“The Xiaomi Mi Max 2 is a phablet which boasts a giant 6.44-inch screen and a massive 5,300mAh battery”

The smartphone industry is extremely diverse and caters to buyers with varied budgets and needs. While some require a smartphone which has a fast processor, others might prioritise battery over performance. The diversification isn’t just limited to a handset’s internal specs either, which is why we’ve got smartphones of different sizes too. A category which has really caught on is that of phablets, which is an informal term given to a device which combines the capabilities of a smartphone and a tablet. Recently, Chinese tech giant Xiaomi unveiled the Mi Max 2 smartphone in China, which comes as the successor to the Mi Max (review) and boasts a massive 6.44-inch full HD display. While there’s still some time until the smartphone lands in India, we got ourselves a unit from China and here are our first impressions of the same.

Xiaomi Mi Max 2 first impressions 24The Xiaomi Mi Max 2 comes packaged in a white cardboard box, opening which you’ll get the smartphone itself along with some documentation, a SIM ejector tool, a wall charger and a USB Type-C cable. The device doesn’t ship with a pair of earphones, which something we expected, but still a bummer. 

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Taking a look at the smartphone itself, you might be appalled by its massive size at first (unless you’ve seen the predecessor). However, upon closer inspection, the Mi Max 2 feels really ergonomic and has been built using a unibody metal design which feels premium too. Xiaomi hasn’t experimented with the overall design of the Mi Max 2 and the smartphone still looks a lot like its predecessor. However this time around, you’ll get a curvier back and rounded edges which will help you grip the smartphone a lot better. Additionally, the weight of the smartphone is evenly distributed too and therefore, it nestles well in the hand. Having said that, do bear in mind that the Mi Max 2 isn’t intended for one-handed usage and doing so might result in accidental drops. 

As for the placement of ports and controls, buyers get a 3.5mm headphone jack up top which is flanked by an IR sensor. Towards the bottom, buyers will find a USB Type-C port which has been sandwiched between two speaker grills. The volume rocker as well as the power button can be found on the right side of the Mi Max 2, with a hybrid SIM tray housed on the left side. There’s a fingerprint sensor present towards the back below the rear camera module, which worked without a hitch during the first few hours we spent with the device. 

Moving on, buyers will get a massive 6.44-inch full HD display up front which uses IPS LCD technology. The display has adequate brightness levels on both ends of the slider and gets sufficiently bright or dim. The viewing angles of the smartphone were really good too and we don’t have any complaints with the panel as of yet. 

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For performance, the smartphone comes with a Snapdragon 625 processor which works in tandem with 4GB of RAM. Our unit came bundled with 64GB of storage, however, there is a 128GB variant available too. Do note that the 128GB variant ships with 4GB of RAM as well. The smartphone runs Xiaomi’s custom MIUI interface on top of Android v7.1.1 Nougat. As far as the performance is concerned, the Mi Max 2 fared pretty well and rendered all the UI animations smoothly. There was no lag when we jumped in and out of different applications and the smartphone’s memory management was admirable too. The Snapdragon 625 processor powering the smartphone is no slouch when it comes to performance, and has acquired quite a reputation for itself for being extremely energy efficient too. Having said that, you’ll have to wait for our full review of the Mi Max 2 to see just how good the smartphone handles gaming and heavy utility tasks. 

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In the camera department, the handset ships with a pair of 12MP and 5MP sensors on the back and the front respectively. While the 12MP camera at the back might seem like a downgrade from the 16MP sensor on the Mi Max, Xiaomi claims it has used an improved image sensor for the Mi Max 2 and therefore, the captured images should be better on the device. We will be covering the smartphone’s cameras in depth in our full review so stay tuned for that. 

The battery size was one of the biggest talking points around the Xiaomi Mi Max 2 when it was first announced. Not only does the handset ship with a significantly larger battery than its predecessor (5,300mAh on the Mi Max 2 vs 4,850mAh on the Mi Max to be precise), the new smartphone is just one millimetre thicker than the older model. Coupled with the energy efficient Snapdragon 625 processor, the Mi Max 2 should give one heck of a battery life. 

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The 64GB variant of the Xiaomi Mi Max 2 has been priced at 1,699 Yuan which roughly translates into Rs 17k. For the price, the device will be going up against the likes of Moto G5 Plus (review) which is a great compact smartphone in the affordable segment. However, if you’re really looking for a large-screened device, it hardly has any competition in its price range. Whether Xiaomi’s Mi Max 2 is big on value as it is on size is what we’ll be testing out in our full review, so stay tuned for the same. 

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