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Xiaomi launched its new Mi MIX 2 and Mi Note 3 smartphones on Sept. 11. The Mi MIX 2 is an evolution of Xiaomi’s Mi MIX concept phone unveiled a year ago. In addition to raiding the bar for its MIX series, Xiaomi has also upgraded its Mi Note product line with the launch of the Mi Note 3, which sports a dual-camera setup and 16-megapixel front camera.

“Mi MIX gave everyone a glimpse of what the phone of the future would look like,” said Xiaomi CEO and founder Lei Jun. “We made a concept phone that defied everyone's expectations about smartphone design, and it has pioneered the trend of full screen display smartphones. With Mi MIX 2, the future is now here. It has evolved from a design and technology test-bed into a user-friendly phone catered to a wider consumer group than ever before, while still evoking the wow factor.”

The Mi MIX 2 underscores Xiaomi’s commitment to innovation while making its products affordable to the widest range of consumers. Starting from RMB 3299 (US$500), the device will be available in China from September 15 onwards and will make its way to selected global markets at a later date.

Xiaomi’s Mi MIX smartphone was the Android-based device with a 17:9 aspect ratio high-definition screen and rounded display corners, which helped pave the way for Google’s Android CDD (Compatibility Definition Document) eventually allowing screen aspect ratio beyond 16:9, as well as rounded display corners.

The Mi MIX 2 builds on the foundation of the original concept. The new device is 11.9 percent smaller than Mi MIX, and has a 5.99-inch screen with an 18:9 full screen display. It features a hidden speaker that only takes up a thin silver space between the top edge of the phone and screen.

The front camera remains at the chin of the device and it continues using the ultrasonic proximity sensor, which allows the device itself with all components to fade into the background, while the focus is entirely on the screen.

The Mi MIX 2 was jointly designed with renowned French designer Philippe Starck, and it represents Xiaomi’s efforts in pushing ahead with the use of ceramic. IT features a ceramic back, with a four-sided curved design that transitions smoothly into the aluminium frame. The Mi MIX 2 Special Edition features a ceramic unibody – a first for any smartphone.

Powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor and up to 8GB RAM, the Mi MIX 2 uses the latest Sony IMX386 sensor in its 12-megapixel camera, and comes with 4-axis OIS that reduces the effect of handshake or motion, so images and videos remain sharp.

The device will be available in 6GB + 64GB, 6GB + 128GB and 6GB + 256GB versions, priced at RMB 3299/3599/3999 respectively. Mi MIX 2 Special Edition, which comes with a ceramic unibody in either white or black, comes with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage for RMB 4699.

Mi Note 3

With a dual-camera setup and a 16-megapixel front camera, Xiaomi’s Mi Note 3 smartphone is a larger version of Xiaomi’s flagship Mi 6 launched earlier this year. It has a 5.5-inch display and a larger 3500mAh battery. Mi Note 3 will be available in China starting 12 September priced from RMB 2499 (US$380) onwards.

The dual camera setup with wide angle and telephoto lenses gives users the ability to shoot portraits with out-of-focus backgrounds. The front camera captures light better with less image noise thanks to large 2μm pixels, achieved by combining multiple pixels on the image sensor into one.

The ‘Beautify’ feature gets an upgrade in Mi Note 3 with an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm for more natural selfies. Mi Note 3 also has a new unlocking method through AI-based facial recognition, so unlocking the phone is just like taking a selfie.