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Xiaomi Mi Mix 2s Hands-on, Initial Review: The Flagship Killer Killer?

by John Nieves  May 12, 2018

We go hands-on with the Mi Mix 2s!

Aside from officially launching the Redmi Note 5 in the Philippines yesterday, Xiaomi did an Apple and announced one more thing: the availability of the Mi Mix 2s in the Philippines come June. The phone was announced around a month and a half ago, and will be available in stores at the end of the month. Priced at a relatively low (considering the specs) Php 27,990, the Mi Mix 2s’ affordability is seriously threatening the reputation of the supposed flagship killer, OnePlus.

Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S specs

  • AI-Powered Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 octa-core processor
  • Qualcomm Adreno 630 graphics unit
  • 6GB/8GB RAM
  • 5.99-inch Full HD+ IPS display, 18:9 aspect ratio
  • 64GB/128GB/256GB of non-expandable storage
  • 12-megapixel wide-angle rear  and 12-megapixel telephoto rear cameras with Sony IMX363 sensor,1.4µm pixels, 4-axis OIS, Dual Pixel AF, Portrait mode, and 2X optical zoom
  • 5-megapixel front camera
  • Dual SIM, with 4G LTE, LTE-A
  • WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC
  • Fingerprint scanner, USB Type-C port, Face Unlock, Wireless charging
  • 3400mAh battery
  • Android Oreo with MIUI 9

Initial Impressions: All screen, no notch

Despite the current trend (some say bandwagon) of putting notches on flagships to maximize screen to body ratio, Xiaomi has stuck with the same formula that they pioneered when they first introduced the Mix family of phones all those years ago. Specifically, the company went with ridiculously thin top and side bezels, and a slim bottom bezel where the front camera is located.

The overall impact of Xiaomi’s near bezel-less phone is reduced now that near bezel-less devices are quickly becoming the norm, but it’s still a pretty phone to look at in person nonetheless.

To achieve the look, Xiaomi had to move around a couple of important things that you take for granted on a normal phone. The earpiece, for example needed to be repositioned so as not to mess with the phone’s all-screen front. The first Mi Mix solved this problem with a cantilever piezoelectric ceramic acoustic technology, which transmitted sound through the screen. While ground breaking at the time of the launch of the first phone, performance wasn’t that great, which lead to Xiaomi using a hidden earpiece, along with a ultrasonic proximity sensor.

The front camera has been relocated to the bottom of the phone, on the lower right side. You’ll have to turn the phone upside down to use the camera if you want a selfie – that’s the price to pay to get a big display without a notch, unfortunately.

As for the phone’s body itself, the Mi Mix 2s uses a ceramic body with an alumunim frame, which feels great. Unfortunately the glossy body is a smudge magnet, which you’ll have to contend with as you use it.

The fingerprint scanner is on the rear, along with the vertically stacked camera module that doesn’t stick out as much compared to Xiaomi’s other phones. Oh, speaking of camera, the Mi Mix 2s uses a combination 12-megapixel wide-angle rear and 12-megapixel telephoto rear cameras with Sony IMX363 sensor, with the front camera being a 5-megapixel deal.

The main reason why the Mi Mix 2s should be an attractive choice for people looking for a powerful device is the phone’s guts: it’s running a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 octa-core processor, paired with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.

That’s the same processor that’s used in many flagships today, including the international version of the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus, as well as LG’s G7 phone. The difference here is that Xiaomi’s offering is considerably less than the sticker price of both phones.

Xiaomi’s also put in face unlock capability, as well as wireless charging and a large 3400mAh battery to really flesh out the Mi Mix 2s’ flagship status.

The phone is slated to retail at Php 27,990, making it only Php 1,000 more than the flagship killer, OnePlus’ 5T, which currently retails for Php 26,990 for the 6GB/64GB version with last year’s SD835 processor. With rumors of the OnePlus 6 costing considerably more than last year’s model, it’s entirely possible that Xiaomi’s Mi Mix 2s may end up being the flagship killer of 2018, at least locally.

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    Add the fact that the photos taken by this phone is on par with S9+, Iphone X. I will surely get this one.

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