Unlike many other smartphone brands, most Chinese smartphone brands have a very interesting ‘habit’ – launching a retail version of ‘technical trial’ smartphones. For example, VIVO’s NEX series, OPPO’s Find series, and the ‘originator’ of the retail concept machine – the Mi MIX series.
We still remember that when the first generation of Mi MIX was released in 2016, the almost borderless full-screen design brought a full surprise to users. While stunning, the emergence of the first generation of MIX also promoted the exploration of the future of smartphone brands. Since then, the Xiaomi Mi MIX has carried the banner of the ‘explorer’ of Xiaomi smartphones and has become the ‘pioneer’ of Xiaomi smartphones.
But the problem is that after the Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 ‘turned over’, the MIX series disappeared.
Xiaomi Mi MIX Making Process
In the live broadcast on February 7, when faced with the question of ‘Will there be a MIX this year’, Lei Jun was calm that MIX was a big challenge for Xiaomi. The first generation of MIX refreshed users’ understanding of smartphones with full screens and full ceramics; the Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 and MIX 2s made a lot of ‘small fixes’ on the basis of the first generation. It improved the completion and competitiveness of smartphones. The Xiaomi Mi MIX has also become the forerunner of Xiaomi smartphones.
But on the Mi MIX 3, the lifting camera may have brought too much shock to users. Since the release of the VIVO APEX, almost all Android brands have introduced lift camera smartphone products. When the lift camera has become the inherent impression of the mass consumers of the “future smartphone”, the simple lift camera is no longer enough to support MIX’s ‘exploring the future’ identity.
In order to stand out from a smartphone that lifts the camera, the Mi MIX 3 chose a very radical route-the sliding cover structure. Although the Mi MIX 3 uses a permanent magnet structure to improve the sliding feel and durability of the Mi MIX 3, the sliding cover structure still makes the MIX 3 ‘increasing’ unnecessary weight. This is actually a mistake that many lifting/sliding smartphones make.
But in our opinion, the structure and weight of the sliding cover are not the ‘fatal’ flaws of the MIX 3. Although the MIX 3 touched the slider to explore the interactive mode of the smartphone, it still failed to jump out of the existing framework of the smartphone. This change from stunning’ to ‘mediocre’ made it impossible for Xiaomi users to adapt, and it also planted the seeds for the upset of Xiaomi Mi MIX 3.
What MIX means to Xiaomi
Because the sales of the Mi MIX 3 are not satisfactory, the MIX series has become a pity for Mi Fan and Xiaomi. In Mi Fan’s view, the Mi MIX series, which marks the forefront of Mi technology, should not stop at the MIX 3 5G version. The smartphone market has undergone earth-shaking changes in the past two years. The emergence of folding screens has brought a broader space for smartphone manufacturers to play. The Mi MIX series ‘should’ come out of the world and rebuild a new starting point for the Xiaomi concept phone.
For Xiaomi, the failure of the Mi MIX 3 has made the MIX series a ‘hot potato’. If the MIX series ends here, it will be contrary to Xiaomi’s slogan of ‘born for fever’. But the Mi MIX 4 may change everything. But when will the MIX 4 be equipped with what technologies and in what form? This has become a problem that Xiaomi has to face in the past two years. This is also the main reason why Lei Jun said frankly that ‘MIX 4 is difficult to do.’
What to expect from MIX 4
Fortunately, in the live broadcast on February 7, Lei Jun confirmed that Xiaomi has restarted the two ‘forgotten’ product lines of MIX and Xiaomi Tablet. This year, we are also expected to see the true face of the Xiaomi Mi MIX 4. Considering that Xiaomi has already accumulated a number of technologies in the fields of screens, cameras, charging, etc., the next Xiaomi Mi MIX 4 is likely to be a ‘concept phone’ and join hands with a group of Xiaomi black technologies to return to everyone’s vision.
First of all, the MIX 4 is likely to come with the previously exposed under-screen camera technology. The exploration of the MIX series in the full screen direction is obvious to all. But limited by screen technology, the camera module has always been an insurmountable obstacle for smartphones. From the perspective of Xiaomi’s technical reserves, the Xiaomi Mi MIX 4 is likely not to adopt the mature hole-punch screen solution, but will become the forerunner of the under-screen camera.
In addition to the under-screen camera, the air charging technology is also likely to become the direction of exploration for the MIX 4. Some time ago, Xiaomi showed its own ‘air charging’ technology on Weibo. Considering that air charging and the development time of the MIX 4 may overlap, the air charging is likely to be one of Xiaomi’s ‘tailor-made’ technologies for the MIX 4. From another point of view, air charging is revolutionary for the smartphone charging experience, and it is likely to become a ‘unique skill’ and breaking point for the MIX 4.
Due to the emergence of air charging and ‘four curved surfaces’, the body material may also be a breakthrough point for the Xiaomi Mi MIX. A few days ago, Xiaomi showed us the brand-new ‘Four Curved Waterfall Screen’ concept phone. If this technology appears on the Xiaomi Mi MIX 4, in order to ensure the strength of the body, Xiaomi needs to make a new breakthrough in smartphone materials.
Looking back at the progress of the Mi MIX series, it is not difficult to find that each generation of Mi MIX has a certain exploration in the body material. And from another perspective, the body material is also one of the ‘easiest decentralization’ technologies in the smartphone field. As the inheritance of the MIX series, the Mi MIX 4 is likely to bring us new surprises in the body material.
In the live broadcast, Lei Jun also revealed the future development direction of Xiaomi. Although the goal of ‘5,000 engineers’ will bring new challenges to Xiaomi in terms of corporate management, it also creates the best opportunity for Xiaomi to re-enter the technical route. As for the re-entry of the technical route, what surprises can Xiaomi returning to its roots bring us in 2021. We believe that the Xiaomi Mi MIX 4 can bring us the answer.