Xiaomi India is back with a bang in 2020 after a small hiatus. The Chinese smartphone maker recently conducted a media round-table where it teased possible launches for the year. In addition to the teasers, Xiaomi “formally” announced the comeback of its Mi sub-brand, especially in the premium smartphone segment. It shared possible details about what Mi-banded products that one may see in the year. However, in addition to teaser about upcoming Mi-branded products, it also showcased the premium Mi MIX Alpha.
Before we dig further, it is worth noting that Xiaomi still considers the Mi MIX Alpha as a “concept smartphone”. This is because the company can’t mass produce MIX Alpha on a mass scale. It did not share any launch, availability, or official price details about the smartphone. Xiaomi did provide a rough estimate regarding the possible pricing of the MIX Alpha at about Rs 2.5 lakh. The company stated that it is still figuring out details about a potential launch in the future. As Xiaomi figures out the India launch of Mi MIX Alpha, let’s have a quick look at the flagship smartphone.
Watch: Xiaomi Mi MIX Alpha: First Look
Xiaomi Mi MIX Alpha: Specifications
Before we dig in the highlight of the smartphone, the design, let’s talk about the specifications. Xiaomi has used flexible OLED with a plastic finish to create a unique 4D surround display. It offers an impressive 180.6 percent screen-to-body ratio. This new display also features a brand new display acoustic technology to get rid of the earpiece. The technology also works as an ultrasonic proximity sensor for the smartphone. If there is any confusion, the display does curve and wrap around the sides to continue on the back.
Given that the display literally wraps around the smartphone, there are no physical buttons on the side. Instead, the company has opted for virtual buttons with pressure-sensitive sides. This allows users to customize the position of the power and volume rocker button. Beyond this, the device runs on Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ SoC with 12GB RAM and 512GB internal storage with UFS 3.0 protocol. The company has also added dual SIM capability on the smartphone along with 5G connectivity. MIX Alpha is powered by a 4,050mAh battery made from nano Silicon Cathode. The company has also added 40W wired fast charging.
Moving to the camera setup, the smartphone features a triple camera setup on the back. This includes a 108-megapixel primary sensor with f/1.69 aperture, a 20-megapixel sensor with an ultra-wide-angle lens. It has optimized the ultra-wide lens in such a way that users can also use it to capture macro images. The third sensor that comes on the device sports a 12-megapixel telephoto lens. Xiaomi also clarified that the smartphone includes 4-axis Optical Image Stabilization. To clarify, there is no front camera so users will have to use the rear camera for selfie images.
Design and that screen
Now that we have talked about the specifications of the smartphone, let’s talk about the design of the MIX Alpha. Though, it is worth noting that we were not allowed to touch the smartphone during the round-table. The company highlighted that it has used premium materials to craft the smartphone. These include a Titanium alloy frame to support the flexible OLED display. In addition, Xiaomi has also used Ceramic on the back strip of the smartphone along with a full Sapphire glass strip. The strip will protect the triple camera setup against scratches and more.
Talking about the 4D surround display also comes with interesting features on the software side. First up, users can turn off the back of the smartphone to conserve battery. Xiaomi is also using AI for “Mis-touch detection” for improved usage. Beyond this, flipping the smartphone when the camera app is on automatically moves the viewfinder to the back. It also detects what screen will be on the back and then turns it off. It ensures that users can use the rear camera as the selfie camera.
The sides of the smartphone can be used both to see the status bar along with time and signal strength along with notification icons. Xiaomi has also added a number of custom widgets on the back so users can keep track of different activities. These activities include flight status, railway status, cab tracking, recording, navigation, and more. The company is also using the sides as a comprehensive LED alert system for notifications. Beyond this, we can also see a cool charging animation that represents battery charging in an impressive manner.
Looking at the Xiaomi Mi MIX Alpha in person, one is almost convinced that this is where smartphones are heading. The smartphone is extremely futuristic and quite different from what most smartphone makers are working on. In fact, this design can be a much practical solution to the problems that most foldable smartphones are facing in the market. This also reaffirms that Xiaomi is not afraid of taking risks while pushing the envelope with the MIX lineup. Looking at the 4D surround display, it is hard not to get impressed with the smartphone and hope for something more impressive with the next iteration.