Xiaomi – on Tuesday – launched Mi Mix 2S in Shanghai showcasing the dual AI-powered camera at the back capable of taking some real good images. The flagship phone is an iterative update to the Mi Mix 2, which was released last year. “Mi MIX 2S now comes with a powerful dual camera and integrated AI features for an experience on the move like no other,” said Lei Jun, CEO and co-founder of Xiaomi.
Mi Mix 2S comes with dual 12-megapixel rear cameras with an Artificial Intelligence powered wide angle and telephoto lens combo. The camera also deploys Sony’s new IMX636 sensor, featuring larger 1.4um pixels and dual pixel technology to enhance low light shots. Barring the interesting camera features, the new handset has pretty much the same configuration and form factor as Mi Mix 2.
While almost all the smartphone makers claim that their flagships come powered with some type of AI capabilities, Xiaomi has made sure that Mi Mix 2S gets AI in the truest sense. A company representative told Forbes that the camera can differentiate between objects and background, to give better images. The AI-powered camera automatically detects scenes and translates text or converts currencies in real-time.
Xiaomi’s latest handset comprises all-screen 5.99-inch Full HD+display, a ceramic rear and a 5-megapixel selfie camera at the bottom right corner of the phone. The handset is encased in the ceramic body that includes Series 7000 aluminum. The phone, which would be available in Black and Ceramic white, would be powered by the Snapdragon 845 mobile platform. Since there is no notch, the front-facing camera would most likely be embedded in the bottom bezel. The handset is also compatible with the Qi wireless charging platform.
For obvious reasons, Xiaomi pitched the Mi Mix 2S against the Apple iPhone X comparing both the phones quite a few times during the event. The Chinese smartphone maker stated that their handset takes better pictures, has a longer battery life, offers top notch experience to the video game players and has no notch like the one in the iPhone X. Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S achieved a score of 97 at DxOMark. This is equivalent to the iPhone X but narrowly behind Samsung’s Galaxy S9 Plus.
“We are comparing to iPhone X because people say it is the best phone. We just want to show we surpassed the best in many features,” said Jun at the event, according to The Verge. The Mi Mix 2S – starting at 3,299 yuan (about $527) for 6GB RAM and 64GB – is also half the price of Apple’s flagship.
Another variant with 6GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage would cost about $575. A high-end variant known as the “King” with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage would cost somewhere around $639. The King would come with a wireless charger, which is otherwise available for $15.
The handset runs on Android 8.0 Oreo with Xiaomi’s MIUI 9.5. The MIUI might feel different to those using Google’s version of Android. Interface and design elements of MIUI is somewhat similar to the iOS including an optional gesture-based control system instead of standard Android on-screen buttons, notes The Verge.
Mi Mix 2S comes with Google’s ARCore and a Virtual Assistant called Xiao AI. The voice assistant works better than before with new voice control allowing a user to set reminders, take selfies, find photos from a specific day along with other functions just through simple voice commands. However, it is not known if the voice functions would work outside the mainland.
The phone as of now is exclusive to China. The company, however, has confirmed the release in other parts of the world too. Whether or not it will make a U.S. debut is not known. Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun, however, has previously expressed the intention to sell phones in the US either by the end of 2018 or early 2019. Earlier this month, Jun said, “We’ve always been considering entering the US market. We plan to start entering the market by end 2018, or by early 2019.”
The US is not an easy market to penetrate with hard-hitting players like Apple and Samsung dominating the scene. Xiaomi could also take a page from Huawei’s experience, which so far has received a few setbacks owing to security concerns. While Xiaomi smartphones have still to make their way in the United States, other gadgets from the company such as the Xiaomi Mi Box, AmazfitBip smartwatch and a few headphones are already available.