Xiaomi have been teasing the Mi Mix Alpha for a while now which at one stage many thought would be their foldable phone. Turns out it wasn’t and the Mi Mix Alpha is actually a display with a small strip of body on the back.
Yes, we have seen waterfall displays in recent times showing the display wrapping down the edges of phones but it seems that Xiaomi have gone one step further and produced a phone that’s display doesn’t just wrap down the sides of the phone but all the way around the back, covering most of the rear of the phone. The only part of the rear that it does not cover is a small strip which houses the rear camera — or is that the front-facing camera?
This display is a surround screen that ends in a display to body ratio of 180.6% — yes, greater than 100 percent. Not sure how that works but maybe we might need to start talking about the body to screen ratio now? We are not sure of the feasibility and accidental touch rejection of this new display (although it is present apparently) but boy does it look cool:
While we may have seen a TV and a Mi 9 Pro 5G also announced it was the Mi Mix Alpha that stole the show. The name Alpha says it all — the first. There are no physical buttons but instead pressure-sensitive buttons on the side of the phone along with the status icons.
That strip on the rear of the phone houses a triple camera — I assume that is the rear camera but with a display that is all the way around it could also work as a front-facing camera — does that mean we just call it the camera and start talking in those terms for all devices? It will most likely result in the best selfies we have ever seen. The camera includes the new Samsung 108MP lens which uses a 2.2 pixel matrix for better low-light sensitivity and produce 27MP images.
Inside the phone does not disappoint either with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ processor, including its 5G capabilities, 12GB of RAM and 512GB of onboard storage. The 4,050mAh battery can be charged using 40W wired fast-charging. The battery size and charging speed does not seem sufficient for a device that is basically all display — unless Xiaomi have some magical unicorn dust in there where a bright display does not kill the battery like it does on every other device out there.
As you can see from the GIF below, that the second side of the display only illuminated when the AI software, the accelerometers and other sensors detects which side is being used — not sure how that would work when lying in bed reading though. When the display is not being used the touches detected there are suppressed — only the touches on the side being used are registered.
The phone will not be mass produced and is more a testing of the market with a concept phone. Xiaomi will be doing a small run of them later this year and they will retail for a whopping 19,999 yuan or approximately AUD$4150 (yikes!).
So where can you get one of these? Well you can’t. It’s a concept phone and while many concept phones have ended up making the leak to consumer phones we suspect that battery technology and display strength and protection will need to come a long way before it ever makes it into the hands of Joe and Jill Public.