Xiaomi Mi Mix First Impressions: A Mi original

By Prasid Banerjee | Published on 25 Oct 2016
Xiaomi Mi Mix First Impressions: A Mi original
HIGHLIGHTS
  • The Xiaomi Mi Mix is a Mi device from top to bottom, and it may have been a great addition to its India portfolio.

If it was a shame that the Xiaomi Mi Note 2 wouldn’t make it to India, it’s a crying shame that the Mi Mix won’t come either. Xiaomi has decided to keep its most innovative smartphone of the year within the Chinese borders, but it still showcases what the company is capable of. The Mi Mix has a ceramic body, the fastest processor money can buy, and the token innovative feature with its bezel-less display. To be clear, it’s not a completely bezel-less display, but as close to it as one can get.

The Mi Mix’s display curves around the corners, so to present a completely bezel-less feel. Xiaomi says it has been working on this phone for two years now, and though it isn’t something that hasn’t been done before, it’s still a testament to the originality that this company is capable of. Per company VP, Hugo Barra, the Mi Mix was a closely guarded secret, one that few within the company were aware of. That’s perhaps how Xiaomi kept it from leaks, which have become so routine in the smartphone universe today.

The bezels have been eliminated on three sides; the top and the two sides. That, though, leaves no space for the camera, earpiece and proximity sensor, all of which are staples on the top bezel. Xiaomi says it has employed an ultrasonic proximity sensor, that does its job through the display, while the earpiece (Xiaomi calls is the peizoelectric ceramic actuator) also rests below the display. However, the front camera now rests on the bottom bezel. So, you can either look towards the bottom left of the phone, or simply turn it upside down while taking selfies.

The Mi Mix is a host of firsts. It’s the first Xiaomi phone to sport on-screen keys, and its first with 256GB storage. Of course, it’s also the first Xiaomi phone to sport a bezel-less display, and looks quite like the Sharp Aquos Crystal, but with a Mi twist. Xiaomi has even added 18 karat gold to the rings around the camera and fingerprint sensor on the back, for the Mi Mix Pro.

The phone starts at 3499 Yuan, higher than regular Xiaomi devices, but this isn’t a regular Xiaomi device any way. It’s meant to be a statement, about the future of Mi devices. With the on-screen keys removed, you get a full 17:9 display, and even with FHD resolution, it looks quite good. The 6.4 inch frame is imposing and will impress phablet enthusiasts. If you want big screens, this is the way to get it.

It’s also fast and snappy, at least on first impressions. The Snapdragon 821 SoC, combined with 4 GB of RAM on the Mi Mix, and 6GB on the Mi Mix Pro, put it up there with the toughest of flagships. It even has a 16MP camera on the back, to check another flagship requirement off the list. What it doesn’t have is a build of MiUI on Android Nougat, and frankly, it would have been good to see Xiaomi go the extra mile for this one. It hasn’t been the fastest with Android updates, and Nougat on this phone would have put it on the bleeding edge today. Of course, you can’t really fault the company for not having Nougat, especially given how early it is in the OS’ life cycle.

Its ceramic body may feel a tad heavy, but nothing worth complaining about. I’m hoping Xiaomi can make a smaller phone like this one. Given that the phone is all about the display, 6.4-inch does make sense, however, it makes the Mi Mix tough to grip. The slippery ceramic back doesn’t do you any favours either.

Not coming to India

Xiaomi won’t launch this in India because it’s following a single flagship strategy here. However, the Mi Mix may have been the perfect device for the company to shed its “affordable phone maker” image. Specs-wise, the Mi Mix is like any other flagship, but that’s not why you buy it. If you’re buying a phone like the Mi Mix, you want to show it off. It’s the same reason why you wanted flip phones at a time. Out in public, the Mi Mix will turn heads, and that gives Xiaomi something its competitors didn’t have.

 

Xiaomi Mi Max Key Specs, Price and Launch Date

Price:
Release Date: 09 May 2017
Variant: 32GB
Market Status: Launched

Key Specs

  • Screen Size Screen Size
    6.44" (1080 x 1920)
  • Camera Camera
    16 MP | 5 MP
  • Memory Memory
    32GB & 128GB/3 & 4 GB
  • Battery Battery
    4850 mAh
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Prasid Banerjee

Trying to explain technology to my parents. Failing miserably.

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