Home / Reviews / Mi Max 2 – King Kong returns – [Review]

Mi Max 2 – King Kong returns – [Review]

Phablet is a term that was used in the past for mobiles with large displays. But 5.5 inch has become a regular size and the term phablet is not in use anymore. Mi Max 2 is not a Phablet, it is something more. Mi Max 2 is a large 6.44-inch Tablet and mobile crossover. The first version of Mi Max was industry’s first mobile in that segment. Samsung has quite a few mobile in that form factor, but they are actually tablets with calling feature. Mi Max is neither a tablet, not a mobile. It’s a crossover. Mi Max 2 retains the same size and form-factor of Mi Max. It may not be a device for everyone, but let’s have an unbiased look at the mobile and find out who is this mobile for.

xiaomi mi max 2

In the box

  • Mi Max 2
  • Quick Charger with QC 3.0 support
  • USB-C Port
  • SIM pin ejector
  • Manuals

Design

Last year’s Mi Max has a mix of plastic and metal. Though mixing two materials made the chassis weak, the mobile had a good grip in the hand. But the Mi Max 2 is made of a pure metal body. The metal body gives it an aesthetic edge and a premium feel. But it is very slippery, especially for a mobile of this size. The USB C port is at the bottom with the dual speaker set up. While the speakers at the bottom are side firing, the speaker beneath the earpiece is front firing. Having speakers facing you is a pleasing advantage for a mobile of this size. The mobile also has an IR port at the top, which has become a standard in all Xiaomi mobiles these days. The fingerprint sensor is at the back and it is inconvenient to reach. I wish the fingerprint sensor was placed on the front. I have dropped the mobile accidentally twice from multiple heights. The mobile is solid and sturdy. Apart from the few usability issues like the slippery body and rear fingerprint, Mi Max 2 has excellent build quality and stylish look.

xiaomi mi max 2

Display

Mi Max 2 has a 6.44 inch IPS LCD full HD display. The 2.5D curved glass has Corning Glass protection. It is not easy to find a good tempered glass for any display with 2.5D curved glass. But the display is of great quality. This device will be used as a media consumption gadget and the display compliments its use-case. It is bright both indoors and under direct sunlight. The contrast levels are good and the color is vibrant. Reading mode can be enabled from the settings and also the white balance can be tuned. It was a pleasure reading with the mobile with reading mode on. Mi Max 2 is also good for watching movies or any other media consumption activity.

xiaomi mi max 2

If I had one feedback to Xiaomi guys, that would be to work on palm rejection. There is absolutely no palm rejection. iPads have the best Palm rejection algorithm. It is definitely needed for a device of this size and especially with such thin bezels.

Hardware and Performance

The mobile is powered by Snapdragon 625 processor with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of onboard storage. Memory can be expanded, but only with a hybrid SIM card slot. It has NFC, FM Radio and also supports VR content. Snapdragon 625 is an efficient performer and also easy on resources. Playing resource intensive games on this mobile was smooth, but rarely I did notice frame drops. Graphic rendering quality is average and it is noticeable as 1080p is stretched on a 6.44-inch display. Mi Max 2 does not have any overheating issue. The 4 GB RAM is good in managing memory and the mobile hardware handles the UI with ease.

Camera

I find it very odd when I see anyone using their tablets or iPad to click photos. But in their defense, they click with tablets, because they can see better and shoot. Using the Mi Max 2 to click pictures takes away the oddity, but still, gives them a larger display to preview the shots.

xiaomi mi max 2

Mi Max 2 has a 12 MP rear camera with f/2.2 lens assisted by a dual tone LED flash. It does not have any kind of stabilization. It can shoot up to 4k videos. The front camera is a 5MP sensor, but with a f/2.0 lens. The camera can click sharp and detailed images under ample light conditions. Even under low light, the shots are decent with very less noise. The dynamic range is average. The images appear to be a bit washed out. But the exposure and contrast is spot on.

The camera UI is minimal and functional. It has a few modes like panorama, audio note, manual mode, beautify, group shot, tilt-shift.. etc. The app is user-friendly. It is fast to open and time between shots is also very less. The camera on Mi Max 2 is good and better than what you get from tablets in this price range.

Software

MIUI on the Mi Max 2 has been customized keeping the size of the display in mind. The mobile comes with Swiftkey installed and the ‘thumb’ layout on the keyboard is very convenient to type on a wide display. The size of the display can be reduced with a single swipe for optimal one handed usage. Quick ball is another nifty feature for one handed operation. The font size can also be adjusted to suit the needs. Second space, dual apps, navigation button customization, scrolling screenshots, are a few of the noteworthy features on the MIUI. The UI is fast and snappy. The software works in harmony with the hardware. I am eagerly looking forward to MIUI v9.
xiaomi mi max 2

Battery

With 5300 mAh battery, the Mi Max 2 is an everlasting beast. I regularly get over 10 hours of screen on time with heavy to moderate usage. On a single charge, the mobile lasts for more than 2 days of moderate usage. It also gets charged in about 2 hours as it supports Quick Charge.
xiaomi mi max 2

Who is this mobile for?

Let’s recap the highlights of this device.
  • Large display
  • Large mobile, fit to be called as a tablet crossover
  • Sensible user interface
  • Good camera
  • Over the top battery performance

Now let me invent some persona with use-cases that require the above highlights.

I see this mobile useful for frequent travelers who would like to watch a video or play games on the go. It would be useful for students to take notes and read. It would be useful for anyone like me who is constantly on the go and need a good mobile to take notes, interviews, browse, write or publish articles.
xiaomi mi max 2
The only inconvenience with this mobile is its size. I can never ride with this mobile in my Jean pocket. A city rider would find it tough to handle. I am trying to invent some use cases here, but I hope you get the point.

Verdict

 Mi Max 2 is not a regular mobile to please everyone. Ist is specially made for people who want and who love large display mobiles. If you are one such person, you would love Mi Max 2. If not, you will just hate it. It is either on or off. Nothing gray in-between. I would highly recommend this mobile to anyone who is looking for a large screen mobile table cross over experience. The mobile is priced at Rs 16999. In my opinion, the pricing is perfect. Though there are not many mobiles in this segment, Xiaomi has priced it sensibly.

Mi Max 2

Design - 7.5
Display - 8
Performance - 8
Camera - 8
User Interface - 9
Battery - 10
Value for Money - 8

8.4

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About Giridhar

A Technology evangelist, Giridhar reviews gadgets and mobile applications. He is also a passionate photographer and a user experience designer by profession.

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