First impression of the Xiaomi Mi Max 2
The Xiaomi Mi Max 2 is a so-called phablet, a term that is made up of the terms smartphone and tablet and describes mobile devices with a display size beyond 5.7 inches. Due to its great popularity in Asia, Xiaomi has been offering a phablet series called “Max” since 2016, which is also becoming increasingly popular here.
Design, workmanship and scope of delivery
The metal unibody case of the Xiaomi Mi Max 17.41 measures 8.87 x 0.76 x 2 cm, making the smartphone a considerable weight of 211g. The term “unibody” means that the back and the frame form a unit, which means that there are no visible transitions and the smartphone appears overall rounder.
The smartphone is structured as follows: the front is the 6.44-inch display with a distinctive, 3.5-mm-wide bezel. 3 capacitive and white-illuminated control buttons were placed below the display. Again above the display are the auricle, to the left of the proximity sensor and to the right of the 5 megapixel front camera and the monochrome notification LED.
The housing frame contains the volume rocker and the power button on the right side. The SIM tray was placed on the left side of the frame. The dual SIM slot holds two SIM cards in the size "Nano" and "Micro", and it is also possible to use the second slot for memory expansion by means of a micro SD memory card instead of the dual SIM function. The top and bottom of the frame are typically equipped with the microphones, the loudspeaker, the USB-C connection, the 3.5 mm jack audio connection and even an infrared transmitter.
The back of the Xiaomi Mi Max 2 includes the 12 megapixel main camera with dual-tone LED flash, as well as the round fingerprint scanner, which is located in the upper third. Due to the unibody design, the back is not removable, which means that the battery cannot be replaced! In addition to the successful design, the smartphone is also processed without any problems.
The scope of delivery of the Mi Max 2 is minimalist as usual. Included are the smartphone, a USB-C cable, a charger with NEMA-1 plug connection and a Chinese instruction manual. There is no protective cover or screen protector.
As a phablet, the Xiaomi Mi Max 2 has a display diagonal of 6.44 inches. The IPS display has a razor-sharp resolution in full HD, with 1920 x 1080 pixels and achieves a point density of 342 PPI. Despite the large display, individual pixels cannot be seen with the naked eye.
The display is particularly rich in colors by default and has a good mix between warm and cold colors. In addition, the color profile can be individually adjusted within the display settings. Among other things, there are the color profiles "Warm", "Standard" and "Cold". The brightness of the display can be automatically adjusted based on the ambient light. There is also an automatic contrast adjustment function that also works with the help of the ambient light sensor. Despite the rather average luminance of 450 nit, the display is easy to read even in strong ambient light. The automatic contrast adjustment is particularly impressive. If you want to use the phablet for reading, there is a special reading mode for everyone, which reduces the amount of blue light and is easy on the eyes. The viewing angle stability is also not to be criticized. The color reproduction and display sharpness are retained even from extreme viewing angles.
The touchscreen recognizes a maximum of 10 simultaneous inputs. There were no so-called ghost touches or other detection errors during the test phase. The touch panel works without delay and inputs are precisely recognized. With the “Double tap screen to wake” function, the smartphone can be brought out of standby by tapping twice on the display. It is not known which display glass Xiaomi uses on this smartphone.
The built-in processor is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625, a mid-range processor with a total of 8 ARM Cortex-A53 processor cores that clock at up to 2 GHz. Compared to the Xiaomi Mi Max released last year, which was still equipped with a Snapdragon 650 or 652 (Prime Edition), the Snapdragon 625 is a slight performance downgrade. Instead, the Snapdragon 625 offers improved energy efficiency thanks to its 14nm architecture and supports the USB 3.0 standard. The memory configuration amounts to a 4GB LPDDR3 main memory and a 64GB, optionally also 128GB eMMC 5.1 flash memory.
The everyday performance is surprisingly good. In direct comparison to a much more powerful one Xiaomi Mi6, the Xiaomi Mi Max 2 apps opens only a fraction of the delay. Even after many apps are open in the background, the performance does not noticeably diminish. The user interface can be operated fluently and without delays.
The smartphone, on the other hand, shows a drop in performance when gaming. The predecessor model Xiaomi Mi Max is clearly superior. Games like Asphalt 8 are playable, but depending on the situation, you can feel the slight image breakdowns. Once again, however, the slight rise in temperature is positive. The case back doesn't get uncomfortably hot even after a long period of full load.
All Xiaomi smartphones are equipped with the in-house MIUI, which is currently based on Android 6 or Android 7, depending on the device. Depending on which dealer you buy the smartphone from, there may be a specially adapted shop ROM on the device, which is MIUI, but which has been expanded to include additional functions and apps or offers an expanded language selection. A disadvantage of the shop ROMs is that you can never be sure to what extent malicious apps are preinstalled, and automatic OTA updates cannot be installed. Anyone who is familiar with flashing ROMs can upload an official MIUI ROM in just a few steps.
We received our test copy from GearBest, one of the largest import shops from China, which is known for frequently providing Xiaomi devices with a shop ROM. Surprisingly, the Xiaomi Mi Max 2 was the retailer's first test copy that was not provided with a shop ROM, but with an official "Global Stable" ROM. The Global Stable 18.104.22.168, which is already based on Android 7.1.1, was on the smartphone.
