Home / Reviews / Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 Review: Sliding Into Our Affections

Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 Review: Sliding Into Our Affections

Mi Combine Three exhibits different slider telephones the way it must be accomplished. Discover out what makes the brand new Mi Combine and Mi Combine Three 5G a superb purchase in our full overview.

Xiaomi’s flagship slider cellphone, the Mi Combine 3, formally retails within the UK at £499 through the Mi Retailer, however is considerably lowered to simply £332.98 at eBuyer. We lately noticed its successor introduced in China, however for now the Mi Combine Alpha is unobtainable (and really, very costly).

The usual model is now joined by a 5G variant, accessible by Vodafone and Three (discover out whether or not it is value upgrading to 5G now in our head-to-head comparability).

It is all in regards to the cameras and the show within the Mi Combine 3, which refines the already nice Mi Combine 2S on two major fronts. This new era additionally features a devoted button for calling up both the Google Assistant or Mi AI consumer, relying on whether or not you purchase the UK or Chinese language mannequin. 

Curiously, Mi Combine Three line lacks an in-display fingerprint sensor (as an alternative discovered on the rear), which is without doubt one of the hottest new traits of this 12 months, and one thing of a shock for a cellphone that started life as Xiaomi’s ‘idea’ cellphone, stealing column inches for its revolutionary design.

Whether or not its absence is proof of a cost-cutting determination or the truth that implementing two new sorts of display tech without delay is hard we’re not solely certain, however Mi Combine (and now Mi 9 additionally) is alone within the Xiaomi cellphone household in its providing of wi-fi charging, and the Combine Three is the primary in your complete line-up with a magnetic sliding display. Xiaomi has since experimented with reaching the full-screen show utilizing a pop-up selfie digital camera within the Mi 9T and Mi 9T Professional.

Additionally see: Finest Xiaomi Offers.

Mi Mix 3

The design stays one thing particular, as soon as once more a creation of Phillipe Starck, however the slider idea just isn’t solely new, having already been seen within the Honor Magic 2 and Lenovo Z5 Professional – however in these telephones it actually would not obtain a lot, other than shifting the selfie cameras out the way in which to permit an uninterrupted full-screen view.

With Mi Combine Three you slide to start out: it may well robotically launch the selfie digital camera, or present a bunch of quick-access capabilities corresponding to a timer, recorder, calculator, notes app, digital camera and the climate. On the Chinese language mannequin there are cellular fee choices right here too, although they are Chinese language solely so unsurprisingly they’re gone within the UK model.

For this overview we examined each the Chinese language ROM model of the Mi Combine 3, and the UK mannequin that went on sale right here on 16 January. As we define under it can save you some cash choosing the Chinese language model, however in addition to placing up with the preinstalled Chinese language apps, Chinese language Mi AI consumer and Chinese language cellular fee providers, you may want to put in Google providers on the Chinese language mannequin (this is how).

Mi Mix 3

Additionally see: Finest Xiaomi telephones.

Mi Combine Three Design & Construct

The Mi Combine was the primary cellphone to introduce the ‘full-screen show’, although in reality it by no means has been solely bezel-less. The unique mannequin was all display on three edges, however with a chunky chin on the backside the place you discovered the upside-down selfie digital camera. And gosh was that annoying.

Over time the design has been refined, with this chin getting slimmer with every new era, however solely now within the Mi Combine Three has the chin been eliminated altogether.

It is value stating that there’s nonetheless a tiny however very a lot current display bezel working your complete circumference of the cellphone, however Mi Combine Three achieves an astonishing screen-to-body ratio of 93.4%. Although a 100% screen-to-body ratio would look phenomenal, we’d fear about its fragility.

Xiaomi has achieved this by implementing a sliding display mechanism that makes use of neodymium magnets with a life expectancy of 300,000 cycles. Most smartphones are offered on two 12 months contracts, so utilizing this because the benchmark you may slide open the display 410 instances a day with out worrying about it breaking. That mentioned, with out intensive use it is tough to understand how a lot mud and dirt will discover its approach underneath the show.

