We’ve been hearing rumors about the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 for a while now. Rumors which were saying that it will have a bezel-less design without a notch and a sliding mechanism. Well, guess what? The rumors were right! Let’s take a closer look at it, shall we?
Well, you probably already guessed it by looking at the image above. Unfortunately, the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 comes with Android Oreo 8.1 out of the box.
It’s truly a shame because Android Pie has been out for a while now. However, we are almost certain that the phone will get updated to the latest version of Android pretty soon.
After all, Xiaomi has already mentioned that they will update their older devices to Android Pie. It wouldn’t make any sense to leave this one as it is.
When it comes to custom skins, most popular manufacturers have their own custom Android skin installed on their devices and Xiaomi is no exception. The Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 has MIUI 10 installed out of the box.
This may be a deal breaker for some people who want a stock Android experience. But, to be fair, if you want a stock Android experience you always have the choice of just getting a Pixel device.
Then again, the Pixel 3 XL now has a notch while the Mi Mix 3 doesn’t. So, if you hate notches but still want the stock Android experience, then you’re into quite the predicament here. Your best bet would probably be to get the smaller Pixel 3.
Anyway, back to the topic at hand. MIUI 10 isn’t all that flashy of an Android skin. You get a few pre-installed apps that do come in handy – such as the battery saver and the cache cleaner along with the full-screen design which feels awesome on a bezel-less phone such as this one.
Other than that, if you like the traditional sort of iPhone home screen, then you’ll also love MIUI 10 as they look strikingly similar. And that’s about it really.
The sliding mechanism and screen to body ratio
This is where things get interesting. The Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 doesn’t have a notch, a chin, or any bezels for that matter. It utilizes a sliding mechanism which looks very similar to the one that the Vivo Nex utilizes.
The big difference between this design and the classic sliding mechanism that we’ve seen is that the Mi Mix 3 uses a magnetic slider which you can slide back and forth manually. Theoretically, this should be much more endurable than the classic sliding mechanism.
Xioami says that they’ve tested the whole magnetic design thing and it apparently has an endurance of more than 300,000 times. If that’s true, then chances are that other parts of your phone will likely wear out much faster than the slider.
To put matters into perspective, if you open the camera 100 times per day, then in the period of one year, then you’ll have used the sliding mechanism 36,500 times. And at the end of the day, most people don’t even take 100 selfies per day.
Overall, chances are that your battery will give up on you multiple times over before the sliding mechanism shows signs a wear. With that being said, endurance shouldn’t be an issue with this design. Kudos to you Xiaomi.
Thanks to the sliding mechanism, when the cameras are hidden, you get an insane 93.4% screen to body ratio. Awesomeness!
Potential issues with the sliding mechanism
One of the biggest concerns that we previously had with the Vivo Nex was endurance. But, as we mentioned above, Xiaomi says that the Mi Mix 3 won’t have such issues.
Still, there are at least two other problems that arise with this design. One of them is water and dust proofing which is almost impossible to achieve with sliding mechanisms.
But, at the end of the day, Xiaomi’s devices never really utilized waterproofing anyway. According to them, the IP certifications that are required for waterproofing increase the cost by 30%.
Xiaomi always tries to keep the cost as low as possible. So, it kinda makes sense that they would ditch waterproofing – with or without a sliding mechanism.
Still, there’s one more thing – the case. How are you going to install a protective case on a phone with a sliding mechanism? It most certainly becomes a challenge – if it’s possible at all.
This may be a deal breaker for a lot of people. We know and understand that many of you won’t go out with a case. And that makes sense.
If you’re holding a small fragile device that costs a few hundred bucks, then it’s natural to try and get a bit more protection. At the moment, it seems like you can’t do that with the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3.
So, unless someone becomes very creative and finds a way to create a case for such devices, protection will be a bit of an issue. That or you better be extra careful with your phone.
Update: new information says that there is a case that’s included with the device. It’s designed in such a way that you’ll be able to slide the selfie cameras up without having to take the case off.
All of the sliding mechanism stuff aside, the Mi Mix 3 design doesn’t differ all that much compared to your average Xiaomi phone. Its body is made of aluminum and the back of the phone is ceramic.
