While Xiaomi's Mi Note 2 was the main focus of the Xiaomi event on Oct 25, the unexpected unveiling of the futuristic edgeless Mi MIX smartphone stole the show.
While the phone is about the same size as an iPhone 7 Plus, the Mi MIX's edge-to-edge design lets it pack in a 6.4-inch display, with a custom 17:9 screen ratio, resulting in an incredible 91.3 per cent screen-to-body ratio.
To give you some perspective, that's 23 per cent larger than the 5.5-inch display area on the iPhone 7 Plus, but packing that into a body size similar to the Apple device.
In another point of comparison, it's also far higher than the recently launched ZTE Nubia Z11 that touts an 81 per cent screen-to-body ratio, which was already considered amazing.
To achieve the edge to edge display, Xiaomi had to overcome a number of engineering challenges.
First, the front camera is about half the size of a standard front camera, and has been repositioned in the lower right. If that sounds weird, don't worry, you can turn the phone upside down to take a selfie.
To maximise space, Xiaomi also redesigned the traditional audio speaker and infrared proximity sensor - using a ceramic audio driver that converts electric signals to mechanical energy to convey sound waves and deploying an ultrasonic proximity sensor - both placed behind the display!
Xiaomi has spared no expense in the materials for the MIX. The entire back of the phone, the frame, and even the buttons are made from ceramic.
There will be an even more premium "18K" version with real 18K gold rings around the rear camera and fingerprint scanner.
The design is minimalist, done by famous designer Phillipe Starck.
Specs-wise, the MIX is quite similar to the new Mi Note 2, sporting a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor, and either 4GB RAM with 128GB storage or 6GB RAM with 256GB storage.
There is a 16-megapixel camera at the rear, while the front camera is an 8-megapixel shooter.
The MIX will be available for pre-order in China today with the 4GB/128GB version going for RMB3499 (S$718) and the 18K 6GB/256GB version going for RMB3999.
Here are the key specs of the Mi MIX smartphone:
- 6.4-inch display with edgeless design (91.3 per cent screen-to-body ratio)
- Full ceramic body: Back cover, frame, and buttons
- Custom 17:9 display (16:9 viewing area even with soft keys)
- Up to 6GB LPDDR4 RAM and up to 256GB UFS 2.0 storage
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor (2.35GHz)
- 4400mAh battery, Quick Charge 3.0
- 16MP PDAF rear camera, 5MP front camera
- GPS with sensor-assisted positioning
- NFC technology
This article was first published on Oct 25, 2016.
Visit Hardware Zone for more stories.