5 ways the Xiaomi Mi MIX gives us a peek at the future of smartphones

“With the Mi MIX, Xiaomi wants you to live on the edge”

mi-mix_2If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past two days, you probably would have heard about the new “concept” smartphone from Xiaomi – the Mi MIX. But unlike other concept designs we have seen in the past from different manufacturers, the Mi MIX is an actual device, and not just a bunch of cool ideas that never materialise. The company has launched the phone in its home country of China, with availability starting from November 4th. So what does the MIX bring to the mix? It’s the design. Xiaomi touts the bezel-less design of the Mi MIX as being something revolutionary, and we don’t disagree. Here’s why we feel the Mi MIX can bring about a shift in the smartphone industry.

A bezel-less future


Let’s be honest. No one likes those thick bezels around the display on a smartphone. While manufacturers nowadays are pushing the boundaries to fit in larger screens in a smaller form factor, the Mi MIX is an absolute winner in this aspect. With the dimensions roughly similar to the iPhone 7 Plus, the MIX features a much larger 6.4-inch canvas. This is all thanks to the 91.3 percent screen-to-body ratio of the MIX. But as it turns out, the MIX is not entirely bezel-less. It comes with extremely thin bezels on three of the edges, while the bottom edge is a little larger as it houses the essentials such as the front camera.

An all-ceramic approach


The Mi MIX gets all the beauty in a sturdy ceramic body that adds the strength required to protect a smartphone with such thin bezels. Even the frame is made out of ceramic. By using ceramic, the need for adhesives and plastic is ruled out, thus resulting in a more refined unibody design with higher polish and finish. There is also a variant of the device that comes with 18K gold rims around the camera and fingerprint scanner… talk about novelty. Overall, this seamless construction means that the Mi MIX gets eight in the Moh’s scale of hardness, which is way better than other smartphones out there in the market.

Say goodbye to the earpiece


There is a reason why most smartphones have upper bezels – the area houses some of the essential sensors and hardware such as the proximity sensor, earpiece and the front camera. And while you’d find the front camera on the bottom of the MIX, the earpiece and proximity sensor are nowhere to be found. That’s because they are not there… at least on the outside. Xiaomi has used Cantilever Piezoelectric Ceramic Acoustic technology, which in simple words means that you’d be able to hear the voice of the caller without a traditional earpiece. The Mi MIX also swaps the usual IR proximity sensor with an ultrasonic one that can work from beneath the display. Who wants stuff like these to take up valuable space, right?

A camera experience like never before


When you’ve got such thin bezels, shooting pictures and videos becomes very enticing. It’s almost like you’re seeing the world through a thin frame. The camera app in the smartphone is intelligent enough to know what angle the phone is being held in, so your pictures would never turn out to be upside down no matter how you take them. The Mi MIX comes with a 16MP rear camera with phase detection autofocus and a dual-LED flash, as well as a 5MP selfie shooter. Smartphone cameras have improved quite a lot over the past few years, and we expect the trend to continue.

Flagship-grade specifications


Current generation smartphones already pack in a lot of raw power to handle any task that you throw at them. But this is only going to get better. The Mi MIX comes powered by a Snapdragon 821 SoC clocked at 2.35GHz, and mixes it up (you can never be bored of puns, right?) with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of UFS 2.0 storage. The 18K variant adds an additional 2 gigs of RAM and rocks 256GB of storage to make it a delightful combo. Powering the device is a 4,400mAh battery that supports Quick Charge 3.0 technology.

The Mi MIX is the right step forward towards what could be the future of smartphones. Overall, we think 2016 has been the year when brands have tried to experiment, be it the modular design from LG and Lenovo, or the bezel-less take from Xiaomi. Unfortunately, Xiaomi still calls the MIX a concept phone, meaning that the chances of it launching anywhere outside China are pretty bleak. But for those of you who can get one from China, the pricing starts at 3499 Yuan (~Rs 34,530).


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