Xiaomi's latest phone is wrapped in display and costs almost $3000


The Xiaomi Mi Mix line has pushed the boundaries of smartphone design ever since it was first introduced three years ago. The original model embraced an impressively high screen-to-body ratio while last year’s device took things to the next level with an all-screen design made possible by a slider format.

This year, Xiaomi has taken a different direction with the lineup. Rather than introducing the iterative Mi Mix 4 that everyone was expecting, the company has just announced a new “concept phone” which is literally wrapped in display.

Crazy screen-to-body ratio and no physical buttons


Called the Mi Mix Alpha, Xiaomi’s latest premium device features what it calls a “4D surrounding curved display.” This AMOLED panel delivers a bezel-less experience and an astonishing 180.6% screen-to-body ratio. It also displays status bar icons along the sides and makes use of virtual buttons to help maximize the usable screen real estate. 

As you may have noticed, 19.4% of the surface area isn’t screen. This can be attributed in part to the 2.15mm bezels that sit above and below the display but primarily to the large strip that sits on the back of the phone and houses the impressive camera layout. Speaking of which, the Mi Mix Alpha employs a 108-megapixel primary camera which uses pixel binning technology to achieve higher quality 27-megapixel images. The sensor itself is unusually large for a smartphone and should therefore produce better low-light photos.



This camera is accompanied by 20-megapixel ultra-wide-angle shooter with support for a 117º field of view and a 12-megapixel telephoto snapper which offers 2x optical zoom. The setup as a whole is capable of producing photos at 8x hybrid zoom and macro shots at distances as small as 1.5cm.

As you may have noticed, the Mi Mix Alpha doesn’t include a separate set of selfie cameras. That’s because the large area of display on the rear means the shooters mentioned above can also be used to take photos of yourself. 

Some of the best internal hardware you can find


Rather unsurprisingly, Xiaomi’s new smartphone is equipped with some of the best internal hardware on the market. It’s powered by Qualcomm’s latest and greatest – the Snapdragon 855 Plus – and also includes 12GB of RAM and 512GB of internal storage as standard. It’s worth pointing out Xiaomi’s Mi Mix Alpha uses the UFS 3.0 storage standard like the OnePlus 7 Pro. This means the process of accessing files and opening apps should feel snappier. 


The device ships with Android 10 pre-installed alongside the newly announced MIUI 11 custom overlay. This is paired with a 4,050mAh battery that supports 40W fast charging as standard. It’ll remain to be seen what battery life results the phone produces but the overall capacity suggests Xiaomi doesn’t expect users to have the entire display turned on at all times. Completing the list of features is, of course, 5G connectivity. The device now joins the Xiaomi Mi 9 Pro 5G and Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G as the company’s third 5G smartphone.

The Samsung Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X are cheaper


Like the original Xiaomi Mi Mix, the Mi Mix Alpha is being marketed as a concept phone. That’s because Xiaomi has zero plans to mass-produce it. Instead, it’ll enter small-scale production at some point later this year before a release in December. 

Presumably, Xiaomi’s Mi Mix Alpha won’t be released internationally and will instead be limited to the Chinese market. There, it’ll retail at a whopping 19,999 yuan which is just over $2,800. For comparison, the Samsung Galaxy Fold retails at $1,980 and the Huawei Mate X costs about $2,600.

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29 Comments

1. mahima

Posts: 739; Member since: Nov 20, 2014

Wow...just wow. As a first gen product, there will be problem, but wow!

18. umaru-chan

Posts: 371; Member since: Apr 27, 2017

My reaction is also the same- WOW. I congratulate xiaomi for this incredible feat of design and hardware engineering. I wish another world famous tech company would take notice of what a much smaller company is doing with foldable/wraped screen and not release faulty, "failed" product. Well done, Xiaomi. Brilliant job.

23. AngelicusMaximus

Posts: 730; Member since: Dec 20, 2017

While I agree that the "improved" version of the Galaxy Fold is still a disaster waiting to happen, you need to stop letting Samsung live rent free in your head. You talk about them even in articles that have nothing to do with them. It's obvious they're all you ever think about. Time to let it go.

24. umaru-chan

Posts: 371; Member since: Apr 27, 2017

You need to stop your obsession with me before lecturing about what I should or shouldn't say in a article, creep.

