Xiaomi Mix Fold 3: Cutting-Edge Foldable Review

  • 26 Aug, 2023
Xiaomi Mix Fold 3: Cutting-Edge Foldable Review

After three generations, the ugly duckling has matured and transformed into a beautiful swan. We like Xiaomi's latest try at a folding phone that can also function as a tablet, the Mix Fold 3.

Xiaomi has been able to improve upon the previous design, which was already a significant step forward for the franchise. We're getting more cameras this year (is there such a thing as too many cameras? ), a bigger battery (always a good thing), nicer displays (not that the old ones were horrible), wireless charging (about time), and the regular chipset upgrade. This time around, we're also not receiving worldwide accessibility.
We'll be looking closely at the camera performance, and we're especially interested in the new telephoto lenses because they offer far more variety than the single, about 2x zoom camera in the previous model. As a result, the Mix may be the market's most comprehensive large-size folding camera system.

Additionally, Xiaomi says that the new panels will have a great deal of brightness while preserving their already-liked size and dimensions. With the addition of the more effective Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and the 4,800mAh battery, we could be looking at a new foldable endurance champion.

The addition of wireless charging will help to reduce the list of drawbacks in the end, but one item is already certain to appear it: the Mix Fold 3 lacks waterproofing. We would be less likely to give others a pass now that Google, Huawei, and Samsung have joined forces to offer that.

Let's not, however, jump the gun.

Quick Look at Xiaomi Mix Fold 3 Specifications:

Dimensions and Build: With dimensions of 161.2x143.3x5.3mm and a weight of 255g, the Xiaomi Mix Fold 3 boasts a glass front, combined with a glass/plastic back and an aluminum frame.

Display: The device features an expansive 8.03-inch Foldable LTPO OLED+ display, showcasing an impressive 1 billion colors, a smooth 120Hz refresh rate, HDR10+, and Dolby Vision support. The resolution stands at 1916x2160 pixels, delivering a 10.15:9 aspect ratio and 360ppi. Additionally, there's a 6.56-inch AMOLED cover display with a 120Hz refresh rate, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, and a resolution of 1080 x 2520 pixels.

Performance: Powering the Xiaomi Mix Fold 3 is the Qualcomm SM8550-AB Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset built on the 4nm process. The Octa-core CPU consists of various cores, including high-performance Cortex-X3 and Cortex-A715 cores, as well as power-efficient Cortex-A510 cores. Graphics are handled by the Adreno 740 GPU.

Memory: The device comes in different memory configurations: 256GB storage with 12GB RAM, 512GB storage with 16GB RAM, and a high-end variant with 1TB storage and 16GB RAM. The storage utilizes the fast UFS 4.0 technology.

Operating System: Running on Android 13 with the MIUI Fold 14.1.5 skin, the software experience is optimized for the foldable form factor.

Cameras: The rear camera setup includes a 50MP wide (main) lens with features like PDAF and OIS. There are also dual telephoto lenses with 10MP resolution each, offering optical zoom capabilities of 3.2x and 5x. An additional 12MP ultra-wide lens captures shots with a 120Ëš field of view. The front cameras consist of three 20MP wide lenses.

Video: The rear camera supports video recording at various resolutions including 8K@24fps, 4K@24/30/60fps, and 1080p with a wide range of frame rates. Dolby Vision HDR enhances the video quality. The front camera records 1080p@30/60fps videos.

Battery and Charging: The device is equipped with a 4800mAh battery. It supports 67W wired charging with PD3.0 and QC4, reaching 100% in around 40 minutes (as advertised). Wireless charging is available at 50W, reaching 100% in about 55 minutes (as advertised).

Connectivity: Offering 5G capabilities, the Xiaomi Mix Fold 3 supports dual SIM, Wi-Fi 7, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC, and even features an infrared port.

Additional Features: Security is ensured with a side-mounted fingerprint reader, while audio is delivered through stereo speakers.

Unveiling the Xiaomi Mix Fold 3: A Journey through Unboxing:
With the in-box goodies of its more expensive phones, Xiaomi likes to make you feel special, and the Mix Fold 3 is no exception. Even if the package is somewhat smaller, it still provides more than the bare minimum.

For the handset, for instance, you receive a two-piece protective solution. It comprises of a rear cover that snaps into the screenless end of the Mix, serves as a kickstand, and may be further fixed with adhesive strips, as well as more of a frame that encircles the cover display.

