After taking the markets by storm with their budget-friendly smartphones, Xiaomi has now decided to up the ante by introducing a swanky new high-tech phone. The world’s 4th largest smartphone maker is making headlines with its recently launched Mi MIX – a solid, tech-loaded and stunning looking smartphone.
Apart from the phone being kept tightly under wraps prior to launch, another surprise element surrounding the Mi Mix was Xiaomi and renowned French designer Philippe Starck’s collaboration, which began in 2014. In 2012, Philippe Starck also collaborated with Lodha builders (who admirably refer to Starck as the ‘God of Design’), to design the 63-storey luxury tower ‘Lodha Evoq’ at Mumbai’s New Cuffe Parade.
As far as the Xiaomi-Starck collaboration is concerned, the latter was heavily involved in guiding the Xiaomi team with crafting and designing the device’s overall look and feel. Mi MIX has a glossy full ceramic body, frame and buttons. This is Xiaomi’s second attempt at using fancy ceramic material – the first being the ceramic-edition Mi 5, which was apparently tougher to manufacture because of its 3D curve.
Available only in black, the high-end, scratch resistant Mi MIX is the first handset to have a bezel-less display. It boasts of a spectacular 6.4-inch IPS LCD edgeless display with 362 PPI pixel density and sharp 2040 x 1080 FHD resolution. The absence of the earpiece and infrared proximity sensor renders a pristine look to the phone’s top edge, making way for the edge-to-edge display.
Mi MIX is giving a tough fight to the iPhone 7 – the former has been awarded 8.5 points on Mohs scale of hardness, while iPhone 7’s rating stands only at 6.
The impressive Mi MIX showcases a 1300:1 contrast ratio and an unbelievable screen-to-body ratio of 91.3%. A cantilevered piezoelectric actuator behind the glass helps produce audible sound for calls. It showcases ultrasound for proximity sensing powered by the “Inner Beauty” software solution by Elliptic Labs.
The classy phone has a fingerprint reader; latest generation Qualcomm processors – quad-core Snapdragon 821 at 2.35GHz chipset with Adreno 530 graphics; a combination of 4 GB or 6 GB LPDDR4 RAM with 128 GB or 256 GB UFS 2.0 storage respectively; a powerful 4,400 mAh non-removable battery with Quick Charge, meaning the phone hits full charge in less than 60 minutes; HD audio playback; NFC; a 16 MP main camera (dual-LED flash and f/2.0 aperture) and a custom-made 5 MP selfie camera that can capture 1080p video and whose module size is 50% lesser than conventional ones. Additional camera features are panorama mode, facial recognition and autofocus phase detection.
The Mi MIX also supports LTE Cat 11 with up to 600 Mbps download speeds using tri-carrier aggregation. The phone can work 256 hours in sleep mode and is capable of supporting up to 13 hours of game playing.
Mi MIX will be available in China on November 4th 2016. The base model is priced at 3,499 yuan, that’s approximately $516 (Rs 35,000), and the top-end model having 18-karat gold rims around the rear camera and fingerprint sensor, is priced at 3,999 yuan – roughly $590 (Rs 40,000). Although these prices are higher than regular Xiaomi smartphones, it can be said that the Mi MIX’s brilliant specs and unique sophisticated design more than justify the price, which of course, is still more reasonable compared to similar phones by other brands.
Xiaomi’s Mi MIX proves that it’s not tough for a phone pumped with such cutting-edge features and high-end technology to be practical and affordable as well. Given everything this phone offers at the price, it’s only fair for Hugo Barra to have given it the epithet, the “Formula One” product by Xiaomi.