Xiaomi announced the Mi Mix 3 in China at the end of October 2018, then for the U.K. in early 2019. Now, at MWC 2019 the 5G version has been properly announced.
5G Mi Mix 3 announced
A 5G version of the Mi Mix 3 has been teased since before the phone itself was even official. The announcement came at MWC 2019, alongside the Mi 9. The 5G Mi Mix 3 has the Qualcomm X50 modem alongside the Snapdragon 855 processor, and will connect to a Sub-6GHz 5G network rather than an mmWave network. Xiaomi says this will facilitate data speeds 10-times faster than 4G LTE.
The specifications are almost identical to the standard Mi Mix 3, although Xiaomi has integrated a larger 3,800mAh capacity battery, and admits there is a slight difference in size and weight too. Xiaomi has been working with several networks including Three, Orange, TIM, and Vodafone on the development of the 5G Mi Mix 3.
Xiaomi will start selling the 5G Mi Mix 3 in May for 600 euros, or about $680. A blue or black version will be available. It has not been announced for the U.S., and none of the mentioned carriers have confirmed a 5G launch date either.
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 (A.I.) features too, with scene recognition, studio lighting effects, and A.I.-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 A.I. 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.
Price and availability
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.
It launched in the U.K. on January 16 and costs 500 British pounds (roughly $642) for the 6GB/128GB version. The 5G Mi Mix 3 will cost 600 euros (a U.K. price will be announced closer to release), or approximately $680, with a choice of black or blue color schemes.
Updated on February 24, 2019: Added details regarding the 5G version of the Mi Mix 3.