Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 review

A sliding party piece sets this affordable flagship apart

Xiaomi Mi Mix 3

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The Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 is an accomplished flagship smartphone with plenty of power under the hood, solid battery performance, and a party piece in the shape of its all-screen, sliding design that sets it apart from many of the other high-end smartphones on the market.

It has plenty going for it, then, but the Mi Mix 3 falls just short of hitting the really high notes due to a patchy interface, that slightly clunky slider, and a camera which is great for most of the time, but which can have its off moments.

When you look at its closest competition – the Honor View 20 and OnePlus 6T – it feels like the Mi Mix 3 slides in just behind those rivals, as they offer more bang for your buck, although all three are fantastically priced flagship smartphones.

And where the 6T and View 20 adopt a more standard smartphone form factor, the Mi Mix 3 does at least bring a touch of always-welcome innovation to the market.

If you’re looking for something a little bit different, without a notch or punch-hole in sight, you should certainly consider sliding the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 into your pocket.

Who's it for?

The Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 joins a bunch of affordable flagships aimed at those who want high-end power and a big screen without the huge price tag that accompanies the likes of the iPhone XS Max and Samsung Galaxy Note 9.

You’ll have to be willing to make a few compromises – the camera isn’t class-leading, and the interface isn’t the slickest – but these are far from major flaws, and can be comfortably overlooked when you consider the asking price.

Should I buy it?

If you’re looking for a powerful smartphone that offers something a little bit different to many of the mainstream handsets around, the Mi Mix 3 is certainly worthy of your consideration.

There are plenty of features packed into the Xiaomi to make it great value for money, although its rivals offer a slightly better all-round experience.

Want to know what other options you have? We’ve picked three rival handsets that are also worth considering.

OnePlus 6T

The OnePlus 6T feels a little more accomplished than the Mi Mix 3 with slicker software, slightly better performing rear cameras and an equally attractive price tag.

You don't get a cool sliding screen, and there's a tiny notch at the top of the display, but if you can get past those two points it's a well rounded flagship smartphone.

Honor View 20

If you're looking to avoid the notch, have you considered the punch-hole? The Honor View 20 is the first major handset to launch in 2019 with the front facing camera completely surrounded by screen.

Its placement is questionable, and it will be a love-it or hate-it feature for many, with with an eye-catching rear design, plenty of power under the hood and a reasonable price tag it gives the Mi Mix 3 a real run for its money.

Samsung Galaxy S9

Samsung Galaxy S9

At launch the Samsung Galaxy S9 price was close to double of the Mi Mix 3's price tag, but the S9 has been out almost a year now and its price has taken a tumble.

The Galaxy S9 offers one of the best all-round smartphone experiences money can buy with a superb screen, heaps of power, strong battery life and a stellar camera. If your budget can stretch a little higher, the S9 won't let you down.

First reviewed: January 2019

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.