26. AngelicusMaximus

Posts: 730; Member since: Dec 20, 2017

Haha. Okay. I'm the creep then.

2. meanestgenius

Posts: 22264; Member since: May 28, 2014

Whoa!! What an amazing looking smartphone! I will most definitely be keeping a lookout for any and all information regarding this! But that price is ridiculous, and the presumed Chinese market only release is a downer. Looking good, though!

3. Gryffin

Posts: 63; Member since: Dec 19, 2018

Do I need to do anything to break that screen? Also how would screen on backside be useful?

4. foreverNOOB

Posts: 167; Member since: Jul 07, 2017

That back screen aims at "selfie & video call".

5. maddy996

Posts: 128; Member since: Jan 06, 2014

Hey Joshua Swingle, it's MIUI not EMUI...

6. LEEDAQ

Posts: 188; Member since: Aug 07, 2018

.....?

7. cmdacos

Posts: 4264; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Damn. Nice looking phone.

8. AngelicusMaximus

Posts: 730; Member since: Dec 20, 2017

I'm with LEEDAQ on this one. I have so many questions and no idea how to articulate them.

9. Hollowmost

Posts: 424; Member since: Oct 10, 2017

Very nice concept, Hope they don't kill the MI MIX series, the 3rd and fourth gen will be mind blowing. tbh this concept is better than fold concept of samsung and huawei. Exciting time Ahead.

10. jellmoo

Posts: 2623; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

But... Why? I feel like they were too busy asking themselves if they could do it but forgot to ask themselves if they should.

11. Diego!

Posts: 876; Member since: Jun 15, 2009

This Is absolutely breathtaking! I love it and I hope it comes to Europe to get one of these. At least to try it out

12. ahmadkun

Posts: 613; Member since: May 02, 2016

great to see companies started pushing the boundaries

15. Pabliell

Posts: 185; Member since: Mar 22, 2016

Boundaries of impractical design should've never been crossed.

13. yalokiy

Posts: 1049; Member since: Aug 01, 2016

Feels like we are back in the 00's, quite a lot of new experimental designs.

14. Priyam009

Posts: 60; Member since: Oct 23, 2018

Thats quite a excellent design concept kudos to Xiaomi!

16. xperian

Posts: 420; Member since: Apr 10, 2014

Looks like the concept renders from 2011

17. CreeDiddy

Posts: 2248; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

Does this phone have more power than an iPhone Pro? No Does this phone have more power and capability over an iPad Pro? No! So what does this product do better than two of Apple’s best products for the same price? Durability will be an issue with this.

19. lyndon420

Posts: 6824; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

You're comparing a phone's battery life with a tablet?? You're struggling to find something negative about this concept and it shows...lol

21. TheOracle1

Posts: 2336; Member since: May 04, 2015

@creediddy, that's why Apple keep reproducing the same designs for people like you with zero imagination and expectations. Look up the word "concept" in the dictionary. The idea of a phone like this is to explore possibilities and features that can be incorporated into mass produced models. Unfortunately Apple is still trying to figure out how to get rid of that horrendous notch whilst Xiaomi and others have clearly gone far beyond such amateurish designs.

29. jiangqiushi

Posts: 25; Member since: May 28, 2019

@CreeDiddy, does the $999 iphone has the battery power to last a week? No! so what does the $999 iphone do better than a $30 lowly Nokia 1110 if it can't even last a full day?

20. bucknassty

Posts: 1353; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

this is crazy

22. donnykd03

Posts: 5; Member since: Aug 30, 2018

Nice concept..but impractical. The notification icons are on the side screen. So i would have to turn the phone sideway just to see the notifications?

25. Mikele

Posts: 175; Member since: Nov 19, 2013

Excellent flair kudos to Xiaomi!!

27. monoke

Posts: 1172; Member since: Mar 14, 2015

My word. Is this damn thing beautiful. I know they've got software issues before they can get this consumer ready. But this is the only functional purpose of curved glass imo. When the glass accentuates the design. Not just curving the sides 90 degree for no reason other than looks. Hats off to Xiaomi.

28. jibraihimi

Posts: 815; Member since: Nov 29, 2011

This phone looks beautiful..... But its very impractical.... I think Zte's Nubia 20 is more practical, but they just need to find way to put 3.5mm audio jack in that body somewhere.......

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