Xiaomi Mi Max – Probably the best 6.4 inch Phablet of 2016

Xiaomi’s biggest Phone yet of 2016, also boasts a Premium Flagship design, 4K capable camera and also a whopping 4850mAh battery, giving it around 14 hours battery life.


Pros:

  • Powered by Snapdragon 650/652 Chipset, Adreno 510 GPU
  • Great RAW and Gaming Performance
  • 3/4 GB RAM and up to 128 GB eMMC Storage
  • Flagship build quality and balanced weight distribution
  • MIUI 7.4 (based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow)
  • Nice added features of MIUI and includes Assistive features
  • Gorgeous 6.4″ FHD 1080p Display
  • 16 mp, PDAF (Phase Detection Autofocus), 4K video recording, Dual LED Flash
  • Hybrid Dual SIM Support (Sim 2 for TF/MicroSD Card Support)
  • Fast and Strong WiFi Reception, also supports Dual Band 2.4/5GHz WiFi
  • Snappy and Accurate Fingerprint ID Scanner (10/10)
  • 4850mAh battery (14 hours usage time – verified)
  • Ultrathin (only 7.5 mm despite the large battery underneath)

CONS:

  • No USB Type C
  • No App Draw
  • Not for everyone (Huge size)
  • No NFC Support
  • Lacks OIS (Optical Image Stabilization)

Where to Buy? (April 26)

Xiaomi Mi Max (4+128gb Snapdragon 652) retails at $262 (SALE)

OTHER LINKS

Xiaomi Mi Max (4+128gb Snapdragon 652) retails at $245 (SALE)

Sale price until May 2

You may be interested: Smartphone Deals (updated)

The Xiaomi Mi Max is probably the biggest Phone that Xiaomi has made this year. At 6.44 inches, it is big and certainly not for everyone, it’s categorized as a Phablet, which is a cross between a Tablet and a Phone. Not only that, the phone also boasts (according to Xiaomi) up to 14 hours battery life. You can refer to the video below for, Endurance Test between the iPhone 6s Plus, Huawei P8 Max and the Xiaomi Mi Max.

PhonePlaybackCameraGPS
iPhone 6s Plus
(2750mAh)
7 hrs, 30 mins 2 hrs, 55 mins 7 hrs, 13 mins
Huawei P8 Max
(4360mAh)
8 hrs, 20 mins 3 hrs 7 hr, 22 mins
Xiaomi Mi Max
(4850mAh)
14 hrs 4 hrs, 40 mins 8 hrs, 26 mins (33% left)

The tablet above gives you an idea of the Endurance capacity of the Xiaomi Mi Max, the 4850mAh at it’s innards really giving it an edge compared to other Phablets in the market, mind you, that all the phones presented are 6 inch Phablets.

Xiaomi Mi Max Full Review

Xiaomi’s biggest Smartphone of 2016 unveils the Xiaomi Mi Max, with a whopping 6.4″screen, it is one of the many surprises of 2016. Although it is featured as a Flagship, technically it is just a Mid-tier Smartphone with a Flagship Body. The build quality is simply top notch and is one of the major selling points of this Smartphone. After using the Phone for a couple of days, here is my Full Review of the Xiaomi Mi Max (updated August 13, 2016)

Flagship Build Quality and Design

Starting with the design, the Xiaomi Mi Max simply looks gorgeous, it is also Ultra thin probably the thinnest 6.4 incher available today. Also considering that it houses  a humungous 4850mAh battery, the phone remains surprisingly light weight and well balance. What I mean with well-balanced, is that the phone  feels great even held one-handed, and the perfect weight distribution, it will not likely to tip the phone when you hold it.

The Shell Material is also Aluminium with a  Strong solid frame. The sides are curved and perfectly contour your palms when you hold it. Even with one handed you can send and use the phone perfectly, Xiaomi adds, the one hand mode, which I will discuss more in detail in the OS segment, it is also a  feature of MIUI 7.4 and  above.

Unfortunately, not all good can be said, the lack of USB Type C Port is a major downer, considering most phones already have that. Also the loudspeakers are directed down, which means it can easily be muffled.

And Finally, in terms of convenience, which is a very subjective area, I did find it tedious carrying the phone, It is especially too big for me, my limit usually is 5.5 inches, it can barely fit my pants, and wearing jeans doesn’t help either. I am always worried if I will break or bend the phone.  So Portability is not so much for me, if you are always lugging a small bag around, then this phone will perfect for you, but this is a  common problem for big phones.

xiaomi mi max pic 2 xiaomi mi max pic 3

Great Gaming and RAW Performance

The Xiaomi Mi Max actually has 3 versions available:

  1. Standard version with only 2 GB RAM and Snapdragon 650 Hexacore chipset
  2. Pro version with 3 GB RAM and Snapdragon 652 Chipset
  3. Pro version (2) 4 GB RAM and Snapdragon 652 Chipset

The difference between the 650/652 Chipsets are actually quite minimal, the 652 is just clocked a bit higher, so you should expect it to have higher scores in Benchmarks. But on real world performance, I think the difference is barely noticeable. What I have is number 2 (3 GB and Snapdragon 652 chipset).

