How Durable is a Sliding Phone? – Xiaomi Mi Mix 3


The Mi Mix 3 slid into the flagship playing
field late last year. So I hope you don’t mind me sliding it into
your sub box right now. I’ll slide my razor blade through the top
plastic to commence the unboxing, and then slide the top half of the box off, revealing
the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3. A non motorized sliding phone with hidden
cameras between the two sliding halves. Can a sliding phone be durable? Let’s get started. [Intro] This is one of the more interesting phones
I’ve come across lately. Last year was full of surprising new ways
to hide the front facing cameras and get rid of notches. My favorite being the motorized pop-up cameras,
like on the Vivo Nex S. This non-motorized magnetic sliding phone is another pretty valid
solution. Sliding leaves us with a wide open no-notch
display. I’m a fan. Xiaomi has tested this slider over 300,000
times with no damage done to the mechanism. Being a Xiaomi professional phone slider has
got to be a fun job. The Mi Mix 3 is one of the cheaper flagships
these days. And interestingly enough, in the box, Xiaomi
has still included a full-on wireless charging pad, which is super nice of them. An awesome example of a smartphone manufacturer
making it easy to transition into a wireless ecosystem. Apple, on the other hand, announced their
version of wireless charging almost two years ago, and we still haven’t seen it yet. Maybe someday they’ll catch up. Let’s start with the scratch test. You know how it works. I have a set of Mohs mineral hardness picks
with different tips on the ends. These tell us what the screen is made from. Plastic scratches at a level 3, while glass
doesn’t start scratching till level 6. And we should see ceramic and sapphire start
scratching at level 8 or 9. Getting a close up look at the screen, we
can see scratches appearing at level 6, with deeper grooves at level 7. This puts us on par with most of the other
tempered glass screen flagships. Let’s check out the front cameras on the sliding
portion. Covered with glass, there should be no scratch
marks from the constant sliding motions. There are two cameras: a 24 megapixel and
a 2 megapixel, capable of doing that blurry portrait mode background thing, even while
shooting video, which is interesting. There’s a flash tucked in here on the right
as well. The speaker grille is made from metal. The grille on the top display portion of the
slider just allows the sound to pass through from the actual speaker. Below in the body of the phone, the lower
grille is also very secure and won’t be falling out on it’s own. If we shine some light through the two halves
of the phone, we can see there is some distance between the screen and the body. This is good, so that there’s no direct rubbing
on the camera lenses, but it does leave the gap more vulnerable to something like a grain
of sand or dirt getting caught inside and jamming things up. It’ll be interesting to see how this slider
phone holds up over time, and in every day life with pocket lint and dirt. There are obviously two halves to a sliding
phone. The top half containing the display is surrounded
by plastic. The bottom half of the phone is made from
aluminum leaving us with a shiny metal scratch mark underneath the black paint. This button up here on the left side is a
metal customizable button. It can launch Google Assistant, turn on the
camera, or start the flashlight. Thumbs up to Xiaomi for customizability. It also has a dual SIM card tray, but zero
water resistance. A phone with this many openings and surfaces
makes it basically impossible to keep water out. The top of the phone is made from metal, along
with the right side, power button, and volume rocker. The bottom of the phone has no headphone jack,
but does have a USB-C and one loud speaker. The Xiaomi Mix series has always had pretty
solid build quality and materials. The original Mi Mix having an impressive full
ceramic body. This time around, the fingerprint scanner
is invincible. So we’re off to a good start. And it looks like this rib texture on the
under side is going to give the the Mate 20 Pro some competition for the Most Musical
Phone Award. So ceramic and glass might feel the same,
but they are actually totally different materials, ceramic being much harder and more scratch
resistant. Even with my level 6, 7, and 8 picks, we don’t
see any major damage until level 8 with the faint marks at a level 7. Much better than a slab of glass at a level
6 hardness. For how inexpensive this phone is, the materials,
accessories, and functionality are impressive. The camera lens is made from glass with dual
12 megapixel sensors: one normal, and one telephoto. So far this phone is checking all the right
boxes. Let’s see what the screen is made from. I always could just look it up on Xiaomi’s
website to see what they say, but lighters are just so much more fun. After about 20 seconds of flame on the 6.4
inch notchless display, the results are in. A white, non-recovering burn mark right in
the center means AMOLED, which makes sense. LED displays are much thinner than LCD displays. And thinness is a factor with the two sliding
halves. Speaking of thinness, discovering how well
these two halves hold up under pressure is an integral part of my durability test. It’s time for the bend. I was nervous about this one since there are
more moving parts than a normal smartphone would have. I thought this might be weak. And while it does have some flex, it’s still
surprisingly sturdy. No creaks or cracks. And more importantly, no damaged parts. The Xiaomi Mi Mix is a well constructed solid
device, with premium materials, and a wireless charger included in the box. Xiaomi is definitely looking out for their
customers with this one, and it passes my durability test. The Xiaomi Mi Mix is a win. It’ll be interesting to take it apart and
see how that magnetic slider contraption looks on the inside. Hit subscribe if you haven’t already. It’s free. And come hang out with me on Instagram and
Twitter. Let me know what phones you are excited to
see tested this year down in the comments. Thanks a ton for watching, and I’ll see you
around.

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