After the Xiaomi brand renewed the series with the MIX Fold smartphone last year, after a one-year break we again saw a follower in the form of Xiaomi MIX Fold 3".
What changes does it bring compared to last year's model and what makes it better? You will find out in our detailed review.
Where to buy Xiaomi MIX Fold 3?
Our partner dealer TradingShenzhen as the first international e-shop on the market comes with the sale of the latest smartphone Xiaomi MIX Fold 3, which is still available in the Chinese version. The disadvantage of this version is the absence of the B20 LTE band in the support, which in the territory of Slovakia and the Czech Republic means that you cannot connect to the 4G LTE network outside the city. In the city, the signal will work without problems, outside the city on the 2G / 3G network.
The phone also comes with a Chinese version of the MIUI superstructure, which basically has only Chinese and English languages available. However, the seller will install complete Google services on your phone, which are functional.
It is available from China via treated Global Priority duty-free shipping, which we have already tested ourselves on a number of packages and works excellently.
|Xiaomi MIX Fold 3"
|73.5 mm folded / 143.28 mm unfolded
|10.96 mm folded / 5.25 mm unfolded
|12 GB LPDDR5X
|256 GB UFS 4.0
|6.56" Flexible AMOLED with 21:9 aspect ratio
|2520 x 1080 px resolution
|refresh rate 120 Hz
|maximum brightness 2600 nits
|8.03" Pol-less Plus
|2160 x 1916 px resolution
|refresh rate 120 Hz
|maximum brightness 2600 rivets
|Snapdragon 8 Gen2
|67W wired / 50W wireless / reverse charging support
|50 Mpx main camera | SONY IMX800 | f/1.77 | OIS
|10 Mpx telescopic | f/2.0 | OIS
|10 Mpx periscopic telephoto lens | f/2.92 | OIS
|12 Mpx ultra-wide | f/2.2 | 120° viewing angle
|maximum resolution 8K / 24 fps
|Wi-Fi 7 | Bluetooth 5.3 | 5G networks | NFC
Content and quality of packaging
We ordered the folding smartphone Xiaomi MIX Fold 3 from the TradingShenzhen e-shop, which provides an exclusive opportunity to order even those smartphones that are not intended for our market.
Unlike last year's model, the novelty has lost the premium box, which unfolded in the same way as the smartphone itself. This time we only have a classic box, but it still maintains the high quality of packaging and protection of the smartphone.
It is placed in the upper part in an unfolded state, protected by foil. Under it are hidden accessories in the form of a charger and a pair of protective covers. Right here we have a small change compared to the MIX Fold 2 model, which had only one cover in the package. However, the second one is just a kind of thin frame for the external display, which is additionally glued.
The design of the news has undergone minor changesnami
In terms of design, the novelty has undergone several changesnami. MIX Fold 3 is a few tenths of a millimeter thinner, shorter and narrower, and has lost 7 g in weight. Its total weight is 255 g. It's not much, but the higher weight is understandable given the design of the smartphone.
The design of the back cover has changed, it is no longer a single color. The manufacturer chose a matte surface with a fine pattern and also changed the appearance of the rear camera module.
The edges, which are no longer so rounded, have also undergone a change. Personally, we do not perceive this change positively, as sharper edges reduce the comfort of holding the smartphone in the hand.
Overall, the MIX Fold 3 is a very well-made smartphone. It is not a model that the average person will buy, and therefore retains its premium quality.
A folding smartphone is still not quite a common model in the portfolio of brands, so such a design is very interesting and unusual. Before unfolding, the MIX Fold 3 looks like a pair of thin smartphones stacked on top of each other. Its dimensions in this state are 161.2 x 73.5 x 10.96 mm.
It is thus understandably thicker than a regular smartphone and can get in the way when carrying it in a trouser pocket. The additional protective cover also increases the already greater thickness.
When unfolded, the dimensions are 161.2 x 143.28 x 5.25 mm. On the contrary, this smartphone is extremely thin with a large 8.03″ display. What about the bend in the display? Yes, it's still visible and the display isn't perfectly flat when unfolded. But it didn't bother us at all during normal use. In addition, it should withstand up to 500 bends.
A novelty compared to last year's model is the possibility of partially opening the smartphone, when the MIX Fold 3 holds such a semi-open position in the range of 45 to 135°.
A pair of displays with excellent parameters
The pride of this smartphone is mainly its internal display, which is revealed in all its beauty when opened. It is a flexible panel with a 2K+ resolution of 2160 x 1916 px and a diagonal of 8.03″.
