In this “Xiaomi mix alpha review” Article I am Gonna Share my personnel experience about this superb smartphone.
Just a couple of days ago Xiaomi gave us the first look of a prototype smartphone that they’ve been working on. It’s kind of similar to things we see at CES, isn’t it? This isn’t a real phone with a price tag that has a shipping date or anything like that but just a functional prototype to show a cool idea that they had.
Xiaomi Mix Alpha 2020
Ever imagined what would it be like if you took those curved edge displays of a phone and just curve them around to the back of the phone so that you’re just looking at a full 110% screen? Interesting right? This is what the Xiaomi mi mix alpha prototype gives to the world.
Xiaomi Mix Alpha Display
It doesn’t look like any other phone I’ve ever seen before (I’ve seen a lot of phones). Mi mix range brings the best out and push the design to the limits. The first mi mix was one of my favorite phones. Owing to its tremendous design, this one got its inclusion in the mi mix range and it’s no exception that the materials, the specs and of course the display are pre next level.
The frame of the phone is of titanium alloy which is harder than stainless steel and the camera covers are all made from sapphire while the camera strip on the back is made of ceramic. I don’t have the pic handy or got a clear look of the model but I tend to believe in the said features given its weight because the phone is heavy( like it’s dense and has a lot of extra material, extra glass for the screen, etc).
Xiaomi Mix Alpha Specification
|Model||Mi Mix Alpha|
|Release date||24th September 2019|
|Launched in India||No|
|Dimensions (mm)||154.38 x 72.30 x 10.40|
|Battery capacity (mAh)||4050|
FEATURES AT A GLANCE :
Not just the specs, Xiaomi mix alpha has a pretty high-end finish which shows that the makers didn’t have to sacrifice too much to make this form a reality.
- Snapdragon 55 plus 512 gigs of UFs, 3.0 storage, 12 gigs of ram and a 4050 milliamp-hour battery defines the phone.
- The phone supports a 40-watt fast charging which I will discuss more in the later sections.
- The focal point of the phone is the screen. Just imagine seeing someone using a phone with a display where you can see it from the front, from the sides, and the back. Astonishing!
- It has a 20 88 by 2250 OLED display with a very thin top and bottom bezel that wraps around to meet the camera strip at the back.
- The phone houses a couple of things including the 108 megapixels primary camera, the 20-megapixel ultra-wide camera with macro capabilities and the 12-megapixel telephoto camera and dual-LED flash.
- It also has an in-display fingerprint reader impressively.
Let’s get deep into the specifications.
Xiaomi mix alpha review-
(5 G )
It’s 5g enabled phone and there’s a whole bunch of optimizations in UI alpha software, like the battery and status bar icons and notification counter are on the side of the phone instead of at the top. So it kind of cleans up the top to just be a notification pull-down and not have to display all the stuff all the time, which makes it neat. And it’s also crazy as no matter at what angle you may look at the phone, it just gives you a futuristic look.
I think probably the coolest part of having a wraparound screen like this is the charging animation. Whenever you plug-in this phone with the screen off, the whole phone lights up, animates the battery-fill-up display and gives a visual of liquid power flowing into the phone.
Xiaomi mix alpha review- Hardware
|Processor||1.8GHz octa-core (1×2.96GHz + 3×2.42GHz + 4×1.8GHz)|
|Processor make||Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+|
|Dedicated microSD slot||No|
The charging feature is pretty awesome but at the same time, this animation doesn’t stay for the whole time the phone is being charged as that could get annoying at night but it is pretty damn cool. The notifications also do the same thing- they start to glow around the screen.
But holding the phone in person and using it is a different thing and brings up a lot of questions. So now that I’ve held it and has sort of used it, I’m here to answer those questions.
What does it feel like to hold and use?
As I mentioned earlier it’s heavy but what’s funny is it isn’t as slippery as some of those other glass phones. The phone grips onto the fingers better with the display glass than any other materials and overall it feels like you’re holding all screen. So the immersion factor is very real.
Xiaomi mix alpha review – Camera
|Rear camera||108-megapixel (f/1.69, 0.8-micron) + 12-megapixel (f/2, 1.4-micron) + 20-megapixel (f/2.2, 1.0-micron)|
You might be wondering where are the speaker and the selfie camera?