As for colors, we’ve got Onyx Black, Jade Green, and Saphire Blue. The Palace Museum edition is the one that comes with 10 gigs of RAM and is by far the most expensive option.
Last, but not least, as we mentioned above, the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 has a near bezel-less design. There’s no notch or chin anywhere to be seen.
Display, Camera, and Battery
The display is a FHD+ OLED screen at 6.4 inches. In our opinion, this is about the right resolution for screens at 5-7 inches. Not too overkill and not blurry either. The OLED technology is most certainly a welcome addition as well.
On the camera department, we’ve got a total of 4 cameras. Two selfie cameras, and two on the back. The dual camera setup on the back consists of a 12 MP main sensor and another 12 MP telephoto lens with 2x optical zoom.
As for the selfie cameras, the main sensor is at 24 MP and the second one is a depth sensor at 2 MP. Not the most impressive camera setup. But, don’t forget that we’re not talking about flagship prices here.
Then again, the Galaxy A9 has a four-camera setup on the rear and doesn’t have a flagship’s price tag either. So, at the end of the day, if you’re a camera enthusiast, then maybe you’ll have to look at different options.
Still, the Mi Mix 3 supports the latest AI camera technologies like pixel-binning and such. With that being said, it’s a decent camera. Just not that impressive.
The battery is at 3,200 mAh. Again, nothing impressive. But, we suppose that it gets the job done. You should be able to get through a day of use with normal/light usage.
Still, we would’ve preferred a larger battery. About 4000 mAh seems to be the sweet point right now.
Chipset, RAM, and storage
As you were probably expecting, the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 comes with the Snapdragon 845. It features an octa-core processor and the uses the Adreno 630 for a GPU.
At this point, let us not forget to mention that there will be another model which will feature 5G connectivity. It’s expected to come out in early 2019. So, be patient.
When it comes to RAM – the rumors were right! This is the world’s first smartphone to ever come with 10 gigs or RAM.
True – this may a bit overkill. But, let’s not forget that there was a point where a whole gig of RAM was considered overkill as well. Now, even budget choices have at least 2/4 gigs of RAM.
All we’re trying to say is that all this RAM may not be useful at the moment, but it’ll likely be in the future. And that’s a good thing for those who love future proofing – if that’s the right word for it.
Now, of course, if you don’t want the 10-gigabyte version, you can always get the model that has 6 or 8 gigs of RAM. And as for storage, there is a model with 128, 256, and 512 gigs of storage.
External storage isn’t supported. But, with half a terabyte of memory, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll need anything more.
Overall, this is what you’ll find on the inside of the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3:
- OS: Android 8.1
- Chipset: Snapdragon 845
- CPU: Octa-core with 4 Kryo Gold 385 cores at 2.8 GHz and 4 Kryo Silver 385 cores at 1.7 GHz
- GPU: Adreno 630
- RAM and storage: 6 gigs of RAM and 128 gigs of storage, 8 gigs of RAM and 256 gigs of storage, or 10 gigs of RAM and 512 gigs of storage
- Display: FHD+ AMOLED display at 6.4 inches
- Camera: rear: dual setup at 12+12 MP/front: 24 + 2 MP
- Battery: 3200 mAh
Overall, a rather satisfying mid-high range device. Not a flagship, but it still gives you a rather premium feel!
Pricing and availability
If you live in China, then you can already pre-order the Mi Mix 3 and the price ranges from 475 bucks all the way up to 700 bucks depending on which version you’ll get.
As for us Western folks, we can pre-order the device starting from the 31st of the October and the phone will start shipping on the 1st of November. The bad news is that the price is expected to be significantly higher here but we’ll see.
Xiaomi mentioned that they’ll include a 10W wireless charger in the box for free which is most certainly awesome. But, still, if the price reaches a 4 digit number here then it’s probably a bad deal. Especially when you can get something like the Pocophone for a fraction of the price.
Feel like we forgot something important? Then let us and everyone else know about it in the comments section down below!
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January 16 2019