The Xiaomi Mi Mix is one of the most interesting devices ever released by the Chinese consumer electronics manufacturer. For just under $600, Xiaomi is offering a huge, almost bezel-free display and some quite powerful hardware packed underneath it. As is the case with all Android original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), Xiaomi's latest flagship isn't running stock Android. Instead, it ships with Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow with MIUI 8 on top. In addition to that, the device also comes with some pre-installed apps, Microsoft's Cortana digital assistant included.
While Microsoft initially developed Cortana to ennoble its Windows Phone smartphones and compete with the likes of Google Now and Siri, the company's struggling mobile OS forced it to expand Cortana support for other ecosystems in order to keep its digital companion relevant. Therefore, Cortana has been available on Android devices for over a year now, and Microsoft is now actively trying to get it in front of as many consumers as possible. That's why the Redmond-based tech giant recently signed a deal with Xiaomi which guarantees that some of its apps will come pre-installed on Xiaomi-made smartphones, Cortana included. As a part of this deal, Xiaomi also get access to some Microsoft's patents, many of which were utilized during development of the Mi Mix. Apart from Cortana, the Mi Mix is also bundled with a plethora of other Microsoft apps including Word, Outlook, Excel, and PowerPoint. However, the existence of Cortana is particularly significant here because the Mi Mix is one of the first smartphone not made by Microsoft to ship with a pre-installed version of the company's digital assistant.
As for the device itself, it's a really curious invention with some notable highlights. The 6.4-inch 1080 x 2040 display which covers more than 90% of the device's surface area is one of its best features, as is the quality ceramics case protecting its internals. With that said, it's relatively obvious Xiaomi did quite a bit of experimenting with the Mi Mix, so it remains to be seen how well will this flagship sell once it leaves China. Speaking of which, we're still waiting for the company to announce a global release for the Xiaomi Mi Mix.