Xiaomi Mi Max 2 Review

Introduction


Xiaomi Mi Max 2 review unit provided by our friends at EuDirect.Shop

For the second year in a row, Chinese _phone_ maker Xiaomi has produced a device that takes the word “phablet” to another level. Much like its predecessor, the recently-released Mi Max 2 employs a massive 6.44-inch screen, but also packs improvements in several key areas.

While undoubtedly welcome, these enhancements also come hand in hand with a bigger price tag, so let's put this exotic smartphone under scrutiny and see if it's worthy of your attention.

Design


Xiaomi Mi Max 2 Review
Xiaomi Mi Max 2 Review
Xiaomi Mi Max 2 Review
Xiaomi Mi Max 2 Review

As we live in the year of “all-screen” phones, we can't really say that the bezels on the Mi Max 2 are all that slim. Still, the _phone_ works out a good screen-to-body ratio of 74.13%.

Compared to the first iteration, there's a big improvement in terms of build quality. This year's model is larger and heavier, but it does feel more premium and comfortable to hold thanks to its all-metal unibody and rounded edges. The power and volume keys feel sturdy and responsive.

The fingerprint scanner is fast and reliable, and we're happy to say that Xiaomi has included a type-C USB port this time around.

Overall, we like the design of the Mi Max 2, but it's important to remember that a device of this stature is not suitable for everyone.

View more
+ 11 images
prev image
next image
View As Slideshow »

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

11.

12.

13.

14.

Front view | Side view
Xiaomi Mi Max 2
Xiaomi Mi Max 2
6.85 x 3.49 x 0.3 inches
174.1 x 88.7 x 7.6
7.44 oz (211 g)

Xiaomi Mi Max 2

Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra
Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra
6.5 x 3.11 x 0.32 inches
165 x 79 x 8.1 mm
6.63 oz (188 g)

Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra

Lenovo Phab 2 Pro
Lenovo Phab 2 Pro
7.08 x 3.49 x 0.42 inches
179.83 x 88.57 x 10.7 mm
9.14 oz (259 g)

Lenovo Phab 2 Pro

Huawei Mate 9
Huawei Mate 9
6.18 x 3.11 x 0.31 inches
156.9 x 78.9 x 7.9 mm
6.70 oz (190 g)

Huawei Mate 9




Display


Xiaomi Mi Max 2 Review

The obvious highlight of the Mi Max 2 is its humongous 6.44-inch LCD display. Its 1,080 x 1,920 resolution works out a pixel density of 342ppi, which is not ideal, but sufficient. Viewing angles are good and the screen seems to be a bit less reflective than the original Mi Max, but the maximum brightness level has been reduced for some reason. As such, outdoor visibility isn't a strong point of this display.

With a color temperature of 7500K, most colors and shades appear bluer than intended, but we do have to note that the situation is better than with the original Mi Max which had an even colder screen. All in all, we're happy with the display's performance, given the fact that the phone costs about $300.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Xiaomi Mi Max 2 496
(Good)
1
(Excellent)
1:2523
(Excellent)
7517
(Average)
2.27
4.84
(Average)
4.8
(Average)
Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra 619
(Excellent)
13
(Poor)
1:1444
(Excellent)
7493
(Good)
2
3.82
(Good)
5.69
(Average)
Lenovo Phab 2 Pro 428
(Good)
5
(Excellent)
1:1251
(Excellent)
8314
(Poor)
2.22
5.72
(Average)
7.62
(Average)
Huawei Mate 9 677
(Excellent)
5
(Excellent)
1:1662
(Excellent)
8113
(Poor)
2.3
5.76
(Average)
7.37
(Average)
View all

The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.

These measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.

These measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.

These measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

View all


Xiaomi Mi Max 2 Review

Introduction


Xiaomi Mi Max 2 review unit provided by our friends at EuDirect.Shop

For the second year in a row, Chinese phone maker Xiaomi has produced a device that takes the word “phablet” to another level. Much like its predecessor, the recently-released Mi Max 2 employs a massive 6.44-inch screen, but also packs improvements in several key areas.

