The recently launched Mi Mix Alpha might only be a concept smartphone available in limited numbers in China, but it has the potential to change the future of mobile phones. I wrote recently about the need for innovation in smartphone design to take us back to the heady days of the iPhone launch and to counter the iterative and minimal updates most manufacturers throw out as a matter of course these days. But the Xiaomi Mi Mix Alpha takes it to the next level!

Bonkers or brilliant?

Quite frankly, the phone is bonkers! But isn’t that what concepts should be about, be it car or phone? It’s a chance for a team divorced from the day-to-day considerations of profitability and production issues to let their brains run wild and come up with ideas that demonstrate how far technology can be pushed.

Everyone knows that not all the ideas in a concept will make it to final production, but it will let the wider public know what is capable and test the market for future developments. So, with that in mind let’s have a look at the Mi Mix Alpha.

Xiaomi Mi Mix Alpha – 180% screen to body ratio

From the front, it looks much the same as most other smartphones available today. It is when you pick it up and notice that the screen wraps round both sides and the back that the differences arise. Apart from a vertical strip holding the camera module that runs the full length of the back, the screen runs all the way round the body.

Xiaomi claim it has a 180% screen to body ratio, which is pushing it a bit, but let’s indulge them for now. Putting aside the practicalities of using such a screen – how do you watch a movie where half of it is on the back of the phone – it is an amazing piece of engineering that I’m sure will make its way in some form into future Xiaomi smartphones.

So long live innovation and the bonkers designs that come with it!