This year has seen a lot of exciting flagship smartphones being launched, by manufacturers both big and small. And while all of them have bleeding-edge hardware, class-leading cameras and things like that, there’s one design trend in particular, that seems to have really caught the fancy of smartphone manufacturers in 2017 – minimal bezels around the display.
The beginning of the year witnessed the launch of LG’s G6 and Samsung’s Galaxy S8, which wooed both the consumers and media with their 18:9 aspect ratio displays, complete with curved corners. These were recently followed up by the Galaxy Note 8 and the V30. And just a month back, Apple announced its own bezel-less smartphone – iPhone X – which is yet to reach into the hands of customers.
But amid this sudden barrage of bezel-less smartphones, introduced by behemoths of the technology industry, there’s one smartphone, from a comparatively-smaller brand that has managed to grab eyeballs everywhere. I’m talking about Xiaomi’s recently-launched Mi Mix 2.
What’s interesting here is that Xiaomi hopped onto the bezel-less bandwagon last year itself, when it launched the original Mi Mix. That smartphone was flat-out gorgeous, but it was more of a prototype that Xiaomi launched to show the world where it was ultimately headed.
On the contrary, its sequel – Mi Mix 2 – is a refinement of the prototype that was the original Mi Mix in almost every way. The smartphone, which was introduced by the company in its home country of China only about a month back, was recently launched in India.
Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 has a stunning 18:9 display that has almost zero bezels on three of its four sides. In addition to that, the Mi Mix 2 packs in top-tier hardware, all of which is encased in an exquisitely-crafted body. Bearing an extremely-competitive price tag of Rs 35,999, the Mi Mix 2 clearly has its sights set on the OnePlus 5. But is that swanky bezel-less display, coupled with powerful hardware, really enough to make you shell out Rs 36K for a Xiaomi smartphone?
Find out, on the other side of my full review of the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2.
Design And Build Quality
Gaze upon the Mi Mix 2 for a while and you’re bound to be mesmerized. It’s among the best-looking smartphones that I’ve come across, and definitely the finest that Xiaomi has ever created.
Everything about the Mi Mix 2’s construction screams premium. The smartphone has an all-ceramic back panel that curves on all four sides, blending into the aerospace-grade aluminum frame as it does so. The ultra-smooth mirror finish of the backplate truly makes it a sight to behold.
The top half of Xiaomi Mix 2’s rear panel sports a 12MP primary camera in its center. A two-tone dual-LED flash sits on the right of the shooter. The slightly-protruding camera module is adorned by an 18-karat gold-plated rim, which looks pretty damn good. Just below the camera lens is a circular fingerprint sensor. The words ‘Mix Designed By Xiaomi’ are imprinted horizontally in the center of the lower half of the Mi Mix 2’s backplate, accentuating its minimal design.
Equally well-done is the Mix 2’s facade. It’s essentially a continuous sheet of Gorilla Glass 4, with only a tiny, slit-like cut-out for the earpiece along the center of the top edge.
Wake up the smartphone and you’re greeted by its standout feature – display. And boy, is it a stunner!
While it does have just the tiniest bit of borders on the top and both sides, the screen on the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 is for all intents and purposes, bezel-less. The chin bezel is quite substantial, but only because it houses the 5MP front-facing camera and a notification LED. While the relocation of the selfie shooter below the display may irk some users, it’s a design choice Xiaomi had to make because there’s simply no space left for the camera module above the display. Personally, I like it!
Coming to the sides, the upper left holds a slide-out tray that accepts two nano-SIM cards. Directly opposite, on the right, are the volume rocker and the power button. Up top, there’s a secondary noise-canceling microphone. Lastly, the bottom is where one can find the USB Type-C port. It’s flanked by two grilles, but only the right one hides a speaker beneath it. The top and bottom have two antenna lines (one each on the left and the right) running across the thickness of the frame.
Sadly, the humble 3.5mm audio port is something that’s missing from the Mi Mix 2. While it’s good that Xiaomi provides a USB Type-C to 3.5mm audio adapter with the smartphone, axing a still-useful feature just for the sake of blindly following a stupid trend, isn’t a very smart move. So if you do decide to get the Mi Mix 2, better get a good pair of Bluetooth earphones/headphones, or get ready to live the #donglelife.
All said, Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 is a stunningly-designed and well-made smartphone that’s more than capable of handling its own against the likes of LG V30, Samsung Galaxy S8, and iPhone X. Tipping the scales at 185g, it’s not exactly light, but that heft gives the Mi Mix 2 a reassuring in-hand feel.