Alongside yesterday’s launch of the Mi Note 2, Xiaomi also announced a “concept” phone that is no longer concept and is expected to actually be available to buy in a couple of weeks. It is not unusual for Chinese manufacturers to release a lot of different phones, after all, they have a decent sized market over there, but what makes this phone so special is that it is a possible ground breaking design.
The Sharp Aquos was a relatively bezel-less phone a couple of years ago, but it failed to gain any traction due to sluggish software and an uninspiring, dull display. Xiaomi hope to change the mindset on a phone effectively without bezels with their Mi MIX.
When many phones are staying with decent sized bezels (eg. the Pixels) Xiaomi have introduced a phone that will possibly shake up the design of smartphones in the future. It has three curved edges and has a screen-to-body ratio of 91.3%, far higher than every other phone out there. The display is a 6.4in, 17:9 ratio display with a resolution of 2040 x 1080 pixels.
It is powered by the same high end processor as the Mi Note 2, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 and will come in both 4GB and 6GB variants with 128GB and 256GB of storage space respectively. The rear camera is a 16MP shooter while the front is 5MP. The battery is a whopping 4400mAh which supports Quick Charge 3.0. It runs MIUI 8 and is only 158.9 x 81.9 x 7.9mm in size which is remarkable considering the size of the display. Probably due to the size of this display it weighs a relatively hefty 209 grams.
The phone is covered in a full ceramic body which according to the video below is very difficult to manufacture and comes in black only. The ceramic body isn’t the only novel physical feature of the phone but the lack of a proximity sensor or earpiece are compensated with the use of piezoelectric ceramic acoustic technology. For those who did not do physics, or who slept through it like many of us did, this uses a ceramic drive unit to convert electrical signals into mechanical energy which produces sound. Amazing, and sounds like true wizardry to me. I’ll have to see it in person to believe it. The proximity sensor is an infra-red sensor that is located behind the display.
The 128GB version will be selling for 3499RMB while the premium 256GB version, complete with 18K gold rims around the rear camera and fingerprint sensor, will sell for 3999RMB. It is unknown whether this is a real phone or not consider the moniker they have given it as a concept phone but their website lists prices and says that it will go on sale in China on the 4th of November.
The kicker for Australians is that unlike the Mi Note 2 there is no global version but the Mi MIX does support some Australian LTE bands. It supports LTE band 1(2100), 2(1900), 3(1800), 4(1700/2100), 5(850), 7(2600), 8(900), 38(2600), 39(1900), 40(2300), 41(2500). Band 28 is the only one missing so you may or may not notice it missing. A friend of mine with a Redmi Note today said he still gets 50-60Mb/s download speed using a phone with similar LTE support.
Are you interested in this phone? In purchasing or just the concept of a bezel-less phone? Do you think it has a future or will the lack of places to hold the phone see it not take off?