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Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 Preview: A stunning bezel-less flagship beast

02 October 2017 0

Back in Fall 2016, Xiaomi shocked the smartphone market with the announcement of Mi Mix smartphone. What makes the Mi Mix special was its entry, it remained under the cover of the quite long time until the announcement event. Usually, the upcoming smartphones leaked in rumors which gives gadget geeks a pretty good idea of what to expect from the upcoming device but that wasn't the case with the original Mi Mix. Without any doubt, Xiaomi was the pioneer company who releases first bezel-less smartphone on a larger scale. Although Sharp also tried bezel-less device couple of years ago they were not as successful as Xiaomi.

The success of original Mi Mix prompted other smartphone manufacturers to join in the race that's why almost half of the flagships this year are featuring ultra-thin bezels. Now the company is back once again with the successor variant Mi Mix 2. This year Mi Mix 2 is announced in a crowded marketplace as there is a number of bezel-less devices available in the market. Being a flagship device the Mi Mix 2 will have to face stiff competition from recently announced flagships that's why we already compared the Mi Mix 2 against the LG V30, Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and Apple iPhone X.

No doubt Xiaomi brought changes in almost all departments with the new Mi Mix 2. However, one thing which is still on everyone's mind is whether the new Mi Mix 2 is worthy enough to upgrade or not and also should you consider Mi MiX 2 in the presence of big giant's premium bezel-less flagships? Today we will have a preview of the latest Mi Mix 2 to answer all questions of our keen readers. Without any further ado, let's find out what Mi Mix 2 is bringing on board.

75.5 x 151.8 x 7.7 mm
5.99 inches - 2160x1080 px
Go to comparison page
Design

Xiaomi significantly reduced the overall body dimensions of the new Mi Mix 2 that's why it is significantly smaller than original Mi Mix. The sides around edges are now round which makes it an easy device to grab single handily. Once again Xiaomi opted metal chassis with the ceramic covering the rear side but this time Ceramic body isn't much slippery. The ceramic rear not only looks luring but also it is pretty tough material.

The single-camera sensor on the rear side is slightly protruding and the reason behind it is 4-axis OIS which requires more space to fit in. The device has USB Type-C connectivity port. The microphone is also on the left side whereas the mono speaker is on the right side. Not just that Xiaomi included another microphone on the front top as well. The Volume controllers and power button are on the right edge whereas the SIM card tray is on the left edge. The antenna lines are blended on the top and bottom in the same color scheme like the chassis that's why they are not prominent. It lacks traditional 3.5mm headphone jack for audio output via headphones.

The glass is covering the all front facing side. 80.8% of the front side comprised of display whereas the other portion is meant for the front-facing camera, notification LED and earpiece. Unlike last year the new Mi Mix 2 has the earpiece on the top whereas the LED notification light is on the bottom side. The front-facing sensor is once again on the bottom side which means users will have to flip the device to take selfies. The overall feeling of Mi Mix 2 is pretty amazing as it quite enticing in hands. The smaller display and footprint make it a device worthy to use it as a daily driver.

Display

As I mentioned above the Mi Mix 2 almost 80% is covered with the display panel. This year Xiaomi further stretched the display by bringing an aspect ratio of 2:1 like the LG V30 and G6. Due to such display, Xiaomi shifted the front-facing camera to the bottom that's the first sacrifice that Mi Mix 2 owners will have to do. Those who are looking for a VR ready flagship device they will have to compromise here as well. Xiaomi once again stuck with the Full HD+ display panel of 5.99-inches. Another negativity of this display panel is being an LCD panel instead of AMOLED.

For sure the display is one area where Mi Mix 2 is far away from its competitors. The Mi Mix 2 brightness is good enough to use in direct sunlight but it's top-notch once again like Galaxy Note 8. The good thing is Xiaomi allows the user to either switch to warmer or cooler colors according to their preference. The device also allows the user to set contrast ratio but its recommended to switch it to auto contrast to make it better. Only one area where Xiaomi lacks behind is the inclusion of Full HD+ panel instead of Quad HD+. The IPS display on the Mi Mix 2 is good but certainly not the best available in the market.

Hardware Performance

The Mi Mix 2 hardware under the hood is pretty amazing, the device not only shines from outside but also from inside as well. Like most of the flagships this year, Xiaomi Mix 2 is also powered up by the Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 SoC. The standard variant is available with 6 GB RAM whereas the special edition variant has 8GB RAM which makes it one of the few devices available in the market with such RAM.

It is available in three variants with 64/128/256GB. So you have to choose memory choice wisely while purchasing as it lacks MicroSD card memory expansion. This year Mi Mix 2 isn't only meant for the Chinese market that's why it comes with Google Play Services which clearly indicates it will be released globally. It works quite fluently without any glitch, the hardware is powerful enough to switch between apps within seconds.

