Xiaomi has just announced its third-generation Mi MIX smartphone, at an event here in Shanghai. It's not a huge change over the Mi MIX 2, which was a big change from the original Mi MIX, but there are some worthy upgrades here on the Mi MIX 2S. For starters, there is now a dual-camera module on the back, showing that Xiaomi is really taking the camera more seriously on the Mi MIX 2S. The first-generation Mi MIX received some harsh complaints about its camera, and Xiaomi really turned things around with the Mi MIX 2, and now with the second camera on the Mi MIX 2S, it's even better. Xiaomi did keep that ceramic design, which it says that its users absolutely love. And it's also still a 5.99-inch smartphone with very minimal bezels - no notch and only a chin.
There is one thing that Xiaomi did not do, that some users may be upset with. And that's the headphone jack. It's still nowhere to be found on the Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S. That shouldn't be a surprise, seeing as most smartphones are ditching the headphone jack, whether its users like it or not. Of course, that is really the only negative thing one can say about the Mi MIX 2S. It does come in three RAM/Storage capacities: 6GB/64GB, 6GB/128GB and 8GB/256GB. And there is no microSD card slot. However, that really shouldn't be an issue, even if you do pick up the entry-level model with 64GB of storage. But where Xiaomi is offering up 256GB of storage, that should still be plenty for most people.
On the software front, the Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S is running MIUI 9 along with Android Oreo. As per usual, MIUI doesn't really showcase the best of Android Oreo, since it has a ton of its own features on top. Many of Oreo's features were actually already in MIUI, so it's not that big of a deal that is running Oreo, but still nice to see it on Oreo out of the box. MIUI is still very colorful with plenty of awesome features included. This includes the ability to translate things like menus, and speaking of menus, you can also convert the price to your local currency, which is very helpful when you're traveling in another country. However, many of the AI features, are not available on the global version of the Mi MIX 2S, instead, those are only available in China for now.
We talked about the camera already, but there are two 12-megapixel sensors here. With a Sony IMX363 12-megapixel sensor as the main sensor, and that has an f/1.8 aperture, and is 1.4 microns in size. Because it is slightly larger, it is able to bring in more light, without needing a higher f-stop. The secondary camera is a Samsung S5K3M3, which is also a 12-megapixel sensor, with a f/2.4 aperture and is slightly smaller at 1 micron. This is an upgrade over the Mi MIX 2 from last year, seeing as the single camera there was a 12-megapixel sensor with a f/2.0 and 1.25 microns in size. On top of upgrading the physical camera hardware, Xiaomi has also added some artificial intelligence to the device. Not a big surprise, since that seems to be where the industry is going this year. But the Dual Pixel AI Camera is said to create some incredible images, even if you aren't that good at photography.
Xiaomi has once again made this a global smartphone, sporting 43 bands inside, though that applies only to the 8GB RAM variant of the device. This means that it will work in Asia, Europe and in North America. That is something that Xiaomi has been doing with more of its smartphones lately, and it is definitely refreshing to see. So even though the Mi MIX 2S won't be available in the US, you can import the global version and use it in the US. The Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S is priced at 3,299 Yuan ($523), and will go on sale shortly.