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Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 Review

Xiaomi Mi MIX 2

Posted: , by Plamen Dimitrov Plamen Dimitrov

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Interface and performance

Powerful, but MIUI is cumbersome

Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 Review

The Mi Mix 2 arrives with Xiaomi's custom MIUI 8.5 skin which is based on Android 7.1.1. The review unit we received is intended for sale in China, so during its first boot up, it didn't go through an initial setup and everything was in Chinese.

Granted, you can switch the language to English, download Google Play, a keyboard app of your choice, and other necessary services, but from a user experience perspective, it's a hassle. Still, Xiaomi's main target audience is the Chinese market and tech-savvy fans of the brand, so we can't really be too judgmental. There's also a more “global” version of the software available on certain units. If you happen to be a more casual user on the hunt for this exotic flagship, keep in mind that importing it might involve risks of this kind.

As you might know, MIUI bears a striking resemblance to iOS, and this specific version is rich in bloatware. Fortunately, you can delete a lot of the unwanted apps, but this is just another chore on the to-do list before you can actually start enjoying your phone.

Performance-wise, the Mi Mix 2 will breeze through just about anything. No game or app is too great for Qualcomm's high-end Snapdragon 835 chipset and the excessive 6GB of RAM. Cruising through the UI is generally stutter-free, save for a few minor software slowdowns here and there.

In terms of internal storage, the handset comes in three versions – 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB. Neither of these features an SD card slot, so you'll only get the storage you paid for.

Camera

Average at best. Corners were cut here.

Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 Review

The Mi Mix 2 comes with a single 12MP F2.0 main sensor with Dual-LED flash. We're a bit puzzled by Xiaomi's decision not to go for a dual-camera here, as the company's Mi 6 flagship and even the mid-range Mi A1 both feature a secondary telephoto lens that allows for bokeh effects.

The main camera can take some decent shots under proper daylight conditions, but low-light performance isn't all that great as photos tend to come out noisy. In such situations, the HDR mode does help out a bit.

As for the camera app itself, we have to say that it's certainly not lacking in features. All the essentials are here – HDR mode, Pro mode, panorama, a variety of filters, and so on. However, what bugs us is that HDR mode has to be enabled manually and doing so introduces a noticeable delay between shots.

The front cam is positioned at the bottom right corner of the phone - Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 Review
Finally, let's address the elephant in the room. The 5MP front camera isn't anything special, but it's positioning certainly is, and not in a good way. If you take selfies on a regular basis, the Mi Mix 2 will most likely disappoint you. Due to the minuscule top bezel, the camera is positioned at the bottom right corner of the phone, so most of your shots will be taken from a weird angle where the focus is on your chin and shoulders. The camera app does suggest to turn the phone upside down and switches its orientation accordingly, yet nothing can really cover this design flaw. To make things worse, most third-party apps aren't compatible with this reversal.



Video recording


Recording video on the Mi Mix 2 has its ups is downs. Video capture defaults to Full HD, while you can also capture 4K clips in 30 frames per second. There's also optical image stabilization which helps with reducing shakiness. The autofocus is fast, yet it doesn't always kick in However, the biggest disappointment is in the audio department – when we play back our clips, the sound is weirdly distorted. Supposedly, this is some sort of noise reduction feature that's also present on other Xiaomi models, but there seems to be no way of disabling it from the camera app.



Multimedia


As far as media consumption goes, the Mi Mix 2 is a bit of a mixed bag. The lack of a headphone jack means that you'll either have to use a wireless headset or get used to carrying the little adapter included in the retail package. Xiaomi typically doesn't provide any earbuds for its handsets; however, this is a high-end model and we feel like it deserves a pair. The single speaker at the bottom of the phone will get the job done, but we've heard far better from some Xiaomi mid-rangers that are nearly twice as cheap.

Things are better on the visual side – the display is large, well-calibrated, and quite bright, which makes watching videos or playing games an enjoyable experience.



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PhoneArena rating:
7.5Good
Display6.0 inches, 1080 x 2160 pixels (403 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera12 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, Octa-core, 2450 MHz, Kryo 280 processor
6 GB RAM
Size5.98 x 2.97 x 0.30 inches
(151.8 x 75.5 x 7.7 mm)
6.53 oz  (185 g)

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