While undoubtedly welcome, these enhancements also come hand in hand with a bigger price tag, so let's put this exotic smartphone under scrutiny and see if it's worthy of your attention.

Design


Xiaomi Mi Max 2 Review
Xiaomi Mi Max 2 Review
Xiaomi Mi Max 2 Review
Xiaomi Mi Max 2 Review

As we live in the year of “all-screen” phones, we can't really say that the bezels on the Mi Max 2 are all that slim. Still, the phone works out a good screen-to-body ratio of 74.13%.

Compared to the first iteration, there's a big improvement in terms of build quality. This year's model is larger and heavier, but it does feel more premium and comfortable to hold thanks to its all-metal unibody and rounded edges. The power and volume keys feel sturdy and responsive.

The fingerprint scanner is fast and reliable, and we're happy to say that Xiaomi has included a type-C USB port this time around.

Overall, we like the design of the Mi Max 2, but it's important to remember that a device of this stature is not suitable for everyone.

Front view | Side view
Xiaomi Mi Max 2
Xiaomi Mi Max 2
6.85 x 3.49 x 0.3 inches
174.1 x 88.7 x 7.6
7.44 oz (211 g)

Xiaomi Mi Max 2

Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra
Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra
6.5 x 3.11 x 0.32 inches
165 x 79 x 8.1 mm
6.63 oz (188 g)

Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra

Lenovo Phab 2 Pro
Lenovo Phab 2 Pro
7.08 x 3.49 x 0.42 inches
179.83 x 88.57 x 10.7 mm
9.14 oz (259 g)

Lenovo Phab 2 Pro

Huawei Mate 9
Huawei Mate 9
6.18 x 3.11 x 0.31 inches
156.9 x 78.9 x 7.9 mm
6.70 oz (190 g)

Huawei Mate 9




Display


Xiaomi Mi Max 2 Review

The obvious highlight of the Mi Max 2 is its humongous 6.44-inch LCD display. Its 1,080 x 1,920 resolution works out a pixel density of 342ppi, which is not ideal, but sufficient. Viewing angles are good and the screen seems to be a bit less reflective than the original Mi Max, but the maximum brightness level has been reduced for some reason. As such, outdoor visibility isn't a strong point of this display.

With a color temperature of 7500K, most colors and shades appear bluer than intended, but we do have to note that the situation is better than with the original Mi Max which had an even colder screen. All in all, we're happy with the display's performance, given the fact that the phone costs about $300.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Xiaomi Mi Max 2 496
(Good)
1
(Excellent)
1:2523
(Excellent)
7517
(Average)
2.27
4.84
(Average)
4.8
(Average)
Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra 619
(Excellent)
13
(Poor)
1:1444
(Excellent)
7493
(Good)
2
3.82
(Good)
5.69
(Average)
Lenovo Phab 2 Pro 428
(Good)
5
(Excellent)
1:1251
(Excellent)
8314
(Poor)
2.22
5.72
(Average)
7.62
(Average)
Huawei Mate 9 677
(Excellent)
5
(Excellent)
1:1662
(Excellent)
8113
(Poor)
2.3
5.76
(Average)
7.37
(Average)
View all

The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.

These measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.

These measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.

These measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

View all


Interface and Performance


Xiaomi Mi Max 2 Review

With Mi Max 2, you'll get Xiaomi's custom MIUI 8.5 skin which is based on Android 7.1.1. Sure, it does look a lot like iOS, but we certainly appreciate some of the nifty features that are on board.

