Xiaomi takes the foldable fight to Samsung with thinner Mix flagship
Chinese consumer tech giant Xiaomi has thrown down the folding smartphone gauntlet with the Mix Fold 2, which shapes up a good deal slimmer than the Galaxy Fold4 Samsung launched last week and also comes with a bigger battery.
The Mix Fold 2 is built around the company's custom "micro waterdrop" hinge that's reported to make use of large hidden spaces on both sides to enable a slim folded-out form factor. Xiaomi has reduced the number of hinge components to just 87, and it benefits from metal injection molded alloy construction with dual hinge plates fashioned from carbon fiber and features a recessed center.
The handset rocks smartphone mode dimensions of 6.36 x 2.9 x 0.44 in (161.6 x 73.9 x 11.2 mm), which makes it a bigger prospect than the Fold4, but also a thinner one.
The outer display is a 6.56-inch AMOLED screen made from Samsung's E5 material, comes in at 2,520 x 1,080 resolution in 21:9 aspect, and has a 120-Hz refresh rate and 240-Hz touch response. There's 10-bit color depth as well, along with support for HDR10+ and Dolby Vision, and users benefit from brightness of 1,000 nits and 8,000,000:1 contrast. The display is also topped in scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass Victus.
Xiaomi goes for a thin profile of 0.21 in (5.4 mm) when folded out to its mini tablet mode – compared to the Fold4's 0.24 in (6.3 mm) – and offers up an 8.02-inch OLED display using Samsung's flexible ultra-thin Eco glass with LTPO 2.0 backplane technology.
Resolution is reported to be 2,160 x 1,914 pixels, an adaptive refresh rate runs between 1 Hz and 120 Hz, the company has replaced the polarizer with an ultra-thin color filter and employed a black matrix material to reduce screen reflections for a bump in light transmittance of 33% while also reducing power draw by some 25%. The inner display matches the outer's 10-bit color depth, as well as its support for Dolby Vision and HDR10+.
The Mix Fold 2 runs the company's MIUI Fold 13 operating platform based on Android 12. Inside is the mobile platform of choice for flagship Android phones, Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, for processing speeds up to 3.2 GHz. The chipset is supported by up to 12 GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 1 TB of UFS 3.1 storage.
There's a 4,500-mAh battery for the promise of a full day's usage when in folded-out mini tablet mode, or even longer if mostly using the outer display. It has been coated in a relatively large boron nitride film to dissipate heat, and can be topped up using a 67-W wired fast charger.
Xiaomi has also crammed in a large-area cooling system that's reported to result in a "50% improvement un thermal conductivity compare to typical VCs."
The foldable's three rear cameras tap into Leica imagery and optics know-how, and stack up as a 50-megapixel main built around a Sony IMX766 image sensor and F1.8 aperture lens with optical image stabilization, a 13-MP ultra-wide and an 8-MP telephoto. There's a choice of two Leica photographic styles, plus Dolby Vision HDR video recording. And the Mix Fold 2 also sports a 20-MP selfiecam hole-punched in the outer display.
Rounding out the given specs are dual speakers with sound by Harman Kardon and support for immersive Dolby Atmos and Hi-Res Audio.
The Mix Fold 2 tips the scales at 9.2 oz (262 g) – a smidge lighter than the Fold4 – and will go on sale in mainland China from August 16 in black or gold for a starting price of RMB 8,999 (about US$1,330). There's no word on more widespread availability at this time.