Unlike some rivals, a charger (a 67W one in this case) and a cable are still included with your Xiaomi device.

Design, Build Quality, and Handling of the Xiaomi Mix Fold 3:

The Xiaomi Mix Fold 3 inherits its predecessor's sleek design and remarkable build quality. Like the Mix Fold 2, it maintains a modern appearance that outshines its earlier version. The device retains its proportions and introduces subtle design changes, such as a textured glass back. The enlarged camera island features a ceramic plate, adding a touch of style. The flat, matte aluminum side rails enhance grip and ease of use, while the redesigned hinge offers stability at different angles. The crease on the unfolded display is minimal, and the slim profile and lightweight design create a premium, comfortable feel. The Mix Fold 3 maintains a user-friendly button and port placements. Overall, it's a continuation of the Mix Fold's strong design legacy with practical enhancements.

Assessing Battery Life on the Xiaomi Mix Fold 3:

The Mix Fold 3's two cells now have a combined capacity of 4,800mAh instead of the 4,500mAh of the previous generation. The Honor Magic Vs (and now the V2) opts for a 5,000mAh capacity, while the vivo X Fold2 and Huawei Mate X3 equal the new Mix. The Galaxy Z Fold5 has a smaller battery capacity of 4,400mAh.

In our testing, the Mix Fold 3 proved to be quite economical and a considerable (and much-appreciated) improvement over the previous model. On the huge internal display, we were able to log almost 15 hours of Wi-Fi web browsing, which is more than 50% longer than Mix Fold 2's performance. The duration of the video replay has nearly doubled to 19:13 hours.
With the very moderate standby battery draw added on top of that, the overall Endurance rating of 117h is the highest in its class. Comparisons with competitors show that Xiaomi is the actual marathon runner of the foldable group, with the Vivo maybe being able to squeeze in a few extra minutes of online browsing and the Galaxy nearly matching the Mix in voice conversations.

Versatile Quad Camera Arrangement on the Rear: 
This year's Mix Fold features several significant advancements, including a quad-camera system that includes not one, but two telephoto lenses. At first sight, the main camera appears to be unchanged, but it isn't exactly, and the ultrawide experiences a slight degradation. We can't have it all. Although Xiaomi claims to be employing the Sony IMX800 sensor, which has a nominal size of 8,768x6144px and an odd 1.43:1 aspect ratio, it is also officially listed as having a 50MP main camera.

However, Xiaomi is clipping an 8,192x6,144px area from it, making both statements technically true. Since the phone has a Quad Bayer architecture, pixels are naturally binned 4-to-1, producing 12.5MP photos by default. The lens on this primary camera has an f/1.8 aperture and a focal length equivalent to 23mm. Also stabilized is the lens.

The ultrawide camera is based on an OmniVision OV13B10 imager, which is theoretically a 13MP device but is only used by the Mix Fold 3 to take 12MP photos, as stated in the spec sheet. 
The Mix Fold 2 featured the same sensor, but it came with a different lens—perhaps a better one since the previous phone had autofocus on its ultrawide, while this one does not. However, even with a minimum focus distance of 30 cm with autofocus, we believe that Mix Fold 2's ultrawide lens is still preferable to fixed focus. Two identical "selfie" cameras are included, one for each display. The phone claims to be employing the OmniVision OV20b sensor for them, although details aren't exactly abundant. The phone does state that it has an f/2.25 aperture and a focal length similar to 23mm.

Advantages of the Xiaomi Mix Fold 3:

  • Rich retail bundle including a quality case and 67W charger.
  • Elegant design allows the hinge to stay open in a variety of configurations.
  • Wonderful displays that support Dolby Vision as well.
  • Wireless charging is now an option, and the battery life is among the best in its class.
  • Outstanding speakers
  • Excellent photo quality across the board, at least for the back cameras.
  • IR blaster, nonetheless.

Disadvantages of the Xiaomi Mix Fold 3:

  • China-only release with a large number of pre-installed Chinese apps.
  • Without waterproofing.
  • Software implementation for the huge screen is somewhat constrained.
  • tendency for both the GPU and the CPU to overheat under sustained stress.
  • The ultrawide camera has no AF.
  • Some issues with video stabilization and the telephoto lenses cannot capture 4K footage