Xiaomi’s third foldable phone adds a zoom camera but keeps the slim frame

Summer season is also foldable phone season, it seems. Following on the heels of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 and the impressively slim Honor Magic V2 (along with smaller models from Samsung and Motorola), it’s now Xiaomi’s turn to unveil its annual refresh. The aptly named Mix Fold 3 offers several expected improvements in terms of folded thickness (5.26mm), unfolded thickness (10.86mm) and weight (255 grams). Honor still has nothing to worry about when it comes to thinness and lightness, but Xiaomi’s latest contender has gained a 5x periscopic zoom camera and, at last, a selfie camera, all of which would seem to address some of the last-gen model’s more obvious pain points. 

Another notable addition is 50W wireless charging alongside the original 67W wired option. Depending on which charging method you use, the company says it takes 55 minutes or 40 minutes, respectively, to fully charge the slightly denser 4,800mAh battery. (If you’re comparison shopping, Honor forfeited wireless charging on the Magic V2 to meet its aggressive thickness target.) The Mix Fold 3’s wireless charging should pair well with Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 “Leading Version” processor, with its primary core capable of up to 3.36GHz of clock speed — handy for video editing on the larger screen.

Xiaomi

Thanks to its beefed-up camera setup, the Mix Fold 3 packs a total of four Leica-enhanced on the rear: a 50-megapixel f/1.77 main camera (Sony IMX800, 23mm equivalent) with optical stabilization, a 12-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide camera (15mm equivalent), a 10-megapixel telephoto camera (75mm equivalent) and the handy new 10-megapixel f/2.92 periscope camera (115mm equivalent). 

Like before, you can always toggle the external screen to leverage any of these rear-facing cameras for better selfies, but for general video conferencing, you now have the option to toggle between the 20-megapixel front cameras on both the 6.56-inch external screen (2,520 x 1,080, 120Hz) and 8.025-inch flexible screen (2,160 x 1,916, 120Hz). 

Xiaomi's new hinge on the Mix Fold 3 versus its predecessor.

Xiaomi

The screen sizes here are practically identical to the last-gen model, except both are now upgraded with Samsung’s E6 OLED display technology for improved efficiency and outdoor visibility; you get up to 2,600 nits of peak brightness on the external panel. 

Meanwhile, with Xiaomi’s improved hinge, the company can finally disclose a durability figure of 500,000 folds (certified by TÜV Rheinland). As a bonus, the Mix Fold 3 finally supports hover mode from 45 degrees to 135 degrees, meaning you can prop up the rear cameras to attempt more artistic angles or timelapse shots — just make sure you don’t accidentally scratch the external screen. 

Xiaomi is taking pre-orders for the Mix Fold 3, with prices ranging from 8,999 yuan or about $1,240 (12GB LPDDR5X with 256GB UFS 4.0 storage) to 10,999 yuan or around $1,515 (16GB RAM and 1TB storage). You’ll be able to choose between a 5-layer composite material body (black only) and a more classic glass finish (black or gold). Like last year, all versions include a familiar-looking kickstand back cover in the box, but now with a bonus protection frame for the upper part of your foldable. However, Engadget understands that Xiaomi will once again be limiting its latest device to the Chinese market, which is probably a relief for the likes of Samsung and potentially Honor in the rest of the world.

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