Xiaomi's Mi Mix Alpha is almost entirely made of screen
Xiaomi's Mi Mix series has always pushed the boundaries of phone screens and form factors, from the original model that kicked off the bezel wars to last year's sliding, notchless Mi Mix 3. Now, just as we're starting to see "waterfall" displays with extreme curved edges, Xiaomi is taking this to a wild new level with the Mi Mix Alpha.
The display on the Alpha curves entirely around the device to the point where it meets the camera module on the other side. The effect is of a phone that's almost completely made of screen, with status icons like 5G network signal and battery charge displayed on the side. There's no need for a selfie camera - you just turn the phone around and use the rear portion of the display as a viewfinder.
The Mix Alpha uses Samsung's new 108-megapixel camera sensor, which was co-developed with Xiaomi. As with other recent high-resolution Samsung sensors, pixels are combined into 2x2 squares for better light sensitivity in low light, which in this case will produce 27-megapixel images. We'll have to see how that works in practice, but the 1/1.33-inch sensor is unusually large for a phone and should give the Mix Alpha a lot of light-gathering capability.
As for the phone's more traditional specs, there's a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ processor, 5G connectivity, 12GB of RAM, 512GB of storage, 40W fast-charging, and a 4,050mAh battery. That last spec would suggest that Xiaomi doesn't imagine you having the whole screen turned on all the time.
Xiaomi describes the Mix Alpha as a "concept smartphone" and hasn't yet revealed whether it'll actually be released or even mass-produced. Then again, CEO Lei Jun is holding one on stage right now, so we'll have to see. The original Mi Mix was also given the "concept" label but did make its way to market.
We'll update this post with more information as Xiaomi reveals it.
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