Xiaomi Mi Mix Fold is foldable Android with a very special camera

Chris Davies - Mar 30, 2021, 8:14am CDT
Xiaomi Mi Mix Fold is foldable Android with a very special camera

Xiaomi is joining the foldable phone club, revealing the new Mi Mix Fold that opens out to reveal what the company says is the largest folding screen on a smartphone so far. Similar in design to the Galaxy Z Fold 2, Xiaomi’s foldable eclipses Samsung’s with its 8.01-inch WQHD+ internal screen, though that’s not the only special detail here.

The inner screen is a 4:3 aspect panel with a 60Hz refresh rate and 120Hz touch sampling rate, supporting HDR10+ and Dolby Vision. Peak brightness is 900 nits.

On the outside, meanwhile, there’s a 6.52-inch display for using the Mi Mix Fold when it’s still closed up. That has a 90Hz refresh rate and a 180Hz touch sampling rate, and supports HDR10+. Rather than the in-display fingerprint sensor on Xiaomi’s Mi 11 Ultra launched yesterday, there’s a sensor built into the power button on the side.

Of course, as with any foldable – and with the memory of the challenges faced by the original Galaxy Fold still relatively fresh – the big question is longevity. Xiaomi says it put its U-shaped hinge through 200,000 bends in reliability testing, and up to 1 million bends in “extreme reliability testing” to make sure it would hold up.

The standard Mi Mix Fold uses fifth-gen Corning Gorilla Glass on the back, with a ceramic texture. The Mi Mix Fold Ceramic Edition, meanwhile, uses a black ceramic back with laser engraving, and a gold frame with matching volume buttons. Either way, on the software side, there’s split-screen support, along with drag and drop support between multi-screens, a Desktop mode, and parallel windows, Xiaomi says.

As for cameras, the back of the Mi Mix Fold gets a 108-megapixel main camera alongside a 13-megapixel ultra-wide camera. The latter pairs a 123-degree lens with AI-powered distortion correction for both landscapes and faces in wider shots. A 3x optical zoom handles both close-ups – with up to 30x magnification – and macro shots down to 3cm. It’s based on Liquid Lens technology, a first for a smartphone, with a transparent fluid inside the lens that allows it to adjust its optical properties.

On the front, there’s a 20-megapixel selfie camera. For sound, there are quad speakers tuned by Harman Kardon.

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 is inside, with either 12GB of 16GB of LPDDR5 3200MHz memory. Storage is either 256GB or 512GB, and there’s Dual 5G standby, WiFi 6, and – a little oddly given the Mi 11 Ultra ran a newer version – Android 10 with Xiaomi’s MIUI 12 interface.

For power, there’s 5,020 mAh in total, with Xiaomi splitting it between two batteries – one 2,460mAh and the other 2,560mAh – one in each half of the phone. It supports 67W wired turbo charging, taking 37 minutes to go to 100-percent, though sadly the Mi Mix Fold lacks the similarly-speedy turbo wireless charging of its Mi 11 Ultra cousin.

Sales of the Xiaomi Mi Mix Fold kick off for preorders on March 30, with deliveries in China from April 16. It’ll be priced from RMB 9,999 ($1,464) for the 12GB+256GB configuration, RMB 10,999 ($1,610) for the 12GB+512GB, and RMB 12,999 ($1,900) for the 16GB+512GB. No word on a launch elsewhere in the world at this stage.

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