Xiaomi Mi Max: A phablet that is easy on your wallet, hard on your pocket
We all know the old phrase “Go Big or Go Home”, right? Looks like Xiaomi took it to heart when they designed their massive mid-range smartphone, the Mi Max. With a screen to match my deepest pockets, here is what I think of the Xiaomi Mi Max.
Design Features and Display
The Xiaomi Mi Max stands tall at an imposing 6.81-inches with an aluminum body and chamfered edges that round out at the corners. While the slim body might lend a sense of fragility, the metal body seems durable and has a solid feel to it. The bezels on the front are greatly reduced on the sides in order to keep the dimensions of the phone from reaching astronomical proportions. While the phone may still be too large for most people to use comfortably with one hand, Xiaomi have done their best to maintain an ergonomic design for what it’s worth. On the right, we have the volume and power buttons, which are positioned perfectly despite the size of the handset. The hybrid dual SIM slot is situated on the left side of the phone. The infra-red emitter and headphone jack can be found on the top, while the single speaker and micro-USB port are paced on the bottom.
The most important feature the Mi Max brings to the table is its massive 6.44-inch display. While it may be simple IPS LCD panel with Full HD resolution, the sheer size of it makes it all the more enjoyable to watch videos and play games on. I mean, just look at it. It’s about two-thirds the size of a bottle of water. With great viewing angles and vibrant colors to keep you engaged, the Mi Max puts most smartphone screens to shame. The display does come with Xiaomi’s Sunlight Display technology that brings more detail to text and images under bright sunlight. I really couldn’t really see the difference though, which was somewhat underwhelming.
Hardware and Battery
Considering its size, you would expect the manufacturer to skimp out on performance in order to keep their “mid-range smartphone” price tag. But surprisingly, the Mi Max packs quite a punch. Under the hood, we have a hexa-core Snapdragon 650, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage space. You can expand the storage space with up to 256GB using a micro SD card in the hybrid SIM slot. With a CPU powered by four 1.4GHz and two 1.8GHz cores, the Mi Max is more than capable of handling day-to-day tasks and even some demanding games as well. I have spoken at great length about the phones size and how the display is probably the most tantalizing feature of the Mi Max. But the screen isn’t the only thing that goes big in this smartphone. The slim metal chassis houses a large 4,850mAh battery that can easily last you the day. While it does come with Quick Charge 3.0 support, I was disappointed to find that the provided charger did not. A bit of a miss on Xiaomi’s part in my opinion.
Camera, Performance and Software
The 16-megapixel snapper on the Mi Max may not be all that special, but it gets the job done. It’s capable of recording video in 4K resolution, which is a plus point for sure. While the photos we took with adequate lighting came out well, I could notice some subpar performance in low light and even indoor situations. The camera comes with phase detection autofocus and the software does a decent job of correcting image sharpness in most cases. Macro shots (which are my personal favorite) showcase good detail, but only when there’s the right amount of lighting to go with it. The camera app that comes with the Mi Max also has a manual mode that allows you to adjust the settings like shutter speed, focus and ISO. The front facing camera comes with a 5-megapixel sensor that is capable of recording 720p video as well.
The Snapdragon 650 shows admirable results for the Mi Max, consider it is priced at the lower end of the mid-range smartphone market. The benchmark results show it performed better than the new Samsung Galaxy A7 it most respects, at least hardware-wise.
When it comes to software, however, the highly customized MIUI 7 that the smartphone comes with is based off of Android Marshmallow. Sure, it may look like iOS and act finnicky sometimes, but Xiaomi has done their best to make it as user-friendly as possible.
One of my favorite features is the One-handed mode, which shrinks the screen down to a more manageable size. This allows you to easily perform tasks like typing which you may not have been able to reach with just one hand (which is very likely if you don’t have frying pan-sized hands).
Packaging and Pricing
The Xiaomi Mi Max comes with a SIM unlock pin, a microUSB cable and a power adapter (which doesn’t support Quick Charge 3.0). The Xiaomi Mi Max is available on the market for AED 899* in retail stores across the UAE.
If you’re a fan of tablet-sized smartphones, you will definitely be pleased with the Xiaomi Mi Max. Compared to other phones of the same price range, the battery lasts longer, the screen size is larger and the buttery-smooth performance is a little unexpected. The only reason you wouldn’t buy this phone is if you were looking for something with better specifications or if your pockets aren’t large enough.