You can tell right away that Xiaomi didn't go low-key at all with the Mi Max 2 design. Typically, a phone of this size should be careful not to call attention to itself for the wrong reasons, and we think Xiaomi nailed the subtle and tasteful exterior: an all-metal body, trendy antenna inlays, and 2.5D front glass. On the inside, the Mi Max 2 has a new camera sensor, a new processor, more RAM and the highlight of it all - a huge battery that this time around is capable of fast charging.
MIUI 8 has got a nifty new feature which will hopefully bolster the Mi Max 2's productivity credentials alongside its multimedia skills. Split Screen has been around for years in various custom ROMs and MIUI is finally taking advantage in a way that phablet users will likely appreciate.
The Mi Max 2 is massive but its heart is gentle. Screens of six inches or more are not a huge niche and yet it's not heavily contested either. The first Mi Max did very well for Xiaomi, and we guess a sequel made perfect sense. So there we are, the Xiaomi Mi Max 2 is in for review and we're gonna give it our best shot.
The hybrid SIM slot is by no means a deal-breaker - you're better off with an imperfect option than none at all. Having to wait for the Split Screen to arrive via a firmware update in late August is a bit of a letdown, but we are still supposed to get it. If Xiaomi meets its own deadline even the earliest of adopters will not have to wait long.
The Snapdragon 625 might seem as a downgrade from the 650 chip in the original Mi Max, but we think Xiaomi might have a point here. The hexa-core CPU in the Snapdragon 650 has a couple of powerful 1.8GHz Cortex-A72's for some extra kick when needed. But the octa-core Snapdragon 625 is built on a 14nm process, meaning superior power efficiency and less heating. The eight 2GHz Cortex-A53's are perfectly capable of crunching routine, day-to-day tasks and the huge battery will probably make an even bigger difference with that power-efficient chipset.
We already have a good feeling about the Xiaomi Mi Max 2 and it's not just the size of the screen and the battery. So, let's get on with the review by opening that big box, shall we?
Special thanks to HonorBuy for providing the review unit.