Full-view, full screen, bezel-less, tri-bezel-less, FullView, FullVision, Infinity Display – whatever you and your favourite manufacturer decides to call it, the new trend is clear – bezels are so 2016! In the build-up to the flexible display revolution and potentially a long-overdue renaissance of mobile phone design, impressive display aspects and proportions seem to be the most exciting alternative to the boring “slab” form factor.
Any way you cut it, Xiaomi and the original Mi Mix need to be acknowledged in any such design-trend analysis. While last year’s model is technically not the first to employ a bezel-less design, its implementation definitely made a big splash on the mobile scene. A pretty progressive one at that, essentially spearheading the new trend. We have to hand it to Xiaomi. When good value is the game, it has proven more than ready and capable of manoeuvering in a tough market. Equally so, when its time to show off, the Chinese overachiever has a tendency of going all in. The Mi Mix 2 takes after its flamboyant predecessor in most ways. However, Xiaomi has also dialed back on some aspects this time around and arguably managed to deliver a more sensible and approachable handset. As great as the original was, it was simply out of reach for most, be it for financial, availability or even practical reasons.
In its second version, the Mix gets a traditional earpiece above the display, in place off the expensive and kind of finicky under-display one of the original. While this hasn’t harmed the bezel-less look all that much, it definitely brings costs down. The same goes for the new bill of materials. Ceramic still adorns the back plate of the base Mi Mix 2 model, but now you have to shell out for the Special Edition to get the frame in ceramic as well.