To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

The Xiaomi Mi Mix Alpha is more screen than phone, and it’s totally absurd

Forget folding phones: Xiaomi has found something MUCH more impractical

Xiaomi is well-known for pushing the boat out when it comes to smartphone innovation. This year’s effort is a jaw-dropping number with a Snapdragon 855+, 512GB storage and 5G connectivity as standard – oh, and a display that wraps its way around almost the entire device.

The smartphone – called the Xiaomi Mi Mix Alpha – is very much a concept device, although it will be receiving an official launch in December this year. The display wraps around both sides of the handset and is punctuated only by a single strip that houses the 108-megapixel rear camera.

That camera, incidentally, has been co-designed by Samsung, and if the rumours are true, could well be a key feature of the upcoming Galaxy S11 – or Galaxy One – series. It’s capable of taking photos with a resolution of up to 12,032 x 9,024 which is arguably more pixels than any smartphone could ever need.

Xiaomi boasts that the Mi Mix Alpha has a body-to-screen ratio of 180%. That’s almost twice as much as the nearest competition, the Huawei Mate 30, which has a body-to-screen ratio of roughly 94%.

Xiaomi demonstrated a few of the handset’s more intriguing features during a recent press conference dedicated to the Xiaomi Mi Pro 9 and Mi Mix 5G (video above). Notifications will appear on the edges of the phone, for example, which seems like more of a wrist-straining endeavour than anything else. A couple of short videos show the ways in which that loopy display will react to certain events, such as being plugged in to charge or receiving a message. Frankly, it’s a stunning sight.

The excessive amount of display does of course raise a few totally legitimate concerns. In order to avoid accidentally opening several apps at once, we assume that you will need to hold the Mi Mix Alpha between a thumb and forefinger, as though it were a particularly smelly sock. Dropping the Mi Mix Alpha, moreover, is almost guaranteed to result in a broken display, and we shudder to imagine the torture involved in neatly applying a screen protector.

The Mi Mix Alpha will go on sale in December in limited quantities. You can purchase one for the princely sum of 19,999 yuan, which equates to around £2,500 – roughly £1,000 more than the Samsung Galaxy Fold.

Read more