【News】Xiaomi unveils Mi MIX 2, a stunning evolution of its full-screen display smartphone

Also announces Mi Note 3 and Mi Notebook Pro

BEIJING, 11 September 2017 — Global technology leader Xiaomi announced Mi MIX 2 today, a gorgeous evolution of Mi MIX, the revolutionary concept phone unveiled a year ago. In addition to raising the bar for its innovative MIX series, Xiaomi also upped the ante in two other product lines — it announced Mi Note 3, which sports a dual-camera setup and a 16-megapixel front camera, and upgraded its line of laptops with the new Mi Notebook Pro.

Lei Jun, founder and CEO of Xiaomi, said: “Mi MIX gave everyone a glimpse of what the phone of the future would look like. We made a concept phone that defied everyone’s expectations about smartphone design, and it has pioneered the trend of full screen display smartphones. With Mi MIX 2, the future is now here. It has evolved from a design and technology test-bed into a user-friendly phone catered to a wider consumer group than ever before, while still evoking the wow factor.”

Mi MIX 2 once again underscores Xiaomi’s commitment to being at the forefront of technological innovation while making these innovations affordable to the widest possible range of consumers. Starting from RMB 3299, Mi MIX 2 will be available in China from 15 September onwards and will make its way to selected global markets at a later date.

Full screen display 2.0

Introduced as a concept device last October, Mi MIX delivered an unprecedented screen-to-body ratio that heralded a turning point in the design of smartphones. Mi MIX redefined the smartphone user experience as the first Android-based device with a 17:9 aspect ratio high-definition screen and rounded display corners, which helped pave the way for Google’s Android CDD (Compatibility Definition Document) eventually allowing screen aspect ratios beyond 16:9, as well as rounded display corners.

Mi MIX 2 builds on the foundation of the original concept. It is now 11.9% smaller than Mi MIX, and has a 5.99-inch screen with a 18:9 full screen display, which delivers a stunning appearance with the screen almost entirely filling up the front surface.

Instead of the piezoelectric speaker solution in Mi MIX, the second-generation uses a hidden speaker that only takes up a thin sliver of space between the top edge of the phone and the screen. At the same time, the front camera remains at the chin and Mi MIX 2 continues using the ultrasonic proximity sensor. This allows the device itself with all the components to fade into the background, while the focus is entirely on the screen.

Pushing the boundaries of smartphone design with ceramic

Jointly designed with world-renowned designer Philippe Starck, Mi MIX 2 represents Xiaomi’s efforts in pushing ahead with the use of ceramic. It has a beautiful ceramic back, which features a four-sided curved design that transitions smoothly into the aluminum frame.

Also announced today was Mi MIX 2 Special Edition, which has a ceramic unibody — a first for any smartphone. Looking incredibly premium with the glossy jade-like finish, the ceramic unibody on Mi MIX 2 Special Edition takes an arduous 7-day process to manufacture, as even polishing the surface requires the use of diamond powder because ceramic is incredibly hard.

A truly global smartphone

With 43 network bands in total, Mi MIX 2 is a truly global smartphone that can be used almost anywhere in the world, perfect for travelers who may frequent places with different networks, such as the U.S.

Mi MIX 2 delivers the ultimate high-performance experience, powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor and up to 8GB RAM. It also uses the latest Sony IMX386 sensor in its 12-megapixel camera, and comes with 4-axis OIS that reduces the effect of handshake or motion, so images and videos remain sharp.

Mi MIX 2 will be available in 6GB + 64GB, 6GB + 128GB and 6GB + 256GB versions, priced at RMB 3299/3599/3999 respectively. Mi MIX 2 Special Edition, which comes with a ceramic unibody in either white or black, comes with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage for RMB 4699.

Mi Note 3: Xiaomi’s best camera smartphone yet

With a dual-camera setup and a 16-megapixel front camera, Mi Note 3 is a larger version of Xiaomi’s popular flagship Mi 6 launched earlier this year. It has a 5.5-inch display and a larger 3500mAh battery.

The dual camera setup with wide angle and telephoto lenses gives users the ability to shoot beautiful portraits with out-of-focus backgrounds. The front camera captures light better with less image noise thanks to large 2μm pixels, achieved by combining multiple pixels on the image sensor into one. The Beautify feature gets an upgrade in Mi Note 3 with an AI algorithm for more natural selfies. Mi Note 3 also has a new unlocking method through AI-based facial recognition, so unlocking the phone is just like taking a selfie.