A great question that has two different answers. So there’s a regular speaker at the bottom of the device but for your phone calls, the earpiece is replaced by an electromagnetic speaker. That’s vibrating through the glass to create a sound as we have seen in the previous mi phones.
Now comes the unique feature that Xioami mix alpha gives us. There is no selfie camera at the top. Instead, when you hit the selfie button, you need to flip the screen around to take a selfie with the main hundred and the eight-megapixel camera. Weirdly the selfie mode doesn’t let you switch to the ultra-wide mode or do nearly as many things as the main camera modes offer which are a bummer but in theory, this whole flip action takes your selfies to the next level because they’re coming from the high-end main camera.
How good are those virtual side buttons on the screen?
Okay, I’ll brief this by saying that though it’s a prototype, they’re pretty bad. I mean the idea is fine in theory – there’s a power button and a volume button on the right-hand side of the screen on the side edge but when you hit the volume button, you get it right until it starts rejecting the palm touch all over the rest of the screen. Also when you hit the volume button, it pops up the slider where you can adjust the volume on the front. So there is no problem with sound adjustments and it works for me sometimes.
Maybe there’s a trick to holding it right which you can master with time but I didn’t arrive at this yet, so this was a bummer. But then there’s the power button on the side that just puts the phone to sleep. There’s also a physical circular power button at the top of the phone for sleep-wake but it’s also more out of reach since it’s way too up at the top of the phone.
Xiaomi mix alpha review- sensors
|Ambient light sensor||Yes|
Now you may be thinking how good is the palm rejection or recognition on a crazy screen like this? Is it a hit or a miss?
As you might expect, Xiaomi dropped off a little info sheet with this phone. They say that they’re using a combination of accelerometers, gyroscopes, pressure sensors, and software algorithms to be able to tell when you’re holding it versus when you’re using it. And to properly do palm rejection this seems like the biggest challenge for a phone with a wraparound screen.
There are times when the phone impressively works just fine but in terms of other times when using this phone had of accidental presses not including that of software volume button press, it may be a hit or a miss.
It’s impressive when it works but it’s annoying when it doesn’t. And then what’s the back display even good for? What’s the point of having it?
Xiaomi mix alpha review- software
At the top, the camera viewfinder proves to be a legitimate benefit. We’ve also discussed it before that using the main camera as the selfie camera gives you better selfies. Additionally, there’s the special software mode where it detects when you flip over the phone and it activates this panel with some widgets that are a sort of quick access modes. So there’s a timer in there, the weather, and other stuffs which adds pretty cool features to the phone.
Let’s round up the major defects:
- I want to point out that this display isn’t flawless to be a downer. When you are working with a prototype you naturally find a lot of things that could be improved. One such flaw which makes it the biggest illusion breaker of the whole phone is the edges of the display. Right at the apex of the sides where it’s rounding over, there’s a gap in the cover glass.
So it’s not all one curved piece of glass – there are three pieces that sort of connect. And when you run your finger over that apex you can feel it so it’s not perfectly smooth.
- Moreover from certain angles, it even catches the light and rainbows a bit and you can see it. So that takes away from the wraparound display illusion. There’s also a fair bit of yellowing at the very edges that can sometimes be noticed and also this sucker wobbles like crazy on a desk.
- Unavoidably the camera bump is just a stripe down the middle. Overall though I am very impressed by this functional prototype, I cannot give them full credit.
As they say, it’s a 180.6 % screen to body ratio but they’re still bezels at the top and the bottom- 2.15 millimeters to be exact. And it would be inappropriate to say a 100% screen to body ratio just because you wrap it around the sides.
- Again they mentioned that it’s a 7.9-inch diagonal screen but it’s not that big. They’re measuring it from the back corner to the corner of the display. In reality, it’s more like the size of a pixel 4 or an iPhone 11 Pro max.
I’m glad that we also get to have these wild-function-concepts smartphones and maybe that idea turns into a reality someday. Also, let me know what you think of a wraparound display smartphone in the comments section below. Thanks for reading.
You can read more about the Xiaomi mix alpha Review from here.