A picture has been leaked of the new Xiaomi Mi Mix “mini” version. It would appear the name of the new device is Mi Mix Nano, as displayed in the image that was revealed. This photo appears to show the ‘About’ section from the never-seen-before smartphone.
The Xiaomi Mi Mix Nano is needed in the market, as many feel the 6.4 inch Mi Mix is too big. It is believed that the Mi Mix Nano will be 5.5 inches, although some reports have it as 5.2 inches.
The revealed photo of the “About” page seems to confirm the name of the smartphone with a built-in 4GB memory, 64GB storage and 2.35 GHz processor. It runs on Android 6.0 as does the Xiaomi smartphones.
The questions that remain are when will the Mi Mix Nano be released, and will it have a lower price tag that the Mi Mix which retails for 2999 yuan ($436US).
Xiaomi is a privately owned China based company that is still in its youth. It launched in April 2010 with eight founders, all of whom had great experience in the electronic world after working for various companies including Google, Motorola and Microsoft.
In the six years since its birth, Xiaomi has become the fourth largest smartphone producer in the world. They create, design, and sell their own smartphones, as well as various other products. The other products include:
- Mobile apps
- Fitness trackers
- Home products such as robotic vacuums, rice cookers, smart scales and air purifiers
The head office of Xiaomi is based in Beijing, and in its infancy, the company exploded in the Chinese market. China is still the country that holds the highest percentage of consumers for Xiaomi products.
Xiaomi specifically targeted the Chinese market originally because they felt at the time of their launch that no other companies producing smartphones were meeting the needs of people in China. They decided they would fill that void. The company enjoyed quick success in China and grew faster than expected.
Xiaomi proceeded to expands beyond China, moving into India, South Africa, the Philippines and Brazil. It has continued to see growth and success in these countries, particularly in India. Xiaomi first entered the Indian market via flipkart.com in July 2014.
Xiaomi’s current CEO is Lei Jun who oversees the company with his deputy, Hugh Barra. Barra was previously employed with Google as head of their Android department.
Xiaomi launched its Android-based firmware, MiUI in August 2010. MiUI stands for Mi User Interface and is pronounced “Me You I”. MiUI comes pre-installed on all Xiaomi smartphones, and offers many apps and various features.
MiUI offers an app store, cloud storage, music, photos, and mail. For Chinese consumers it offers the ability to purchase train tickets, movie tickets or book a doctor’s appointment.
Since the launch, Xiaomi has developed many other MiUI based devices such as:
- MiWiFi, a network router
- Mi TV, first announced in 2013
- MiBox, which is a set-box for televisions that offers movies and televisions shows and does not require a subscription
- MiCloud, a cloud storage service
- MiTalk, a messaging service
- MiPower Bank, an external battery
- Mi Band, a fitness tracker and sleep monitor
- Mi Personal Transport, which includes electric bikes and scooters
Xiaomi also offers MiUI to be used on other smartphone devices from other companies such as Samsung.
Xiaomi’s first smartphone, Mi 1 was announced in August 2011. The Mi 2 was launched in August 2012. They have since released the Mi 2s, Mi 2A, Mi 3, Mi 4, Mi 4i, Mi 4c, Mi 4s, Mi 5, Mi 5s and Mi 5s Plus.
The Xiaomi Redmi series are smartphones that are in a lower cost range than the Mi series. This series includes the Redmi, Redmi 1s, Redmi 2, Redmi 2a, Redmi 2 pro, Redmi 3, Redmi 3 pro, Redmi 3s, Redmi 3x, Redmi 4, Redmi 4a and Redmi 4 Prime.
Xiaomi also developed and produced two laptops. The first was the Mi Notebook Air, and the second was the Mi Notebook Air 4G.
Unlike Other Companies
Xiaomi stands alone in its strategy to sell smartphones. The company approaches its marketing, as well as its consumers, differently than rival companies such as Apple and Samsung.
For starters, Xiaomi does not own any actual stores. It sells its products exclusively online. It also does not use traditional advertising to publicize their products, but instead favors social media and networking sites. The company also relies on word-of-mouth to advertise their products.
Xiaomi also prices their smartphones close to cost without compromising on quality, ability and performance. This allows them to remain competitive with Apple and Samsung. They expand profits by selling devices related to the smartphone, apps, online videos and home products.
Xiaomi strictly controls its stock of product, which allows them to create as products needs are required instead of trying to catch up with market demand. The company regularly has flash sales with limited availability to ensure supply is never lower than demand. The flash sales are also a great way to promote their product.
Xiaomi also makes MiUI, its operating system, available for download on Android phones that aren’t theirs. This makes their apps more easily accessible to a wider span of users and thus opens up the ability to attract more consumers.
What really makes Xiaomi stand out is its dedication to seeking out and listening to customer feedback. It boasts numerous user forums with millions of members who regularly check in to discuss the products and provide ideas and suggestions.
It is part of the weekly workload for Xiaomi’s managers to browse through consumer forums for comments, complaints and suggestion. They are quick to respond and will even use user ideas to improve products. Once an idea is seen and approved, it is quickly passed on to the company’s engineers to begin development.
Xiaomi values their customers and places high importance on a trusting relationship with them.
