Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi has debuted a surprising new device today, and it’s “a glimpse of what the phone of the future looks like,” CEO Jei Lun said.
The device in question is the Mi MIX, announced at today’s Xiaomi event in Beijing. Undoubtedly, the phone’s most striking feature is its 6.4-inch, edge-to-edge LCD display. The phone does away with any top or bottom bezel, leaving only a small sliver of space for the device’s front-facing camera. In fact, 91.3 percent of the phone’s available surface space is dedicated to the display — the “highest on any smartphone to date,” the company said. It was designed in collaboration with famed French designer Philippe Starck.
To make room for the bezel-less design, Xiaomi has done away with the traditional proximity sensor and earpiece. Instead, the Chinese manufacturer has replaced it with a “cantilever piezoelectric actuator,” which uses a ceramic unit to convert electrical signals into actual sound, allowing audio with a speaker. Additionally, the phone uses ultrasound in place of infrared technology for its proximity sensor — a first for any smartphone — and a “palm rejection system,” mitigating accidental touches on the device’s screen, which will come in handy quite often.
Beyond the device’s nearly all-encompassing screen, it’s built with a ceramic construction. The back of the device features a fingerprint scanner and 16-megapixel rear camera. Its internals reflect its status as a flagship device: it’ll come outfitted with a Snapdragon 821 chipset, a 4,400 mAh battery, 128- or 256-gigabytes of internal storage, quick charging capabilities, and NFC support. The device’s front camera is also unique in that it’s about half the size of traditional front-facing systems, Engadget reported.
For the premium device and specs, users should expect to pay a premium price. The Mi MIX will start at the retail price of $516. But before you get too excited, the phone will be released on Nov. 4 — but will only be available in the company’s home market of China, and in “limited quantities,” according to CNET.
Xiaomi has never released any of its phones in the U.S. market, but there’s evidence suggesting that they might be eyeing it. But where the Mi MIX really succeeds is as a concept. With the announcement of this phone, Xiaomi has apparently beaten its competitors to the punch with a device featuring a truly edge-to-edge display. And with rumors swirling about a potential bezel-less iPhone coming in the next few years, the Mi MIX might truly be a small peek of what the future looks like.