First thing first. Mi Max is a huge phone and is meant for people who like them big. More display real estate lets you fit more content, and helps with better multimedia experience, but on the downside, makes your phone difficult to manage. It’s more a matter of personal preference. So, now that we have got that out of the way, let’s talk about how we felt when we examined Xiaomi’s new phablet big phone at the India launch event.
Xiaomi Mi Max Specifications and Features:
|Model||Xiaomi Mi Max|
|Display||6.44-Inch, IPS Display, 1080p Full HD resolution|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 650/652 SoC|
|Internal Storage||32GB (~26GB Free)/128GB|
|Software||MIUI 7 based on Android Marshmallow|
|Primary Camera||16MP, PDAF, LED flash, 1080p Videos|
|Secondary Camera||5MP with 85-degree wide-angle lens|
|Others||4G LTE, Dual SIM (Hybrid slot), WiFi, Bluetooth, Fingerprint sensor|
|Price||Rs. 14,999/Rs. 19,999|
As comfortable as it gets
Xiaomi tries its best to reduce the overall footprint of the handset, in spite of the large display size. The bezels around the display are narrow, the handset is quite slim and yes, it can just about fit in your pocket (No Sir, this one isn’t meant to be carried around in your pants. No two ways about it). Perhaps this is about as comfortable as its gets with a 6.44-inch display phone.
We had heard of some issues with build quality, so that was the first thing we tested in our hands-on time. And turns out there is nothing to worry about. The Mi Max is a solidly built phone. We applied pressure right in the middle but didn’t hear any flexes or creaks.
On the rear side, there is metal flanked by customary plastic strips on top and bottom. The back tactfully tapers on the sides and this, along with an overall slim profile facilitates comfortable handling. The fingerprint sensor is exactly where our index finger naturally rests.
On the white fascia, a 2.5D Gorilla Glass 3 layer is layered. Which means, your fingers will appreciate the subtle difference with every edge-to-edge swipe, and your phone will be protected against mild scratches.
Overall, the Mi Max looks good and feels sturdy. It doesn’t feel unreasonably bulky either.
Since the display takes center stage here, it’s of utmost importance that it’s absolutely amazing. The one on the Mi Max is closer to the one on Redmi Note 3 in terms of quality. The IPS LCD panel has good dynamic range, felt bright and shows good viewing angles. The color temperature leans towards colder tones and thus whites are tinged with blue (the way most people are accustomed to seeing them by now). The contrast ratio could also have been better.
The choice of full HD resolution feels apt. Rendered text and iconography are as crisp as you’d want them to be.
Performance expectations and software
Xiaomi spent the first half of the keynote detailing several cool MIUI 8 features, and thus we were a bit disappointed to see Mi Max still running the familiar, trite MIUI 7 interface. You will have to wait a tad longer to taste the latest MIUI flavor, but rest assured it’s on its way.
Having said that, we found a few a thing new in the software (as compared to Redmi Note 3). The most notable one being a new pro mode in the camera app that lets you toggle with settings like ISO, White Balance, exposure, manual focus, etc.
The base software is Android Marshmallow, but it’s buried deep within layers of Xiaomi’s custom skin.
The MIUI 7 offers many customization options. You can enlarge system font, choose between different sizes of one-handed mode, opt between 3 presets of color temperature, and tweak various other parameters for a more customized software experience.
Xiaomi Mi Max will be available in two variants. One powered by Snapdragon 650 and the other by Snapdragon 652. Both of these chips are the best Qualcomm midrange SoCs around as of today, so naturally, we expect the performance to be smooth. Also, both of these chips are deft at consuming battery judiciously, so we expect good battery backup from the 4850 mAh battery housed inside, even taking into account the increase in display size.
Xiaomi Mi Max Initial Impression
There aren’t many (or any?) phones in this budget which offer similar ‘exta-large-display’ experience. The Mi Max will thus enjoy a monopoly of sorts. The target audience for this Mi Phone is very specific and for anyone who adores such form factor Mi Max is worth considering. Only after our full review will we know for sure if it’s also worth recommending.
Xiaomi Mi Max India Availability: Xiaomi Mi Max will start retailing in India starting 6th July on Mi.com. It will be available on Amazon.in, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Tata CLiQ and Paytm from July 13th onwards.