Chinese phonemaker Xiaomi will become one of the first manufacturers to introduce a new flagship device in 2019 when its Mi Mix 3 arrives on UK shelves this week.
The gadget will be officially launched at midday on Wednesday (January 16th) and will cost £499. However, those who get in quickly on release day can enjoy an early-bird discount that drops the price to £449 at certain retailers for one day only.
For this, buyers will get a 6.39-inch edge-to-edge display with no notches or cutouts for the front-facing camera. Instead, the lens is hidden behind the screen and revealed by sliding the display down, giving it a screen-to-body ratio of 93.4 per cent.
Underneath, it packs a Snapdragon 845 processor, 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, as well as dual 12MP rear-facing cameras and a dual 24MP and 2MP front-facing camera.
Like many up-and-coming Asian manufacturers, Xiaomi is aiming to offer premium-level specs without the premium price tag that usually comes attached to the likes of Samsung and Apple offerings.
Early reviewers have already given the device a thumbs up, with TechRadar praising the solid, retro feel of the sliding feature, which can also be used to answer calls and access a shortcuts panel as well as reveal the cameras.
The publication said that while it does make the device a little bigger and heavier than some rivals, it offers "a distinct look that any notched phone owner will envy".
Elsewhere, Tech Advisor's 4.5-star review said the Mi Mix 3 shows how sliding phones should be done, describing it as a "brilliant buy" that offers fast speed, a stylish design, a wide range of features and a great price.
There were a few gripes. The lack of a in-screen fingerprint scanner was highlighted by both Tech Advisor and Pocket Lint, for instance, which may be a negative mark as many of 2019's top phones are expected to include such a feature, while the quality of the selfie camera was described as 'poor' by Pocket Lint.
However, there was wide agreement that overall, it's hard to find a better phone for less money, so customers should have another great bargain option from tomorrow.
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