MIUI itself is characterized by a heavily modified user interface that differs significantly from Stock Android. The additional functions that MIUI has to offer are particularly interesting. For example, various themes can be downloaded and selected in next to no time using the theme launcher. The security center offers advanced security settings for app authorizations and can also monitor apps in a targeted manner. The so-called "Second Space" mode enables two user profiles to be created. This means that private and business matters can be separated with one click. Updates are available with MIUI Global OTA (Over The Air).
Update 01. November 2017
The rollout of the MIUI 9 Stable has started. Owners of a Xiaomi Mi Max 2 already receive the update as an OTA directly on their smartphone. Furthermore, the MIUI 9 update can be downloaded directly from the official MIUI website (Link). MIUI 9 is currently the latest in-house Xiaomi ROM for smartphones and tablets.
The camera equipment amounts to a main camera with a 12 megapixel Sony IMX386 image sensor and an f / 2.2 aperture. In contrast to the Xiaomi Mi6, which also uses the Sony IMX386 as the main sensor, the Mi Max 2's camera does not offer optical image stabilization (OIS). The front camera uses an unspecified 5 megapixel image sensor, an f / 2.0 aperture and an 85 ° wide angle.
Practical test of the main camera
In good lighting conditions, the main camera produces detailed and sharp images that can be compared with the dual main camera of the Xiaomi Mi6 can measure. In terms of color, the main camera of the Xiaomi Mi Max 2 is a bit cooler, which makes blue tones stand out better. In low light conditions, the images are also still useful, but the image noise increases significantly. In addition, it is becoming increasingly difficult to capture sharp images. Here it is Xiaomi Mi6 clearly superior with the dual camera and the OIS.
The PDAF autofocus works precisely and focuses within a very short time. The same applies to the release time, which is not noticeably significant. The MIUI camera app offers numerous functions and setting options. Among other things, there are various filters to choose from, which can even be viewed in the preview. Various recording modes such as panorama mode, tilt shift or a special night mode are also integrated. The manual recording mode, which allows individual setting options for exposure time, ISO and focus, is interesting.
The main camera records videos in a maximum of 4K. The frame rate is 30 frames per second. A higher frame rate cannot be set even at 1080p. It is also a shame that Xiaomi does without any image stabilization. There is even no electronic image stabilization, which is why video recordings shake very quickly. Nevertheless, the pictures impress with their richness of detail in good lighting conditions. In poor lighting conditions, the video recordings become increasingly muddy and the colors fade.
Practical test of the front camera
The front camera is suitable for one or the other selfie. Especially with the 85 ° wide angle, several people can easily be brought into the picture. The front camera only records videos in HD. With the "Smart" and "Pro" recording modes, image recordings can be artificially embellished.
Good lighting conditions
Bad lighting conditions
Telephony, WLAN and Bluetooth
The Xiaomi Mi Max 2 has a hybrid SIM slot that can be equipped with two SIM cards (nano + micro) or alternatively with a SIM and a micro SD memory card. The reception strength and transmission quality are not objectionable in the cellular network. LTE Band 20 is not supported by this Xiaomi smartphone either, but the Mi Max 2 can be used in everyday life without any problems. In many places you are well served with H + and in most large cities, LTE reception is not a problem either. The device also cuts a fine figure when it comes to telephony. What is spoken is transmitted very clearly and without background noise.
The WiFi protocols 802.11a / b / g / n / ac and Bluetooth 4.2 are supported. In the test, good connection stability was achieved with a high data throughput rate. There were also no disruptions or disconnections via Bluetooth.
Update 15. August 2017
A few import dealers have now listed the Mi Max 2 as a “Global Version”. Previously released Xiaomi smartphones, which were sold under the name "Global Version", usually covered additional frequency bands, such as LTE Band 20. The global version of the Mi Max 2 does not include LTE Band 20! It is probably the CN version, which has the original Xiaomi Global ROM preinstalled!
GPS and sensors
A GPS fix was found within a few seconds. There were always enough satellites available for precise navigation. An additional e-compass facilitates navigation on foot.
In terms of sensors, the smartphone is equipped with an ambient light sensor, an acceleration sensor, a proximity sensor, a Hall sensor, an e-compass and a gyroscope. NFC is not available. An additional infrared transmitter enables various receiving devices such as televisions to be controlled. There is a fingerprint scanner on the back, which stood out in the test with a short unlocking time and high recognition rate.
Also sonically convinced the Xiaomi Mi Max 2. As already at Xiaomi Mi6, a spatial stereo sound is generated with the aid of the auricle and the loudspeaker located next to the USB-C socket. Sonic subtleties are well represented, so that the smartphone is suitable for listening to music or watching films. The maximum volume is convincing and there is no unpleasant scratching even at full volume. Despite the USB-C connection, a 3.5mm jack audio socket has not been omitted. The sound via the audio connection is also convincing.
The capacity of the battery is 5300 mAh. Due to the unibody housing, it is not possible to replace the battery. The Xiaomi Mi Max 2 proves to be particularly powerful in everyday use. Thanks to the energy-efficient Snapdragon 625 processor and the well-optimized MIUI 8.5, the smartphone achieves average screen-on times of around 13 hours. Even after intensive use (gaming and streaming), the smartphone only had to be charged after 1 ½ days. With normal use (WhatsApp and web browsing), the smartphone only had to be charged after 3 days. Thanks to the "Quick Charge 3.0" quick charge function, the battery is fully charged in just 2 ½ hours. It only takes 50 minutes to charge the battery by 55%!