For those who are prone to dropping their smartphone, the Xiaomi Mi MIX Alpha is not, and we repeat, not for you.

Innovation in form-factor has been largely non-existent over the last few years, though Xiaomi is really pushing the boat out with its latest smartphone. The device has a screen-to-body ratio of 180.6%, thanks to a surround screen, offering no hope of relief for those who drop their phones.

It will attract headlines and the engineering might gain applause, but you really have to wonder what the point actually is. How many times have you been using your smartphone and thought ‘if only there was a screen which I can’t see, that would complete my mobile experience’.

“Carrying the original Mi MIX exploration spirit, when Mi MIX Alpha lights up – the front, side, and back of the phone are almost entirely display,” Xiaomi wrote on its blog.

“The Surround Display allows Mi MIX Alpha to achieve a screen-to-body ratio that reaches an astonishing 180.6%.”

Now we’re all for ‘concept’ models to test the boundaries of the future, but these exploratory prototypes have to be based in reality. This is not.

The Mi MIX Alpha features a 108MP camera with the highest resolution, highest pixel count, and the largest sensor found on any smartphone available (Xiaomi claims), while inside the device you will find the Snapdragon 855+ mobile SoC, supporting all 5G bands of the three major carriers on Mainland China.

Although the device is only available in China for the moment, let’s look at what this is in all honesty. It is a gimmick which likely has no financial ambition to rake in profits. We suspect the outcome is simply to demonstrate how smart the designers and engineers are at Xiaomi, and to attract PR points. And we have fallen into the trap…


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