For example, Dual Apps lets you run two separate instances of the same app, allowing you to do things like using two Viber or WhatsApp accounts on the same phone. If you want to use the device with a single hand, one-handed mode and Quick ball (similar to Assistive Touch on iOS) can aid you. There's also a Themes app that allows for some easy customization in the aesthetics department. However, we're puzzled by the fact that there's no split-screen multitasking on a smartphone this big, and we certainly hope that it will be included at a later point.

In terms of performance, some of you might be disappointed, as Xiaomi has opted to replace the Snapdragon 652 that was present on the first Mi Max with the Snapdragon 625. The 625 is less powerful, but it's built on a newer 14nm process. This means that demanding games and apps won't run as smoothly on the Mi Max 2, but the handset is more power-efficient.

Still, the Mi Max 2 will be able to handle most of your daily needs without too much trouble, and navigation through the UI is generally stutter-free, save for the search function in the Settings menu. Depending on the quantity of the search results, a delay of 2-4 seconds can be experienced before they are displayed, which kind of ruined our otherwise good impressions.

In terms of internal storage, the handset comes in two versions – a 64GB one and one with 128GB of the stuff. Both have a microSD expansion slot and feature 4GB of RAM.

Performance benchmarks

AnTuTu
Higher is better
Xiaomi Mi Max 2 60672.33
Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra 63406.33
Lenovo Phab 2 Pro 84676
Huawei Mate 9 128531
JetStream
Higher is better
Xiaomi Mi Max 2 24.804
Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra 27.651
Lenovo Phab 2 Pro 50.62
Huawei Mate 9 68.406
GFXBench T-Rex HD on-screen
Higher is better
Xiaomi Mi Max 2 18.33
Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra 21.33
Lenovo Phab 2 Pro 23
Huawei Mate 9 60
GFXBench Manhattan on-screen
Higher is better
Xiaomi Mi Max 2 9.7
Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra 6.6
Lenovo Phab 2 Pro 9
Huawei Mate 9 36
Basemark OS II
Higher is better
Xiaomi Mi Max 2 1239.66
Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra 1264.33
Lenovo Phab 2 Pro 1628
Huawei Mate 9 2785
Geekbench 4 single-core
Higher is better
Xiaomi Mi Max 2 861
Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra 854.5
Lenovo Phab 2 Pro 1472
Huawei Mate 9 1923
Geekbench 4 multi-core
Higher is better
Xiaomi Mi Max 2 4180.66
Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra 3732
Lenovo Phab 2 Pro 3504
Huawei Mate 9 6140
View all

Camera


Xiaomi Mi Max 2 Review
Camera app interface - Xiaomi Mi Max 2 Review
Camera app interface - Xiaomi Mi Max 2 Review
Camera app interface - Xiaomi Mi Max 2 Review

Camera app interface


The Mi Max 2 features a single 12 MP f/2.2 main sensor with Dual-LED flash, and a 5 MP selfie cam. On paper, this might look as another downgrade compared to last year's model which packed a 16 MP f/2.0 camera, but in practice this is not the case. Xiaomi has enlarged the pixel size on the main shooter (from 1.0μm to 1.25μm), and this increase has resulted in an overall improvement of image quality.

We were able to take some pretty decent shots, even in less than perfect day conditions. Exposure levels are generally good, and the color representation seems to be fairly accurate. Low-light performance is nowhere as impressive as photos tend to come out noisy, but Xiaomi's HHT (Handheld Twilight) mode does help out with increasing sharpness.

The camera app is quick to open and shoot, and it has a good selection of modes and filters. As for the front sensor, it can produce some good selfies, but we would advise turning beauty mode off.


Camera speed

Taking a pic (sec)Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec)Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
Xiaomi Mi Max 2 1.5
2.9
959
671
Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra 2.7
5.9
No data
No data
Lenovo Phab 2 Pro 2.1
3.4
560
561
Huawei Mate 9 1.5
1.7
No data
No data
View all

Video recording


We certainly didn't feel amazed while recording video with the Mi Max 2. Sure, being able to capture 4K video on a mid-ranger is great, but the autofocus feature is very unreliable and the lack of optical image stabilization can result in some pretty shaky clips.

