Xiaomi's newly launched 6.44-inch Mi Max 2 monster of a phablet comes with a 5,300mAh monster of a battery inside. This 5,300mAh battery inside the Mi Max 2 is rated to deliver up to 2 days of battery life on regular usage. But, how would you define regular usage and what is the standard benchmark for Xiaomi's new phone -- or rather its new super-sized phablet -- since the original Mi Max already comes with quite an amazing battery life.
The Mi Max 2, according to Xiaomi, can offer two times more talk-time than the Nokia 3310 (2017). In comparison with the Nokia 3310 (2017) feature phone which offers 22 hours of talk-time, the Mi Max 2 can apparently offer up to 57 hours on single charge, claims Xiaomi. The Mi Max 2, at the same time, can offer up to 31 days of stand-by, just like the Nokia 3310 (2017), according to Xiaomi.
The company - at its press briefing in the National Capital - in fact even went on to break down these numbers for the average buyer: 18 hours video playback, 10 days music playback, 13 hours 26 minutes gaming, 11 hours 29 minutes navigation and/or 19 hours reading. Those are pretty great numbers, even more so when you consider the fact that the Mi Max 2 is a smartphone and not a dumb feature phone like the Nokia 3310 (2017).
A lot of these great battery life claims also come from the assurance that the Mi Max 2 - just like the Redmi Note 4 - has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 at its heart. The company seems to have hit the sweet spot with this mobile processor. A simple Google search will tell you that the Snapdragon 625 is the first 600-series chipset to be built on the power-efficient 14nm finfet process. The technology essentially allows a processor -- the Snapdragon 625 in this case -- with multiple cores to hit higher clock speeds without overheating and draining the battery quickly.
In layman's terms, you're more likely to get (much) better battery life and little (or no) overheating in phones powered by a chipset on the lines of the Snapdragon 625. It is more likely to give you a (much) better battery life and little (or no) overheating than its predecessor the Mi Max which came with a Snapdragon 650. But, it surely isn't perfect, the Mi Max 2. As opposed to the original Mi Max which was gunning for raw power courtesy the Snapdragon 650, the Mi Max 2 is all about power saving and thermal efficiency courtesy the Snapdragon 625. The Adreno 506 GPU (inside the Mi Max 2) is good, just not better than the Adreno 510 inside last year's Mi Max, meaning, although the Mi Max 2 should handle basic games well, GPU-intensive games would still leave you a something to be desired.
But where the Mi Max 2 falters in GPU-intensive gaming, it more than compensates for in another area. The Mi Max 2 has outstanding camera credentials. In fact, it sports the same IMX 386 image sensor as the company's flagship Mi 6 which isn't coming to India by the way. The Mi Max 2 sports a 12-megapixel camera on the rear with f/2.2 aperture, Phase Detection Autofocus and a dual-LED (dual-tone) flash. The Mi Max 2 will be capable of recording 4K videos as well. On the front, the Mi Max 2 comes with a 5-megapixel camera with f/2.0 aperture. The original Mi Max came with a 16-megapixel camera on the rear with f/2.0 aperture, Phase Detection Autofocus and dual-LED (dual-tone) flash along with a 5-megapixel camera on the front with f/2.0 aperture. Although the Mi Max 2 may seem to sport the same front camera as the Mi Max, its rear camera will be something to really look forward to in the days to come.
Just like the original Mi Max, the Mi Max 2 also boasts of a full-metal body. But, while in the case of the Mi Max, the antenna lines were a clear eye-soar differentiating the middle (all-metal) portion with the (plastic with brushed metal finish) top and bottom, the Mi Max 2 has re-positioned antenna lines. These have been pushed towards the extreme edges -- ala iPhone 7 -- so the Mi Max 2, in fact, looks like it has been carved out of a single slab of metal. It certainly looks strikingly better then the Mi Max, particularly from the behind.The front is meanwhile, the same as the Mi Max. So is the fingerprint scanner placement. The Mi Max 2 has a rear-mounted circular fingerprint scanner and curved 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass (unspecified) on the front with backlit capacitive keys. Just like the Mi Max, the Mi Max 2 also has an impressive screen-to-body ratio giving you ample real estate, literally as well as figuratively.
Xiaomi has again managed to somehow keep its internal proportions -- girth and weight -- in check. It weighs just, if you can say just here, 211 grams and measures just 7.6 mm in line with the original Mi Max.
The Mi Max 2, just like last year's Mi Max, also looks very promising. But, at the end of the day, it's just another Redmi Note 4 clone -- in every sense of the word -- except that it has been made to order for people -- if any -- who like large-sized phablets. More or less, it shares all the plus and minus points of its younger (and more affordable) sibling. Yet there are also areas - rear camera and stereo speakers - where it outshines the Redmi Note 4. The 4GB RAM and 64GB storage version of the Mi Max 2 has been launched in India at a price of Rs 16,999 and considering that it is a niche segment device, some may say that it is expensive. The Redmi Note 4 should do well for most users, that is, if you're looking to buy a Xiaomi phone.
As for the Mi Max 2, it would certainly be too big for many. It's sheer size and scale could be a major turn-off. Then again, if you're a multimedia junkie who loves to Netflix, or read e-books, or someone simply looking to replace your Android tablet with a full-functional phablet, the Mi Max 2 won't disappoint you. The original Mi Max didn't disappoint me, after all. Watch this space for our full review of the Xiaomi Mi Max 2 in the days to come.