Mi Note 3 will be available in China starting 12 September priced from RMB 2499 onwards.

Mi Notebook Pro: High-performance professional laptop

Xiaomi also announced today a new high-performance professional laptop Mi Notebook Pro, equipped with the latest eighth-generation Intel Core i7 quad-core processor and NVIDIA GeForce MX150 graphics, which delivers a smooth gaming experience with stunning visuals. Mi Notebook Pro has a total of three configurations: i7 + 16 GB + 256GB, i7 + 8 GB + 256GB and i5 + 8 GB + 256GB, respectively, priced at RMB 6999/6399/5599.

The 15.6-inch Mi Notebook Pro comes with a full-HD screen protected by Corning Gorilla Glass, and a fingerprint sensor integrated into the touchpad for easy unlocking of the laptop. Coupled with a 256GB PCIe NVMe solid-state drive (SSD), Mi Notebook Pro powers through demanding tasks effortlessly. On top of that, Mi Notebook Pro has one free SATA SSD slot that gives users an option to expand its storage. It runs on the Chinese version of the Windows 10 operating system and users get full licensed copies of Microsoft Office and Kingsoft’s WPS Office.

17:9 and beyond: our relentless exploration of the full screen display

Xiaomi has always relentlessly pursued technological innovations. At the beginning of 2014, we noticed that while the competition in the smartphone industry had intensified, the overall design of smartphones remained stagnant.

As we sought to create a breakthrough, our engineers brainstormed on how to make a full screen display smartphone, which we believed should be the future of smartphone design — with the physical form disappearing into the background so that the on-screen content can take centerstage.

However, no one knew how difficult it would be, so we decided to make a concept model first. We invited the world-renowned designer Philippe Starck to partner with us and lead the design for Mi MIX.

This August, Mi MIX won the IDEA Gold Award for its innovative design.

“IDSA IDEA 2017 winners demonstrate how designers are able to capture what’s invisible to others and inspire beauty through the smallest of details within the simplest of artifacts,” said IDEA 2017 Jury Chair Owen Foster, IDSA. “Winners go beyond the tangible that we are so accustomed to seeing—to cultivate amazing, holistic ecosystems.”

From 16:9 to 17:9

The aspect ratio refers the ratio of the width to the height of an image or screen. Mi MIX was the first Android-based device that used a screen with a 17:9 aspect ratio and rounded display corners, which at the time, didn’t comply with Google’s Android CDD (Compatibility Definition Document). The document explicitly stated that Android phones should have an aspect ratio between 4:3 and 16:9.

We engaged Google in a discussion on this and finally received  Google’s permission to allow the 17:9 aspect ratio, which we truly felt gives a stronger visual impact and better user experience. Here’s a timeline to summarize what happened:

  • At the beginning of 2016, Xiaomi engaged Google in a discussion on the screen aspect ratio as we built Mi MIX with a 17:9 aspect ratio.
  • On July 1, 2016, our engineers emailed Google asking whether Mi MIX can pass the compatibility test or if its 17:9 aspect ratio could be treated as a special case.
  • On July 22, 2016, we got an official reply from Google saying that the 17:9 aspect ratio did not comply with Google’s Android CDD.
  • August 2016 was the most difficult time of the R&D process, when the team was weighing whether they should press on or give up on this project. However, they strongly believed that as an innovative smartphone company, Xiaomi should push the boundaries and delivering a stunning full screen display experience could only be achieved through a 17:9 aspect ratio. So they decided to continue communicating with Google.
  • In September 2016, our colleagues from the global team went to Google’s Mountain View headquarters in the U.S. to explain the concept of Mi MIX and its innovative technologies in detail and Google verbally agreed.
  • On October 25, 2016, we successfully launched our full screen display concept smartphone, Mi MIX, and it wowed people by giving them a glimpse of the phone of the future.
  • On November 8, 2016, Google officially approved the 17:9 aspect ratio by changing its CDD to allow screen aspect ratios beyond 16:9, as well as rounded display corners, which also paved the way for other smartphone companies to follow suit.

Besides the 17:9 aspect ratio, Mi MIX also incorporated cutting-edge technologies that did away with the physical earpiece speaker and proximity sensor.

Now we are unveiling the second generation of Mi MIX and bringing it above and beyond the concept phone. The Mi MIX product line is where much of our effort to pursue cutting-edge innovations is concentrated, and it arguably pioneered the trend of full screen display smartphones being launched around the world now. It has established a new bar for smartphone innovation and Mi MIX 2 will now bring all of this innovation to an even wider consumer group.