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Review: Xiaomi Mi Max 2

Xiaomi’s new Mi Max 2 offers a huge 6.44-inch screen and a 5300mAh battery at a very affordable price tag of AED 969. But is the performance up to mark? Let’s find out.

The Xiaomi Mi Max 2 smartphone was launched a couple of weeks ago in the UAE, when Xiaomi marked the opening of its first brand store in the region, in Burjuman Shopping Center, in Dubai, UAE. The phone as mentioned before comes with a 6.44-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 1080 pixels by 1920 pixels at a PPI of 342 pixels per inch.

The screen is just delicious to look at and is protected by Gorilla Glass 3 from scratches that might occur from frequent use (and abuse). The colours pop out and everything is just crystal clear. Under the hoot, the Xiaomi Mi Max 2 is powered by a 2GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor and it comes with 4GB of RAM.

The phone also packs 64GB of internal storage that can be expanded up to 128GB via a microSD card. As far as the cameras are concerned, the Xiaomi Mi Max 2 packs a 12-megapixel primary camera on the rear and a 5-megapixel front shooter for selfies.

The overall design and build quality is just excellent. The phone is made of a compact 5.15-inch stainless-steel frame, which is covered by four-sided 3D curved glass. The phone runs on the MIUI 8.5 build, which is based on Android 7.1.1 Nougat OS. The phone measures 174.1-by-88.7-by-7.6mm and weighs around 211-gms.

You get two choices when it comes to the color – gold and black. We received the black version for this review. On the right edge, you will find the power and volume buttons, while the left edge is devoid of anything. The speaker is located at the bottom of the device. Xiaomi has also placed a second speaker into the earpiece.

Audio quality was quite good on the Mi Max 2. Even at higher volumes, the sound does not distort. On the top edge, the Mi Max 2 offers a 3.5mm jack, a microphone, and an IT blaster, which is a welcome addition. With the IR blaster you can control devices such as your TV, air conditioner, set-top box, and so on, without having to use separate remote controls for each of the devices.

On the bottom you also get a USB-C port for charging and data syncing. Turn the phone around and you will find the 12-megapixel camera along with the LED flash module. Just below the camera is a fingerprint scanner, which is quite quick at recognizing fingerprints. In terms of UI, the MIUI 8.5 is very well refined.

Once you setup the phone, you get an option to choose between Swiftkey or Gboard as your onscreen keyboard. Other apps included on the Mi Max 2 include a built-in video editor in the gallery, an audio recorder and a QR reader. MIUI also offers thousands of themes that let you customise every facet of the interface.

The Mi Max 2 comes with a hybrid dual-SIM slot which might disappoint users who want to take advantage of the big screen with lots of movies and TV shows stored on a microSD card. Users have to sacrifice either a second SIM or a microSD card. The Mi Max 2 supports microSD cards of up to 128GB. If you choose to create a Mi account, you’ll get 5GB of cloud storage space, too.

The performance of the 12-megapixel rear camera, which uses a Sony IMX386 sensor with 1.25-micron pixels, and has an f/2.2 aperture, was quite good. Under good lighting conditions, we were able to shoot some amazing pictures. The photos had good colour rendition and sharpness.

In low light situations, however, the camera was more hit-or-miss. Autofocus was less accurate, colours seemed a bit off, and noise was quite apparent. The HDR mode meanwhile did a good job at improving dynamic range.

In terms of overall performance, the Mi Max 2 was able to score 63598 points in AnTuTu benchmark. The performance was good when playing games, using productivity apps and the overall experience was quite seamless without any lags or stutter.

The Xiaomi Mi Max 2 comes with a large, non-removable 5300mAh battery which the company claims can deliver up to two days of life. In real-world usage, the phone doesn’t disappoint with its battery performance as it easily lasted up to two entire days on a single charge, even with heavy usage.

Xiaomi seems to have carved a niche for itself through its offerings and the company is now on an expansion spree in the region, having tasted success with its initial product offerings. The Mi Max 2 certainly adds more value to the overall proposition.

It offers an all-metal anodized aluminum chassis, a premium look and feel, a huge 5300mAh battery, big screen, and good performance. All this for a very affordable price point of AED 969. The phone definitely hits the sweet spot when it comes to those looking for a value for money phablet.

Price: AED 969

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