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There's something unique and appealing about the bezel-less smartphones. They are instant head turners and their large screen estate makes them quite workable for video playback, gaming, reading and other daily tasks. The edge-to-edge design has paced up rapidly in the smartphone market and almost every smartphone manufacturer now sells one or more than one bezel-less handsets.
If you also happen to find them interesting, then you will love the new Xiaomi Mi Mix 2. The bezel-less phablet has been launched in India today at a price of Rs. 35,999. There will be a special preview sale for Mi Fans on 17th October, at 12 Noon on Mi.com and Flipkart. Following this, Mi MIX 2 will go on sale across Mi.com, Flipkart, all Mi Home stores, Mi Preferred Partner stores, and Large Format Retail Partners during the first week of November.
Besides the appealing design and display, Mi Mix 2 also offers some high-end specs. It has 6GB of RAM and is powered by Qualcomm's flagship Snapdragon 835 CPU. With high-end specs and a gorgeous design, Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 tries to take on its premium counterparts from Samsung, LG, and even the upcoming Apple iPhone X and Google Pixel handsets. Can it succeed? Let's find out.
Design: Most pleasing design to look at but demands extra care
What started by the original Mi Mix quickly gained momentum and filled the smartphone market with a myriad of bezel-less smartphones. Today Samsung, LG, Vivo and even Micromax offer handsets with almost bezel-less designs. The recent additions are Apple iPhone X and Goggle Pixel handsets that are yet to be announced in the Indian market.
While Micromax, Vivo and Huawei operate in budget and mid-segment respectively, Samsung, LG, Apple and Google holds the premium category. The gap is filled by Xiaomi Mi Mix 2, one of the most appealing mobile devices launched in the year 2017. Unlike the original Mi Mix, it can be bought in the Indian market which can be a reason for its possible success.
Talking about the design, Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 is a gorgeous looking handset that also addresses some important usability issues witnessed with the original Mi Mix. These include the improved speaker design at front and slightly wider bezels to prevent those unwanted phantom touches which was said to hinder the overall user-experience with the original Mi Mix.
The new Mi Mix is also more compact, 11.9% smaller than the original Mi MIX. I have tried the original Mi Mix and the second generation phablet does feel more usable in everyday scenarios. The front camera placement is however still arguable and will trouble selfie lovers. To give the handset a premium touch, Xiaomi has coated the camera module ring with 24 carat gold.
Besides, the design is still very much slippery and is also a fingerprint magnet. The all glass front paired with a ceramic back and metal unibody makes Mi Mix 2 quite sturdy and slippery. You will often find yourself wiping off those unwanted smudges. The build quality is admirable and Mi Mix 2 is one of the most premium handset ever came out from the house of Xiaomi.
Display: Star of the show
The 5.99-inch screen is undoubtedly the center point of the Mi Mix 2. The FHD+ display with the screen resolution of 2160×1080 pixels is bright and very touch responsive. The screen size has been reduced from the original 6.4-inch form factor to make the second generation Mi Mix device more usable in everyday life.
It is a welcome change and makes Mi Mix 2 much more ergonomic than the last year's model. And while the OLED screen offers vivid and sharp content, you might envy the Quad HD panels on flagship devices from LG, Samsung and upcoming Google Pixels. We will test the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 outdoors to give our final verdict on the screen's actual performance.
Camera: 12MP rear camera with OIS and 4K video recording support
I am going to skip the argument that Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 does not offer a dual-lens camera setup that is gradually turning into a standard feature among smartphones. Instead, I am going to focus on the 12MP single lens shooter that boasts 4-axis optical stabilization and can also record 4K videos.
I took a couple of shots and the results were good and comparable to other flagship handsets in the market at this and even at higher price-point. Mi Mix 2's camera works on a darker f/2.0 aperture but the images captured in outdoors and indoors showed good detailing and vibrant colors. The camera also has 4-axis Optical Image Stabilization.
The front camera is undoubtedly the talking point of Xiaomi Mi Mix due to its unusual placement. Unlike every smartphone we have in the market that places the front camera at top of the display, Mi mix 2's 5MP camera is positioned at the bottom chin of the handset.
It rests at bottom right corner and the camera interface asks you to rotate the device upside down to capture selfies. It was quite an experience to click some selfies from the awkwardly places front snapper and we will focus on its real-life usability while reviewing the handset.
Hardware: Top-end hardware
Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 is not just about an eye-catchy design. The phablet also offers high-end specifications. It makes use of a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor paired with 6GB of RAM to handle processing and multitasking respectively.
You get 128GB internal storage and the handset does not offer a microSD card slot. The smartphone does not come with wireless charging and you will also not find the standard 3.5mm headphone jack, which was offered by the original Mi Mix.
Software: Xiaomi MIUI 8.5 over Android 7 Nougat
While on one side Xiaomi is rocking stock Android UI on its mid-range Mi A1, the Mi Mix 2 still runs the company's customizes skin- MIUI 9 atop Android 7.1.1 Nougat operating system. As it goes with company's previous MIUI powered handsets, the UI is smooth and places all the apps on the home-screen. The apps fired up quickly and you have tones of customization features within the UI.
Battery and Connectivity
Mi Mix 2 draws its power from a 3,400 mAh battery unit that also supports Quick Charge 3.0. As far as connectivity is concerned, Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 has Wi-Fi 802.11, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, USB Type-C, GPS and AGPS. The smartphone also has an Ultrasound Proximity Sensor, first time in a smartphone.
At its price-point, Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 have good chances to be a sensible alternative for consumers who were eyeing the pricey Galaxy S8, S8+ and other bezel-less flagship handsets. Another reason the device can do good is the fact that Xiaomi didn't announce the first generation Mi Mix and there's a huge anticipation build over its bezel-less successor.
As far as real-life performance is concerned, we will stress test the phablet and will also find out how usable the new Mi Mix 2 as an everyday mobile device is in the coming week. Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 will compete with OnePlus 5, Honor 8 Pro and other sub Rs. 40k handsets in India. Stay tuned on Gizbot.com for our comprehensive review of the smartphone.