Market Insight

With Mi Mix 2, Xiaomi rolls out bezel-less flagship with global appeal

September 15, 2017

Zaker Li Zaker Li Senior Analyst, Smartphone & Mobile

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Xiaomi launched the flagship Mi Mix 2 smartphone on 11th September in Beijing, it’s the company’s second generation full screen, bezel-less device.

Key features of MIX2 including,

  • 5.99 inch screen with 18:9 aspect ratio
  • Snapdragon 835 chipset
  • 6GB RAM + 64GB/128GB/256GB memory OR 8GB RAM + 128GB memory
  • Ceramic back; version with unibody ceramic body
  • Supports 43 global network bands
  • Priced from 3299(RMB)/ $506 USD

Our analysis:

Mi Mix 2 improves on design, while lowering price

Mi Mix 2 was released one day before Apple’s big reveal. With the new device, Xiaomi tries to move the Mix range into mass market territory, where the original Mix launched as a concept device in China only. Mi Mix 2 is again designed by French industrial designer Philippe Starck, who also designed last year’s model. With the partnership, Xiaomi wants to present itself as not only a technology leader, but also a company which can innovate in the industrial design aspect of its devices.

Xiaomi is aiming for a better handling experience with the Mi Mix 2, compared to the original Mix. The body is made from ceramic and the edges are more rounded. The Mi Mix 2 has a 5.99-inch screen, which is about 12% smaller than the original 6.44-inch screen. The phone is also 2.4% thinner, 11.5% lighter and narrower due to the 18:9 screen ratio. The bottom lip of Mi Mix 2 has also been shrunken by 12%, leaving more space for the display.

On the Mi Mix 2, Xiaomi is changing the telephone receiver to a more traditional system instead of the piezoelectric technology found on the original device. The change is a result of poor user experiences with call audio quality. The proximity sensor, provided by Elliptic Labs, should also have improved as the sensor has been positioned closer to the front of the device as before. Mi Mix 2 is equipped with a four-axis stabilization camera, the same as on Xiaomi 6.

The MIX2 price is starting form 3299RMB, it’s 200 RMB cheaper than the previous version. The device is also designed to be used beyond China. The phone supports 43 network bands – including CDMA networks in the US. The aim is clearly to reach users outside of the home market.

It’s a mistake to keep the facing camera in the bottom

Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 keeps the same design for the front-facing camera: in the bottom bezel of the device. IHS think that is not a user-friendly design. The hand will cover the camera for selfie photos. To avoid this, users need to turn the phone. Additionally, the front-facing camera on the bottom is not efficient for face recognition technologies and applications. As full-screen becomes the key trend for smartphone design, face recognition technology will increase in importance as replacement for fingerprint technology. Cameras on the top front of the device provide a more comfortable user experience. Samsung and Apple now have launched face recognition as key phone-unlocking mechanisms – both have camera arrays on the top part of the front.

Mi Mix 2 might not be a unit driver, but it can help with Xiaomi’s brand

Supply shortage is the main problem for Xiaomi’s flagship smartphone. IHS believes that Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 will face supply chain issues with the ceramic back cover. And supply chain constraints will also impact availability of the screen for the device.

It is important for Xiaomi to work through these challenges, because the company needs to improve its product and ASP mix to keep growing and fend off competition from the likes of Oppo and vivo. One way to do this is to expand the reach of its flagship device. Xiaomi has shown that it can ship volume in markets like India, with the Redmi. To continue its recovery, the Mi Mix 2 has to be the first step towards a broader reach of its flagship devices. 

Geography
China Global
Organization
Xiaomi
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