It is true that the smartphone world has become rather dull and not-so-innovative. Even giants like Apple who has the financial muscle to flex when it comes to R&D failed to turn out anything mind-blowing. Xiaomi, one of China’s bigger player, on the other hand, is determined not to stop innovating. Granted the real innovation did not quite started until last month when it introduced the Mi 5s with ultrasonic fingerprint sensor and today, the handset maker did it again with the world’s first edgeless display called Mi Mix with a designed conceived by, surprise, surprise, the legendary French designer, Philippe Starck. Yes. The Philippe Starck.
Coming in at a grand 6.4-inch, the device’s 2,040 by 1,080 pixels display engulfed a whopping 91.3 percent of the front of the handset. No prize for guessing where’s the rest of 8.7 percent goes. Yep, the bottom where you usually find the Home button, but in the case of Mi Mix, it has none. The usual three-button setup you expect to find on a traditional is now on the display, beneath the glass. The Mi Mix is, without doubt, Xiaomi’s pride and joy with the outfit pouring the best there are in innovations into it, including an all-ceramic construction, piezoelectric ceramic driver for the earpiece, ultrasound technology in place of proximity sensor, and a mortise and tenon joint to adhere the display to the lustrous body, as opposed the traditional adhesives.
Under the hood, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 chip clocking in at 2.35GHz drives the clockwork, backed by up to 6GB LPDDR4 dual-channel memory along with up to 256GB UFS 2.0 storage and Adreno 530 for heavy graphics lifting. Being a China-centric handset, it is no surprise that it is a dual-SIM phone, then again, that’s like goes without saying. Imaging is a big deal on any China-designed handsets, the Mi Mix is no exception.
It gets a 16MP main shooter with f2.0 aperture, dual-tone flash, phase-detection AF, automatic HDR, and it is, of course, 4K capable (at 30fps) and also captures slow-mo in HD at 120fps. Around the front is a 5MP 1080p selfie-friendly camera with all things, hardware and software, that will make you a beauty with every shot. Not surprisingly, the front-facing camera has to be located at the lower right hand corner of the device, which probably needs a little getting use to.
Other notables include a non-removable 4,400 mAh battery with Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 support, “full function” NFC, plus the garden variety of connectivity and sensors you have come to expect from today’s smartphone. Notwithstanding Xiaomi referring the Mi Mix as a “full screen concept phone,” the company does have the date of availability and even prices. Two models are offered, both which will be officially available starting November 4 in China, priced at 3,499 RMB and 3,999 RMB for the 4GB/128GB and 6GB/256GB models, respectively (which works out to be around US$516 and US$590 based on today’s going rate).
Already, 481,710 people (at the time of this writing) has committed to Mi Mix despite its rather prohibitive stickers by China market’s standards. So, will the Mix reinforces Xiaomi as an innovator in China? Well, that remains to be since. All I know now is, I need to get my hands on one and give it a go. I admit. I am a hopeless sucker for edgeless devices and ceramic body only serves sweetened the deal for me. You can find the product video and also an interview with the legend, Philippe Starck, after the spec rundown.
|Unknown version of Android and MIUI interface|
Qualcomm Snapdragon 821, 2.35GHz
Qualcomm Snapdragon 821, 2.35GHz
17:9 Aspect Ratio, 2040 x 1080 (362ppi)
94% NTSC gamut, High color saturation
4GB LPDDR4 Dual-channel, 128GB UFS 2.0
6GB LPDDR4 Dual-channel, 256GB USF 2.0
|Rear: 16MP, F2.0 lens, Dual-tone LED flash, Phase detection AF, Auto HDR, 4K Videoing
Video Recording: 4K/30fps, 1080p/30fps, 720p/30fps, Slow-mo 720p/120fps
Quick Charge 3.0
|802.11a/b/g/n/ac dual-band, MU-MIMO, WiFi Display, WiFi Direct, Bluetooth 4.2, Bluetooth HID, full-featured NFC|
|Gyro, Accelerometer, Ultrasonic Proximity Sensor, Ambient Light, Hall, Electronic Compass, Barometer, Vibration Motor, Fingerprint Sensor|
|GPS, AGPS, Glonass, Beidou|
|MP4, M4V, MKV, XVID, WAV, AAC, MP3, AMR, FLAC, APE, DSD
H.265 /HEVC (Main profile), H.264 (Baseline/Main/High profile), MPEG4 (Simple profile/ASP)
VC-1 (Simple/Main/Advanced profile)
|158.8 x 81.9 x 7.9 mm, 209g (128/256GB)|
Images courtesy of Xiaomi.