By: Sandeep Budki, The Mobile Indian, New Delhi
Last updated : Friday, July 01, 2016 - 14:16
At Rs14,999 for 3Gb Ram and 32 GB ROM variant Xiaomi is positioning the Mi Max as an affordable mid-range smartphone.
Battery back up
Placement of fingerprint scanner
Since the time smartphones have been introduced, several smartphone companies have launched smartphones with the display screen of more than 5 inches which are popularly known as Phablets. As a matter of fact, Phablet word was coined by Samsung but that was long back.
Today, at an event in Delhi Xiaomi launched Mi Max which has a whopping 6.44-inch display. It is a smartphone with display screen slightly smaller than a tablet. Interestingly, at Rs14,999 for 3GB RAM and 32 GB ROM variant Xiaomi is positioning the Mi Max as an affordable mid-range smartphone. So, does Mi Max deliver what the company claims? Let's find out with our review of the Xiaomi Mi Max!
Mi Max has a body made of plastic and aluminium. Except for the top and bottom of the device, everything is a metal including the buttons. I think the plastic caps have been used to house necessary antennas. In spite of using two different construction materials, colour and feel construction looks smooth and gives a premium feel. To aid in the better gripping side are tapered. The fingerprint scanner and volume rocker are placed on the upper side of the back panel and upper side panel respectively which I feel cannot be easily accessed while holding the device with one hand.
Just under the curved 2.5D display screen, there are three illuminated capacitive keys â€“ recent apps, home and return. The display's side bezels are quite small. Also, I must admit that it was not easy to carry Max around in my pocket because it kept sliding out and I think the best way to carry it is to hold it in your hand.
All is all there is nothing extraordinary in the design of Mi Max as it continues with the design philosophy of existing Xioami devices. Having said that there is nothing to complain as well. To checkout the device pictures click here.
Mi Max has a humongous 6.44 inch 1080P display. The display looks pretty good; it has good viewing angles and accurate colour reproduction. The 1080P resolution seems a bit low at this size, and I would have liked to see Quad HD, even if it meant for a slightly higher price. Sunlight readability is just decent and one will face issues while reading the display in bright sunlight.
One more thing that I didn't like was that Xiaomi has included Corning Gorilla Glass 3 in the Mi Max device launched in India, whereas in China they Max come with Gorilla Glass 4.
The Xiaomi Mi Max is equipped with a 16 MP f/2.0 rear camera with a dual-LED flash and 5-megapixel front-facing camera with 85-degree wide-angle lens. Images taken in good lighting came out sharp and detailed with decent colour. In the dim light, detailing was not up to the mark and there was noise in the snaps. on the other hand, close shots in good lighting came out well.
The only major issue with camera app is that the autofocus is quite slow and if you are taking macro shots it seems like it is taking ages to focus. As far as the front camera is concerned, focusing was a bit better and again, as seen in rear camera, shots taken in decent lighting came out well. In a nutshell, like most of the budget device available in the market today, in Mi Max photography in low lighting is a challenge.
To Checkout the camera samples click here.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor delivers a solid performance in the Xiaomi Mi Max. During my rendezvous with Mi Max, I never felt any lag and was happy with the performance. Playing high-end games like Asphalt 8, thanks to Adreno 510 GPU, was a smooth affair. Mi Max's 3 GB variant, which we have for review, handled moderate-to-heavy multitasking with ease.
As far as the call quality is concerned, I am of the opinion that ear piece speaker could have been a bit louder so that using Xiaomi Mi Max in the noisy environment would not be any issue and users would not have to say "Hello Helloâ€ or "come again.â€ It has a hybrid SIM slot that is one of the SIM slots doubles as a microSD card expansion slot.
The fingerprint reader on the back of the Mi Max is accurate and fast. Unlike Mi5, Xiaomi has used microUSB port in Max instead of USB Type-C. I guess it is a right move because users are still not got used to the idea of having type C port in general.
The single speaker placed on the bottom panel is good but on high volumes, it sounded a bit distorted. Personally speaking, for such a large device dual speakers would have been great but again that would have changed the pricing. So there is some give and take.
The device which we are reviewing is based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow along with the older MIUI 7 user interface from Xiaomi. The stable version new MIUI 8 will be released in August for the Indian market.
The USP of Mi Max is its battery. Its 4850mAh will is good enough to give you two days of battery backup on a single charge on extra heavy duty usage. Quick observation battery backup remains consistent on WiFi network but in cellular data, it varied due to connectivity issues. It takes around 3-4 hours to get 0 to 100% charge.
Mi Max is not a smartphone, neither is it a tablet. I would say it is a "smart-tab.â€ A new category created by Xiaomi. It is a device for those who love or were toying with the idea of having a large-sized display device with a capable hardware at an affordable price point and which has a solid battery backup. People who love watching youtube videos, movies, playing gaming, writing and are hooked to social media may like Max. Mi Max has a humongous 6.44 inch 1080P display. By any standards, it is big, really big. Whether the extra-large display size is the best fit for you will depend both on your usage and your willingness to try out a new screen size which is almost the size of a 7-inch tablet. Having said that, there are a couple of issues with the camera app of Max like focusing and low light photography and I am sure Xiaomi is also aware of those. It now needs to be seen how fast the updates are rolled out to address the pain points.