The Mi Mix, announced in late 2016, has kickstarted a new trend of virtually full-screen displays in smartphones, with LG the first to confirm an 18:9 5.7in Quad-HD+ panel for its LG G6 and Samsung following suit with the 18.5:9 Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus. Now we could be about to see a second version announced.
The Mi Mix hasn't been a one-hit wonder for Xiaomi, and there is certainly room to improve on the concept. For example, many applications are not able to use its full 17:9 display, so when watching video on YouTube or iPlayer or playing games you get a black bar to one side.
Xiaomi has already confirmed a Mi Mix 2 is on the horizon, and GearBest is already listing a product page for the upcoming device. It specifies a 19Mp rear camera, Snapdragon 835, 6.4in screen and MIUI 9.0, which is in line with the specifications of the device that has just popped up on Geekbench.
That device has the Snapdragon 835 and 6GB of RAM, and scored 1929 points single-core and 6431 points multi-core. By comparison, the original Mi Mix in our tests recorded 1828 points single-core and 4301 points multi-core, so that's quite a boost in performance.
What is Mi Mix?
The Mi Mix is a previously concept phone that is now in production. It has shaken up the smartphone market with its so-called ‘bezel-less’ 6.4in 17:9 display, though it is in fact bezel-less on only three of the four screen edges. This results in a screen-to-body ratio of 91.3 percent, making the Mi Mix roughly the same size as any other 5.7- to 6in phablet.
Usually above the screen you would find a selfie camera and various sensors, though Xiaomi has found an intelligent workaround. The Mi Mix uses an ultrasonic distance sensor that sits behind the display rather than a standard proximity sensor, while the smaller-than-usual camera sensor is found at the bottom right of the phone, and instead of an earpiece there is ‘cantilever piezoelectric ceramic acoustic technology’ to transmit sound. Also see: Best phablets 2017
The Mi Mix’s huge display is built into a ceramic body designed by Philippe Starck. Starck is a French designer who first became known back in the 1980s for his interior, product, industrial and architectural designs. He quickly caught the attention of Pierre Cardin and it was while working for him that he set up his own design company, formerly Starck Product and then Ubik. He went on to design everything from hotels and restaurants to kitchens and motorbikes. Interestingly, it was Starck who designed Steve Jobs' yacht Venus.
Even more interestingly, Starck is on board for the design of the Mi Mix 2.
When is the Mi Mix 2 release date?
The first thing to note is that the Mi Mix 2 will not officially be available in the UK, but you will be able to buy it in the UK via Chinese importers such as Buy Mi Mix 2 at GearBest and Geekbuying. Also see Where to buy Xiaomi devices in the UK and Guide to buying grey-market tech
With the original smartphone announced in November 2016 and shipping from 15 December, and a white edition announced at CES 2017 in January, we wouldn’t expect to see a successor to the Mi Mix until late 2017 - realistically, it could be even later.
Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun has confirmed via Weibo that a Mi Mix II will be designed in collaboration with Starck, and a few details of what he hopes to achieve, but the company is nowhere near the concept stage.
What are the rumoured features and specifications?
In partnership with Starck, Lei Jun hopes to produce the first Chinese phone with no physical buttons. The Mi Mix II will also have a screen that covers the entire front of the device.
From the leaks we've seen so far it's fairly evident that the Mi Mix 2 will feature the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, 6GB of RAM and MIUI 9.0.
Note that the GearBest listing we mentioned higher up in this article has been updated since we originally wrote this story, with the online retailer previously listing the following information that has now been removed:
|Mi Mix 2 4GB||Mi Mix 2 6GB||Mi Mix 2 8GB|
|Expected price||£692.42 / 774.93€ / $848.91||£775.99 / 868.46€ / $951.37||£892.99 / 999.40€ / $1094.81|
|Operating system||MIUI 9||MIUI 9||MIUI 9|
|Processor||2.45GHz Snapdragon 835, octa-core||2.45GHz Snapdragon 835, octa-core||2.45GHz Snapdragon 835, octa-core|
|GPU||Adreno 540||Adreno 540||Adreno 540|
|RAM||4GB DDR4||6GB DDR4||8GB DDR4|
|Display||6.4in 2540x1440 AMOLED||6.4in 2540x1440 AMOLED||6.4in 2540x1440 AMOLED|
|Cameras||19Mp rear, 13Mp front||19Mp rear, 13Mp front||19Mp rear, 13Mp front|
|4G connectivity||UK bands 3 and 7||UK bands 3 and 7||UK bands 3 and 7|
|SIM cards||Dual Nano-SIM||Dual Nano-SIM||Dual Nano-SIM|
|Other connectivity||GPS, GLONASS, Bluetooth 4.2||GPS, GLONASS, Bluetooth 4.2||GPS, GLONASS, Bluetooth 4.2|
Don't get your hopes up just yet, though. Our friends at GearBest told us: "We saw some info on Xiaomi official forums and made some evaluation/preparation in advance… What we saw could not be served as the official data."
We can, of course, speculate over what we expect from the Mi Mix 2.
Let’s start with the display. Previously 6.4in on the diagonal and with a resolution of 2040x1080 pixels, assuming the company will use a similar ceramic chassis but with a full-screen display we could see up to an 6.8in display on the next version. Also see: Best smartphones 2017
This will more than likely be a IPS panel, and as Xiaomi has not yet released a phone with a display higher than full-HD in resolution we’d hazard a guess at a full-HD 2160x1080-pixel 2:1 panel. Then again, it could shock us and finally bump up the screen resolution to Quad-HD.
Alternatively, of course, Xiaomi could keep the 6.4in 17:9 2040x1080 panel and reduce the overall size of the phone, which we have to admit is just a little bit too large in our experience. With Starck back onboard it would make sense to mix up the Mix’s design in any case.
The Mi Mix has top-end specifications, with Qualcomm’s current premiere processor paired up with 6GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. Expect to see more of the same in the Mi Mix 2, but this time with the Snapdragon 835 and potentially 8GB of RAM instead. 256GB is already a huge amount of storage, which is lucky, because we can’t see Xiaomi suddenly changing its habits and introducing microSD support.
Dual-cameras are all the rage at the moment, and though we have seen one in the Redmi Pro and a dual-camera has just been confirmed for the recently released Xiaomi Mi6, it would make sense to add one to the most futuristic handset in Xiaomi’s line-up. Also see: Best Chinese phones and best dual-SIM phones
We’d expect to see similar connectivity specs, with USB-C, NFC, 4G dual-SIM dual-standby, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth, plus a similarly high-capacity battery (currently rated at 4,400mAh). It would be nice to see Xiaomi add wireless charging to its flagship phones, as well as waterproofing, though we have seen no evidence to assume it will.
While we’d like to think Xiaomi will continue to push boundaries in smartphone design, as it did when it announced the original Mi Mix, the reality is often enough Xiaomi smartphone upgrades aren’t always huge departures from their predecessors - particularly in the lower-value Redmi line.
The Mi Mix runs MIUI 8, so expect MIUI 9 in the Mi Mix 2. Also see: Best Android phones 2017
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