Xiaomi is breaking the pattern with the Mi Mix retail box. Instead of their regular phone-sized package, Xiaomi went for a premium-looking foldable box made of black cardboard. Inside you'll find the Mi Mix unit itself, a USB Type-C cable, a fast charging plug, and a very nice leather case designed exclusively for the Mi Mix.
The provided case is actually better than a lot of genuine and aftermarket cases we've seen.
But how about bundling a nice headset with your phones for a change, Xiaomi?
There is no easy way to put it - the Xiaomi Mi Mix is big and rather heavy. But regardless big it is, it doesn't feel bulky. The phablet spreads at 158.8 x 81.9 x 7.9 mm - pretty much the same as the Huawei Mate 9, which has a smaller 5.9-inch display!
The Mix weighs 209g, which is 19g more than the Mate 9, though.
Xiaomi had quite a successful year - it all began with the Mi 5, continued with a plethora of Redmis, and just when we thought it'd wrap up with the Mi 5s and 5s Plus, the Mi Mix happened.
Of course, the first thing to impress is the edge-to-edge display taking up about 85% of the front. The non-existing top bezel and those beautiful rounded edges are a joy to look at. As if hypnotized by the impossible looking screen, we found ourselves swiping down the notification drawer over and over again just to watch it materialize from the edge of the phone.
The Mix is made of ceramic, which is probably the most premium material you can get for a mainstream flagship. The entire rear plate is ceramic, the frame is ceramic, even the volume and power keys are made of ceramic. That's how you do an all-something phone - there are no cheap-looking strips, bands, nothing whatsoever to disturb the seamless design.
There are two ways the material used is important here. First, the ceramic finish is glossy, and it has a very nice mirror effect, but it's also a giant fingerprint magnet. The Mi Mix will require regular cleaning, but even when it's all smudged with prints, it's still among the best-looking smartphones around.
Secondly, the phone's body is slippery to the extent that sometimes it's hard to even pick it up when it's lying flat on a table. That's equally due to the curved shape of the side frame but still, the slippery finish doesn't help much. If you have a case on it, you won't have any problem.
On a positive note, the finish of the ceramic surface feels incredibly smooth to touch, and it's quite a difference from the usual glass and metal surfaces we're used to handling day-to-day.
The earpiece and proximity sensor are completely hidden and had to be reimagined. The Mix uses a piezoelectric ceramic driver for the earpiece and an ultrasonic proximity sensor, and both work through the display. The selfie camera had to go below the screen, but you can always rotate the phone if you don't like this angle for your selfies.
We are not sure why Xiaomi didn't use the Mi 5s Plus dual camera on the Mix, as it's the best camera the company had to offer to date.
The Mix is pretty much as big as the iPhone 7 Plus with a moderately thick case, so we can't really call it bulky with a screen size of 6.4 inches. That said, operating it single-handedly may not be everyone's cup of tea, but Xiaomi has tried to aid this use case with a few software tricks, which we'll get on the following pages.
Quite expectedly, there is nothing above the Mi Mix 6.4" display. Below is the small 5MP selfie camera, a well-hidden ambient light sensor, and a very tiny notification LED.
The Mi Mix uses a piezoelectric ceramic driver for the earpiece and generates the sounds through the phone itself. You can hear your calls from both sides of the phone because of that and though we had some privacy concerns, we confirmed nobody around was actually able to hear the sound coming from the Mix's rear.
The ultrasonic proximity sensor is placed behind the screen and uses ultrasound to detect your face or hand while you are in a call. You can use either side of the Mi Mix to talk, and the screen will automatically turn off on both occasions. Indeed, you can hear and talk through the back of the phone just like that.
The dual nano-SIM slot is lonely at the left side of the Mi Mix. The ceramic volume and power keys are on the right.
The top of the Mix has the audio jack flanked by two mics. The USB-C port is at the bottom, surrounded by two grilles - one for the primary mic, and one for the loudspeaker.
Finally, the 16MP main camera is on the back, just above the similarly sized fingerprint scanner. There is also a dual-LED dual-tone flash around.
The back is quite reflective, but it's not a mirror-like surface like it was the case with the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium. The cool feature has its price, though, the ceramic piece is very prone to smudging.