 2496-pixel, 7.85-inch, foldable OLED display.
- Exterior: 6.4″ OLED (1080 x 2504), 120 Hz
- Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 with 12GB RAM and 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB of storage
- 8Mp f/2.4 front camera (external display) + 8Mp f/2.4 front camera (internal display), totaling 50Mp, f/1.8, RYYB
- OIS back camera + 13Mp, f/2.2 ultra-wide + 12Mp, f/3.4, 5x optical zoom, OIS tele
- fingerprint scanner positioned on the side, Wi-Fi 6 and 11AZ dual-band, Bluetooth 5.2, GPS, and 4G LTE.
- Non-removable USB-C 4500mAh battery
- wired charging at 66W
- 156.9 x 141.5 x 5.3mm when unfolded
- 156.9 x 72.4 x 11.8mm and 239g when folded