What is the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3?
Xiaomi’s Mi Mix smartphone range appears to have been specifically engineered to put the kibosh on the bezel.
The original Mi Mix, which launched back in late 2016, showcased a 17:9 screen with three razor-thin bezels and a notable chin, while this year’s phone showcases an evolution on that same concept while also side-stepping the dreaded notch that so many of 2018’s smartphone-makers have conceded to adopt.
The Mi Mix 3 is packed with a familiar fare of internal hardware, with a focus on design and engineering. Highlights include a pop-up dual front-facing camera arrangement, a ceramic-backed body and fast wireless charging.
Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 price
In China, the Mi Mix 3 is already on sale for ¥3299 (CNY), the equivalent of around £380. However, UK pricing hasn’t yet been announced.
Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 release date
The Mi Mix 3 is already available in China but the phone isn’t yet available in other markets. The UK is shaping up to be the first region outside of China where the phone will be made available although a launch date hasn’t yet been set. That said, Xiaomi has confirmed that the phone should arrive within the first half of Q1, 2019.
Xiaomi is setting a president with phones like the Mi Mix 3, which boast premium materials and unquestionable build quality at prices that consistently defy expectation.
In the case of the Mi Mix 3 specifically, the phone’s form consists of two key parts – a display that manually slides down to reveal the dual front-facing cameras and an eye-catching ceramic back. For the phone’s UK release it’ll be made available in Onyx Black, which adopts a mirror-like silvery finish that differs from conventional glass, and Sapphire Blue.
There’s also a Jade Green version that was on show during the initial hands-on session, which looked particularly arresting, but right now it isn’t set to land in the UK. Neither is the special Forbidden City Blue edition.
As for the phone’s proportions, it adopts a far more slender frame compared to its namesake, the original Mi Mix; with a tall 6.39-inch 19.5:9 aspect ratio display that offers next to zero bezel and only a hint of a chin, giving the phone an impressive 93.4% screen-to-body ratio. It makes for a very enjoyable viewing experience, not least because the AMOLED panel at play also boasts impressive brightness, contrast and HDR support.
Opting for a manual pop-up mechanism in place of a powered one, such as on the Oppo Find X, removes some of the reliability concerns that come with such a design choice. During the phone’s original launch, Xiaomi representatives even jested that the phone’s sliding design makes it a suitable alternative to a fidget spinner. To further instil confidence, the neodymium magnet-based design is rated for an impressive 300,000 actuations, which by comparison to the spring-loaded sliders of old is three-times more reliable.
That ceramic back also plays host to a fingerprint sensor (no in-display option here) and it also facilitates the phone’s wireless charging. Xiaomi even includes a new 10W fast wireless charging pad in-box, alongside an 18W fast-charging wired USB-C adapter.
As with other pop-up/slider phone designs, the Mi Mix 3 unsurprisingly isn’t water resistant, so bear that in mind if you decide to pick this phone after having lived with a recent Apple, Samsung or Sony flagship (all of which nowadays support at least IP67-certified water or dust resistance).
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While full a camera test will have to wait, the inclusion of dual front-facing camera sensor bodes well for selfie lovers, not least because the Mi Mix 3 is equipped to do some pretty smart snapping. Along with the standard fair of beauty tools the phone’s secondary front sensor provides depth data that allows for artificial background bokeh in shots. However, the feature isn’t relegated to stills alone and can, in fact, be applied to video footage too. There’s also a front-facing LED flash to help in low light situations.
As for the main cameras, you’ll get a decent idea of what the Mi Mix 3 will be capable of by way of Trusted Reviews’ Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro review. As Xiaomi confirmed, both devices use the same underlying hardware: dual 12-megapixel sensors with OIS and 2x lossless optical zoom. The Mi Mix 3 should deliver an even more impressive imaging experience thanks to improved software and image processing.
Beyond the snappers, the software experience is also pretty familiar for those who’ve used a recent Xiaomi phone, with the company’s latest MIUI 10 user experience atop the most recent Android release, version 9.0 Pie. It integrates a few optimisation apps and some playful animations, as well as a gesture-based navigation alternative to Android’s native soft keys.
The spec sheet rounds out with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, 6GB of RAM and 128GB of non-expandable storage, which in its own right is a wholly respectable combination. In China you can pick the Mi Mix 3 up with 8GB of RAM and up to 256GB of storage or grab that aforementioned Forbidden City special edition, should you feel the need to max out your phone with an excessive 10GB of RAM.
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The Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 is an unquestionable looker, with a sliding mechanism that’s better engineered for real-world use than some of its motorised competitors.
High-end materials and excellent build quality lend themselves to the overall premium feel this phone offers and if the UK cost is anything like its original Chinese price, it’ll serve as a great flagship option for those after something that’s a little different, without sacrificing substance for style.
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