While most smartphone manufacturers are still struggling to get as close as possible to that coveted 100% screen-to-body ratio (meaning a screen that takes up the entire front of a phone, with no bezel), Xiaomi has just gone one (or should that be 80?) better, with a phone that has over a 180% screen-to-body ratio.
That very silly percentage is managed through having the screen wrap all the way around the company’s new Xiaomi Mi Mix Alpha. So the front is screen, the sides are screen and yes, you guessed it, the back is also part of the screen.
The only thing breaking it up is a strip running down the length of the back and housing the camera. There are also still top and bottom bezels, but they’re definitely on the small side.
The edge of the phone acts as a status bar, with things like signal and battery level displayed. This is also home to pressure-sensitive volume buttons, because of course, when everything’s a screen, there’s not much room for physical buttons.
The back houses a 108MP camera, which has a large 1/1.33-inch sensor and combines pixels into 2×2 squares to deliver 27MP images and improve performance in low light. Unlike the screen – which we’re going to say it, is a gimmick – this camera actually sounds promising. And one of the few uses we can think of for a screen like this is that this single lens can be used both as a rear camera and a selfie one.
Other specs of the Xiaomi Mi Mix Alpha include a Snapdragon 855 Plus chipset, 12GB of RAM, a worryingly small (given the screen) 4,050mAh battery, 40W wired fast charging, 512GB of storage and 5G support.
Fragile and expensive
What the Mi Mix Alpha won’t presumably support is any kind of case, given its design. A design which presumably also makes it far more fragile than most phones in the first place.
Xiaomi thankfully doesn’t see this as a mainstream device, as it’s being described as a ‘concept smartphone’ that will only be produced on a small scale for now and is set to cost 19,999 yuan (roughly $2,800 / £2,260 / AU$4,150) when it goes on sale in December. So it’s fragile, seemingly pointless, and expensive.
If you really want a taste of the future maybe spend that money on a foldable phone instead, you’ll probably even have some change left over.