At the Xiaomi Mi Note 2 smartphone launch event held in Beijing on October 25th, the company caught everyone by surprise as their CEO unveiled something new which we never expected from Xiaomi. The Mi MIX smartphone came with the non-traditional form factor and was introduced as a concept phone. But at the end of the event, the company announced the pricing and availability of the device, though in very limited quantity. Now, everyone might think how can a retail device be called as a concept phone. As told by the Xiaomi officials, they wanted their fans to experience the Mi MIX unlike many other brands who just showcase an idea, and the user can’t use it anytime soon.
While all of us at Phone Radar experienced the device with the unorthodox design, the device will not be sold officially outside of China including India. Even in China, the number of units will be very limited, to be precise, just 10000 units per month. There are a few points that should be cleared before talking in depth about the device. While the image on Xiaomi’s official website shows the device with zero bezels on top and side edges, in reality, we can see a very thin bezel on all the three edges. There are smartphones like Nubia Z9 and Nubia Z11 which were launched with zero bezels; here the display meets directly with the frame. Many of you might be seeing a smartphone with the similar design for the first time, but this isn’t new at least for the U.S and Japanese users.
Sharp has launched the Aquos Crystal smartphone that looks similar to Mi MIX in mid-2014. Apart from similar form factor, the device is nowhere close to Mi MIX in terms of specifications or build quality. It also came with a smaller 5-inch display which in return gives the screen to body ratio not as high as Mi MIX. In September last year, Hisense launched the Magic Mirror tablet with 8.4-inch Quad HD display that offered 90% screen-to-body ratio. Just a couple of months ago, Sharp demoed the freeform display called Corner R which is similar to that of Mi MIX display. However, there are no bezels on this device unlike Mi MIX and has the rounded corners meeting the frame of the device. So the Mi MIX form factor or the display can’t be credited an innovation.
Since the display is the most talked feature, we try to clear all the doubts about the beautiful display of the Mi MIX smartphone. It sports a huge 6.4-inch display with Full HD (2080 x 1080 pixels) resolution offering a pixel density of 362 ppi. With 91.3% screen to body ratio, the Mi MIX has the highest ever screen-to-body ratio. The display comes with 17:9 aspect ratio along with 500 nits of brightness and 94% NTCS color gamut. At 500 nits of brightness, this is not the smartphone with most screen brightness. For comparison, the Mi 5 came with 600 nits of brightness.
- Does it Feature AMOLED or Curved Display?
No, the Mi MIX doesn’t feature AMOLED panel nor is it a Curved display. From the device information, we came to know that the device is using the Sharp’s display panel.
- Does the Mi MIX Support Force or 3D Touch?
It lacks the Force/3D Touch, but it would have been a bit more interesting if the company has offered it. FYI, the recently launched Mi 5s with 4GB RAM came with the 3D Touch support. The thicker ceramic shell and not much space for other parts might be a few reasons for excluding the feature which make the display panel a bit thick.
- Do the Mi MIX Sports Glass Body?
Apart from the display on the front, where ever you touch on the Mi MIX is ceramic. Even the frame and hardware button are made up of Ceramic. Not only the usage of ceramic makes the device costlier, it even makes the production much harder. From the customer’s point of view, the replacement of the shattered body is mostly impossible, though ceramic is much stronger than the glass or metal.
- Is it the Display Shatterproof or Scratch Resistant?
There is not much official information available about the device’s display. From the limited knowledge, we guess the huge 6.4-inch display lacks any type of protection. Once the device is dropped, we might see the shattered display but not the glossy finished body as it is completely made up of ceramic. The included leather case might protect the device from scratches and drops while regular usage.
- How does 17:9 Aspect Ratio differs from 16:9?
Without considering the real estate of the onboard navigation buttons, the MIX also offers 16:9 aspect ratio. In comparison, most smartphones come with 16:9 aspect ratio and reduces to 15:9 when there are onboard buttons. In case, the buttons are hidden using the options in MIUI 8; we can see few apps leaving out a little space on top and bottom of the device. However, the default apps on the device will support the 17:9 aspect ratio giving the true experience of the almost bezel-less display.
- Where & How to Buy the Mi MIX?
As we said earlier, the Mi MIX will be only limited to China and exclusively for Chinese user. There will be no PlayStore or other Google services available out of the box. The first sale of the Mi MIX took place in China today, i.e.; November 4th. If you are living outside of China, head over to this link to pre-order anyone of the 4GB or 6GB RAM variants of Mi MIX smartphone.
- Is the Mi MIX Waterproof?
