Narrow-bezel design is all the rage in PC monitors right now, but the idea is more than just fashionable in the context of a smartphone. Less bezel means more screen in the same-size phone, and Xiaomi apparently agrees. Its new Mi Mix "concept phone" uses a 6.4" IPS display that the company calls "edgeless." While that's obviously not quite true, the 91.3% screen-to-body ratio is the best we've seen.
The phone's Philippe Starck-penned industrial design is the stuff of geeky dreams. The huge 1080×2040 display is curved slightly on either edge, and the corners are curved too. Besides the almost-full-coverage screen, the entire phone—back, frame, and buttons—is made from ceramic rather than plastic or aluminum.
The display reaches all the way to the top of the phone, so the sensors and speakers that usually reside on a bezel there had to be moved or replaced. The Mi Mix produces sound with a piezoelectric system that vibrates the phone's ceramic casing. For proximity detection, the phone uses an ultrasonic sensor. The front-facing camera is still there, at least; it just got moved to the remaining bottom bezel.
The Mi Mix isn't just a pretty face, either. Xiaomi equips the edgeless "concept phone" with Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 821 SoC running at up to 2.35 GHz. The phone will come in two versions: one with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, and another with 6GB of RAM and 256GB of storage—plus 18-karat gold accents on the back. Either way, the phone will take a pair of SIM cards and regular old 3.5-mm headphones.
Despite calling the new phone a "concept," Xiaomi is actually offering it for sale. The 4GB version will be launching at RMB 3499 ($516), while the 6GB version will be a step up at RMB 3999 ($590). The new phones are expected to launch in China on November 4. As is usual for Xiaomi, there's no word on a US release.