Cell-phone manufacturers will usually first release a basic model before introducing their top models. Xiaomi did the same by launching Mi11 Pro, Mi11 Ultra, and Mi Mix Fold three months after their Mi 11. Today I want to focus on Mi Mix Fold.

In terms of design, Mi Mix Fold borrowed Samsung’s solution, an external fixed screen and a folding screen inside, which makes it look a lot like a larger Galaxy Z Fold 2. But Mi Mix Fold lacks the premium look of Galaxy Z Fold 2, the screen to body ratio of 85.9% is also slightly smaller than Samsung’s 88.6%. Mi Mix Fold has a full 8 inches inside screen that is actually bigger than the iPad mini of 7.9 inches. This makes it the largest folding mobile on the market so far.

The large 8.01-inch screen features 10-bit colors which means a gamut of 1 billion. It provides extra smooth transitions in images with a lot of dynamics. Its brightness goes up to as much as 900 nits at its strongest, Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 2 can only reach 719 nits.

The internal screen of Mi Mix Fold has a refresh rate of just 60 Hz, which gives a slightly choppy experience while scrolling, especially on this big screen. Meanwhile, Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2’s internal screen runs 120 Hz, providing a very smooth user experience. One can argue no one would notice the difference, but trust me, you wouldn’t say that if you have experienced a 120 Hz screen.  It’s such a shame that Mi Mix Fold didn’t choose a higher refresh rate, as it’s sort of standard for flagships and even mid-range phones nowadays. On the external screen, Xiaomi has the upper hand, with both a slightly larger screen, a slightly higher resolution, and a faster refresh rate of 90 Hz.

Xiaomi has done a lot with the cameras in its very first folding phone, where one of the lenses inside is liquid-filled and works like the lenses inside our eyes. The curve of the lens can be adjusted when needed, which is achieved by changing the sensor’s focus and focal length via electrical voltage.

Xiaomi boasts this special lens can be useful both for macro and telephoto shots. You will also find a camera with a 108-megapixel resolution, and an ultra-wide-angle lens on the back of the phone. The whole camera set will get you a 3X lossless optical zoom. There is no camera featured in the internal screen, you can get a full screen without punch hole or notch and you also get to use this incredible camera set to take selfies.

The software experience on the Mi Mix Fold feels familiar to other folding phones. Apps generally need to be restarted or resized if you’re switching between the two screens. There’s still no perfect solution to fix this issue, I hope we can see some major improvements in the upcoming foldable phones.

MIUI offers split-screen multitasking and floating windows, just like Huawei Mate X2 and the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 did, taking advantage of the big screen to create a better app experience. The “PC Mode” that Xiaomi boasted during the launch caught my attention. However, it’s like a copy of Samsung DeX, only not needing an exterior screen to work.

To be honest, I am quite disappointed by Mi Mix Fold. As the very first foldable phone of Xiaomi, it didn’t live up to my expectations,  it is overshadowed by its competitors and offers too little innovation. Compared with two other prominent foldable phones right now, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 and the Huawei Mate X2, Mi Mix Fold is more affordable, but the starting price of around $1500 is still too much for normal customers. Mi Mix Fold is available for purchase in select markets from today, April 16th.

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