Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 review: This is how the slider phone performs in everyday life
The Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 is a very special smartphone. Not because of its interior, but rather because of the slider. In the following test, I will clarify exactly what that means and what it actually brings.
I had the opportunity - with the support of TradingShenzhen (Thanks to you!) - to test the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 in detail for you for a few weeks. After the first reports, I was so impressed by the slider phone that I just had to test it out myself. I have now done this. You can read my final conclusion and my test report in the following paragraphs.
First of all: in the following test I used the Chinese version of the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 (8GB RAM/256GB) in everyday lifeprobeers. Thus, illustrations and some details may differ from the European version. Despite the cooperation with TradingShenzhen, this test and my opinion will of course not be influenced in any way.
Jump to section
Let's start with the - for most of us a bit more boring part - unboxing. Outwardly, you can't see anything from the futuristic slider phone. On the packaging you can only find the word "Mix" - this stands for the series of completely rimless and notchless smartphones from Xiaomi. If you lift the lid off, you will find a "personal" thank you text from Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun. The Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 is directly below it. If you look underneath, there are also a QI charger, a USB-C cable and a power plug available as accessories. A SIM needle and quick start guide are of course also part of the standard repertoire here.
Processing & display
The first thing you notice when you pick up the Mix 3 is that it's quite heavy, in fact it weighs 218 grams - and it's bulky at that. No wonder, the "mechanism" for the slider (magnets, rails, etc.) is located inside. On the other hand, despite its dimensions of 157,89 x 74,69 x 8,46 mm, it doesn't even look that big. One-handed operation proeasily possible. By the way, the front is very special here: There is no notch. The display is 6,39 inches in size, comes in 19.5:9 format and has a resolution of 2340 x 1080 pixels (FHD+). We will come to the slider itself later – in a separate point.
The Mi Mix 3 is very well made, you don't have to make any compromises compared to a more expensive smartphone. This impression is reinforced by the ceramic back. The speakers could be a bit bassier, there are no stereo speakers, by the way. There is also no jack connection - but this is normal with current smartphones anyway. Nevertheless, it could have been integrated here - the Mix 3 is not waterproof anyway due to the slider.
The display slider in detail
What kind of test would that be if I didn't go into more detail about the display slider. I haven't seen this on any other smartphone so far and it's really not a bad idea. In addition to the completely borderless display, it also has advantages, for example for privacy. You cannot be spied on through the front camera. Since – apart from Snapchat junkies and selfieProfis - the front camera is needed less anyway, the completely borderless display looks quite modern.
While there are features like face unlock, I find them rather unnecessary. After all, you have to extend the front camera yourself every time. This works by "sliding" the display down and for the first time even feeling like the top and bottom parts are falling apart. This is of course not the case, and the slider seems to be quite robust and enough "slides" for the future proendure without a problem.
What happens if there is dust under the slider?
What bothered me, however, was that dust tends to collect under the slider. The fact that the earpiece, which actually sits on the lower part of the smartphone, is still there on the front, and the dust thus "penetrates", promotes this aspect. Carrying the smartphone in your pants or jacket pocket anyway. Unfortunately, I also don't know what happens if a lot of dust or grains (such as sand) collect under the slider. Does it then no longer work at all?
So I would say that the idea of the slider definitely has its right to exist, but the smartphone - at least currently - is much too clunky as a result. A retractable front camera, like the one we see from here know would save that.
Performance and software
Under the hood of the Mix 3 is the Snapdragon 845 – representative of the Prozessor – together with 6 or 8 GB of RAM. The internal storage for apps, music and media is 128 and 256 GB respectively. However, the internal memory cannot be expanded. The smartphone is dual-SIM capable. In everyday use, the smartphone always ran without stuttering or crashes - even multitasking always worked well with the 8 GB of RAM. A few more benchmark listings follow:
- Antitu 7: 291.394 Points
- Geekbench 4 (single core): 2397 Points
- Geekbench 4 (multi-core): 8718 Points
The software is based on Android 9.0, together with Miui in version 10. Unfortunately, a lot of bloatware is installed right from the start, but it can be removed - but not all apps. In addition, in the Chinese version, the language cannot be changed to German - there is only English and Chinese to choose from. Despite the English language, numerous apps are still displayed in Chinese. A little annoying. There is also a button on the left that starts the voice assistant. However, this is also not available in English. However, the button can be reassigned.
Camera: One of the best
The camera of the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 is one of the currently best - at least that's what the DxOMark says. The camera-Profis from DxOMark rate the Mi Mix 3 with 103 points. Thus, it is still ahead of the Huawei P20, the Apple iPhone XR and the Google Pixel 3. A dual camera setup with a resolution of 12 megapixels each and an aperture of f / 1.8 is installed on the back. However, there is sometimes a lack of software in everyday life. So I have the feeling that the AI the Mix 3 does not recognize certain objects correctly or that these are not properly optimized. I also took a photo on a train ride, but it went completely wrong (pixel error?).
For night situations, the Mi Mix 3 also offers a night mode, which works pretty well. Even a little faster than that of the Huawei Mate 20 Pro. I think the recordings are all well done. Check it out for yourself. Note: All images are unprocessed, but compressed due to the otherwise large file size and long loading times.
I was amazed by the battery. I got through almost two days with the Mi Mix 3 without having to charge it first. Although I mostly charged the smartphone without a QI charger, I also really liked wireless charging. As an extra, it is definitely practical to have. The battery is also 3200 mAh and can be quickly charged from 4 to 0 with Quickcharge 100+ Proload cent. However, Miui's battery management is very strict and sometimes unwanted apps are closed - notifications simply don't get through here. However, you can exclude certain apps from this management in the settings.
The Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 is modern and brings a breath of fresh air to the smartphone market. The slider gives you a completely borderless display on the front, which looks really modern. However, if you often take selfies or often need the front camera, you could buy the wrong smartphone here. After all, you have to slide the display down every time so that the cameras are free. Why there are functions like Face-Unlock is not clear to me.
Unfortunately, the slider also has disadvantages. Dust and dirt tend to collect on the upper part where the cameras are. I don't know how the smartphone would survive on a beach - grains of sand would make the slider skewered. For this reason it is not waterproof either. Apart from the weight and the thickness due to the slider of the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3, it is generally a great idea, especially for those who rarely need a front camera and want a full display. But it is just not suitable for everyone.
Otherwise, the Mix 3 shoots great photos in everyday use, does not make any mistakes in terms of software (except for the bloatware) and always runs reliably and quickly. The battery also got me through almost two days, probably due to Miui's somewhat too strict battery management. So if you rarely need a front camera, like a completely borderless display, but can get over a heavier smartphone and a little more thickness, the Mi Mix 3 is in good hands. Performance, camera, battery and equipment also confirm this. I can do it - except for these points - prorecommend without hesitation.
Buy Xiaomi Mi Mix 3
However, be careful when purchasing the EU version. Otherwise it could be that some LTE bands are not supported and that we can only use the software in English. With the Chinese version, you also have to be prepared for Chinese apps. At TradingShenzhen, the model with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal storage currently costs 457 euros, in the EU version. The more powerful model with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of data storage costs 100 euros more.