Huawei announced that its latest attempt at rivaling the Galaxy Z Fold series is coming to China this week. Indeed, the Huawei Mate X3 was just announced in China today, and the initial impressions are positive, in that the phone seems to tick many right boxes required by a Z Fold contender. However, it’s also backed by fake official renders and pushes a proprietary expandable storage format developed by Huawei.
First, let’s have a quick look at the positives. Samsung was the first to bring water resistance to foldable phones, but Huawei’s new Mate X3 is now following in the company’s footsteps with an IPX8 rating. Furthermore, the phone also has a waterdrop-style hinge that borrows ideas from Samsung’s Flex Mode.
Another upgrade the Huawei Mate X3 seems to have over the Galaxy Z Fold 4 — and supposedly the upcoming Z Fold 5 — consists of larger screens. The Mate X3 has a 6.4-inch outer panel and a 7.85-inch foldable screen. But it’s worth noting that the Huawei Mate X3 still doesn’t have a stylus.
Plus, the device weighs 239 grams and measures 5.3mm when unfolded. In contrast, the forthcoming Galaxy Z Fold 5 is rumored to have a 6.1mm thickness and tip the scales at 254 grams.
All this makes for a promising rival to Samsung’s dominant Galaxy Z Fold series, but the Mate X3 appears to have one more ace up its sleeve. Namely, it is equipped with a 5x periscope telephoto camera. However, not everything is roses.
Huawei is not entirely truthful about its new foldable phone
These specs may sound impressive, and the phone looks even more so in Huawei’s official renders showcased on stage. Sadly, that’s only because the company appears to have heavily modified its renders to show a much thinner bezel than the phone actually has (courtesy of a couple of keen-eyed Twitter users).
Huawei vs reality 🤣🤣🤣 pic.twitter.com/Su3E3leGpz
— Jjk Bozozo (@JBozozo) March 23, 2023
Needless to say, Huawei appears to be overselling the Mate X3 in some areas. Sadly, this seems to be a common practice among Chinese OEMs when it comes to their renders, and even Samsung was caught doing similar things in the past on occasion — although not to this extreme. It’s a shame and begs the question: what else is Huawei hiding or lying about?
In any case, the Huawei Mate X3 will likely remain exclusive to China, so whether or not it actually is a worthy rival to the Galaxy Z Fold series shouldn’t matter too much for Samsung — at least not in western markets — regardless of whether or not the bezels are as thin as Huawei would like you to think they are.
Huawei is trying to push its own proprietary memory cards
As far as raw specs are concerned, the Mate X3 is powered by the same Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 as the Z Fold 4 and has 256GB or 512GB of storage and 12GB of RAM. The Z Fold 4 is also available with 1TB of storage, whereas the Mate X3 caps out at 512GB but offers expandable storage. However, once again, there’s more to this than meets the eye.
Nano memory (NM) is a proprietary memory card format developed by Huawei, and the Mate X3 relies on it for expandable storage. In other words, customers aren’t getting a traditional microSD card slot but have to buy into Huawei’s proprietary format if they want to extend the storage on the Mate X3. Quite tricky.
Some may argue that nano memory is better than no expandable storage at all. It may be true, but it doesn’t change the fact that the Mate X3 seemingly has expandable storage instead of a 1TB version for an ulterior motive, i.e., to help Huawei sell and promote the NM format.
As for Samsung, the company is expected to unveil its next phone in the series, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 — likely without expandable memory — later this year at Unpacked in August-September.