Xiaomi has finally launched the Mi Mix 2 in India, its second-generation bezel-less phone and its first bezel-less phone in the country. The company aims to compete with the likes of Apple, LG, and Samsung with the Mi Mix 2, and offer a bezel-less screen experience at a relatively affordable price of Rs. 35,999. The Mi Mix 2 features all the latest and greatest specifications that are found in flagship smartphones this year, but how is it to use in real-life? How does it fare compared to bezel-less phones from the likes of LG and Samsung? Well, I had a chance to use the phone after the launch event and here are my initial impressions of the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2.
The first thing you feel while using the Mi Mix 2 is its improved finishing. While the Mi Mix felt like a prototype, the Mi Mix 2 feels more like a finished product, thanks to curvier edges. The phone feels solid, nonetheless. Xiaomi has also removed the piezo-electric speaker that was used in the Mi Mix and went with a usual speaker for the Mi Mix 2’s earpiece. In spite of using a usual speaker, the company has managed to slim down the top bezel with some clever engineering. The screen is protected using Gorilla Glass 4, while the back is protected using ceramic, which is twice as strong as Gorilla Glass panels. We will have to see how it holds up over time, though.
The 6-inch FHD+ screen on the Mi Mix 2 uses an IPS LCD panel. Although the bezels around the screen are minimal, it doesn’t feel as magical as the screen on the Galaxy S8 or the LG V30 because it isn’t an OLED panel. No wonder, the company was able to price it lower than its competitors. The fingerprint reader is placed below the rear-facing camera, and it can be easily accessed no matter which hand you use to operate the Mi Mix 2. The power and volume buttons are made out of metal, and they feel good when pressed.
There’s no 3.5mm auxiliary headphone port on the Mi Mix 2, so you’ll have to resort on using either Bluetooth earphones or the USB Type-C to 3.5mm dongle that comes inside the box. Alternatively, the company is also planning to launch USB Type-C-based Mi Noise Cancelling Earphones, which will be priced at Rs. 2,999. Also, there’s no dual-camera on the Mi Mix 2, something that has been featuring not only in flagship smartphones from most brands. Xiaomi’s own Mi A1, which is priced at Rs. 14,999, has a dual-camera setup. This is something that’s missing from the phone.
The Mi Mix 2 has a single 12-megapixel camera with a sensor size of 1/2.9 inch. The individual pixel size stands at 1.25µm, which is higher than a typical smartphone, but still smaller when compared to the Google Pixel or the HTC U11. The phone can record 4K videos as well. The front-facing camera is still placed below the screen, so it picks up an awkward angle when you click the selfie. You have to rotate the phone upside down for clicking selfied from a normal angle, and Xiaomi has made sure that the camera UI rotates 180 degrees so that it adjusts. There’s no stereo speakers as well, something that you get in the company’s Mi 6 smartphone.
Coming to the software, the phone runs Android 7.0-based MIUI 8, which is not only a year old, but also feels dated compared to the hardware design of the Mi Mix 2. Frankly, the company has to revamp its software to match the Mi Mix 2’s bezel-less design because it has now started to feel dated. If you’ve used any MIUI-based Xiaomi phone in the past one or two years, you’ll feel familiar with it. There are on-screen navigation buttons, though, so that’s refreshing. An IR port is missing on the phone, something that the company proudly uses saying that it’s useful for controlling home appliances and electronics.
The phone uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, which is paired with 6GB of LP-DDR4X RAM and 128GB of UFS storage. There’s no microSD card slot in this phone. You can only use two nano SIM cards in its SIM tray, so storage expansion is out of question. The phone felt fast and smooth, but it could be smoother. We will have to test it out over the next couple of weeks to see if they roll out software updates to increase the UI fluidity. The 3400mAh battery inside the Mi Mix 2 supports rapid charging through Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 technology (9V/2A = 18W). Overall, the phone feels quite futuristic and offers all of this at a relatively affordable price when you compare it to other bezel-less phones.