Xiaomi Mix 4 Coming
On the evening of February 7th, Xiaomi held Lei Jun’s annual dinner event with fans, in the event of the dinner session, Lei Jun confirmed that Xiaomi Mix 4 coming this year along with several new tablets. At the meeting, the member raised a question, asked Lei Jun how much Xiaomi will invest in research and development this year?
To this question, Lei Jun said that in 2020, Xiaomi invested 10 billion in research and development, and in 2021, Xiaomi will continue to maintain high investment in technology research and development, which is expected to increase by 30-40% or about 13 – 14 billion yuan. Besides, Lei Jun also said that the continued recruitment of engineers will be the focus of Xiaomi’s next work, is expected to recruit another 5,000 engineers in 2021.
In addition to the issue of research and development, Lei Jun also revealed in the conversation that we are more concerned about the Xiaomi MIX4, he said that this year will launch a new Mi MIX machine (tentatively named ‘Xiaomi MIX 4’), while the Xiaomi tablet will also be restarted. Several Xiaomi executives also revealed on Weibo that there will be a new Xiaomi MIX and Xiaomi tablet this year.
The last Xiaomi MIX series Mi MIX 3 released on October 25, 2018, is the fourth product of the Xiaomi MIX series, but after more than two years, Xiaomi MIX 4 still has not been released there is no confirmed news about the name of the next generation MIX, which has become the most anticipated Xiaomi phone for Xiaomi’s fans.
It is worth mentioning that under a microblog on February 4, a netizen asked if a pen-enabled tablet could come out, and Xiaomi’s official microblog replied: “Arrange”. Xiaomi has never released any tablet with stylus support, and if this promise is true, it suggests that Xiaomi will revive the tablet line and bring more new elements to it.
Finally, Xiaomi MIX 4 Coming this year, to surpass all previous generations
Unlike outside China smartphone brands, most domestic cell phone brands have a very interesting “habit” of launching retail versions of their “technology trial” phones. For example, Vivo’s NEX series, OPPO’s Find series, and the “Originator” of retail concept-level machines – the Xiaomi MIX series.
Remember when the first generation of Xiaomi MIX was released in 2016, the almost bezel-less full-screen design brought complete amazement to users. At the same time, the first generation of MIX also pushed the cell phone brand to explore the future, and since then, Xiaomi MIX has taken up the banner of “EXPLORER” of Xiaomi smartphones and become the “Pioneer” of Xiaomi cell phones. But the problem is that after the MIX 3 “turned over”, the MIX series disappeared into obscurity.
Xiaomi’s MIX process
In the live broadcast on the 7th night, when faced with the question “will there be a MIX this year”, Lei Jun also admitted that the MIX was a big challenge for Xiaomi. The first generation of MIX refreshed users’ perception of cell phones with its full-screen and full ceramic; MIX 2 and MIX 2s made a lot of “small fixes” based on the first generation, which improved the completion and competitiveness of the phone and made MIX the forerunner of Xiaomi’s cell phones.
But on the MIX 3, Xiaomi also admitted that it “took a wrong turn” – perhaps the elevated camera brought too much shock to users, and since the release of Vivo APEX, almost all Android brands have launched mobile products with elevated cameras. When the elevated camera has become the inherent impression of the “future phone” for the mass consumers, the simple elevated camera is no longer enough to support the MIX’s identity of “Exploring The Future”.
To stand out from the rest, Xiaomi MIX 3 chose a very radical route – the whole slider structure. Although the Xiaomi MIX 3 uses a permanent magnet structure to improve the sliding feel and durability of the MIX 3, the slider structure still “adds” unnecessary weight to the MIX 3, which is actually a mistake that many lift/slide phones make.