As seen with the earlier questions, there is no much protection for the device except the ceramic material. The Mi MIX also lacks any IP certifications, though none of the Xiaomi smartphones launched till date are waterproof or water resistant.
- How Big is Mi MIX with 6.4-inch Display?
With a higher screen-to-body ratio, the Mi MIX feels smaller when compared to other devices with similar screen size. From the below image, you can see the 6.4-inch Mi MIX almost comes with the similar size as 5.7-inch Mi Note 2. The Mi Max with 6.44-inch display looks way bigger than the Mi MIX.
- Does it Support Fast/Quick Charging?
The Xiaomi Mi Mix comes with a huge 4,400mAh non-removable battery and support fast charging with the Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 technology. In China, the users can also get the battery replaced for free. With such a big battery, the device can also be used as a power bank for charging other devices using the USB Type-C port. The included power adapter gives an output of 5V/2A or 9V/2A or 12V/1.5A.
- Does it Offer HiFi Audio?
The Mi Note 2 that was launched alongside the Mi MIX came with Qualcomm’s Aqstic audio codec that has a 24-bit 192kHz DAC offering Hi-Fi audio quality. The HTC 10 is the first smartphone to make use of this codec. But the Mi MIX lacks an integrated audio chip for providing Hi-Fi audio output.
- Can the 16MP Rear Camera Record 4K & Slo-Mo Videos?
The Mi MIX sports the OmniVision’s OV16880 16MP sensor and the reason for Xiaomi to choose this particular sensor is its one-micron size. It can even be fitted into a 5mm smartphone without any bump. Though the images and videos aren’t that sharp compared to other premium smartphones, they aren’t that bad either. It supports 4K video recording at 30 fps and slow motion videos at 120 fps, but the resolution is limited to 720p. The primary camera comes assisted by a f/2.0 aperture; dual tone LED flash, and PDAF.
- How much Storage is Available Out of the Box?
As said earlier, the Mi MIX will be available in 128GB and 256GB storage variant. The variant we are testing out is the 128GB variant and comes with 116GB of available storage. Also remember that there is no MicroSD card slot for storage expansion. As of now, we don’t have information about the available storage on the 128GB variant. However, it should be anywhere between 240GB to 244GB.
- Are Google Play Services Available on Mi MIX?
The device that will be on sale starting on November 4th doesn’t include any Google services including the PlayStore. In case, if you are getting one from China, you can install all the Google Apps from MIUI forum.
- Benchmark Scores of Mi MIX, compared with Mi 5 and Mi 5S smartphones
Mi Mix (Snapdragon 821 SoC & 4GB RAM) – 1,08,849
Mi 5(Snapdragon 820 SoC & 3GB RAM) – 1,111,677
Mi 5S(Snapdragon 821 SoC & 3GB RAM) – 1,26,530
- What is Ultrasonic Proximity (Distance) Sensor?
The Proximity sensor placed near the earpiece help in saving the battery life along with unwanted touches while answering calls. It turns off the display while answering calls through the earpiece and also helps in keeping the device locked while it stays in our pockets. Since there is no place to hold the proximity sensor, Xiaomi opted for the ultrasonic proximity sensor which sits behind the display and continuously emits the ultrasonic waves. If the waves strike any obstacle, they bounce back and reach the receiver which in return turns off the display.
- Is the Front Camera Missing on Mi MIX?
In the selfie generation, no smartphone manufacturer can dare to remove the front camera. As there is no space on the top of the display, the selfie camera can be found on the bottom right corner. It works same as on any other device, but you need to hold upward down for that experience. The camera app will be automatically rotated once the user switches to the front camera. There is a 5MP OV5675 sensor from OmniVision that captures decent selfies. It also has built-in beauty mode with several effects and can record videos at 1080p resolution.
- What is Cantilever Piezoelectric Ceramics Acoustics Technology?
Unlike the regular ceramic material, the Cantilever Piezoelectric Ceramic carries the mechanical, electrical, thermal and biochemical properties. With this particular material, Xiaomi can skip the standard earpiece/receiver and use the Piezoelectric Ceramic to convert the electric signal into mechanical energy directly from DAC. This energy will now travel through the metal frame inside the device and finally reaches the human ear. Interestingly, the user can hear the voice by placing his ear anywhere on the smartphone.
- Is the 3.5mm Audio Port Present on Mi MIX?
Though the earpiece, sensors, and front camera are missing on the top of the display, Xiaomi might not have the courage like Apple to remove the 3.5mm audio port. It can be found on the top edge of the device, and there is no need of carrying different headsets or adapters.
These are the important questions that we received on Twitter and Youtube. In case, if you have any more questions, post them in the comments section below and we will be glad to answer them.