Multimedia


Xiaomi Mi Max 2 Review

The Mi Max 2 has what's needed to satisfy your multimedia needs. Whether you like to play games, watch videos, or even full-length movies on the go, the phone's colossal screen has you covered.

We also have to give props to Xiaomi for including stereo speakers this time around. The composition is quite interesting – the speaker on the bottom takes care of the bass and lows, while the one embedded in the earpiece prioritizes mid and high frequencies. The sound coming out of there is crisp and sufficiently loud, so we can safely label the current Max model as “above excellent” in this department.

Audio output

Headphones output power (Volts)
Higher is better
Xiaomi Mi Max 2 0.20
Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra 1.16
Lenovo Phab 2 Pro 0.352
Huawei Mate 9 0.296
Loudspeaker loudness (dB)
Higher is better
Xiaomi Mi Max 2 75
Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra 78
Lenovo Phab 2 Pro 74.9
Huawei Mate 9 75.1
View all


Call quality and connectivity


Xiaomi Mi Max 2 Review

We have no qualms with the way the Mi Max 2 sounds during calls. The earpiece is loud enough, and the sound quality is decent. We're easily understood on the other side of the line.

It's important to note that the handset is incompatible with the majority of 4G bands in the USA. However, 3G support should be available with AT&T and T-Mobile. If you're living in Europe, make sure that your carrier uses either LTE band 3 or 7, as 20 is not supported.

As for connectivity options, the only thing missing from this smartphone is NFC, so Android Pay isn't available. Otherwise, the hybrid SIM tray allows you use either two SIM cards or a SIM and microSD card. All the other goodies are on board, such as Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, the latest Wi-Fi standards, and so on.

Battery


Xiaomi Mi Max 2 Review

The battery life on the Mi Max 2 is unbelievable. It's hulking stature hosts a power cell with a capacity of 5,300mAh. Combine that with the energy efficient chipset, and what you get is record-breaking durability.

The Mi Max 2 clocked in at 17 hours and 22 minutes in our custom battery tests. It managed to beat LG X Power, the former champ in this category, by over two hours. To put things into perspective, it's more than twice as durable as the iPhone 7 (7 hours and 46 minutes) and the Samsung Galaxy S8 (8 hours and 22 minutes). Two days between charges is pretty much guaranteed on this device, and with moderate use this number can easily go up to three or four days.

Meanwhile, the charger supports Qualcomm's Quick Charge 3.0 technology, which enables the huge battery to go from 0 to 100% in about 2 hours and 15 minutes.

Battery Benchmarks

Battery life (hours)
Higher is better
Xiaomi Mi Max 2 17h 22 min (Excellent)
Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra 10h 32 min (Excellent)
Lenovo Phab 2 Pro 7h 3 min (Good)
Huawei Mate 9 12h 14 min (Excellent)
Charging time (minutes)
Lower is better
Xiaomi Mi Max 2 145
Lenovo Phab 2 Pro 100
Huawei Mate 9 144
View all

Conclusion


Xiaomi Mi Max 2 Review

In a fiercly competitive mid-range segment, the Mi Max 2 is a smartphone that simply stands out. It certainly isn't for everyone, but it rewards those who can handle its size with a quality build, adequate performance, decent cameras, and exceptional battery life and multimedia experience.

Yes, it has its flaws, but we're inclined to look the other way, given the fact that the 64GB version costs about $260-$280 (delivery, import and other fees not included). At this price, there aren't many other phones that can compete with Xiaomi's "Max" package.

So, do we recommend the Mi Max 2 as a good purchase? Well, is it compatible with your carrier? Will you be comfortable with using a device of this magnitude? Can you live with the fact that service and support may be limited in your country? If the answer to those questions is "yes", then so is ours.

Xiaomi Mi Max 2 review unit provided by our friends at EuDirect.Shop