As Samsung and Huawei double down on their foldable smartphone lineups, and other handset vendors try to hide the notch, Chinese giant Xiaomi today chalked out a different path altogether. The company unveiled the Mi Mix Alpha, a smartphone with a front display that fully wraps around the back, save for a strip.
The Mi Mix Alpha’s body is made of a single piece of sapphire glass, with ceramics and aerospace-grade titanium alloy. So what does the extra display get you? Nothing much. The back display lights up and takes over the front screen’s duties when you flip the phone. Otherwise, it just sits there doing nothing.
Xiaomi says the Mix Alpha is a concept phone, so it is going to have a limited production run for the device. The smartphone will go on sale in China in December for 19,999 yuan (~$2,800).
While the size of the display remains unknown, it boasts a 180.6% screen-to-body ratio, Xiaomi said at an event in China. The Mi Mix Alpha is powered by Qualcomm’s latest and greatest Snapdragon 855+, coupled with 12GB of RAM and 512GB UFS 3.0 storage. And it supports 5G connectivity.
The handset is housing a 4,050 mAh battery and supports 40W wired fast charging, the company said. The Mi Mix Alpha is running Android Pie-based MIUI 11 software.
Which brings us to the strip: The front side of the Mi Mix Alpha does not have any camera sensors. Instead the back side sports a three-camera system: a 108MP primary sensor it developed in collaboration with Samsung, a 20MP wide-angle sensor and a 12MP telephoto sensor.
At the sidelines of today’s event, Xiaomi also launched the Mi 9 Pro, the follow-up to the Mi 9 handset that the company unveiled earlier this year. The Mi 9 Pro, priced at roughly $520, now features support for 5G connectivity, becoming one of the low-cost handsets to support the networking technology. It also supports 40W fast charging, the company said.