Mi Mix 3 Review: The Ultimate Slider Phone

Xiaomi's Mi Mix 3 is one of several new full-screen slider phones making its way on to the market, and it's the one that shows them all how it should be done. Here's full review.

Xiaomi Mi Mx 3
Xiaomi Mi Mx 3

Should I buy the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3?

Swapping out the awkwardly placed selfie camera with a new dual-lens model that is tucked away behind the screen, the Mi Mix 3 is one of several new slider phones that shows how the concept *should* work. Not only allowing a proper full-display view, but adding new quick-access functionality to the phone.

In other respects Mi Mix 3 is not a huge upgrade over the 2S, and actually loses some of its bling over its predecessor with the absence of its 18K gold camera surround. But it’s still a great phone – fast, stylish, feature-packed and available at an incredible price – and it’s astonishing to see just how far the original full-display phone has come. Soon it will also be one of the first 5G phones in the world.

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Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 full review

It’s all about the cameras and the display in the Mi Mix 3, which refines the already great Mi Mix 2S on two primary fronts. This new generation also includes a dedicated button for calling up the integrated Mi AI client (though it’s currently Chinese-language only), and in early 2019 a fifth variant will be introduced making Mi Mix 3 one of the first 5G phones in the world. 

This is the standard model, and it’s the entry-level version with ‘just’ 6GB of RAM and 128GB of non-expandable internal storage. An 8GB RAM model is also sold with either 128GB or 256GB storage, and there’s a limited edition Palace Museum Mi Mix 3 with a massive 10GB of RAM. All four are flagship-level smartphones, offering a mix of top-class performance and features.

Interestingly, no model in the Mi Mix 3 line has an in-display fingerprint sensor (instead found at the rear), which is one of the hottest new trends of this year, and something of a surprise for a phone that began life as Xiaomi’s ‘concept’ phone, stealing column inches for its revolutionary design.

Whether its absence is evidence of a cost-cutting decision or the fact that implementing two new kinds of screen tech at once is tricky we’re not entirely sure, but Mi Mix does remain the only Xiaomi phone family with wireless charging, and the 3 is the first in the entire line-up with a magnetic sliding screen.

The design remains something special, once again a creation of Phillipe Starck, but the slider concept is not entirely new, having already been seen in the Honor Magic 2 and Lenovo Z5 Pro (review coming soon) – but in those phones it really doesn’t achieve much, aside from moving the selfie cameras out the way to allow an uninterrupted full-screen view.

With Mi Mix 3 you slide to start: it can automatically launch the selfie camera, or provide a bunch of quick-access functions such as a timer, recorder, calculator, notes app, camera and the weather. There are mobile payment options here too, though for the moment these are Chinese only.

That’s because we are testing the Chinese ROM version of the Mi Mix 3, and the phone will not officially launch in the UK until early 2019. We’d recommend holding out for the UK model or awaiting availability of the Global ROM Mi Mix 3, but in reality the only major difference is you’ll need to install Google services on the Chinese model.

We’re also interested to see what Xiaomi does with the Mi Mix 3’s Mi AI button, and whether it integrates this with Google Assistant for UK users or rolls out a new language option. We’ll be able to tell you more in the new year.

Mi Mix 3

Where to buy Mi Mix 3

Xiaomi officially entered the UK market in November 2018, and though it had previously been available only in China, India, France, Spain and Italy, the eight-year-old company is already the fourth biggest phone maker in the world.

Somewhat confusingly, Xiaomi staggers its phone launches across its various global markets. So while the Mi Mix 3 was actually announced in October in its primary market in China, there is still no sign of the phone in the UK. More

By Marie Black  techadvisor.co.uk