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Home / Technology / Xiaomi’s first folding phone has a shape-shifting ‘floating lens’ camera

Xiaomi’s first folding phone has a shape-shifting ‘floating lens’ camera



It turns out that the Mi 11 Ultra is not the only weird phone coming out of Xiaomi this week. In the second part of the two-day main tone, the Chinese company unveiled its first foldable phone, the Mi Mix Fold, which follows the same foldable, dual-screen form factor as the Huawei Mate X2 and Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 2. What makes this device stand out out, but is “the floating lens” on one of its rear cameras.

Xiaomi Mi Mix Fold

Xiaomi

Mi Mix Fold has an 8.01-inch 2,480 x 1,860 (4: 3) folding panel that supports Dolby Vision, HDR10 + and a maximum brightness of 600 nit. Xiaomi said it chose this particular size and resolution, since the combination offers the highest screen-to-body ratio for regular videos – 75 percent for a 16: 9 video, compared to 70 percent on Samsung and 63 percent on Huawei. The company also claimed that this flexible screen has been tested to last in at least 1 million folds, while the precision hinge is good in at least 200,000 turns.

Unlike Xiaomi’s previous collapsible prototype, this large panel folds inwards, at which point you get to use the smaller exterior screen. This 6.52-inch AMOLED panel has a narrow resolution of 2,520 x 840, along with Dolby Vision support and a higher brightness of 700 nits. You will also find a 20 megapixel selfie camera with holes in the upper right corner here.

Xiaomi Mi Mix Fold

Xiaomi

Mi Mix Fold has a camera island similar to the Mi 10 Ultra and Mi 10S, but instead of having four shooters, this foldable uses only three – a 108MP main camera (using Samsung’s ISOCELL HM2 sensor), a 13MP ultra-wide camera (123 degree FOV) and an 8MP “bionic” camera – to offer four shooting modes.

This is achieved with the liquid lens of the “bionic” camera, which uses a motor to accurately manipulate a liquid package to switch between tele mode (3x optical zoom or 30x hybrid zoom) and macro mode (down to 3 cm). Xiaomi added that this fluid works fine in temperatures from -40 ° C to 60 ° C (or -40 ° F to 140 ° F). Of course, it remains to be seen the image quality of this camera, so hopefully we will play with a Mi Mix Fold soon.

Liquid lens

Xiaomi

To increase image quality across all cameras, Xiaomi also developed its own image signal processor, the Surge C1, which the company claims provides faster autofocus, white balance and auto exposure. This is the company’s second internal chip, which has been waiting a long time since the Surge S1 mobile processor that was shown on the Mi 5c from 2017.

At its core, Mi Mix Fold has pretty much all ticks for a modern flagship, with one or two bonuses thrown in the basket. You get a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G processor, up to 16 GB of RAM and up to 512 GB of storage. It is also a generous 5,020 mAh battery with 67 W turbocharging support, with both the highest numbers in the current collapsible market. To get the most out of the large flexible screen, this phone comes with not two, but four speakers, and these are set by Harman Kardon.

Xiaomi also boasts a “butterfly-type” cooling system which, in addition to the steam cooling chamber, thermal paste and graphite sheets, consists of a “micro-airbag” structure that somehow increases the heat dissipation throughout the unit.

Xiaomi Mi Mix Fold desktop mode

Xiaomi

On the software side, Xiaomi’s MIUI 12 (based on Android 10) here offers a “Desktop Mode” that hopes to increase productivity on the big screen. This turns the standard Android home screen into a Windows-like desktop, which comes with a “start menu”, a command center and support for multiple windows.

Even in the standard Android interface, there are apps that support drag and drop in split screen mode. In Weibo, for example, you can look at a weibo post on the left and have the comments shown on the right. You can even drag photos from the gallery app on the left to a WeChat conversation on the right. Alas, considering that this phone is destined for just China, it is unlikely that the daily apps for the rest of us will take full advantage of these convenient features.

Last but not least, Fold offers a Stealth Mode with one click to lighten your mind. When turned on, this power shuts off all cameras, microphones and GPS tracking.

Xiaomi Mi Mix Fold Ceramic Special Edition

Xiaomi

Xiaomi is already taking pre-orders for the Mi Mix Fold before its April 16 launch, from 9,999 yuan or about $ 1,520 for 12 GB of RAM + 256 GB of storage model. That’s a significant drop from the Galaxy Z Fold 2’s $ 2000 mark, let alone the Mate X2’s base price of 17,999 yuan ($ 2,740). There is also a 10,999 yuan ($ 1,670) model with twice the storage space.

But if you want something extra special, there is a Ceramic Edition (pictured above) decorated with Kevlar texture, and it contains a lot of 16 GB of RAM plus 512 GB of storage. The price? 12,999 yuan, which is about $ 1,980. Note that this one is slightly heavier due to the material – 332 g (11.7 oz) instead of 317 g (11.2 oz).

Alas, all Mi Mix Fold models will only be available in China, so good luck finding one.


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