Xiaomi’s Mi MIX series is known to experiment with the smartphone form factor and the latest Mi MIX Alpha is not different. The concept phone is out now, and it breaks the conventional boundaries of a smartphone’s design.
When you think of a smartphone what do you imagine? A screen at the front that tries to cover as much area as possible and a back housing camera sensors while trying to look its best? Well, that changes with the Xiaomi Mi MIX Alpha as the device sports a screen that doesn’t just curve at the sides like the Galaxy S10-series or OnePlus 7 Pro, but rather goes all the way to the back. There’s a strip at the back, which houses the camera sensors.
Mi MIX Alpha Surround Display, Form Factor
The Surround Display of the Xiaomi Mi Alpha does away with the side bezels, but also ends the need to put an additional camera sensor for taking selfies or making video calls. The device sports 180.6 per cent screen-to-body ratio, which is not seen on most regular smartphones.
The backside of the Mi MIX Alpha’s screen is not always lit up, but activates when needed. In the promo videos shared by Xiaomi, we can see the Mi MIX Alpha using its side screen as a notification light as well as some tricky visual effects.
The side buttons have been replaced by context-sensitive software-based keys along the side of the phone. The phone also uses the sides to place icons for notifications.
This kind of form-factor is not entirely new as the Huawei’s foldable device Mate X also sports a similar look when folded. The Mate X becomes a tablet when unfolded, but it has to do deal with the complications of a foldable screen and the safety issues with the screen staying exposed all the time at both the front and back. The Mi MIX Alpha also faces the same threat of being a fragile device. Also, how does one put a screen protector or a back case on such a smartphone?
A Weibo user Hardware School posted a video of the behind-glass Mi MIX Alpha, which shows the device in all its glory. However, the size of the phone looks a little big for comfort. The big size of the Mi MIX Alpha is also evident in the hand-on images shared by Alvin Tse, the Pocophone Global head.
The Mi MIX Alpha features a 7.92-inch flexible OLED screen with 2088×2250 pixels resolution, which is bigger than the 6.8-inch screen of the Galaxy Note 10 Plus. It is to be seen whether the 4,50mAh battery of the Mi MIX Alpha can handle such a large screen that goes all the way to the back.
— Faisal (@itsmeFSL) September 25, 2019
Mi MIX Alpha camera sensors and samples
The strip at the back of Mi MIX Alpha sports the world’s first 108MP camera sensor made by Samsung, which can also be used a selfie camera using the back screen. The HMX sensor can produce images with resolutions of 12032×9024 pixels and it supports four-in-one Super Pixel to produce large 1.6µm pixels under low-light conditions. The 108MP camera sensor also supports ISOCELL Plus, smart ISO, and four-axis optical image stabilization (OIS).
The 108MP camera sensor can take 27MP shots via pixel binning. Xiaomi has shared the camera samples along with their cropped out parts to showcase the camera quality of the Mi MIX Alpha.
The main sensor is paired with a 20MP ultrawide-angle lens that supports 1.5 cm super macro photography as well. The third sensor on the triple rear camera setup is a 12MP telephoto camera that supports 2x optical zoom and Dual PD focus.
The Mi MIX Alpha’s top and bottom parts of the frame are built with titanium alloy, which Xiaomi claims, is three times stronger than stainless steel, but weighs less. The camera strip is protected with a single piece of sapphire glass, which is embedded in the ceramic.
Mi MIX Alpha Specifications
On the specification front, the Mi MIX Alpha uses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855+ processor that also powers the Mi 9 Pro 5G (launched at the same event as the Mi Mix Alpha). The smartphone features 12GB of RAM and 512GB of internal storage. The Mi MIX Alpha supports 5G connectivity, UFS 3.0, and 40W wired fast charging. The device is backed by a 4,050mAh battery.
The Mi MIX Alpha is a concept smartphone, which will not go under mass-production anytime soon. Xiaomi says it will start the small-scale production for Mi MIX Alpha at the end of December. It will be priced at Yuan 19,999, which is around Rs 2 lakh in Indian currency.