If rumors are true, the Xiaomi Mi Mix 4 is on the way - this is expected to be the next iteration in the line that we thought Xiaomi had bumped off in 2019. However don't get excited just yet, as we've seen an early render of the phone, and it sounds like it could have interited the worst part of the Mi 11 Ultra.
Shared by tech site MyDrivers (opens in new tab) (but seemingly originating from a Weibo user, judging by the watermarks), these Mi Mix 4 renders show how the phone could look - there's no front-facing camera, a flat display, four rear cameras and a big secondary screen on the back. Take the snaps with a pinch of salt, as we don't know exactly where they're from, but they're as good a look as any at the phone.
In the Mi Mix 4, there's seemingly no front-facing camera, but that probably doesn't mean Xiaomi is set to use an under-display camera for the phone - instead, it's probable that the rear cameras are meant to be used for selfies, with the back display letting you see how you look.
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The big headline feature here is that rear display, a feature Xiaomi previously used in the Mi 11 Ultra, which in that phone can be used as a rear viewfinder for the camera as well as a way to control music and view notifications.
The Xiaomi Mi Mix 4 is likely to be a mid-range phone, so some might be excited that a feature of the premium Mi 11 Ultra could be coming to a lower-cost handset. But we're not.
Learning from the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
In the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, the rear display was a big issue with the phone - arguably the biggest - and it's the main reason we only scored that device three and a half stars out of five in our review.
The rear display on that phone was housed in a giant camera bump, which stuck out a long way from the main body of the device (and also housed the three cameras). This bump made the handset horribly unwieldy, so it wouldn't lay flat on tables, barely fit into pockets, and prevented cases from doing a sufficient job protecting the device.
On top of that the rear display was really easy to accidentally hit, so we often accidentally skipped music tracks without intending to.
Bear in mind, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra was a very expensive phone, likely in part to this secondary display which detracted from the overall experience of using the device. It's safe to say we weren't keen on the addition.
If the Xiaomi Mi Mix 4 were to include the same rear display, it'd fall into exactly the same trap the Mi 11 Ultra did, except without that phone's novelty to deflect the criticism.
Sure, with software updates the rear display could be turned into a useful addition, and Xiaomi has been promising as much with updates to the Mi 11 Ultra - but so far, the few small updates that phone has received haven't brought any features which drastically improve the experience of using the phone. So, we're not confident the Mi Mix 4's rear display would be different in any meaningful way.
Bear in mind this information comes with sketchy renders, so we're by no means confident that the Xiaomi Mi Mix 4 will have a rear display. But if the phone does come with this dubious extra feature, it's going to need to work overtime to impress us now.