Xiaomi has announced the Mi Mix 3, and the exciting phone (almost) entirely lives up to our expectations. It has a stunning 6.4-inch screen, no notch, 10GB of RAM, and some surprises — yes, you slide the body up to reveal the camera. However, despite pushing the 5G aspect ahead of the launch, the 5G Mi Mix 3 phone won’t be out until later in 2019.
Mi Mix 3 coming to the U.K. starting from 449 British pounds
While the 5G version of the phone is seemingly still a glimmer in an engineer’s eye, the regular 4G version of the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 is coming to the U.K. on January 16. The slider phone will be available at a special price of 449 British pounds (roughly $578) for the first 1oo units. That price will rise to 499 British pounds (roughly $642) after the first hundred, and Europe and the U.K. have been restricted to the model with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage in order to cut costs. So that means no 10GB of RAM, but with many flagships costing more and offering less, it’s still a bargain.
Design and display
The Mi Mix 3 will steal your attention thanks to its massive screen, which Xiaomi says has a 93.4-percent screen-to-body ratio. This has been made possible without the use of a notch, too, as the selfie camera has been hidden inside a slide-up section, which you flip into view using your thumb. Xiaomi has used “carefully calibrated” magnets to get the feel of this action just right: not too much force, and just enough pull to make it effortless. Lab tests have pushed it to 300,000 cycles without a problem, the company claims, so durability shouldn’t be a concern.
Don’t dismiss the slider as only there for when you want to take a selfie. It can also have other functions attached to it, for example to answer calls, or to deactivate notifications when you’re playing a game, or even take a screenshot. There are actually two camera lenses in the module, a 24-megapixel primary lens and a 2-megapixel secondary one, ready to take bokeh-style selfies. Xiaomi also includes its Super Pixel technology, where four pixels are combined into one for better low-light selfies. (You may have seen this on the Mi A2.)
Camera and specifications
On the back of the Mi Mix 3 is a dual-lens camera, both with 12 megapixels, and identical to the setup used on the Mi 8. Features include 4-axis optical image stabilization, 4K video recording, and slow-motion video. The camera on both the front and rear make good use of Xiaomi’s artificial intelligence features too, with scene recognition, studio lighting effects, and AI-driven beauty modes. The Mi Mix 3 has a hardware button for calling up a voice assistant, which it says is available in seven different Chinese dialects. It’s not Google Assistant, however, but instead Xiaomi’s own Xiao AI assistant.
For power, the Mi Mix 3 has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, and depending on the version you buy, up to 10GB of RAM — a first for a smartphone. Interestingly, the Mi Mix 3 comes with a wireless charger in the box, as the device supports 10w wireless charging. The body is made from ceramic (something of a Mi Mix tradition) with an aluminum chassis, and comes in black, jade green, or sapphire blue. To get the 10GB of RAM, you’ll have to buy the sapphire-blue version created with the Palace Museum, and featuring an engraving of Xiezhi, a creature from Chinese legend.
The basic Mi Mix 3 comes with 6GB or 8GB of RAM and up to 256GB of internal storage space, and costs start around $475. The Palace Museum 10GB/256GB version will be about $720. The phone was announced first in China, but the company has worked hard to bring it to other markets. Xiaomi has spent the last year expanding further into Europe, hitting France and Italy in May; it launched in the U.K. in November 2018.
Updated on January 14, 2019: The Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 is coming to the U.K. on January 16.
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