See I’m pretty disposed to respect most things that challenge the status quo, even sometimes something that’s different. Just for the sake of being different and the Mix is made to impress It isn’t like Sharp’s Aquos Crystal from 2014, which made liberal use of soft plastic. The Mix takes the idea of a future phone and runs with it from the ceramic shell to the splendiferous spec sheet. Even my lower end model packs some tough shelf hardware and the deluxe gold-accented version steps it up even further.
Both trims are available globally from several retailers, including Gear Best, whom I thank for this review device.
Links in the description below, If you miss the days when your latest smartphone would turn heads on the street, the Mix has your name all over it. The glossy body glistens and the massive IPS display gleams The only concession to a bezel, the thin strip along the bottom, containing the selfie camera and notification LED Around back the main camera and fingerprint sensor are identically proportioned and well-positioned.
I seldom had trouble unlocking the phone by feel Sitting there on a table. The Mix reminds me of the Sony Xperias of yesteryear, but in hand.
It completely stands on its own. I’Ve never used a device like this. As with any mold-breaker that comes with some caveat. First off: it’s no coincidence that this is one of the few devices that comes with a case in the box.
The mirror finish in addition to showcasing fingerprint also makes the Mix the slipperiest mobile I’ve ever held.
Now, lots of phones will slide off a table. That’S nothing new, but the Mix will literally slip out of my hands if I’m not gripping it tightly enough, and while this unit has survived a few falls onto hardwood. The combination of the brittle ceramic shell and various scratch-prone finish make me much more afraid of dropping this phone. Oh and it is a phone. So let’s talk about voice calls.
The Mix is bad at them.
See to project sound without using a conventional earpiece Xiaomi implemented some fancy components that basically vibrate the device’s frame to make noise It’s loud, but also raspy and omnidirectional. If you’re talking a call in a quiet room, don’t expect any privacy. Also, the ultrasonic proximity sensor, which turns the screen off on calls, is less reliable than its IR analogs. All in all, this is the last modern phone I’d choose to put up to my ear for a call.
Fortunately, the built-in speaker phone is plenty loud and, of course, there is Bluetooth. If you want to bring your own speaker,
Let’S talk software, This is my first experience with Xiaomi’s MIUI skin and at first I was pleasantly surprised. Little touches like curved corners and understated animations go a long way toward making a phone feel special. There are practical improvements, too.
Moving icons between panels is a lot easier here than on other phones, for example, and I always appreciate it when a manufacturer puts in that swipe down on the home screen to get to the notification shade shortcut and if you’re a fiddler.
There are more customization options in this settings menu than I’ve ever seen.
My favorite so far converting the battery meter to a bar spanning the top of the display, and that battery is great Over the course of my first week. I never saw the power meter dip into the red before bedtime. The combination of a large battery and aggressive background memory management makes the Mix a very long-lasting device, one that you can forget to charge overnight and probably still make it to the following evening. Here’S a thing, though, if you’re using the Mix in the States, you need to remember that it wasn’t designed to operate here.
You don’t even get an option for USA in the initial setup screen, so it’ll only work on some local 4G bands Just as important the software isn’t optimized for the West either. So, while the international version ships with Play services, Google features, don’t always work right. [, Google ]. Actually I can’t do that while the device is locked To keep going, go ahead and unlock your device [ Mister Mobile ]. Also the Android underpinnings here are built on the older Marshmallow
We’Re still waiting on Nougat and, as you can see, we’re stuck on a three-month-old security update too Yay, Oh and don’t expect to get reliable, Gmail notifications without jumping through some settings hoops.
I shouldn’t need to say this, but not getting email alerts in 2017, is..
Bad Speaking of bad, let’s check out the camera. If you mostly stick to Instagram, then the Mix will serve you fine, just like pretty much every other high-end phone from the past few years, but don’t expect much more than that.
Neither the sensor nor the post-processing are doing the Mix any favors, especially in anything short of perfect lighting.
In a vacuum, some of these samples are okay but put’em. Up next to the Google Pixel’s output, you start to see what you’re missing Color saturation contrast autofocus. The Mix is lacking for pretty much all of it And video which defaults to 720p for some reason only magnifies these shortcomings. In other words, you shouldn’t buy this phone for the camera, either back or front.
So if you live in the US, should you buy this phone at all?
Well, if you’ve got the stamina to spend a few days calibrating the interface and the tolerance for lackluster photos that often need filters to make’em look good then yes go for it. Now I don’t mean to be so flippantly backhanded. That would be a totally ridiculous set of compromises to make if you weren’t getting so much in return on the hardware, namely one of the most futuristic designs in modern mobile tech. For some folks, the hardware itch can only be scratched by iconic luxury branding For others who want to feel like they’re living in the expanse. Maybe the Mi Mix is kind of the ultimate embodiment of the nerd dream: a concept phone offered for sale,
It’S beautiful it’s unusual and it’s just what the space detective ordered.
If you think you want to get mixed up with a phone like this, a reminder that the links to order are in the description.
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