A lot of Android manufacturers are showing off wild ideas of what’s possible with display technology in 2020, with Samsung pushing foldable smartphones especially. Xiaomi now reveals its Mi Mix Alpha prototype further in a video with YouTuber MKBHD.
The Xiaomi Mi Mix Alpha is not a foldable — while Xiaomi is working on a similar design prototype— but it certainly pushes the boundaries of what a smartphone can do. Xiaomi previously teased this device with some images and showed off the specs, but this MKBHD video shows what that device actually brings to the table.
So, what is Xiaomi doing with that additional display? MIUI optimizations for this form factor move UI elements to either side of the phone, such as alerts, clock, and other status bar icons. Plus, since there is no frame to mount buttons on, all buttons are fully digital. There is a single volume button which opens the screen with a slider. There is a single physical button at the top of the phone to turn the phone off or on.
Xiaomi also uses an in-display fingerprint sensor and a speaker that vibrates the display glass in place of a traditional earpiece to make this form factor possible.
The wraparound display was also used by Xiaomi with a clever charging animation that looks like “liquid power” flowing into the phone. It is not shown in the video, but there seems to be a similar animation in notifications where they “glow” around the screen.
If you don’t have an idea about what we’re talking about here, the minimal Assistant UI can do all the same things, but it supports ongoing conversations and can control much more of your Pixel 4 hands-free.
Ideally, you should see help rolling out over the next few weeks.
Finally, Xiaomi even detects when you flip over the phone and turn off the device’s front, leaving you with the back that has some custom widgets with functions like weather, music, a timer and even a voice recorder.