The most bitter war in the field of mobile phones is waged in one variable: the percentage of the front panel that occupies the screen. Xiaomi was a pioneer in approaching 90% with the first Mix, but then the popularization of the 'notch' among its competitors has relegated the Peking brand to the peloton. Today, to fight again for the throne, the Mix 3 copies the mechanism devised by OPPO for the Find X and confirms that this retractable element, which hides the front camera and different sensors to achieve a full screen that lives up to that description, it marks the market path.
Although the similarities with the Find X and the Vivo Nex are obvious, and that the president of the company, Lin Bin, recognized his resemblance in Chinese social networks, the CEO of Xiaomi, Lei Jun, has defended that the company had already patented a similar system in 2015. Unlike what happens with the motorized mechanism of the OPX Find X, the new Mix 3 has a manual system, so it is the user who slides the area of the phone where the selfies camera is located.
"We were inspired by old phones that used this mechanism, especially in Nokia - it is very reminiscent of the N95 - and we have certified that this gesture can be done 300,000 times without any problem for the mobile phone", said Lei during the presentation of the terminal , which has been held in one of the last built areas of the Forbidden City in Beijing and before an unusually small number of guests.
"It's been exactly two years since we launched the first Mix, and we want to celebrate it with the best 'all-screen' mobile dthe market"Lei pointed while showing other terminals of the competition. "We have solved the main problems that these devices have: on the one hand, we do not adopt the 'notch', which is an element that simplifies the manufacturing process but that nobody likes; On the other hand, we have taken the screen to the extreme - it has a size of 6.39 inches, FHD + resolution, and occupies 93.4% of the front - and we have reduced the thickness of the body - made of ceramic - thanks to an AMOLED screen ultrafine ", explained the manager.
Mix 3, however, has numerous components inherited from its closest predecessor, the Mix 2S. In fact, the back is almost traced and incorporates a fingerprint sensor that some expected to see located under the screen, as it happens with different models. In addition, the processor continues to be Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 - its update will not arrive until December - and the main dual camera - with two 12-megapixel and optical sensors f 1.8 and 2.4 - has the same arrangement and sensors similar to those of the Mi 8. "But in the photographic section the 'hardware' is as important as the 'software'. And the difference now is the artificial intelligence brand, "said Lei.
In fact, Xiaomi has taken to the chest with the DXOmark index, which qualifies the quality of the images taken by mobile phones. "I told the photography department that their 'bonus' depended on their being able to beat the Huawei P20 Pro," Lei said between laughter. And, apparently, it has achieved it: the terminal of the Chinese competitor obtained 102 points and the Mix 3 reaches 103. "With this we match the iPhone and reach the 'top 3' of the market", concluded Lei.
Among the strong points of the camera is the new Super Night mode, which promises perfectly defined night shots with a wide dynamic range thanks to a combination of technologies that even Lei himself has not explained in detail. "The shot is well focused even when we take the picture by hand, and the HDR means there are no overexposed or excessively dark areas. But even I do not understand well how it works, "he said.
The front camera also takes a quantitative leap, because it now adopts a dual lens. The main sensor has 24 megapixels and is assisted by a secondary 2 megapixel whose task is to gather information about distance and light to allow the Portrait mode to blur the background and highlight who is self-portraying. Once again, the algorithm of artificial intelligence systems developed by the thousand people who work in it can be activated to apply the most appropriate beauty filters in each scene.
However, aware that a commercial hook was missing for its new flagship, Xiaomi has decided to equip the Special Edition Palace of the Mix 3 with 10 GB of RAM, something that Lei himself has described as "exaggeration". It is the first 'smartphone' that exceeds the barrier of 8 GB and that allows opening applications faster and operate with them in multitasking mode more agile. In the test that Xiaomi has shown, the Mix 3 gains 24 to 4 to the Huawei P20 Pro in the accomplishment of different tasks in a determined time.
Among the rest of the innovations that incorporates the Mix 3 is a fast wireless charge of 10 W, the dual band GPS premiered by the Mi 8, slow motion videos of 960 frames per second, and a button dedicated to the intelligence assistant artificial, XiaoAi, whose utility in the international version is yet to be seen. What is evident is that Xiaomi offers a high-end device at an extraordinarily competitive price, because the most economical version of the Mix 3 - with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal storage - will cost in China 3,299 yuan (412 euros to change ). Yes, the special edition of Palacio reaches a new level in Xiaomi: 4999 yuan, 625 euros that show how the price of their phones does not stop increasing.
Despite this, Lei Jun has made an announcement that demonstrates the solidity with which the company grows. "Last year I announced that in 2018 we would sell more than 100 million mobile phones and by the end of this month we will exceed that figure," he said proudly. Undoubtedly, the brand convinces with its commitment to offer the best value for money and, although Lei has acknowledged that "this year our phones are not the most 'cool'", the commitment to the best components continues to give good results.
The short-term challenge comes with 5G networks. And Lei says that Xiaomi is ready to face it. In fact, it has announced that the brand will launch in Europe, during the first quarter of next year, a version of Mix 3 with the ability to connect to the new generation of mobile telephony.