He is moving apart!
we managed to spend with the novelty an hour and a half before it was officially brought to Russia. For journalists they organized a one-on-one demo in one of the hotels in Moscow, so the acquaintance was even in some sense intimate, albeit short.
I tried to express the main impressions in the video, the technical characteristics (including the version with 10 GB of RAM) can be found in the news about the announcement, and below – the thesis about the observations made during this short acquaintance:
- The slider form factor is two panels, front and back, moving parallel in different directions relative to each other when, um, moving them apart. It sounds difficult, but everything happens very naturally: the thumb rests on the screen, the others clasp the back cover, and the panels move apart literally on a click, to the stop. There is no need to intercept a hand or press anything;
- When the panels are moved apart, a system of two front-facing cameras and sensors for unlocking facial recognition appears – they are mounted into the back panel. On the back of the front panel, there is nothing but ribbed rubber;
- Slider can be used in different ways. By default, it launches a selfie camera, but this is when face recognition is not configured in the system. When the analogue Face ID is configured, opening the slider when the screen is locked immediately activates the unlock on the face. This is super natural: a click, a face was recognized, a screen with applications opened. In the video above, this happens with some delay – the reason is that I covered my face with the smartphone on which I shot the video. It actually works almost instantly, just like a Face ID;
- Slider – a good solution in the race for space on the front panel. This race was set in the first generation of Mi MIX, but the Xiaomi could not get rid of the “chin”, it even reached the (unsuccessful) placement of the front camera on the side. In Mi MIX 3, a solution was found: we save space around the screen by bringing the entire system of cameras and sensors to the exit panel;
- In my opinion, the slider is a better solution than pull-out mechanisms in Vivo Nex and Oppo Find X. There you have to wait until the system with the camera comes out – and here everything happens with a click of your fingers, that is, as fast as it is comfortable for the user. At the same time, the manufacturer does not copy the cutout of the iPhone X, as other top vendors do (for example, Huawei in P20 Pro and Mate 20 Pro );
- The slider resembles the era of smartphones zero, when there was a battle of form factors. This is interesting, given that over the past decade, the industry has concluded that a monolithic case is the only way out (modular smartphones have failed). It turned out that there isn’t, and so far IT heavyweights in the face of Apple, Samsung and Google are losing on ingenuity to the Chinese, who are not just experimenting, but manage to display experiments in the form of new flagship products, and even to foreign markets;
- Xiaomi says that the slider is designed for 300 thousand discoveries. Maybe. At least, he does not leave the impression of something flimsy and loosening. It will be interesting to look at the drop tests: it is not yet clear how the two panels are fastened together and whether they will withstand a powerful blow or the smartphone will fall apart in half;
- I didn’t manage to figure out the software, especially since I had a smartphone with Chinese firmware and a Chinese application store in my hands. The most noticeable, perhaps, is the portrait mode when shooting on a selfie-camera, where after shooting you can set up studio lighting and other effects that take into account the shape of the face and other features of the 3D scene;
- It comes with not only wireless charging (the box doesn’t even seem to have increased), but also an unusual-shaped case that takes into account the working characteristics of the front and rear panels moving apart;
- The ceramic body is still concise, and it’s very good that Xiaomi left a fingerprint scanner in the back. In the case of the Mate 20 Pro, it seemed to me that the two methods of unlocking that are in front are too much, especially since in most cases face recognition is enough;
- Since Mi MIX 3 was brought to Moscow to be shown to journalists, it is worth waiting for it in Russia after a while. Usually after the start of sales in China have to wait a month or two.