Mi Mix 3

There’s additionally an All the time-on Show choice, exhibiting the time, date and notifications, which ought to cut back the variety of instances you’re feeling the necessity to wake the display. And the speaker is definitely constructed into the highest bezel (although you may must squint to see it), which suggests you need not slide down the display to listen to your recipient on the different finish as you do with the Honor Magic 2 and Lenovo Z5 Professional (although you should utilize it to reply a name).

The sliding motion feels easy, with the display sustaining the identical distance from the chassis and providing a satisfying click on because it opens and closes. It’s also possible to select from 5 totally different sounds that play as you slide open or shut the display – Hello-tech, Warrior (our favorite), Mechanics, Mind and Lighter – plus just a few extra accessible to obtain.

On the Lenovo and Honor alternate options the sliding display is of little use aside from hiding away the selfie digital camera(s) and different blemishes that will often adorn the entrance panel of a cellphone. However on the Xiaomi, sliding open the display can really launch the entrance digital camera, or in the event you’re not a selfie fiend you possibly can set it to supply different quick-access choices such because the climate, a note-taking app, a timer, a voice recorder, the digital camera, torch, a QR code scanner or a calculator (cellular funds, too, in the event you’ve purchased the Chinese language model). Although it is not instantly apparent the way you would possibly go about accessing the house display from right here, touching any clean space of the display achieves this.

Whereas it would really feel a little bit like a gimmick on these different telephones, right here the sliding display not solely provides performance however permits for a giant enchancment on current performance. In the event you’ve ever used a Mi Combine cellphone earlier than you then’ll know that placing the selfie digital camera under the display simply doesn’t work: the angles at which you have to maintain the cellphone so as to seize a selfie the place you look something aside from deranged are tough to attain, and the filters in apps corresponding to Snapchat simply do not play effectively with the format.

Now the selfie digital camera just isn’t solely within the right place, but it surely’s higher than ever – up from a single-lens 5Mp digital camera to a dual-lens 24Mp + 2Mp mannequin, with the second lens used to blur the background on portrait photographs, plus there’s an LED flash. The standard is considerably higher, and the software program integrates Xiaomi’s AI, in a position to intelligently choose the scene.

Mi Mix 3

Eradicating the digital camera from the chin of the cellphone additionally means you not want the chin, so Xiaomi has lowered the bezels and elevated the scale of the display – from 5.99in to six.39in. Provided that it has a bigger display and a brand new sliding display mechanism it is unimaginable that the Mi Combine Three is fractionally shorter and narrower than the Mi Combine 2S, and solely 0.4mm thicker. The battery capability has been lowered by 200mAh, after all. This all helps towards making it really feel extra comfy to make use of in a single hand, too.

The show itself has a taller side ratio than beforehand, now at 19.5:9 (beforehand 18:9). There is not any notch, such as you see on the Mi Eight household, so it is just about pure display.

Fortunately it is a good display, and that is an AMOLED panel which is our favorite type of display tech, bursting with vibrant, punchy colors and providing sensible whites and deep blacks. It helps Xiaomi’s Daylight Show and Studying Mode, and certainly is definitely vibrant sufficient to be used in direct daylight – we measured 407cd/m2 in our exams, which falls a little bit wanting Xiaomi’s claimed 600cd/m2 however continues to be superb.

The decision is Full-HD+, which could sound much less spectacular than on different flagships. It is true that there’s a seen distinction with Quad-HD and Extremely-HD, however this stuff value cash and eat the battery – Samsung is now providing Quad-HD as an choice however defaulting to Full-HD in its flagships, for instance. Xiaomi has by no means added something greater than Full-HD to any of its telephones, and we’re unsure it ever will – this decision is completely enough for clear textual content and pictures, and for having fun with video games and media (graphics run quicker at decrease resolutions in any case). 

