It’s 2017 and smartphones are getting slimmer and compact. But Xiaomi seems to think otherwise. And rightly so. With over 3 million Mi Max devices sold in just a year, Xiaomi has rightfully earned its place in the phablet market in India. The latest to join this popular lineup is the Xiaomi Mi Max 2.
Priced at Rs. 16,999, the device packs in a massive battery, bigger storage, a fresh new design and is aimed at the Indian market which sees fewer smartphones in this size segment.
The device landed in our office today and we have given it a quick go. Here are the first impressions of the Mi Max 2.
If you were to picture the Xiaomi Mi Max, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? A big, boxy phone with sharp edges, perhaps? Thankfully, things are much different with the Mi Max 2.
With the Mi Max 2, Xiaomi has overhauled the design elements.
Gone are the sharp edges and ugly square corners. Instead, you’ll find a sleek and slim phone with stylishly designed corners and a metal unibody. Also, the antenna lines have been shifted to the phone’s perimeter giving the rear a nice and smooth finish.
The rear beautifully curves into the edges, giving this Rs. 16,999 phone a very premium look. What’s more, the primary camera is flush fitted in the Mi Max 2 yielding a smooth finish to the rear. Both these factors are major upgrades from the metallic finish of the old Mi Max.
The placement of buttons and fingerprint sensor are similar to the ones on the Mi Max. You’ll find the power button and the metallic volume rockers on the right, while the three hardware capacitive touch buttons are on the chin. The IR blaster, headphone jack, and the noise-cancellation microphone are placed at the top of the device.
At the bottom, you will find the USB type-C charging port flanked by the speakers and microphone — lending a balanced edge to the base.
One of the major highlights of the Mi Max 2 is the introduction of USB type-C port.
This makes the Mi Max 2, the first Xiaomi phone in the sub-Rs 20,000 price bracket to sport the USB type C port. If you recollect, the Mi Max, Redmi Note 4 and Redmi 4 had the yesteryear’s micro-USB charging port.
Overall, the Mi Max 2 is a sleek phone with a smooth back and 2.5 D curved edges. Though it’s slightly on the heavier side, it makes it up with the tapered edges which make it easy to hold. What’s more, the front is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3, thus making it less susceptible to scratches.
Just like its predecessor, the Xiaomi Mi Max 2 sports a 6.44-inch full HD (1080p) LCD screen. But what makes the Mi Max 2 stand out are its streamlined bezels. The touchscreen is also smooth and isn’t too slippery to touch.
As far as the display quality is concerned, the 1920x 1080 pixels resolution yields sharp, crisp and vivid images, with accurate color reproductions.
If I were to compare it to the display of Mi Max, the successor is a tad brighter and better.
Hardware and Performance
Under the hood, Xiaomi made the switch from the power-hungry Snapdragon 650 to the battery efficient Snapdragon 625. The 2GHz octa-core Snapdragon 625 chipset is built on the 14 nm FinFET technology which improves battery life and gives good performance with minimal heating.
The Xiaomi Mi Max comes packed with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal storage which is expandable to 256 GB.
When it comes to benchmark scores, the Mi Max 2 clocked a score of 63217 in the AnTuTu benchmarking tool. For a device priced at just Rs. 16,999, the benchmarking scores are quite decent.
The processing power of the Mi Max 2 is fast and fluid, however, we will be able to tell you more on that in our full review.
Moving on, the fingerprint sensor is excellent and responds well to touch. The fingerprint setup process took me by surprise. It took only a couple of seconds for me to set it up — a feat which certainly requires more time in some of the other phones.
Another major highlight of the Xiaomi Mi Max 2 is the introduction of immersive dual stereo speakers. This mode will kick in intelligently when the phone is held in the landscape mode, thus making it a true multimedia-focused device.
Moving on, the Mi Max 2 sports a f/2.2 12-megapixel camera with dual flash and standard Xiaomi software features. Though the camera specs seem to be a step back from the 16-megapixel in the Mi Max, it makes it up with the Sony IMX386 sensor.
The Sony IMX386 sensor is the same sensor that Xiaomi used in its flagship device, Mi 6.
The Mi Max 2 whips up excellent pictures which are sharp and crisp with accurate color representations. Plus, the camera app — with its many different modes and features — is great to play with.
Here are a couple of pictures shot using the rear camera of the Mi Max 2 and so far, the results are more than satisfactory. Each of the pictures are incredibly detailed and the color reproductions are just wow.
On the selfie front, we have a 5-megapixel camera with an aperture of f/2.0. This one also turns out decent images in normal light. We will be able to tell you more in our final review.
Moving on to the software aspect of the Xiaomi Mi Max 2, it comes with MIUI version 8 running on top of Android Nougat. Along with some of the nifty features of Android Nougat, there are a couple of features like the one-handed mode and three-finger screenshot which unquestionably makes things easier.
Apart from the above features, the standard Xiaomi features like the second space and scrolling screenshots also make an appearance.
As of now, given its size, the Mi Max 2 still doesn’t have the support for the multi window mode, which is a standard Nougat feature. But Xiaomi has assured that it’ll make way to the Mi Max 2 pretty soon.
Battery life was never an issue with the older Mi Max. And with the Mi Max 2, Xiaomi has taken battery level several notches higher. The Mi Max 2 packs in a massive 5300mAh battery which will easily see you through two days without the need to charge.
However, it’s too early to comment on this particular feature, given that we just got the phone today.
On the charging front, it packs in an impressive performance on paper. The Mi Max 2 comes with Qualcomm QuickCharge 3.0 which means that it can easily buy you a couple of hours in just 15-20 minutes.
If you have been thinking that the massive battery will result in a hefty phone, well, let me tell you that the Mi Max 2 weighs just 211 grams, almost as same as the Mi Max.
In conclusion, the Xiaomi Mi Max is a great option for a budget smartphone if you are looking for a multimedia-focused device with a big screen. For a device which is priced at just INR. 16,999, you get a sleek phone, a more-than-impressive battery life, and a decent camera.
Besides, you also get to expand the internal storage up to 256 GB. However, you might want to cover it up with a protective case since Xiaomi isn’t particularly known for its sturdy build quality.
Given the lack of smartphones in India with this screen size, if you ask me, the Xiaomi Mi Max 2 could well be ahead in its gameplay.
Watch out this space for the full review of the Xiaomi Mi Max 2.