Xiaomi unveils concept phone with near bezel-less display

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Chinese device maker Xiaomi has announced another clutch of mobile hardware, including a concept smartphone developed in collaboration with designer Philippe Starck.

Xiaomi CEO and founder Lei Jun dubbed it “a glimpse at what the phone of the future looks like”.

The near edgeless 6.4in, 17:9 display on the Mi Mix covers 91.3 per cent of the available surface area. So if you really hate bezels you’re going to be really smitten by this vision of edgeless loveliness.

Don’t get too excited, though. While the phone is due to go on sale in China early next month a Xiaomi spokesperson stressed there will be “limited availability” — and would not confirm how few phones that means.

It is also unclear which other markets, if any, the device will be offered to. Xiaomi has yet to bring any of its smartphones to the US — although it continues to eye the market with interest. Perhaps even more so in the wake of Samsung’s problems with exploding batteries on the Note 7.

The price-tag for the Mi Mix is RMB 3499 (~$515), for a 4GB + 128GB “standard version”. The body of the phone (back, sides, buttons) is made of ceramic. Inside there’s a 2.35GHz Snapdragon 821 processor, and a 4400mAh battery.

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There’s also an even-more-limited-edition premium model with extra RAM and storage and 18-karat gold trim bling for RMB 3999.

In order to maximize the screen-to-body ratio, Xiaomi notes that the Mi Mix does not have a physical earpiece speaker or a proximity sensor. Instead it says it is using piezoelectric ceramic acoustic technology — specifically a ceramic drive unit converts electrical signals into mechanical energy — to allow audio without an earpiece speaker.

The device also has an ultrasonic proximity sensor behind the display, replacing the traditional front-facing infrared proximity sensor.

Mi Note 2 

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Also today, Xiaomi announced the Mi Note 2 smartphone: a new flagship with a curved glass front and back and more than a passing resemblance to the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. It’s the sequel device to Xiaomi’s 2015 Mi Note.

The new flagship will go on sale at the start of next month in China, starting at RMB 2799 for the 4GB+64GB version; while the 6GB+128GB version and 6GB+128GB Global version (with support for 37 global network bands, including 22 LTE bands) will retail at RMB 3299 and RMB 3499 respectively.

The Mi Note 2 has a 5.7in full HD OLED display. While under the hood there’s a 2.35GHz Snapdragon processor and a 4070mAh battery.

The main camera uses a 22.56MP Sony IMX318 sensor, with an f/2.0 aperture and a 77-degree wide angle lens. It also supports 4K video recording with electronic image stabilization.

‘Piano Black’ and ‘Glacier Silver’ are the two color options.