Xiaomi announced the Mi Mix smartphone in October 2016, and released the device in November 2016. They called it their ‘concept phone’, a phone that is a possible glimpse into the future of smartphones. It is 6.4 inches with a pixel resolution of 2040 x 1080. The edge-less design has an LCD display of 91.3 percent screen-to-body ratio. It is currently only available in black, although there have been some photos leaked online showing it in white.
The smartphone has a ceramic body with heat resistance, and is extremely scratch resistant. However it is fragile and may shatter if dropped. Xiaomi has made available a leather case specifically for the Mi Mix. This case provides extra grip, so there is little chance of the phone slipping from your hand.
The Mi Mix is 209 grams, and is capable of charging to 83 percent in just 30 minutes. It has been described as a phone that is ‘all display, all the time’. (androidauthority.com)
The Mi Mix is a dual SIM smartphone with a multi-touch LCD display screen, and is equipped with Bluetooth, GPS, finger-printing, and the expected features of a regular smartphone. The camera on the phone has autofocus and dual-LED flash, and features geo-tagging, touch focus, HDR, panorama and face detection.
There’s an internal memory of 128 GB, 4 GB RAM or 256 GB, 6 GB RAM depending on the device you choose. Alert types include vibration, MP3 and WAV ringtones. The battery life of the Mi Mix has an endurance rating of 97h. The battery capacity is 4400mAh.
Positive attributes given to the Mi Mix are:
- Flashy design
- High storage capacity
- Great battery life
- It is almost bezel-less
Complaints of the Mi Mix are:
- Google Apps do not come pre-installed
- The recommended leather case is very thick and blocks the sensor for the fingerprint
- The camera is average for a smartphone
- It’s Xiaomi’s most expensive phone to date
- It’s only available in China, and it’s in limited quantities there
The look of Mi Mix is sleek, shiny and very eye-catching. There is effectively no bezel around three sides of the screen.
To allow for such a large display screen, a few of the typical conventions of the smartphone had to be adjusted. However, power and volume buttons are easily felt for along the side. The camera and fingerprint reader are slightly lower than what is common on most smartphones. A headphone jack can be found on the top, and a USB-C port is available on the bottom, where the microphone and speakers are also found.
The camera is found below the screen, a location that is not ideal due to thumbs and palms possibly getting in the way of photos. It’s also not the most flattering angle for selfies.
Complaints have been expressed about the size of the Mi Mix. It seems it is difficult to use comfortably in one hand.
The bezel-less display of the Mi Mix has been praised by consumers and critics alike. It has an aspect ratio of 17:9 and is HD. It displays everything quite well, and Xiaomi has included lots of control over brightness for the user.
Xiaomi’s Mi Mix is expected to have some strong competition in the near future. Lenovo’s Zuk Edge smartphone was recently revealed online with a screen-to-body ratio of 100 percent. It is reported that other rivals in the Chinese market, such as Meizu and Huawei are also working on bezel-less smartphone development. It is suggested that even the big companies, Apple and Samsung, may be working on similar designs.
Many tech experts believe that, in the future, most phones will look like Xiaomi’s Mi Mix.
What Is Bezel-Less?
A term that has been used to describe the Mi Mix and Mi Mix Nano is bezel-less. This is something that excites the tech, but to those who are less tech-inclined, what does bezel mean?
Bezel describes the outside frame of a computer, tablet and smartphone. Designers and developers take the bezel into consideration when evaluating the overall perimeter of a device. Recent designs on smartphones and tablets have much narrower bezels, which allows for more screen display. This is something consumers take into consideration when purchasing such devices.
The point of the bezel is to hold the screen in place. It may also lessen accidental inputs on a touch screen. New development of devices is finding ways to reduce the need for the bezel, and using software to deal with the unintentional inputs. An example of adapting to this is when Apple created the mini iPad. Its thin bezel forced Apple to adapt its software to ignore inputs when a user is basically just resting a finger on the screen.
Bezel-less devices create a more sleek-looking product. The increase of screen display is extremely appealing to consumers, which is why smartphone and tablet developers are looking to design future products in this way.
Xaomi and the Mi Mix Nano
The leak of the Xiaomi Mi Mix Nano photo has consumers and fans excited for the announcement of this new product. A smaller smartphone will fit more comfortably in the hand than the Mi Mix while still giving the benefits of the nearly bezel-free device.
The specs of the Mi Mix Nano look wonderful and the hope of many is that this product is a reality and will be on the market soon. There is also hope that the smaller size and lower specs will result a lower price tag than the Mi Mix.
Xiaomi is recognized worldwide as a major player in the smartphone industry. It has yet to venture into the US market, and apparently no plans to do so. However, with their continued success in Asia and expansion into countries such as South Africa and Brazil, it is a company that will not be disappearing anytime soon.
In 2015, Xiaomi was number 2 on the list of the 50 Smartest Companies, a list created by MIT Technology Review. It is the fastest-growing smartphone company in the world, and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down.
With the Mi Mix smartphone and the upcoming Mi Mix Nano, Xiaomi explores new territory with an almost bezel-less device. The company is certainly on the cutting edge of smartphone technology.