Elsewhere the design of the Mi Combine Three is as interesting as ever, with its shiny black, powerful ceramic coat and punctiliously crafted workmanship seen all through. It’s now missing the 18Ok gold digital camera and fingerprint sensor encompass, however whereas it was a pleasant factor to indicate off it by no means actually added something aside from a bit of glitz.

The twin-camera and fingerprint scanner stay in the identical positions on the rear, although we did discover greater than beforehand how the digital camera’s positioning causes the Mi Combine Three to rock barely when used on a desk or flat floor. And, as earlier than, you may discover a quantity rocker and energy button on the suitable aspect, pin-operated SIM tray on the left, and a USB-C port on the backside. There is not any bodily house button, however you possibly can go for full-screen gestures or onscreen house, again and multitasking choices.

Mi Mix 3

It is nonetheless a downward-firing mono speaker – albeit an excellent high quality one, with minimal distortion at full quantity – and there is nonetheless no headphone jack, and you will not discover a USB-C to three.5mm adaptor within the field. As a substitute you get a 10W wi-fi charger, which is unimaginable – we all know of no different Qi-compatible smartphone that’s really bundled with the required charger.

New is an extra button on the cellphone’s left aspect which calls up the Mi AI voice assistant on the Chinese language model of the cellphone, and the Google Assistant on the UK Mi Combine 3. It’s also possible to change the operate of this button to open the entrance or rear digital camera, activate the torch, activate Studying mode, or open Google Search or the earlier app. Alternatively, you possibly can flip it off fully.

Within the subsequent revision to the Mi Combine line we would hope to see waterproofing and an in-display fingerprint sensor – although not if it signifies that engaging worth will rocket. Do not maintain out your hopes for a higher-resolution show.

Mi Mix 3

(Additionally see: Finest Chinese language telephones.)

Mi Combine Three Core {Hardware} & Efficiency

Contained in the UK Mi Combine Three is strictly the identical {hardware} as you discover within the Mi Combine 2S. 

This implies you get the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 working at 2.8GHz. It is an octa-core processor constructed on the second-generation 10nm manufacturing course of, and integrates Adreno 630 graphics.

This chip is paired with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of inner storage. It isn’t expandable by microSD, however sufficiently beneficiant that this should not be an issue.

As earlier than we’re blown away by its efficiency, regardless of the very fact it really carried out a little bit slower in our benchmarks than did the Mi Combine 2S. It is regular for artificial benchmarks to fluctuate, although, and it is the real-world expertise that issues extra. It may deal with something and every thing, unexpectedly.

We have charted its efficiency outcomes under together with the Honor Magic 2, Lenovo Z5 Professional and Mi Combine 2S. The Honor is quickest with its 7nm Kirin 980 chip, and the Lenovo Z5 Professional slowest with its mid-range Snapdragon 710 – although we have now heard a Snapdragon 855 ‘Z5 Professional GT’ model with 12GB of RAM is imminent.

When it comes to connectivity there’s every thing right here bar an IR blaster, that are more and more uncommon however nonetheless discovered on some Xiaomi telephones. There’s help for 4G dual-SIM dual-standby, and full protection of UK 4G LTE community bands.

You additionally get dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.Zero and GPS and GLONASS, and whereas on the Chinese language model the slider display fee choices are all Chinese language providers even right here there may be help for NFC and Google Pay.

As we famous the battery has been lowered by 200mAh, however Mi Combine Three nonetheless helps Fast Cost and wi-fi charging (now with a 10W Qi charger and 18W wired charger within the field). You will simply get a day’s life from the cellphone, and probably extra relying in your utilization.

Mi Mix 3

Mi Combine Three Cameras & Images

We have already touched on the selfie digital camera, which has seen large modifications on this new mannequin, however the major digital camera has some enhancements too.

As beforehand it is a 12Mp + 12Mp dual-lens digital camera, however some software program enhancements imply the standard is greater than ever. Whereas Mi Combine 2S scored 97 factors within the DxO Mark take a look at (and the Mi 8, which makes use of the identical digital camera, 99 factors), this Mi Combine Three nets 108 factors.

