Xiaomi today unveiled its Mi Mix concept phone, and it’s quite possibly the prettiest smartphone ever, thanks to an insane “edgeless” display. It was designed by Steve Jobs’ yacht designer Philippe Starck, and it goes beyond “anything that’s available in the market today.”
By far the most exciting thing about the Mi Mix is that display. It measures 6.4 inches, and it has no bezel on its sides or top edge, which means 91.3 percent of the phone’s body is its screen. Xiaomi had to do some interesting things to make this possible.
Instead of using a traditional proximity sensor, which typically sits above the display on most phone, Xiaomi is using an ultrasonic distance sensor instead. This allows the Mi Mix to detect your face — or whether it’s face-down on a surface — through the glass.
The Mi Mix has no earpiece, either. Instead, it uses cantilever piezoelectric ceramic acoustic technology, which transmits sound through the body of the device itself. There is a front-facing 5-megapixel sensor, but that sits in the small bezel beneath the display.
Philippe Starck, who was tasked with designing the Mi Mix, famously helped design Steve Jobs’ glorious yacht with his design company Ubik. Venus cost more than €100 million to build, and Jobs sadly passed away before it was finished.
Inside the Mi Mix, there’s Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 821 display, a 16-megapixel rear-facing camera, and a 4,400mAh battery. The entry-level model, which has 128GB of storage and 4GB of RAM, will cost ¥3,499 ($516). The 256GB model with 6GB of RAM costs ¥3,999 ($590).
Xiaomi has been working on the Mi Mix for over two years, and it will make its debut in China next month. There’s no word on whether the device will be available in other markets just yet.
Smartphones with narrow bezels always look prettier than those with thicker edges around their displays. This is one thing Apple is often criticized for; its iPhones and iPads have long had thicker bezels while rival smartphone makers work to reduce them.
Perhaps Apple will adopt some of Xiaomi’s new solutions for next year’s iPhone, which is expected to be made mostly of glass to deliver a groundbreaking new augmented reality experience.
[via Hugo Barra]