Last October, I called Xiaomi’s Mi Mix as the best-looking phone of the year and I was right!;
Now the company is gearing up to unveil its successor, the bezel-less Mi Mix 2, on September 11 – a day before the iPhone 8 launch.
In October of 2016, Xiaomi’s Mi Mix was widely lauded as the most beautiful phone of the year, and I believe they were right. And now, the company is prepping the unveiling of its successor, the Mi Mix 2, on September 11 – a day before the launch of Apple’s iPhone 8 and the mysterious iPhone X.
What’s particularly interesting is the timing, because it indicates that the company is quite keen on wooing potential iPhone buyers with a premium device that has an important feature gadget enthusiasts are looking for this year: a bezel-less front face. As with its previous model, the smartphone is being styled & fashioned by world-renowned product designer Philippe Starck.
Not only is the planned launch nearly two months ahead of an anniversary for the Mi Mix, which is not exactly going by your usual smartphone brand playbook, but this also gives Xiaomi far less time to prep the device for Android Oreo, the latest version of Google’s Android Operating System, which presently is available only on Sony’s new Xperia XZ1 handsets with the Pixel and Nexus variants getting their updates pretty soon.
The same goes for the MIUI9, the upcoming release of Xiaomi’s newest version of the custom UI layer for its Android devices. Currently, it’s based on Android Nougat and is supposedly bringing features like split-screen app support, image search similar to Google Photos’ native feature, a smarter app launcher, and a revamped home screen and lock screen functionality experience with access to more widgets and shortcuts respectively.
For now, It unclear just how quickly Xiaomi will be able to turnaround an update of its software to support the latest version Android, but the company said that it is hopeful for the release of MIUI 9 by the end of October 2017.
Now, the big question surrounding the Mi Mix 2 launch is whether it’ll be available worldwide or just in China. Xiaomi missed a HUGE opportunity to make quite a splash in the global smartphone market by restricting the Mi Mix to China, its home country: the design was way ahead of the competition at that time, and was loaded with hardware powerful enough to rival the other flagships of the year. Given that Xiaomi’s own 2017 flagship, the excellent but plain-looking Mi 6 sports bezels just like every other phone from a few years ago, it would be a wise decision to release the design-forward Mix 2 more widely, maybe even worldwide. Only time will tell.