The setup contains one Sony IMX363 wide-angle lens with f/1.Eight aperture, 1.4um giant pixels and Twin Pixel Autofocus, and one Samsung S5K3M3+ telephoto lens with f/2.Four aperture and 1.0um pixels. The combo boasts optical zoom and four-axis OIS, and is able to 960fps slow-motion video.

It is an AI digital camera, which suggests it may well intelligently choose the right preset scene to your picture, with out you having to offer it an excessive amount of thought. It may additionally use the second lens for Portrait mode wherein it achieves bokeh-effect background blurring. 

You may see a few of our take a look at photographs under. The primary is an easy point-and-shoot from our seventh-floor workplace terrace, wanting over the St Pancras Renaissance Lodge the opposite aspect of Euston Highway. With no enter from us the picture is true to life with life like colors and nice element, effectively uncovered and sharp proper to the sides.

Mi Mix 3 Auto

With HDR mode engaged the shadows and highlights are enriched, however some proof of blurring goes to indicate how essential it’s to carry nonetheless the digital camera throughout such photographs, particularly on a windy roof terrace. Even so it is nonetheless a really respectable {photograph} that exhibits Mi Combine Three is able to nice issues.

Mi Mix 3 HDR

We have been much less enthused by its low-light photographs, and likewise shocked because the Mi Combine 2S appeared to deal with these a lot better. The digital camera struggled to mild the scene with out resorting to the flash, and far noise is current. In fact we have now seen considerably worse.

Mi Mix 3 Low Light

Mi Combine Three Software program

The Mi Combine Three runs MIUI 10, which is a personalized model of Android 9.Zero Pie. The key variations are discovered within the Settings menu, which is barely reordered, within the drop-down notification bar and within the reality there is no such thing as a app tray, so all app shortcuts are on the house display. You an additionally change the theme, and you will discover the default app icons look a little bit totally different to in commonplace Android.

In the event you’ve purchased the Chinese language model then notice that they do not use Google providers, so MIUI has its personal apps for just about every thing you’d ordinarily use Google’s apps. You need to use these, or you possibly can set up the apps with which you are acquainted – however right here is the catch: You will must set up them your self, until you purchase a UK or World mannequin.

A latest minor modification to the process means you will have to have a SIM card within the cellphone earlier than permitting it to put in recordsdata from unknown sources, however we count on in the event you’re organising the Mi Combine Three for private use you’ll have put in a SIM in any case.

Mi Mix 3

Having used MIUI for a few years we have now discovered it rapidly turns into acquainted, and truly its further options could make it preferable to plain Android. The likes of Twin Apps and Second Display screen are worthy of excessive reward, significantly in the event you’ll be profiting from the cellphone’s dual-SIM performance.

We’re additionally eager on the backup choices, which make it a lot simpler to get again to the place you have been following a manufacturing unit reset, and you will find options corresponding to Break up-Display screen right here too.

A brand new addition right here is Taplus, which we have not seen earlier than on a Xiaomi cellphone, and the outline suggests you faucet and maintain an merchandise to study extra. We tried it however could not get it to work, so it may very well be just for the apps we’re not utilizing. 

The oddly named ‘App Vault’ is swiped in from the left of the house display, and as you see on many Android telephones pulls collectively fast entry to your mostly used apps, notes and calendar occasions.

Specs

Xiaomi Mi Combine 3: Specs

  • 6.39in Full-HD+ (1080×2340) AMOLED show
  • MIUI 10 (based mostly on Android 9.0)
  • 2.8GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 octa-core processor
  • 6GB/8GB RAM
  • 128GB/256GB storage, non-expandable
  • dual-SIM dual-standby (2x nano)
  • all UK 4G bands
  • 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
  • 24Mp + 2Mp selfie digital camera
  • 12Mp + 12Mp dual-lens rear AI digital camera
  • USB-C
  • 3,200mAh battery
  • wi-fi charging (10W Qi charger equipped)
  • 157.9×74.7×8.5mm
  • 218g

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