Xiaomi’s Mi Max 2 is the company’s fourth smartphone launched in India this year after the Redmi Note 4, Redmi 4A, and Redmi 4. Much like its predecessor, the Xiaomi Mi Max 2 bets big on a large display, and a massive battery.
At the Mi Max 2 launch event earlier this week, Xiaomi claimed that it has grown massively in terms of revenue in India compared to same period last year. We can safely assume that these figures more or less reflect the popularity of the low-cost Redmi series. There’s no doubt that the Chinese company has seen positive response to its recent Redmi series launches, but at the same time there hasn’t been any buzz around the higher-end Mi series in India. In fact, the company is yet to decide whether the Mi 6 flagship will even launch here. The Xiaomi Mi Max 2 is the first premium model that this company has launched in over a year, following the Mi Max in June 2016.
The original Mi Max stood out in the category of phones with screens larger than 6 inches, and now we have a few other choices including the Lenovo Phab 2 Plus (Review), at the same price level. Apart from its huge display and big battery, the Xiaomi Mi Max 2 offers decent set of specifications.
Xiaomi Mi Max 2 specifications and software
The massive 6.44-inch display has a resolution of 1080×1920 pixels, which means a density of 342ppi. It also boasts of Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for protection. Xiaomi is marketing the display as one of the best features of the Mi Max 2, but there’s also a big 5300mAh battery to talk about. At the India launch event, Xiaomi even bragged that the Mi Max 2’s battery can last for up to 31 days with the phone in standby, which is similar to what HMD Global has claimed for the reboot of the legendary feature phone Nokia 3310 (Review).
Under the hood, the Mi Max 2 is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625, which has been a popular SoC for phones in this price segment. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (Review), Moto G5 Plus (Review), and Lenovo P2 (Review) are some of the models we’ve tested that are powered by the same SoC. Unlike most Redmi smartphones, only one variant of the Xiaomi Mi Max 2 has been launched, and it features 4GB of RAM and 64GB storage.
The phone has a hybrid dual-SIM slot which might disappoint users who want to take advantage of the big screen with lots of movies and TV shows stored on a microSD card. Users have to sacrifice either a second SIM or a microSD card. The Mi Max 2 supports microSD cards of up to 128GB. If you create a Mi account, you’ll get 5GB of cloud storage space. The phone sports a 12-megapixel rear camera with a Sony IMX386 sensor, f/2.2 aperture, and two-tone flash. There’s also a 5-megapixel front camera with an f/2.0 aperture.
The Mi Max 2 runs on Android 7.1.1 Nougat, with Xiaomi’s MIUI 8.5 skin on top. This makes it the only phone in the company’s portfolio to currently run a stable MIUI ROM based on Nougat. Despite running a modern version of Android, we were slightly disappointed to see some features missing from the Mi Max 2.
We could not double-tap the Overview button to switch between the two most recent apps, and there were no changes to the Settings app or Quick Settings toggles. There was no split-screen multitasking which is a huge waste of the big screen. At launch, the company promised that this feature will be rolling out to the Mi Max 2 with an update very soon, and that it is already in beta. We did try a beta version of MIUI, and it worked flawlessly. In fact, split-screen multitasking was one of our favourite features of the Mi Max 2. We were able to run two apps simultaneously without any issues. The Chinese company is working on Nougat updates for models that are already in the market so we hope that the Mi Max 2 will also receive the full set of features.
MIUI’s Quick Ball feature was also very useful as it allowed us to easily access shortcuts from any screen. The Mi Max 2 also has a special UI theme that offers access up to 25 apps or functions directly from the lock screen. You can download the special Mi Max 2 theme from the Themes app that comes preloaded on the phone. The One-Handed Mode came to our rescue a few times. This shrinks the display area to 4-inch, 4.5-inch, or 3.5-inch sizes for easy accessibility. All you have to to to enable this mode is swipe left or right across the capacitive buttons. There are also a few other software features – Reading Mode reduces the display’s glare, Second Space lets users differentiate their personal and official accounts, and Dual Apps creates two instances of any app on the same device. The scrolling screenshot feature is also available.