Xiaomi's 2022 Galaxy Z Fold 4 Rival Is Here, But You Still Can't Buy It

The foldable smartphone space is witnessing a lot of action these days. In the same week that saw Samsung announce the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and the Galaxy Z Flip 4, two other smartphone brands — Motorola and Xiaomi — each announced their foldable offerings for 2022. While Motorola finally launched the much-rumored 2022 edition of the RAZR, Xiaomi gave its first generation foldable phone — the Mi Mix Fold — an iterative update. Apart from new features, the new foldable phone from Xiaomi also gets a slight change in its naming convention. In line with Xiaomi's decision to drop the "Mi" branding from its smartphones, the device now goes by the name Xiaomi MIX Fold 2.

Xiaomi and Samsung seem to have shared a strategy for their respective foldables, and as such several aspects of the original Mi MIX Fold have been refined. The second-generation smartphone now gets an improved folding mechanism and a much slimmer frame. The updated hinge design is claimed to be 20% more durable compared to last year's model. This year's Xiaomi Fold is also a lot smaller in size compared to the Galaxy Z Fold 4, despite packing a very good punch in terms of hardware features. Another addition this time around is the addition of Leica branding for the cameras, despite the hardware remaining largely identical.

Flagship-grade specs

As expected of an expensive foldable smartphone, the Xiaomi MIX Fold 2 gets Qualcomm's Powerful Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip. Following the same design philosophy as the Galaxy Fold series, the MIX Fold 2 comes with a fairly large external cover display and a hidden (when folded) main display.

At 6.56-inches, the cover display on the MIX Fold 2 is the same size as many "normal" Android phones. This is a Samsung-sourced E5 AMOLED panel boasting a resolution of 2520x 1080 pixels. It is also fairly bright, with a claimed peak brightness level of 1000 nits. With support for a 120Hz refresh rate and a claimed 240Hz touch sampling rate, the panel should in theory be great for gaming. Despite most people likely to use the main display for content consumption, Xiaomi still included Dolby Vision and HDR 10+ support for the cover display.

When unfolded, the inner display measures 8.02-inches and boasts a resolution of 2164x1914 pixels. Like the external cover display, this panel supports a 120Hz refresh rate and is Dolby Vision and HDR 10+ compliant. Interestingly, Xiaomi does not mention support for 240Hz touch sampling on this panel.

The significant change to the camera setup on this year's MIX Fold 2 is the move from the Samsung-sourced 108MP HM2 sensor to Sony's 50MP IMX766 sensor. The rest of the camera setup remains identical, and includes the secondary 13MP ultra-wide-angle camera, an 8MP telephoto camera with 2x optical zoom, and a 20MP selfie camera.

Features, pricing, and availability

The smaller size of the phone has affected the battery capacity of the Xiaomi MIX Fold 2, mind, and this time around, the phone gets a 4,500 mAh cell as opposed to the 5,020 mAh battery last year. The phone runs a specially modified foldable-optimized version of MIUI 13, based on Android 12 — not Android 12L, Google's own custom version for foldables, as debuted on Samsung's device. 

Like its predecessor, the chances of the Xiaomi MIX Fold 2 making it out of China and to the US seem slim. Chinese citizens can purchase the MIX Fold 2 starting August 16, 2022, at which point it will be offered in two color options: Black and Gold. Likewise, there are three storage variants on offer as well.

The most affordable option — featuring 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, is priced at RMB 8999 ($1,334). Then there is a mid-tier variant that gets 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. This model will set buyers back RMB 9999 ($1,482). The top-tier version of the MIX Fold 2 is the 12GB + 1TB variant that has been priced at RMB 11,999 ($1,779).