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The Mi Mix 2 is the emblem of the maturity achieved by Xiaomi. The Chinese company has addressed all the shortcomings of the first generation, Mi Mix, creating an all-around smartphone. Of course, it doesn’t have the same “wow effect” as the previous one since its borderless design is certainly less extreme. It had to be done in order to create a device that is more ergonomic in day-to-day use.
After all, this Mi Mix 2 was born with a real sword of Damocles on its head: the legacy of a smartphone that has been a turning point for the entire industry. Xiaomi always knew this, and immediately understood that the path of aesthetic compromise was the only way to make the necessary corrections to the project.
This is the birth of a smartphone with a real headphone capsule, with a camera far superior to the first generation’s one (thanks also to the introduction of the OIS), with more compact dimensions (5.99 inch diagonal instead of 6.4) and therefore more ergonomic, with the metal frame that increases the grip.
It is certainly not a defect-free product, like any smartphone on the market, but it is certainly a high-level device that offers performance absolutely comparable to the direct competitors with the usual parameter that has always characterized Xiaomi’s policy: the quality/price ratio.
Construction and ergonomics
In order to improve ergonomics, Xiaomi has made two fundamental choices. First of all, it has shrunk the diagonal of the screen to 5.99 inches, succeeding in realizing a more compact smartphone that you can hold well in your hand and does not bother you to carry around every day.
Secondly, the company used metal for the side frame instead of ceramic, a choice that significantly increased the overall grip. For the rest, Mi Mix 2 is built to exceptionally high standards.
Ceramic has not disappeared completely but is limited to the back cover, providing a very beautiful mirrored effect (although it attracts fingerprints like a magnet). The edges are however a little more pronounced, a change that allowed to insert a real earphone capsule but that has visually mitigated the concept of borderless.
It should be noted that the rear camera has become protruding, mainly due to the introduction of the optical image stabilizer. The supplied cover is definitely improved, is less thick and presents a sort of rubberized effect.
The smartphone convinces from a constructive point of view, giving the feel of a true top of the range.
Hardware and performance
Xiaomi played it safe. Mi Mix 2 is based on the Snapdragon 835 SoC coupled with 6GB RAM and Adreno 540 GPU. A hardware platform that guarantees high-level performance since we have already witnessed it on other smartphones.
Mi Mix 2 runs well in virtually any condition, without suffering even when under stress during long gaming sessions. In these circumstances, we notice a slight increase in the temperature of the back cover. It’s nothing alarming, but it still has to be pointed out.
The web browsing experience is extremely satisfying and enhanced by the large 5.99-inch screen. Also worth noting is the presence of the UFS 2.1 memory standard (64/128/256GB), the fastest on the market today.
The performance can be partly described with the results achieved by the Mi Mix 2 in an AnTuTu benchmark. My specimen scored 176,828 points, ranking fourth overall behind only the OnePlus 5, HTC U11 and Nubia Z17, and leaving in the dust devices like the Galaxy S8, S8+, Xperia XZ Premium, and the iPhone 7 Plus.
The front is dominated by a 5.99-inch display with a 1080×2160 pixel resolution (403 ppi), made with IPS LCD technology and protected by Gorilla Glass 4. Xiaomi has also decided to align itself with the new trend adopting the 18:9 form factor.
The panel is great, able to give you a great view in virtually all brightness conditions (including direct sunlight). The brightness sensor works well, although you must be careful not to cover it (since it’s placed on the bottom edge).
Xiaomi set a warm shade for the color range, which I must say I particularly appreciate. Very good contrast and viewing angles. Important to highlight the excellent oleophobic treatment of the glass that protects the screen and is often crucial for outdoor visibility.
The Chinese company chose to round the corners of the screen, a solution of significant aesthetic impact. The decrease in the diagonal allowed for a display more usable in everyday life, while also managing to increase pixel density.
The Mi Mix 2 ships updated to MIUI 9 and Xiaomi confirmed the arrival of Oreo for 2018. The Chinese company intervenes heavily on the graphic aspect a choice that tills now represented one of its strengths.
The MIUI skin confirms that is an extremely smart interface, full of useful features. I really value the ability to double some applications (such as WhatsApp or Facebook), considering the Dual-SIM support of this device.
As always, great attention is paid to the security of your information. You need to meticulously set app permissions so that you don’t have problems with, for example, receiving notifications. In short, a degree of customization extremely deep, as in pure Xiaomi tradition.
Despite the great amount of functionality, the interface is perfectly optimized with the hardware. Everything runs smoothly without any hiccups, enhancing the user experience.
Mi Mix 2 is equipped, on the back, with a 12 MP f/2.0 camera, characterized by the Sony IMX368 sensor and supported by the optical image stabilizer and a dual-tone LED flash. Xiaomi has managed to make a significant leap in quality especially when it comes to night photography.
Nevertheless, low light shoots remain the “weak point” of the Mi Mix 2, especially when compared to those of direct competitors. In the daytime, however, the smartphone is able to stand up to the competition, with absolutely convincing shots. Generally speaking, the addition of the OIS has certainly been a good thing.
The shoot velocity is excellent. MIUI also offers a feature-rich software that is extremely enjoyable to use. The 5 MP front camera does its job well, although having it positioned on the lower edge is certainly not convenient.
Video can be shot up to 4K at 30 FPS and is decent although the autofocus can be a bit lazy. The audio captured is discreet, with the latter representing another of those elements that put the photographic segment of the Mi Mix 2 still a step backward compared to the top dogs.
Xiaomi has placed the speaker on the bottom of the Mi Mix 2. A smart choice which allows you to place your smartphone on a surface and still be able to listen to the speaker. But that’s not all, by exploiting the earphone capsule, the Chinese company was able to introduce stereo audio.
The volume is very high, there is a little lack of bass but the whole experience turns out to be extremely pleasant. The ability to rely on stereo audio is also another step forward in improving the project.
The call quality is definitely better. The presence of a real headphone capsule allows you to enjoy good audio. An important step-up.
The 3.5 mm audio jack is missing. Xiaomi includes in the package an adapter that allows you to connect your headphones through the USB Type-C port. The listening experience is good but it is not possible to simultaneously charge your smartphone.
The MI Mix 2 is a Dual-SIM smartphone and the reception is of excellent level. The same goes for the Dual-band AC Wi-Fi. There is also Bluetooth 5.0, NFC and GPS A-GLONASS BDS, with a virtually automatic satellite fix. In short only, the infrared port is missing.
The built-in 3.400mAh battery provides good autonomy. With my usual day (mixed-use between LTE and Wi-Fi, 3 push mail accounts, hundreds of social notifications and apps of instant messaging, about 1 hour of phone calls) I always managed to reach 5 and a half hours of screen time. A great result, allowing you to arrive home in the evening without having to resort to additional charges during the day.
Moreover, a charger compatible with Quick Charge 3.0 has been included in the package.
What else can I say about the MI Mix 2? During the last two weeks, it made me a believer. It’s a well-built smartphone, offering top-of-the-range hardware at a much lower price than competitors.
Of course, there are some minor flaws, which do not compromise everyday use.
It is a product we recommend because it makes possible to have a top-of-the-range experience, albeit not the best one, without spending a fortune.