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Xiaomi Mi Mix 3: Release date, price, specs, four cameras, 5G, all-screen

It's got no notch, no bezels, four cameras and it won't break your bank. Just saying.

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Xiaomi launched the Mi Mix 3 at the Forbidden City in Beijing today. The 5G version won't be available till next year.

Donovan Sung/Xiaomi

Announced in Beijing Thursday at the Forbidden City, the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 is the latest addition to Xiaomi's line of all-screen flagship phones. Powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, it has a 6.39-inch display like the Mi Mix with a 2,340x1,080-pixel resolution, meaning 93.4 percent of its body is screen. (The Mi Mix 2 is just 5.99 inches, by comparison.) If you've been keeping up with all things 5G, you might have heard that Xiaomi was working on one of the first 5G-enabled phones you can buy. This looks to be it, but you'll have to wait until next year for it. 

It has four cameras -- two each on the front and back -- as well as a whopping 10GB RAM variant. Battery capacity is a less impressive 3,200 mAh -- we've seen bigger ones in other Xiaomi phones like the Mi Max 3 -- though the phone supports wireless charging. The fingerprint sensor remains on the back of the phone.

The Mi Mix 3 also comes in a 5G version touted by Xiaomi as the world's first such commercially available phone, though it's not expected to launch till the first quarter of next year. This might disappoint fans who were excited by a leak showing 5G support on the phone last month, but the delay won't matter too much -- even if 5G capabilities were available on it now, you won't be able to use it until network buildouts are completed. This is true even in Xiaomi's home country, even though China is at the forefront of 5G development.

In terms of design, the Mi Mix 3 takes a step closer to losing its signature chin. Mi Mix phones used to have a bottom bezel -- now reduced to 4.46 mm -- that housed the selfie camera. But the cameras have now been moved to a magnetic slider on the phone. You can slide the entire screen downwards to answer calls or customize it to launch different functions. The feature is similar to ones seen in the recent Oppo Find X and Huawei's Honor Magic 2, which will be launched on Oct. 31

You'll be able to customize the sound the phone makes when you slide the display, but I suspect it will still become annoying eventually. You can see what I mean here:

The Mi Mix 3 features powerful cameras on its front and back. On the back are 12-megapixel dual rear cameras -- wide-angle and telephoto -- with f1.8 and f2.4 apertures respectively that can support slow-motion videos at 960 fps. For selfie lovers, Mi Mix 3 sports a 24-megapixel primary camera backed up by a secondary 2-megapixel camera. These can be found on the retractable module along with a soft light. 

The cameras also come with AI-powered features, including AI beautify, AI portrait mode and AI studio lighting on both the front and back. The rear cameras also have AI scene detection and AI background music, which adds audio to your videos automatically. Xiaomi also said that an AI face unlock feature will be added in future updates, but this feature will be limited to selected markets.

The Mi Mix 3 will come in three versions. You can get 6GB or 8GB RAM and 128GB onboard storage, or the top-end model with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage. It will be available in three colors: onyx black, jade green and sapphire blue. 

The 10GB RAM variant (with 256GB onboard storage) is unveiled as a Forbidden City special edition available in a different hue of blue, featuring a Chinese mythical beast in gold called Xie Zhi.

Xiaomi's Mi Mix phones are traditionally its most expensive and configurations with more storage typically cost more. The Mi Mix 3 is priced like the Mi Mix 2S was when it launched. The base model will start at 3,299 yuan (about $475, £370 or AU$675) and the top-end model will be 3,999 yuan. Global availability of the phone has not been disclosed but it will go on sale first in China on Nov. 1.

The Forbidden City special edition comes with a heftier price tag and will retail at 4,999 yuan when it goes on sale at the end of next month. 

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Quick specs

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor
  • 6.39-inch AMOLED screen, full-HD+ display (2,340x1,080 pixels)
  • 6GB RAM with 128GB onboard storage; 8GB RAM with 128GB storage; 8GB RAM with 256GB storage; 10GB with 256GB onboard storage
  • 12-megapixel dual rear cameras
  • 24- and 2-megapixel dual front cameras
  • Rear fingerprint sensor
  • 218 grams (7.69 ounces), 158 by 75 by 8.5 mm