Xiaomi revolutionized the smartphone market when it introduced the Mi MIX smartphone series. The original device was a big surprise featuring an impressive bezel-less display. It basically kickstarted the trend for bezel-less displays and taller aspect ratios. The company added two more smartphones to the family with the Mi MIX 3 being the latest impressive smartphone with a sliding design and bezel-less display. However, since most phones are bezel-less today, the MIX series lost its appeal. Today, Xiaomi is bringing back, after a series of teasers, its MIX series back to life! As expected, the company’s first foldable smartphone is part of the Mi MIX family. It will reach the market soon as Mi Mix Fold.
The Mix series is known for bringing innovative concepts, and we’re glad to know that the Mi Mix Fold isn’t coming merely as a foldable smartphone. It’s packed with a bunch of innovative features. Samsung will need to prepare, after all, the competition in the folding segment is finally coming.
Mi Mix Fold – Screen
The Mi Mix Fold is a foldable phone, more than that, it arrives as Xioami’s first attempt in this growing niche of smartphones. But we have to say, this device has so many features that the screen probably is the least impressive. It has a large 8.01-inch OLED internal screen with a 4:3 aspect ratio and a 1440p+ resolution. It’s a tablet-sized display and Xiaomi states this is the largest display on a foldable smartphone. Huawei will beg to differ.
The display is large enough to allow Xiaomi to deliver a desktop mode with multiple resizable windows. This mode is launched with a simple three-finger swipe. Foldable smartphones are coming fast, but some companies still need to deliver features that justify their existence. We’re glad to see that Xiaomi is trying to make it more than an unconventional device with features that will make it stand against the competition.
Getting back to the technical aspects, the display boasts a U-shaped hinge that is 27% lighter than the hinges used by other foldable smartphones. The phone was put through 200,000 bends during reliability testing then pushed further to 1 million bends. It survived! The OLED panel comes with support for HDR10+ and Dolby Vision. It has a DCI-P3 color gamut and 600 nits of brightness. The peak brightness stands at 900 nits.
The phone also has an external display with 6.52-inches. It’s also an AMOLED panel but with an unconventional 2,520 x 840 resolution. This results in a wide aspect ratio of 27:9. Unlike the interior display with a 60Hz refresh rate, this one has a high refresh rate of 90Hz and 180Hz touch sampling rate. It is slightly brighter offering 650 nits of brightness. As you may expect it also is covered with HDR10+ and Dolby Vision support. Apparently, this display is for those who want a traditional smartphone experience with the Mix Fold.
The company has reportedly invested more than CNY 140 million in R&D to ensure the best experience with this display. The technology behind it was in development for two years. Hopefully, the company will collect the fruits of this investment.
An innovative camera performance with liquid lens and Surge C1 processor
Besides its innovative displays, the phone also comes to impress the camera department. Xiaomi has prepared the Mi Mix Fold with a bunch of innovative concepts, among them we have the company’s first Surge C1 image processing chip. This in-house made chip runs the 3A algorithms – Auto Focus, Auto Exposure, and Auto White Balance in a power-efficient manner. This chip represents a major milestone for Xiaomi in the semiconductor department. Hopefully, this is just the beginning.
Apart from the Surge C1 chip giving power to the camera’s algorithms, we have very innovative technology. The Mi Mix Fold has the world’s first Liquid Lens technology in the telephoto camera. It’s made out of a flexible film filled with transparent liquid. It can change its shape, just like the lens in the human eye, thanks to a precision motor. Users will not need to worry about the liquid, according to the company’s press release it can operate under extreme temperatures ranging from -40ºC to 60ºC.
Through this technology, the telephoto lens can adjust the optical magnification ratio from 3x to 30x. The lens has a minimum focus distance of just 3cm. It allows it to photography faraway objects and also take macro shots. An 8MP sensor sits behind this unique lens, however, it seems to be lacking optical stabilization since there is no mention of this feature.
As far as technical specifications are concerned, the phone packs a triple-camera setup. The main camera is a 108MP sensor, the 1/1.52″ Samsung ISOCELL HM2 sensor-equipped behind a 7P lens. The sensor supports 9-in-1 binning for 2.1um pixels but lacks Optical Image Stabilization. The ultrawide-angle camera is a 13MP sensor with a 123-degree field of view.
Performance and Other exciting features
As you might expect, Xiaomi isn’t playing games in the foldable segment and is delivering a true flagship. For that reason, it comes with Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset. Users will find the phone in 12GB/256GB, 12GB/512GB, and in an insane 16GB/512GB variant.
To keep things efficient, the Mix Fold comes with a “butterfly-type” cooling system. It combines a large vapor chamber, thermal gel, and multiple layers of graphite sheets. The Fold boasts 22,583 mm² of total heat dissipation area. It’s more than a system to expel the heat generated by the flagship SoC. It also keeps the 5G and fast-charging systems under regular temperatures.
Talking about fast-charging, the phone comes with 67W wired charging technology it can charge the 5,020mAh battery in just 37 minutes. Xiaomi achieved this excellent capacity by combining two 2,460mAh cells.
Apart from the high-quality display, the Mix Fold will also offer a remarkable audio experience. The foldable has a quad-speaker setup tuned by Harman Kardon. The four 1216 super linear speakers come with large “1.34 cc-equivalent” chambers. They’re driven by 15V amps, which makes them 40% louder than the Mi 10 Pro speakers. Xiaomi also developed a 3D spatial audio algorithm creating an immersive experience while using the four speakers.
Mi Mix Fold Pricing and Availability
Xiaomi is offering the Mi Mix Fold in a standard version with Gorilla Glass back and ceramic texture. However, if you want more ceramic, there is a Ceramic Special Edition. It has a black ceramic back with laser engraving, plus gold mid-frame and volume buttons.
We have to say that phone isn’t so expensive considering how expensive were the first foldable smartphone to reach the market. The Mi Mix Fold is going on pre-order in China later today. The first units will be available from April 16. The 12GB/256GB combo starts at CNY10,000 which translates to $1520 or €1,300. The mid-tier variant with 12GB/512GB will set you back by CNY11,000 (~$1673 / €1427). Finally, the jaw-dropping model with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage will retail at CNY 13,000 (~$1977 / €1687).