It has a high refresh rate of 120 Hz, an extremely high maximum brightness of up to 2600 nits and support for HDR10+ and Dolby Vision technologies. The external display, which has a diagonal of 6.56″, has an FHD+ resolution of 2520 x 1080 px. Other parameters such as refresh rate and brightness are identical to the internal ones. In both cases, it is an E6 panel from Samsung.
The displays are truly top notch with automatic refresh rate adjustment and beautiful colors. The large internal display is a great feature of this new product. Thanks to it, you can easily turn your smartphone into a smaller tablet. Browsing websites, watching videos or playing games is a joy on such a large display.
Powerful processor and fast memory
In this case, the performance is taken care of by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, which is manufactured using 4 nm technology. It is an eight-core processor consisting of one Cortex-X3 core with a clock frequency of 3200 MHz, two Cortex-A715 cores with a clock frequency of 2800 MHz, two Cortex-A710 cores with a clock frequency of 2800 MHz and three Cortex-A510 cores with a clock frequency of 2000 MHz.
This is the best that the American giant Qualcomm has to offer. It is complemented by an Adreno 740 graphics chip and fast LPDDR5X type RAM memory. Even the storage does not fall behind in its speed, as we have UFS 4.0 technology here.
We have available a memory version with 12 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage. We can expand the RAM memory by another 3 GB by cutting from the internal storage. You can also buy a version with 16 GB of RAM or 512 GB or 1 TB of storage.
In AnTuTu, we achieved a score of 1 points with the smartphone.
Compared to the three cameras in last year's MIX Fold 2, we have added one more camera to the new product. It is a periscopic telephoto lens with a maximum optical zoom that provides 5x magnification. Since the MIX Fold 2 did not impress in the field of photography, we were curious to see how the MIX Fold 3 would hold up.
Let's first look at all known specifications of individual cameras in a clear table:
|Main 50 Mpx
|aperture f / 1.77
|focal length 23 mm
|Telescopic 10 Mpx
|aperture f / 2.0
|focal length 75 mm
|Periscopic telephoto lens 10 Mpx
|aperture f / 2.92
|focal length 115 mm
|Ultra-wide-angle 12 Mpx
|aperture f / 2.2
|focal length 15 mm
As you can see, in addition to the ultra-wide-angle, all cameras also have optical image stabilization, which is a big benefit. Unfortunately, in this case, we do not know what sensors the manufacturer used, as this information is not provided on the official website.
Main 50 MPx camera
The main camera with a 800/1" SONY IMX1,49 sensor has a resolution of 50 Mpx and a low aperture of only f/1.77. The Leica logo is not missing on the back module of the cameras, which means that Xiaomi continues to cooperate with this iconic company from the world of photography.
We also have a new generation of lenses called Summicron, which should contribute to even better photo quality. Let's see how the MIX Fold 3 takes photos.
When starting the camera application for the first time, the system offers us a choice of two already well-known modes - Leica Authentic and Leica Vibrant. The preset mode is Vibrant, which offers more vivid colors with higher contrast. On the other hand, the Authentic mode, as its name suggests, tries to maintain an authentic atmosphere. It is defined by more natural colors with lower saturation.
Overall, the photos from the main camera are excellent. In good light, it offers bright, saturated colors and very good dyenamiky range, thanks to which overburnt or underexposed areas are eliminated. This is especially evident when taking pictures during strong sunlight.
Compared to last year's MIX Fold 2, you won't find many differences. If you look closely at the same photos taken with both smartphones, you can see perhaps only slightly different color rendering. The MIX Fold 3 mostly produced a photo with less warm colors and higher contrast, thanks to which we see a little more detail in some photos.
The ultra-wide-angle camera is not surprising
The ultra-wide-angle camera is perhaps the weakest link among the four cameras of the new foldable smartphone from Xiaomi. His dynamiky range is somewhat weaker, so we more often see too dark or too overexposed places in the photos, where we see almost no details.
It's not a disaster, but compared to the main camera, the difference is noticeable. Here, we even often liked the rendering of photos from the older MIX Fold 2 model, which took more beautiful photos in the same mode.
Except younamithe sharpness of the range is also weaker, which is also understandable given the lower resolution, smaller sensor and worse aperture.
Great telephoto lenses
With the MIX Fold 2 model, in addition to the wide-angle and main camera, we only had one telescopic camera with 2x zoom available in the camera application. However, with the new Xiaomi MIX Fold 3, we see a change immediately, as the camera application offers 3.2 or 5 times optical zoom.
