Xiaomi has a new concept phone — but it’s not actually a concept, because it’s real. And it’s crazy.
Designed with the help of French designer Philippe Starck and announced at Xiaomi’s Beijing event today, the 6.4-inch device features a striking bezel-less display. Where other phones usually keep a top and bottom area available for the front camera and home button, the Mix does away with both, leaving only a small space in the bottom right corner for the front camera.
The phone will be available in China on November 4 and will come in two models. One, housing 4GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage, will sell for 3,499 yuan, which converts to about $510, AU$680 or £420. A premium model with 18k gold embossing and 256GB onboard storage will cost 3,999 yuan. That’s approximately $590, AU$770 or £480.
The Mix is quite the game changer. In order to accommodate the lack of a top and bottom bezel, where the speaker for making calls usually is, Xiaomi is using what it calls a “piezoelectric ceramic actuator” to deliver voice calls to your ears. It’s not the first phone to operate with a tiny bezel though, with.
Other cool technology innovations include using an ultrasound sensor to replace the proximity sensor, and this works from behind the display like the “piezoelectric ceramic actuator”. Xiaomi has also made sure that palm rejection is present, as you’ll likely accidentally touch the screen when holding it.
- Snapdragon 821 processor
- 4,400mAh battery featuring Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0
- 16-megapixel rear camera
The whole phone is encased in beautifully glossy black ceramic, though this may end up being a fingerprint magnet. Located at the back is the 16-megapixel rear camera and a fingerprint sensor. Unlike the iPhone 7 or the Samsung Galaxy S7, the Mi Mix doesn’t have water resistance.
Having played with the phone briefly, I’m pretty impressed with the build quality and how the phone feels in the hand. I’m really not a big fan of phones with screens bigger than 6 inches, as I think they are too unwieldy to use properly, but the Mix is very close to making me change my mind.
There’s just something about the ceramic body all screen design that astounds. This is likely what phones in the future will look like, and Xiaomi has beaten its competitors to the punch. If you’re like me and thinking of getting one, the bad news is that it will only be sold in China, and in limited quantities due to the difficulty of getting the ceramic body done right and the low quantity of its required exotic parts.
Xiaomi says the phone is made mainly for its hardcore fans who tend to snap up all of its devices, but it’s likely we may see technology such as the lack of bezels trickle down to future Xiaomi devices.