In terms of Benchmarks, here are the results of the tests down below:

  • PCMark Work Performance: 6056
  • PCMark Storage Performance: 3189
  • 3DMark Slingshot ES 3.1 : 615
  • Geekbench: Single Core (1082) and Multicore (2545)
  • Antutu Benchmark v6.2 : 55098 points

As you can see, the performance is consistent with other Mid-tier Chipsets in the market, probably it’s closest rival is the Mediatek Helio X20 Chipset. More so, Real-World performance is quite good, I did not experience any slowdowns or lags. Even with plenty of background apps, the performance still stay snappy.

Gaming is also great, the Adreno Chipset is able to handle Mid to High 3D Intensive games with relative ease. Although the phone gets warm easily which typically occurs in prolonged gaming. Games like Mortal Combat X, Asphalt 8 and Modern Combat 5 ran without any issues and barely noticeable lag.

High Quality 1080p Display

The Mi Max houses a 1080p or FHD Display, which actually looks great on a 6.4″ display. The colours reproduction is quite good, the contrast are deep and also brightness levels are also very good with great Sunlight legibility. The viewing angles are also great and I think the best screen to watch movies. You also have the luxury of adjusting the colour temperature from Warm to Cool and also how strong the Contrast is.

Furthermore, there is also a Reading mode which reduces background glare and makes text easy to read and well for the eyes. The setting can be also be adjusted. You also have Double Tap to wake option available.

The touch screen sensitivity is quite good, and touch feedback is accurate, no accidental hits.

MIUI 7.4, a great complement to the an already awesome Phone

The Xiaomi Mi Max runs the latest MIUI 7.4 OS which is skinned version of Android 6.0 Marshmallow. I am personally familiar with the UI, having been used Xiaomi Redmi Note 3. The UI basically complements the overall system and offers features that make it easier to use. One in particular is the “One-Hand Mode”, which resizes the screen according to your preference, making it easier to type and send text, preferable for both right or left handed users.

Also a new addition is the “Touch Assistant” which is similar to the Apple’s Feature  of the same name. The feature adds multiple touch controls and helps you easily navigate  the interface.

The  Notification Window allows is divided into two, the first one covers all pending notification feeds, and swiping right, brings you to the control short menu for all the functions available for the phone.

If you are watching a movie and don’t want the navigation menu to be functioning, then you can easily stop it temporarily on the notification menu.

Plugging in a pair of Headphones also grants you access to “Mi Sound Enhancer” there are several presets available and most of which have different take depending on the Headphones you plugged in. The quality of the sound is likely improved with the Enhancer.

Guest Mode is another feature that adds privacy restriction on your phone, best suited if someone other than you will use your phone or a Child will be using it. It safe guards your data. On a related note, Child Mode is also a feature that will restrict access to certain apps and turn your phone into Child Friendly.

“Mi Mover” is a feature that allows users to share files easily, uses QR code if you are identified either as a Recipient or a Sender of files. This feature I think is available to other MIUI users or with Mi Mover installed in their system.

Very Fast and Accurate Fingerprint Scanner

The Fingerprint Scanner is one of the fastest and most accurate I have tested. The process is very streamline and recognizing your Fingerprints are quick. You can use it to basically unlock your phone easily and so far on my test, it has been 10/10 in terms of accuracy.

Very capable camera but average 4K video

The Xiaomi Mi Max is equipped with a 16 MP PDAF Sensor Camera which translates to great quality images. Images came up the best on good lighting and struggles on low light, which is usually a common issue with these phones. But the overall image quality is quite good, details are great and noise are kept to a minimum. On the other hand, on low light, noise is quite obvious. The Dual Tone Dual LED Flash helps, but I did notice that the yellow tint, is strong with images looking a bit yellowish after the flash.

Capture and shutter time is snappy however the touch focus could use a bit more improvement, some images come out of focus, and sometimes, it doesn’t focus at all. After focusing, a green circle focus area will appear, you can also adjust  the exposure time here from +/-, just turn it either clockwise or counter clockwise.

The Camera UI is very similar to the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3, It’s very easy to navigate and change shooting modes. Speaking of shooting modes, swiping  left, will grant you access to quite a few such as Audio, Beauty, Fish Eye, Tilt Shift, Straighten, Panorama, Night time mode and Manual Mode. However, it does lack other popular shooting modes such as smile capture, gesture and voice capture. More so, when you swipe left, it will bright out the filters.