And what is the result? Excellent. Despite the resolution of "only" 10 and 12 Mpx, the photos are sharp, clean with excellent color and contrast. Both cameras have a very similar color presentation and you will notice the differences only if you open a pair of identical photos next to each other. Here you will notice a little more detail at 5x zoom and slightly warmer colors at 3.2x zoom.
Personally, we enjoyed these close-up shots the most, especially with the periscopic telephoto lens with 5x zoom. Unlike an ultra-wide camera, telephoto lenses have a very good dynamirange, thanks to which there is a minimum number of overburnt spots in the photos.
Selfies will replace the main cameras
Xiaomi MIX Fold 3 has two selfie cameras. One in the outer display in the form of a shot and the other in the inner display, also as a shot in the upper left corner.
Their quality is very average, but the folding construction brings with it one huge bonus. It is the ability to take selfies using the main cameras and see yourself on the external display, right next to the lenses.
However, it has one flaw. Somehow this feature doesn't quite work as expected. If we switch to the external display, the preview of the shooting will be displayed, but the brightness of the display will be completely reduced and we will miss the shutter button.
There is also a night mode
Automatic night mode is no longer a novelty, so it is also present in the new foldable smartphone. Of course, the best results are achieved by the main camera, which produces relatively sharp photos with pleasant color rendering and many details.
It is noticeably worse with the wide-angle camera. These photos provide much less detail, too warm colors and ugly glare from street lights.
From close-up shots, the 5x zoom using the periscopic telephoto lens clearly wins, which offers us very pleasant results. Despite the optical stabilization, it often happened to us that the resulting photo was blurry.
And how does it compare to its predecessor, the MIX Fold 2? Ultra-wide cameras offer significantly different results. While MIX
Fold 3 has significantly warm colors, MIX Fold 2 much more natural. Although the photo from the new MIX Fold 3 is brighter, we are bothered by the already mentioned light flashes.
There are no such visible differences with the main camera and often the results were very similar. We saw the biggest differences in more demanding conditions, where there was little light, or it was too prominent and contrasted with the dark background.
The video from the main camera is available in a maximum resolution of 8K at 24 fps. Similar to other smartphones, 4K resolution, which we can shoot at up to 60 fps, has proven to be more effective for us.
You can watch a sample of such a video during the day and at night below:
The graphics superstructure still has its bugs
Xiaomi MIX Fold 3 comes with the latest version of MIUI Fold GUI, which is specially adapted for this smartphone. Since it doesn't have a global version, be prepared for some Chinese apps, which we can uninstall, and also for the absence of support for our B20 band for 4G.
The interface is adapted for a smartphone with a pair of displays, so when it is opened and closed, the content switches between these displays immediately. However, the switching itself is problematic, as it can sometimes cause minor problems.
It happened to us a couple of times that when the smartphone was closed, the content could not fully adapt to the smaller display, so we could not see the entire content on the external display, or only half of the keyboard.
Another problem is that not all applications are adapted for the resolution of the internal large display. For example, with such an Instagram, the individual posts are too large, so it would be nice to reduce everything, or increase the resolution, for a more comfortable viewing of the content. We also don't see the whole stories. The solution is to switch the image to a 16:9 aspect ratio, when we do not use the entire display.
Battery, sound and connectivity
Xiaomi MIX Fold 3 has a 4800 mAh battery with support for 67 W wired charging, 50 W wireless and also reverse charging. As for durability, let's expect only a classic one-day durability.
Despite the termination of cooperation with Harman Kardon, the sound quality is at a high level. The speakers play well, they do not lack soft bass and clear sound. The volume could be a little higher, but overall we are satisfied with the sound quality.
In terms of wireless connectivity, we can look forward to WiFi version 7, Bluetooth 5.3, and support for contactless payments using NFC is a matter of course.
Xiaomi MIX Fold 3: Final evaluation
The new folding smartphone Xiaomi MIX Fold 3 is another version of a less traditional smartphone with two displays. One is the classic external display, but the internal, flexible one is more interesting.
At the same time, the smartphone offers four cameras, of which we enjoyed the most the newest one, which is a periscopic telephoto lens with 5x optical zoom.
Apart from this camera, the latest model offers several improvements over its predecessor. We have WiFi 7 support, a better main camera, a slightly modified design, a newer processor and one extra camera. Are these fundamental changes that should force MIX Fold 2 owners to exchange for a newer model? Probably not, but if you are considering buying a foldable smartphone, we would definitely go for a newer model.