Xiaomi Mi Max Review – Impressive Phablet For Media Consumption

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Of late, it has become a trend among the smartphone manufactuers to have one phablet in their portfolio to target large screen users. Recently, we have seen many devices in this segment in India such as LeEco Le Max 2, Samsung Galaxy J Max and now Xiaomi Mi Max. Few days ago, Asus has also launched ZenFone 3 Ultra having a screen size of 6.8 inch with very powerful cameras and high-end features at huge price of Rs. 50,000. The Galaxy J Max is priced Rs. 13,400 and has inferior specifications compared to Mi Max but has display of 7 inch. Xiaomi’s Mi Max also has huge display of 6.44 inch and falls in the category of phablet. Xiaomi has introduced this phablet to narrow the gap between tablet and smartphone. Basically, it is an attempt by Xiaomi to attract those buyers towards Mi Max who want big screen for media consumption and want one device for entertainment and calling.

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The Mi Max comes in two variants : 3GB RAM and 32GB storage, packed with 1.8GHz hexa-core Snapdragon 650 processor which is priced Rs. 14,999 and is currently available in India. The second variant comes with 4GB RAM with 128GB of internal storage, powered by a 1.8GHz octa-core Snapdragon 652 processor having a price tag of Rs. 19,999. This variant will be available soon. In this article, we will analyse whether the Mi Max is worth its price and what are its pros and cons.

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If you are in the market for a smartphone with massive display in reasonable price then Mi Max will attract you with its metal design with curved edges. It has smooth surface on the back panel which will not allow the device to slip from your hand even if you manage to use it with single hand. Besides metal, their is also plastic cover on top of the front for antennas and at the bottom on plastic cover, navigation keys are placed which are illuminated. These plastic caps do not look odd and mingles beautifully with the metal design. Power button and volume rockers are placed on the right side which have good response time. Dual SIM slot is on the right side and 3.5MM audio jack is at the top end of the phone with IR blaster. The charging slot and speaker grille have been given at the bottom edge of the phone

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Fingerprint reader is placed on the back panel and can be easily accessed provided you have long hand. This is sleel looking device having thickness of 7.5mm and despite being very big in size, it has weight of 203 grams. But you can’t tuck this in your pocket and single hand usage on the move will be extremely difficult. But its overall feel and construction looks quite impressive and praiseworthy.

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The Mi Max is packed with impressive hardware to win accolades as a big phone in size as well as in features. Besides its large 6.4-inch Full HD IPS LCD display, it is packed with a Snapdragon 650/652 processor and you can extend the internal storage upto 256GB via microSD card. This phablet has hybrid SIM Slot which means you can either insert two SIMs or one SIM and one microSD card at the same time. On the photographic front, it comes with a 16MP f/2.0 aperture rear camera with PDAF and a dual tone LED flash. It also houses a 5MP front camera with a f/2.0 aperture. It offers connectivity options of all 4G LTE bands in India, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth v4.2 and GPS etc. It is packed with massive 4850 mAh battery which is another plus point of this device.

This phablet flaunts a huge 6.44 inch full-HD (1080×1920), 342ppi display with Gorilla Glass 3 protection against scratches and it gives you ample screen real estate to enjoy watching videos, playing games and browsing web as images and texts come out sharp on the screen. The display produces accurate colors, has good viewing angles and sunlight readability is not bad. The large display of this phablet is ideal for media consumption and this in our opinion is one of the underlying theme of this device for which it has been intoduced. Morover, you can adjust colors and contrast of the display from the settings and can set warmer or cool colors as per your likings.

This phablet works very well and we have got Snapdragon 650 variant device for review purpose. During my usage of more than two weeks, Mi Max performed to our entire satisfaction in all departments. We did not experience any lag or stutter while playing high-end game like Asphalt 8. It was smooth experience and switching between the apps also is very smooth. Its 3GB RAM is sufficent enough for multitasking and in our view, this RAM capacity is good enough for moderate usage. But if you are compulsive heavy users of games and stream lot of content then we suggest you to opt for 4GB variant.

Besides this, I am over impressed with its huge battery of 4850mAh battery. During my usage of this device, my powerbank has taken a back seat and I have seldom used it for charging this phablet. It can easily last for more than a full day even if you are heavy users and kudos to Xiaomi for removing the problem of frequent charging. You can enjoy watching movies and any media content without any interruption.

I am also very much impressed with fingerprint reader on the back panel which is quite fast. I have tested so far many fingerprint readers of premium devices such as OnePlus 3, LG G5, Nexus 6P, Galaxy 7 edge and find that it is par with these devices as far as its performance in terms of registration of fingers and response time is concerned. In this price range, this is great offering of security feature on this device.

On the imaging front, the 16MP primary camera is of very high standard as it clicks sharp images. I have snapped few images in daylight without using any filter and you can see the output for yourself. In good day-light this camera captures fair amount of details and reproduces true colors. This camera struggles when their is less light especially in a room or outside and to be frank, majority of even high-end smartphone cameras suffers on account of this and hence no complaint on this aspect. Full HD video capability is also available on rear camera. Full marks to Xiaomi for the strength of its primary camera and its 5MP front camera is more than enough for capturing bright selfies in good lights.

Some of the images captured in good daylight:

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Image clicked from quite distance

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Images clicked indoors

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The camera comes with varios built-in filters and you can play with the images as per the situations. It also incorporates various modes such as Panoram, Beautify etc. The little irritant experienced by me was camera’s autofocus as it did take considerable time to lock the focus sometimes and hence you miss to capture the action the way you want it to be clicked. But this is minor aberration in otherwise great camera in this price.

Despite the fact that this phablet is basically for consumption of media but still it is fitted with single speaker on the bottom, which gives loud output with good audio quality. The sound does not distort in high volumes and one can enjoy the audio in full volume.

The Mi Max given to us runs on  MIUI 7 based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS and the latest update of MIUI 8 will be carried out soon. Although we are not followers of customs layers but still it has been optimised very well with the strong hardware and we did not face any problem in opening or using any app as UI of MIUI 7 is quite responsive.

The Mi Max also performs basic functions very well as it has excellent call quality and it receives 4G signals wherever available, quite nicely.

Since every device can’t be perfect in all respects because of price constraint or design faults, the Mi Max also has certain minor imperfections. It has good processor, storage and camera in the range of Rs. 15,000 but it disappoints as far as phase detection auto-focus feature in the camera is concerned, which is little bit slow. It has hybrid SIM slot. Despite the fact that it has been provided with amazing battery of 4850mAh capacity yet their is no Quick Charger in the box as it takes approximately more than 3 hours to charge the battery full because it is quite huge.

Inspite of little irritants, this phablet has good display, excellent battery and impressive camera and gives smooth performance. This is the ideal choice if you are comfortable with big device and do not care about single hand use. If you are media consuming person then this will prove an excellent choice and in second device usage scenario, the Mi Max will prove quite useful as you won’t burn your battery much on your primary device for watching movies etc. In phablet category, Mi Max does not have any competition in this price range.

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