Xiaomi formally jumped on the foldable phone train this year and, at least at first glance, looks a lot like what Samsung and, later, Huawei already had. Xiaomi was seemingly just aiming for brand recognition than features. That said, the Xiaomi Mi Mix Fold finally just got a feature that does give it unique feature of its own. Ironically, this new PC Mode that turns the phone into a tablet PC is something that Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold doesn’t have despite being the creator of the similar DeX Mode.
To be clear, both the Galaxy Fold and the Galaxy Z Fold 2 do have DeX support but they behave more like phones rather than tablets. It only activates if an external display is connected and can’t be activated on the foldable phone, even with its big screen. Samsung’s high-end Galaxy Tab S tablets, on the other hand, can use DeX directly, turning the slates into Android laptops.
According to XDA, the Mi Mix Fold got an update that enables PC Mode for the foldable. Unlike Samsung’s implementation for the Galaxy Z Fold, it runs directly on the device even without an external screen attached. A three-finger swipe from the right edge to the center activates PC mode, preventing any accidental trigger.
Once in PC mode, Mi Mix Fold owners are greeted with a familiar desktop-like UI, save for some Android-specific touches like the three navigation buttons in the corner. Just like with Samsung DeX, however, some apps just aren’t made to run this way and may show up in their tall phone forms rather than a tablet mode.
This is definitely a feature that the Galaxy Z Fold 3 needs and Samsung is likely to add it now that Xiaomi has done it too. That said, the screens of the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Mi Mix Fold are on the smaller side for a desktop interface and it might be a better fit for the rumored Galaxy Z Fold Tab tablet.