But in my opinion, the slider structure and weight are not the “fatal” flaws of the MIX 3. I think the “fatal wound” of the MIX 3 is that it abandons the brand mission of “exploration” of the MIX series. This mission was reflected in the previous two generations of MIx phones, but unfortunately, the MIX 3 fails to do so. Although the MIX 3 has explored the interaction of the phone with the slider, it still fails to break out of the existing framework of the phone, and some users even think that “Xiaomi MIX 3 uses the slider structure to achieve the function of Xiaomi Mi key 4 years ago”. This change from “stunning” to “mediocre” was too much for Xiaomi users to handle, and the seeds of the Xiaomi MIX 3 were sown.
The meaning of MIX to Xiaomi
Perhaps because of the unsatisfactory sales of Xiaomi MIX 3, the MIX series became a regret for Mi fans and Xiaomi: in the opinion of Mi fans, the Xiaomi MIX series, which marks the cutting edge of Xiaomi’s technology, should not stop at the MIX 3 5G version. With the emergence of the folding screen, the Xiaomi MIX series “deserves” to make a comeback and re-establish a new starting point for Xiaomi’s concept machines.
For Xiaomi, the loss of the MIX 3 has made the MIX series a “hot potato”: if the MIX series were to end, it would go against Xiaomi’s slogan of “built for enthusiasts”; but if the MIX 4 were to be launched rashly, in case the MIX 3’s cold spell is repeated in the MIX 4, such a MIX 4 would be the last straw that crushes the MIX. The straw that broke the camel’s back. Therefore, when will the MIX 4 be launched, what technology will it be equipped with, and in what form? This has become a problem that Xiaomi has had to face in the past two years, which is also the main reason why Lei Jun confessed that “MIX 4 is difficult to do”.
What to expect from Xiaomi’s MIX 4
But fortunately, in the live broadcast on the 7th night, Lei Jun confirmed that Xiaomi has restarted the MIX and Xiaomi Tablet, two “forgotten” product lines, and we can expect to see the real face of Xiaomi MIX 4 this year. Considering that Xiaomi has already had several technology deposits in the field of screen, camera, charging, etc., the next Xiaomi MIX 4 will probably be a “concept machine” identity, together with some Xiaomi black technology back to everyone’s view.
The MIX 4 is likely to carry the previously exposed under-screen camera technology. Mix series in the direction of full-screen exploration for all to see, but limited by the screen technology, the camera module has always been a difficult obstacle for cell phones. From Xiaomi’s technical reserve, Xiaomi MIX 4 will probably not adopt the mature hole-digging camera solution but will become the pioneer of the under-screen camera, launching MIX 4 with under-screen camera technology, and aftermarket, validation will devolve this technology to the flagship phone.
In addition to the under-screen camera, likely, the charging technology will also be the direction of exploration for the MIX 4. Some time ago Xiaomi showed its “Air Charging” technology on Weibo. Considering the possibility that space charging overlaps with the development of MIX 4, space charging is likely to be one of Xiaomi’s “Tailor-made” charging technologies for MIX 4. On the other hand, it is likely to be a “unique technology” and a breakthrough point for the MIX 4, as it will revolutionize the charging experience.
With the emergence of interstitial charging and “quad-curved” surfaces, the body material may also be a breakthrough point for Xiaomi MIX. A few days ago Xiaomi showed us a new “Quad-curved Waterfall Screen” concept phone, if this technology appears on the Xiaomi MIX 4, to ensure the strength of the body, Xiaomi needs to make a breakthrough in cell phone materials.
Looking back at the progress of the Xiaomi MIX series, it is easy to find that each generation of Xiaomi MIX has certain exploration in terms of body material, and from another perspective, the body material is also one of the “easiest to devolve” technologies in the field of cell phones. As a legacy of the MIX series, Xiaomi MIX 4 is likely to bring us new surprises in terms of body materials.
Finally, during the live broadcast, Lei Jun also revealed Xiaomi’s future development direction. The goal of “5000 engineers” will bring new challenges for Xiaomi in terms of corporate management, but it also creates the best opportunity for Xiaomi to go back to the technical route. As for what surprises Xiaomi can bring us in 2021 by going back to the technical route and returning to its roots, I believe Xiaomi MIX 4 can bring us the answer.