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The Xiaomi Combine Fold three would not compromise on cameras

Xiaomi has just fired the latest salvo in the folding phone arms race. The Mix Fold 3 isn’t messing around, with four rear cameras that could rival the very best traditional smartphones. It also gets a hinge mechanism tested to withstand half a million folds – more than twice as much as the current foldable to beat, Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 5.

Announced for China, with a global rollout still TBC, the Mix Fold 3 is Xiaomi’s first with a free-stop design, meaning it’ll stay open anywhere between 45 and 135 degrees. The firm’s previous efforts could only open or close, with no in-between angles for any sort of clever tent mode multitasking.

The new design has helped thin out the Mix Fold 3 to a svelte 10.86mm when shut and just 5.26mm at its slimmest point when open, slotting in just behind the ultra-skinny Honor Magic V2. That’s for the version made of composite fibre; there’s an alternative with a glass rear that’s marginally thicker. Any sort of IP rating for water or dust protection is sadly MIA, though.

It’s packing a 6.56in OLED display up front with a 21:9 aspect ratio, FHD+ resolution and 120Hz refresh rate. Protection comes courtesy of Gorilla Glass Victus 2 glass. Inside, there’s an 8.03in flexible OLED with 2160×1916 resolution, equally speedy 120Hz refresh rate and LTPO tech for power-saving dynamic adjustment. Xiaomi reckons it’ll hit a colossal 2560 nits peak brightness.

Xiaomi’s long-running partnership with Leica continues here, with the four rear snappers carrying the photography firm’s branding. There’s a 50MP main snapper with optical image stabilisation, a 12MP ultrawide, 10MP fixed-lens telephoto good for 3x optical zoom, and a 10MP periscope lens with 5x optical zoom. Both zoom lenses also get OIS, for steady long-distance snapping.

It’s the first flagship foldable we’ve seen with four lenses, meaning it’ll cover focal lengths the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Google Pixel Fold can only manage with digital cropping. Xiaomi has apparently tried to dial down the image processing this year, to avoid over-processed or over-sharpened pics.

Power comes from a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor and as much as 16GB of RAM, depending on which model you go for. Storage options top out at 1TB, and everything is powered by a 4800mAh battery. It can handle 67W wired charging (still impressive for a foldable) and 50W wireless top-ups.

The Mix Fold 5 is China-only for now, and even if Xiaomi does go for a wider release later down the line, US customers will almost certainly miss out unless they import one. At launch prices start at ¥8999 (about $1250/£1000) for a model with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, and climb to ¥10,999 (around $1500/£1200) for 16GB of RAM and 1TB of storage.

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