While opening its store on the Champs Elysees on January 18th, the Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi, launches its high-end smartphone, the Mi Mix 3. Sold 499 euros, it sets the bar very high, especially in photo.

With Huawei, Honor, Oppo and OnePlus, he is the fifth Chinese in the class. And thanks to its new Mi Mix 3.

Xiaomi has the intention to play the good students to stand out. Launched at 499 euros (for 3 weeks, then sold 529 euros thereafter), this screen smartphone 6.39 ” / 16.23 cm also wants to play the flagship killers, the killers of high-end smartphones.

In its viewfinder, iPhone Xr Apple, Samsung Galaxy S9 or Huawei Mate 20 Pro, all sold between 350 and 500 euros more expensive.

What marks right from the start of the Mi Mix 3 is its smooth and stripped appearance. Not the shadow of a photo sensor on the front!

And for good reason: the screen of the smartphone is sliding. Holding it firmly, it is enough to apply with the thumb placed on the surface of the terminal a downward movement to reveal, hidden behind the top of the screen, an area of barely 1 cm in width. This is where two photo sensors were hidden.

Four Photo Sensors, Two Portrait Modes

After Oppo and its Find X with sliding screen (him, motorized), a new trend seems to want to assert itself. With this duo of 24 and 2 megapixels dedicated to selfies, the Mi Mix is well provided.

Self-portraits are flattering without those skin-smoothing effects that are too often encountered that make you lose 20 years in a cliche, and a portrait selfie mode is even proposed.

But if you come to tease the Mi Mix 3 on its photography capabilities, the best is at the back. Xiaomi plays the card of a tandem of two 12-megapixel sensors (f / 1.8 and f / 2.4).

The first (a four-axis stabilized Sony model) acts as the main sensor, the second (a Samsung model) is dedicated to the telephoto role, with 2x optical zoom.

The different shots we made with the Mi Mix 3 are overall excellent. The images are bright, very defined, well balanced, with honestly rendered textures.

The Portrait mode is one of the best in circulation, with chiseled detours, even if there are some rebellious strands that get lost in the decor.

Night Mode That Rivals Google’s Pixel 3

The Night mode, it is excellent: the algorithms manage to rid the images of any noise (the small granulation that appears when the light is insufficient), the contours are fine and the overall impression very good.

A comparison with Google’s Pixel 3, the current master stallion for night shots, however, reveals that the Mix Mix 3 does not play equal game yet.

Thus, by zooming in the same night photo taken with the two smartphones, those of Pixel 3 (currently sold 759 euros) reveal more details.

Still, the quality of the photos of Mi Mix goes well beyond what we can expect from a smartphone at 500 euros.

But all is not perfect …

Some points, however, annoy. First, our Mi Mix 3 exempts from sealing. A gap for an allegedly high-end terminal.

Then, in the absence of microSD slot, its 128 GB memory is not expandable. Finally, the terminal is fishing a little on the sound.

With no mini-jack 3.5, its audio output via USB-C lack of fishing. And Mi Mix 3 integrates only one speaker, which is a bit fair to watch videos without headphones on its wide screen.

In the meantime, it will take a lot of ingenuity in the coming months to Samsung, Huawei and Apple to make the difference and convince us to buy smartphones sold at least twice as much.

The Samsung Galaxy S10, which will be announced on February 20th, should beat the tempo of the telephony innovations for this year.