The Mi Mix Alpha is quite possibly not only the maddest smartphone ever made by Xiaomi but also the maddest smartphone ever made, full stop.

The Mi Mix family has always been served as Xiaomi's testbed for mad ideas and crazy innovations. Since the very first Mi Mix launched back in November 2016, it showcased Xiaomi's attempt at rocking the status quo and showing up with wacky designs that made all smartphone enthusiasts go in awe. Today, that tradition continues with the launch of the Mi Mix Alpha.

It's hard to know where to begin with as this is unquestionably the most innovative smartphone ever created to date. It suddenly makes foldable screen smartphones like Samsung Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X look old and feel outdated. Let's begin with that mammoth of a screen. Xiaomi called it Surround Display and it has a screen-to-body ratio of more than 180.6% - let that sink into your brain for a while. There is also an element of software cleverness. According to GSMArena, the backside of the display is said to have AI algorithms that can detect key scenarios like calling a cab, using your Xiaomi devices at home with the Mi Home app, or when you need to pull up a flight itinerary.

Xiaomi Mi Mix Alpha's real-time AI scenario detection in action. Photo sourced from GSMArena.
Real-time AI scenario detection in action.
Photo source: GSMArena

Since this is an all-screen phone, there is no bezel or notch to talk about here. There is also not a single physical button on the phone as well, so it will definitely take you some time to get familiar with all the hand gestures. If that's not enough, even the speaker is not here. The audio relies on something called "Display Acoustic Technology", and there is advanced palm rejection technology alongside ultrasonic proximity sensor.

2019 Xiaomi Mi Mix Alpha
Photo: Xiaomi

Powering the primary camera is a 108MP camera co-developed with Samsung. Dubbed the ISOCELL Bright HMX, it is an evolution to the existing 48MP and 64MP Quad Bayer camera sensor. The sensor size is rated at 1/1.33", which is larger than the 1/1.5" (aka 2/3") camera sensor found in the 2013 Nokia Lumia 1020. With such technology, Xiaomi promises a crisp and bright 27MP with an effective 1.6┬Ám of pixel size under low light conditions. Four-axis Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) is also present so that you can do a stable video recording without any shakiness. The telephoto and the ultrawide camera are also on board with the former sporting a 12MP sensor with 54mm 2x optical zoom and Dual Phase Detection Auto Focus (Dual PDAF), while the latter being a 20MP 13mm sensor that can support 1.5cm super macro photography.

The engineering behind this phone is nothing less than extraordinary. The phone frame's top and bottom parts are built with aerospace-grade titanium alloy. The entire protective cover for the camera area at the back uses a single piece of ceramic-embedded sapphire glass. Powering the phone is an overclocked Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ SoC as in recently-refreshed flagship smartphones such as OnePlus 7T and ASUS ROG Phone 2. Memory wise, it has 12GB RAM and 512GB UFS 3.0 internal storage. The battery is rated at 4050mAh and comes with 40W wired fast charging as standard.

Xiaomi isn't considering a mass production of the Mi Mix Alpha. It will be a small-scale production in limited numbers starting at the end of December with an expected price tag at RMB 19,999, which is around MYR 12,000 or USD 3,000.

Given enough money, would you buy an out-of-this-world smartphone like the Mi Mix Alpha? Let us know in the comment section down below.

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