On video mode, it is capable of up to 4K video at 30fps. The quality is good but nothing spectacular, it also lacks automatic focus and OIS (Optical Image Stabilization), so when you move a lot on taking videos it comes out jittery.

Also on video mode, you can choose either Time Lapse feature or Slow Motion which only works on 720p HD at 120 fps.

Full Packed Connectivity

The Xiaomi Mi Max is packing a lot of connectivity options to choose from. It also supports Dual Band WiFi 2.4/5GHz natively, the signal reception and strength are strong. Bluetooth also works great as well 3G/4G Data Connectivity. 4G LTE is capable of up to 150/50Mbps speeds but unfortunately my phone only supports TD-LTE, which works only in China. So I wasn’t able to take advantage of 4G LTE Speeds.

Real 14 hours Battery Life, Pokemon Go all Day

It’s not only for product placement, but the 14 hours battery life claim is REAL. On my use, I was able to get 10 hours plus, wifi, youtube, movie, at 40% screen brightness. The 4850mAh is big and the numbers prove that claim. On gaming, you will probably get half or around 8 hours of battery life but that number is still impressive. Probably this is the biggest selling point of the Handset and will surely please any Pokemon Go users.

Fast Charging is also supported, it can charge the 4850mAh back to 100% in about 90 mins, which is quick especially considering the size of the battery.

SpecsXiaomi Mi Max
ChipsetQualcomm Snapdragon 650/652 1.8GHz Hexacore
GPU: Adreno 510
MemoryStandard: 3 GB + 32/64 GB (Snapdragon 650)
PRO: 3/4 GB + 64/128 GB (Snapdragon 652)
Sim 2 Slot/Nano: TF Cards up to 128 GB
OSMIUI 8.0 (based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow)
Display6.44" IPS 2.5D Arc Screen
1920 x 1080 pixels
Main Camera16 mp, PDAF (Phase Detection Auto Focus), Dual tone LED Flash, 4K video
Front Camera5.0 mp, 85 degree wide angle
FeaturesFingerprint ID
NetworkHybrid Dual SIM (Micro+Nano/TF Card), Dual Standby
2G: GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz
3G: WCDMA 850/900/1900/2100MHz
4G: FDD-LTE 1800/2100/2600MHz
ConnectivityBluetooth 4.2
WiFi 802.11 ac/b/g/n, Dual Band WiFi 2.4/5GHz
Micro USB 2.0
SensorsAmbient Light, Gyroscope, Hall, E-Compass, Infrared, Fingerprint, Accelerometer
GPSGPS/A-GPS/Glonass/Beidou
IO1x Hybrid Dual SIM slot/TF Card Slot
1x 3.5 mm Audio Port
1x Micro USB 2.0
Dimensions173.1 x 88.3 x 7.5 mm
Weight: 203g
Batterybuilt-in 4850mAh

Pros:

  • Powered by Snapdragon 650/652 Chipset, Adreno 510 GPU
  • Great RAW and Gaming Performance
  • 3/4 GB RAM and up to 128 GB eMMC Storage
  • Flagship build quality and balanced weight distribution
  • MIUI 7.4 (based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow)
  • Nice added features of MIUI and includes Assistive features
  • Gorgeous 6.4″ FHD 1080p Display
  • 16 mp, PDAF (Phase Detection Autofocus), 4K video recording, Dual LED Flash
  • Hybrid Dual SIM Support (Sim 2 for TF/MicroSD Card Support)
  • Fast and Strong WiFi Reception, also supports Dual Band 2.4/5GHz WiFi
  • Snappy and Accurate Fingerprint ID Scanner (10/10)
  • 4850mAh battery (14 hours usage time – verified)
  • Ultrathin (only 7.5 mm despite the large battery underneath)

CONS:

  • No USB Type C
  • No App Draw
  • Not for everyone (Huge size)
  • No NFC Support
  • Lacks OIS (Optical Image Stabilization)

Where to Buy? (April 26)

Xiaomi Mi Max (4+128gb Snapdragon 652) retails at $262 (SALE)

OTHER LINKS

Xiaomi Mi Max (4+128gb Snapdragon 652) retails at $245 (SALE)

Sale price until May 2

You may be interested: Smartphone Deals (updated)

Conclusion: The almost perfect Phablet of 2016

It is not a Flagship but has Flagship build quality and offers great features, performance and a 14 hour battery life. No question that the Xiaomi Mi Max is my best pick of 2016. Although the size might not appeal to everyone, it offers everything you want on a Smartphone. I manages to excel in every category with little comprise. The lack of USB Type C Port is probably its biggest gripe but for those who can live without it, then this phone is almost perfect. For fans of Phablets, I don’t need to tell you the best pick for 2016, here it is, the Xaomi Mi Max. Best in relation to price and performance.

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