The 6inch plus phablets have existed for a while but the unusually big sized devices had a very few buyers. The new trend of thin bezels and even bezel-less display are increasingly making bigger phones compact and convenient to hold.
Xiaomi too has launched the Mi Max 2, successor to the last year's launch - Mi Max - which the company claims was the best seller in its category. Done in matte black, the Mi Max 2 feels premium to hold. Boasting a 6.4inch display just like its predecessor, the Mi Max 2 in a 6.85 (h) x 3.49 (l) inch body doesn't feel too big to hold. A lot of credit goes to the soft metal chassis and the 2.5D curved glass merging smoothly into the unibody anodized aluminium body. Held in any hand, the power button along with the volume key is easy to access. The 3.5mm port sits on the top edge with the Type C charging port and speaker grills on the bottom edge and a fingerprint scanner at the rear panel. There are three capacitive touch keys below the display, which can be used used to enter one-handed mode as well, accessible in 3.5inch, 4inch or 4.5inch. Sliding the finger from home towards the back key shifts the one-handed mode towards the bottom right and sliding the finger from home to options key moves everything to the bottom left. I rarely used this feature but it came handy while launching apps, replying to a message or even while dialing a number when the other hand was occupied. Tapping on the empty area exits this mode. Going back to the display, Xiaomi has added a full HD display with decent viewing angles, making it apt for watching multimedia content on the move. The colours reproduction is good with sufficient sunlight legibility. When compared with the 5.5inch screen of the Apple iPhone 7, both the screens fetched the same number of stories from Google News but the font size on the Mi Max was slightly bigger. Xiaomi has even added dual speakers that complement the multimedia experience.
For someone who has never used a Xiaomi smartphone, the user interface is pretty neat. But unlike stock Android, apps are placed across homescreen in different folders and features tucked under different apps. For instance, data usage setting can be accessed within the security app. The assistive touch can be activated by turning on the Quick ball from settings, which will eliminate the need to reaching out the power button to lock the phone or the capacitive buttons from the bottom. For privacy, Xiaomi has added an app lock, where apps which you don't wish other to access can be password protected using system-level security tools. You can install a third-party launcher app and thankfully, the one-handed mode will still be accessible. The Mi Max 2 runs MIUI8 based on Android 7.1.1 and is yet to receive split-screen mode which can be used to launch two apps at the same time. I used the Mi Max to stream videos, play games, write emails and browse the web. It handled all the tasks with ease, without showing any signs of slowing down. On papers, the Mi Max 2 is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB onboard storage. There is also a 12MP rear camera with Sony IMX386 sensor with various modes such as manual, straighten, beauty, group shot, tilt-shift amongst others. Images shot under bright daylight had great details but there was visible noise in low light images.
Smartphone battery is usually a pain-point in many devices but Xiaomi has addressed that concern by adding a massive 5300 mAh battery to the Mi Max 2. When full charged, it easily lasted me two days with still some juice left. But charging such a big battery can take a lot of time and that is the reason Xiaomi added Quick Charge 3 to this phone. Using the Type C adapter added in the box, 68 per cent of the battery can be charged in just over an hour, good enough to last a day.
Bag it or Junk it: Checks all the right boxes, the Mi Max 2 is one of the best big sized phablet available in the market.
Price: Rs 16,999