Today’s a big day for Xiaomi in Beijing. The Chinese tech giant unveiled several new additions to its device lineup, headlined by the new near bezel-less Mi Mix 2. It also introduced the Mi Note 3 and Mi Notebook Pro.
Last year, Xiaomi shocked the world with the original Mi Mix, a “concept phone” that was designed by the legendary designer Philippe Starck. Sure, it had some shortcomings, but it was literally one of the frontrunners of the bezel-less smartphone trend.
Make no mistake. If you’re to even attempt to claim yourself a flagship device and not have a near bezel-less design, I’m sorry, you’re out of contention. Samsung has done it (and done it well) with the Galaxy S8, S8+ and Note8; LG has done it with its V30; Apple’s about to with the new iPhone; and heck, even vivo’s got one (although it’s a crappy HD screen).
And why not? An edge-to-edge display means you’ll get maximised screen estate, without it feeling physically larger in your hands.
There are key differences with version two though. Firstly, the Mi Mix 2 rocks a smaller 5.99-inch display compared to its predecessor which had a massive 6.44-inch. It’s a Full HD+ LCD display (2160×1080) with a 18:9 aspect ratio. Sure, it will never beat Samsung’s Super AMOLED or LG’s OLED displays, but it’s not to say it’s not vibrant nor bright.
The Mi Mix 2 also has a smaller chin, 12% smaller to be exact.
Remember the Mi Mix had a fancy piezoelectric ceramic driver as a speaker? Xiaomi has ditched it, and the device now has a conventional speaker on the top, tucked into a tiny slit above the display.
Just like the original Mi Mix, the successor boasts a premium design and build. It has a 7000 series aluminium frame surrounded by a ceramic body. The surprise Special Edition though, rocks a completely ceramic unibody.
Xiaomi didn’t skimp on the hardware either. This is proper flagship specs. Starting with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip, 6GB of RAM and up to 256GB of storage, the Mi Mix 2 will blaze through everything you throw at it.
The Special Edition, by the way, will pack 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.
For an ultra slim device, the Mi Mix 2 comes with a commendable 3,400mAh battery which charges up via USB Type-C.
In terms of connectivity, the device proudly supports 43 network bands (and even though it isn’t sold in the U.S., it supports U.S. bands).
In terms of the camera, Xiaomi’s adopted the single 12MP camera from the Mi 6 (Sony’s IMX386 sensor). It comes with a f/2.0 lens with 4-axis OIS and large 1.25um pixels. Nothing ground-breaking here and it lacks the dual-camera setups of other flagships. That said, it’s a capable camera, judging from the performance of the Mi 6’s.
The downsides of the Mi Mix: no headphone jack, no wireless charging, no micro-SD expansion, and no dust- and water-resistance. Not entirely deal-breakers of course, but they’re certainly “good to have.”
Lastly, the Mi Mix 2 runs MIUI 9, based on Android 7.1.1 Nougat. People do have sort of love-hate relationship with MIUI, the same way some feel about TouchWIZ. But it is fast, and offers plenty of useful features compared to stock. It would be nice to have a pure stock Android version though, as Xiaomi has shown with the recently-launched Mi A1, powered by Android One.
Critical specs at a glance:
- 5.99-inch (2160×1080) LCD @ 401PPI
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
- 6GB of RAM (Standard) / 8GB of RAM (Special Edition)
- 64/128/256GB of storage
- 12MP f/2.0 rear camera with OIS
- 3,400Mah battery
- USB Type-C
- Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 2×2 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0
- 43 LTE bands
- MIUI, Android 7.1.1 Nougat
Pricing and availability
The Mi Mix 2 is available in China only, but Malaysians might be seeing this piece of kit locally soon. Pricing is as follows:
- Mi Mix 2 6GB RAM, 64GB storage – RMB3,299/MYR2,123
- Mi Mix 2 6GB RAM, 128GB storage – RMB3,599/MYR2,316
- Mi Mix 2 6GB RAM, 256GB storage – RMB3,999/MYR2,573
- Mi Mix 2 Special Edition 8GB RAM, 128GB storage – RMB4,699/MYR3,024