Trailing almost two months behind its October 25 Chinese launch, Xiaomi's Mi Mix 3 is finally available in the UK. It went on sale at 12pm on Wednesday 16 January at £499, with an early bird discount reducing the phone to just £449.
The UK version of the Mi Mix 3 is largely identical to the Chinese phone, but with some software tweaks. The dedicated button on the left edge here calls up Google Assistant rather than Mi AI, for example, and gone are the Chinese mobile-payment shortcuts when you slide down the screen. You'll also find full support for UK connectivity, preinstalled Google services, and none of the 'bloatware' that comes on the Chinese model.
A gorgeous Phillipe Starck-designed powerhouse, it has a truly bezel-less design with a 93.4% screen-to-body ratio and a unique magnetic sliding screen that conceals a 24Mp + 2Mp selfie camera.
Where to buy Mi Mix 3 in the UK
Xiaomi phones are available through various stockists in the UK, and you can buy Mi Mix 3 through Amazon, eBuyer or direct from Xiaomi online at the UK Mi Store or in store at its Mi outlet in London's Westfield shopping centre.
Only the 6GB RAM, 128GB storage model will go on sale in the UK, where it is available in Onyx Black or Sapphire Blue and costs £499. However, for a limited time you'll be able to pick up Mi Mix 3 at the reduced price of £449. (If you're buying from eBuyer use code MIX IT UP.)
Of course, it's often cheaper to buy from China, and GearBest is currently stocking the Global edition of the Mi Mix 3 from £442.75 with free shipping to the UK. But while cheaper at first glance, remember that if asked you will have to cough up import duty, calculated at 20% of whatever value is printed on the shipping paperwork. You may also have to jump through some extra hoops to get things sorted if something goes wrong with your purchase.
We've tested both the Chinese and UK versions of the Mi Mix 3, though not the Global model. The Chinese version requires you to install Google Play and Google services yourself, which is fairly easy, but there's no way to swap out the Chinese-language Mi AI client for Google Assistant, nor remove the shortcuts to Chinese mobile payment apps on the sliding screen's Tools menu. The Global version will almost certainly come preinstalled with Google services, but will still have these Chinese services in place. So, given the choice, we'd thoroughly recommend purchasing the UK model from an approved stockist.
(Also see Best Xiaomi Deals.)
Is the Mi Mix 3 getting 5G support?
At the Chinese launch a version of the Mi Mix 3 was promised to come later with support for 5G, and has been showed off by the company at January's CES show. We do not yet have details on availability.
With the Mi Mix 3S expected within the next couple of months, we expect this will also feature the technology.
Also see: Best Xiaomi phones
Mi Mix 3 Features & Specifications
In its predecessor we saw a greatly reduced chin, and in Mi Mix 3 Xiaomi has taken things even further: it's scraped another 4.46mm off the bezels, allowing it to fit an even larger screen at 6.39in.
As anticipated this is a Full-HD+ OLED panel with a resolution of 2340x1080 pixels, adopting a tall 19.5:9 aspect ratio. This means that while the screen is larger, the device itself is narrower, and more comfortable to hold in one hand.
The usual Xiaomi tech is here, with Sunlight display, Reading mode and an always-on display. The company says the Mi Mix 3 continuously adjusts the colour temperature, and occupies 103.8% of the NTSC colour gamut. It also boasts a 60,000:1 contrast ratio and 600 nits brightness.
The sliding-screen mechanism is controlled by neodymium magnets with a life expectancy of 300,000 cycles. It drives a new way of interacting with Mi Mix 3: you just slide to start. Sliding down the screen in this way allows you to answer a call, access the 24Mp + 2Mp selfie cameras, and access shortcuts to any app via the new shortcuts drawer.
The Mi Mix 3 can make one of five preset sounds as you slide down the screen: Hi-tech, Warrior, Mechanics, Intellect and Lighter.
As in Mi Mix 2S this new-generation model features a 12Mp + 12Mp dual-lens camera at the rear, which achieves a DxO Mark score of 103 points where the 2S managed only 97. This is the same camera as used previously, but with some software tweaks and an improved algorithm that should - and, at least according to DxO Mark, does - result in better photos. This score is higher than that of the Mi 8 too, which achieved 99 points.
The setup comprises one Sony IMX363 wide-angle lens with f/1.8 aperture, 1.4um large pixels and Dual Pixel Autofocus, and one Samsung S5K3M3+ telephoto lens with f/2.4 aperture and 1.0um pixels. The combo boasts optical zoom and four-axis OIS, and is capable of 960fps slow-motion video.
It's an AI camera, which means it can intelligently select the correct preset scene for your photo, without you having to give it too much thought. It can also use the second lens for Portrait mode in which it achieves bokeh-effect background blurring.
It's all new at the front, however, with the Mi Mix 3 replacing Mi Mix 2S' single 5Mp selfie camera with a dual-lens model that has one 24Mp Sony IMX576 lens and can take advantage of super-sized 1.8um pixels at night for improved low-light photography, and a second 2Mp DOF camera that can enable Portrait mode. There's also a high-CRI selfie light at the front, and you can take advantage of the AI features here, too.
Here are some example photos shot on Mi Mix 3:
The Mi Mix 3 has the Snapdragon 845 inside, plus 6GB, 8GB or 10GB of RAM, with this maximum configuration available only in the Palace Museum edition. There's also 128GB or 256GB internal storage. In the UK we'll see only the 6GB RAM, 128GB storage option.
While no other Xiaomi line includes the feature, the Mi Mix 3 retains the wireless charging functionality of the 2S - and it's now 30% faster at 10W. Better yet, a 10W wireless charger is included in the box, which is not something we've seen before.
Connectivity is very strong, with global bands, dual-frequency GPS, 4x4 MIMO and multifunction NFC.
Also new is a dedicated button for bringing up the Mi AI voice assistant, though this works only in Chinese. The UK version of the phone instead calls up Google Assistant.
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