It supports almost all carriers across the globe. Instead of the traditional headphone jack, the Mi Mix 2 is available with a USB Type-C adapter so that users can use headphones with the Mi Mix 2. The sound experience with the Xiaomi headphones is much better that's why it is recommended to use wireless headphones with the Mi Mix 2 while listening music or watching videos.

Specs Xiaomi Mi Mix 2
Display 5.99-inches
Screen resolution Full HD+ 2160 x 1080 pixels
SoC Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835
RAM 6/8GB
Storage 64/128/256GB Non-Expandable
Rear camera 12MP
Front camera 5MP
3.5mm headphone jack No
IP68 No
OS Android Nougat 7.1
Battery 3,400mAh
Battery

The original Mi Mix was packed with a 4,400mAh battery cell but this year Xiaomi not only compromise in dimensions but also in the battery section as well. The Mi Mix 2 is featuring a 3,400mAh battery which easily lasts one day on single charge. The device easily last 16 hours on normal usage. One of the reasons behind good battery life is Full HD+ display which does require much less juice as opposed to Quad HD+ panels. The good thing is it can be charged pretty quickly thanks to Quick Charge 3.0.

Camera

Xiaomi is known for having most of its flagships with dual cameras, Surprisingly Xiaomi opted a single camera sensor for the Mi Mix 2. The single-camera sensor won't bring extraordinary results but instead, results are pretty conventional. The rear snapper is the 12MP module with optical image stabilization. It can record video of 4K quality. There is a manual mode as well which allows users to tweak settings according to their requirements.

The camera is capable in good lighting conditions but all results fade away in low-light conditions. There is an HDR mode which enhances the device exposure in low-light, unfortunately, this mode operates with a long shutter mode. This mode is not activated by default but instead, users will have to activate manually. There is a Hand-Held Twilight mode which works pretty good in low-light but its results are slightly darker.

Unfortunately, the front selfie camera is pretty ordinary not only in placement but also is quality. If you do frequent video calls you will find this sensor is placed on unconventional position which needs to be reset again and again. The right-hand users will find it even more difficult because it blocks the camera sensor.

Most of the latest flagships are featuring wide-angle selfie cameras but that's not the case with the Mi Mix 2 as its selfie camera field of view is quite narrower. That's why we won't recommend Mi Mix 2 to those who take frequent selfies. The rear camera results aren't too good to be called as mind blowing but instead results are pretty average. We have admitted lack of dual camera and awkward position of the front-facing camera makes it a device with average camera modules.

Software

Like other Xiaomi devices, the Mi Mix 2 is running on MIUI version of Android. The Xiaomi's own custom MIUI layer was one of the key selling aspects of Xiaomi smartphones that's why the company try to improve it further in each new iteration but unfortunately Xiaomi didn't bring something special in MIUI for the Mi Mix 2 owners. Overall experience is pretty same what we have seen on flagship Mi 6 and last year original Mi Mix.

Despite the fact, Xiaomi included Google Play Services with a number of tweaks and features. The Quick Ball, Dual App, and Second Space are worth appreciating features on MIUI but it seems like Xiaomi's OS is yet not completely ready for the International community. There are few menus which aren't finished that's why it lacks polish. Although the device will be receiving updates pretty quickly but surely that can't excuse the issues related to polishing. Currently, the device is pre-installed with Android Nougat 7.1 with MIUI layer over it, however, we can expect soon it will be updated to Android Oreo.

Price

The Mi Mix 2 base variant with 6GB RAM and 64GB storage available for CNY 3,299 ($505). The 128GB variant cost CNY 3,599 in China ($555). The 256GB model up for sale at CNY 3,999 ($615). There is a special edition variant of Mi Mix 2 with 18K gold plated camera and fingerprint scanner ring, ceramic unibody, and 8GB RAM. It is released for 4,699 CNY. Currently the Mi Mix 2 available for Chinese customers in flash sales but it will be available for other regions pretty soon.

Conclusion

One of the main issue for Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 will be its key aspects, last year Mi Mix was the first company to offer Bezel-less smartphones on large scale but that's not the case this year as there are plenty of options available in the market with the bezel-less design. Most of the companies are now releasing flagships with 2:1 aspect ratio that's why Mi Mix 2 design won't be a special aspect this year.

The good thing is Xiaomi stick to its basic design language and the chassis of Mi Mix 2 is also made up of ceramic. The special edition is also unibody ceramic device. It costs $720 which makes it the most expensive variants of Mi Mix 2. The Mi Mix 2 base variant is significantly cheaper than top-tier flagships available in the market, this could be one of the key selling features of Mi Mix 2. If you can bear MIUI software and awkward camera sensor, at such price the Mi Mix 2 is a steal. At the end, we would like to hear our readers thoughts regarding the latest Mi Mix 2 in the comments section below.

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