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First quick look: Modernizing retro with Xiaomi Mi MIX 3

Enter the new Mi MIX 3 from Chinese brand Xiaomi, whose solution is to revert back to what was appealing in Nokia’s past – i.e. a sliding mechanism (with the sliding portion containing the front cams) so that the front of the phone remains notchless.

When it intro’d iPhone X, iPhone was mocked (at least initially; until many others ended up mimicking it anyway) because of the “notch”, that bangs-like portion at the top portion of mobile phones that try to go full-screen. But even with the eventual adoption of the same by many competitors, not one stopped looking for way/s to remove the notch.

Enter the new Mi MIX 3 from Chinese brand Xiaomi, whose solution is to revert back to what was appealing in Nokia’s past – i.e. a sliding mechanism (with the sliding portion containing the front cams) so that the front of the phone remains notchless.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS/LOOKS

First, the phone’s actually… sleek.

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Measuring 157.9 x 74.7 x 8.5 mm (6.22 x 2.94 x 0.33 in) and weighing 218 g (7.69 oz), the phone actually looks… slimmer than it should. This is surprising because – from the get-go – you know it’s a slider phone, so you sort of expect it to be thicker/bigger, which it isn’t. And because of this, this is actually sleek.

Second, reso is 1080 x 2340 pixels for 19.5:9 ratio (~403 ppi density), so everything is crisp. Display type is super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen (16M colors).

Third, yes, the front is glass (DUH!), while the frame’s aluminum (7000 series) and the back’s ceramic. For dirty-handed peeps, this would be an issue because thumb/hand-prints, grime, et cetera easily leave marks. I only needed to handle it to take pics, and yet I already had to repeatedly wipe it clean/mark-less.

Fourth, there are three colors available: Jade Green, Sapphire Blue and Onyx Black. There’s supposed to be a limited “Palace Museum Edition”, containing some Chinese symbol for luck; though – as per source – it isn’t sure yet if this will be made available in Phl.

And fifth, there are two back/main cams: 12 MP (wide), f/1.8, 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, 4-axis OIS; and 12 MP (telephoto), 1/3.4″, 1.0µm. There’s also an LED flash at the back.

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For vids, the rear dual camera features 4K video recording and 960 fps slow-motion video capture. Not surprisingly (particularly when you hear the PR talk), Mi MIX 3 achieved a DxOMark photo score of 108, ranking it among the world’s best smartphones for photography.

There are also two front/selfie cams, contained in that sliding section: 24 MP, 1/2.8″, 0.9µm; and 2 MP, depth sensor. Front vid shooting id capability is for 1080p@30fps.

And it this this sliding section that’s what’s making Mi MIX 3 appealing (or not), depending on your take on this. Because yes, the move does get rid of that “phone bangs”; but the approach to do this isn’t necessarily going to be to everyone’s liking, no matter the still-sexy and satisfying (and still very retro) clicking sound coming from the sliding…

UNDER THE HOOD/QUICK CHECK ON PERFORMANCE

With dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by) capability, the phone’s specs also include: Qualcomm SDM845 Snapdragon 845 (10 nm) chipset; Octa-core (4×2.8 GHz Kryo 385 Gold & 4×1.7 GHz Kryo 385 Silver) CPU; and Adreno 630 GPU.

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No, there’s no card slot for this; though there’re 256 GB, 8/10 GB RAM or 128 GB, 6/8 GB RAM versions, so this ought not to be an ish.

Battery’s a non-removable Li-Ion 3200 mAh battery, which isn’t a lot (really), considering that mid-level phones like Nokia 6.1 already has integrated 3000 mAh battery.

I suppose when checking out this unit, one is always going to return to that sliding component, its biggest “selling point” (as it – along with the cams – is what’s often highlighted). And in many ways, the slider is a somewhat nice… touch. Aside from hiding the front cams, sliding also answers calls, auto-opens the selfie cams, starts the phone, and so on. One can also customize the sliding functions.

IN THE END… 

And so, in the end, the sliding mechanism is also arguably the major reason why you’d buy (or not buy) this unit.

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If, like me, you have apprehensions re sturdiness of the product, risk of exposing to dirt/natural elements, and so on… then you may need to take an even closer look at Mi MIX 3 before making that approximately P39,000 decision. Nokia’s sliding phone was sexy, yes; but even when that was in fashion, I was always worrying about unhinging the parts, or dropping the phone, or… you get the point…

But if this “othering” factor is a come-on for you, coupled with the other specs (e.g. THOSE cams), then yes, this modernized retro-inspired unit is gonna be worth it for you…

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