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These days, smartphone manufacturers seem to be in a race of their own: to include the most cameras with the most megapixels.
And now we have a new smartphone to evaluate:
The Xiaomi Mi Mix Alpha 5G, which includes some features that can only be described as “intriguing.”
First, the camera: The Mi Mix Alpha 5G boasts a single 108-megapixel camera.
Yes, you read that right:
108 megapixels, which is not only more megapixels than the leading Google, Apple, Samsung, and Huawei cameras combined, but is also more megapixels than you can find in any Canon or Nikon DSLR.
Now, so many megapixels can cause problems:
More megapixels in a small sensor results in lots of noise, especially when shooting at higher ISOs.
But Xiaomi has attempted to account for this problem, including a “tetracell” design that can combine four pixels into a single pixel element, in order to produce 27-megapixel photos when shooting in low light.
Will this truly keep noise levels down? I’ll admit that I’m skeptical. On the Mi Mix Alpha 5G’s 1/1.33 inch sensor, even 27 megapixels is a lot, and 12-megapixel smartphones (i.e., Apple’s latest iPhones) still struggle with noise.
There’s also a question of whether a 108-megapixel camera even makes sense. Do any smartphone photographers actually need this many megapixels? Sure, more megapixels are good for printing large or doing big crops, but 108-megapixels seems like overkill for such consumer-oriented tech.
Note that the same sensor will be included in Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S11, though the Mi Mix Alpha 5G will be the first of the two to debut the camera.
The Mi Mix Alpha 5G also features a wacky “surround display,” which wraps completely around the smartphone.
While the concept is cool, it seems like the reality might be problematic. For one, a wraparound screen can’t use a case, which means the smartphone is much more likely to be broken when dropped or banged up.
And having a display on the back of the phone seems like it could cause privacy issues; if you’re using one side of the phone, will people be able to read your messages on the other?
That said, the Mi Mix Alpha 5G is definitely a unique smartphone with a powerful camera. So if you’re the type that likes more experimental technology, go for it! The Xiaomi Mi Mix will be available for around $2800 USD this December.
Now I’d like to ask you:
What do you think about the Xiaomi Mi Mix Alpha 5G? Would you be interested in a 108MP smartphone camera? And what do you think about the wraparound display? Would you worry about dropping it? How about privacy?
Share your thoughts in the comments!