Xiaomi has surprised the Indian smartphone market by venturing into the over 6-inch phablet segment with its Mi Max smartphone. A couple of years back, Google tried to work its magic in the 6-inch smartphone market with its Nexus 6P, but went unnoticed in India.
Xiaomi Mi Max hints that the there is enough potential for big screen devices, if pitched appropriately, as consumers have started to feel comfortable with 5.5-inch phablets.
Mi Max, at a price of Rs 14,999 is primarily targeted at people who want a bigger display with better battery life at a price of a budget 7-inch voice-calling Android tablet. According to Xiaomi, voice-calling tablets under Rs 20,000 (like the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 or Lenovo Phab) are still in demand because consumers want bigger screen without compromising on the calling feature.
Design and display
Xiaomi has managed to make Mi Max appear like a smartphone and not a tablet. The Mi Max can be easily tucked inside the trouser pockets. However, it is not very comfortable and hinders mobility, especially for those who wear denims. Also, it is almost impossible to ride a motorbike comfortably with the Mi Max inside trouser pockets. It is better to carry the Max inside a bag and thanks to the Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection and the metal body the phone will stay scratchless and smudge free.
Considering its large screen size, the Xiaomi Mi Max can be easily used to make calls. For someone who is used to making calls on a 7-inch tablet, handling the Mi Max will be easy. If you have not before, be prepared to stretch your palm muscles.
The phablet weighs 203 grams (with the large 4,850 mAh battery), however it does not feel much as the weight is balanced properly on this device. Measuring 7.5mm in thickness, it is thinner than many Android phones.
The Xiaomi Mi Max has a Full HD 1080p display (6.44-inches) with a pixel density of 342ppi. The viewing angles are good with vivid colours and nice contrast. Yes, one can easily read articles, e-books on the Xiaomi Mi Max’s big screen, but you will end up using two hands to type on the device.
A feature that is missing on the Xiaomi Mi Max is the multi-screen support. The big screen doesn’t provide any extra productivity benefits for that. Its inclusion would would have made so much more sense. Also, the Mi Max is difficult to use under direct sunlight as the display is glossy and hinders the outdoors experience. On the flipside, it is a delight to watch movies on the Xiaomi Mi Max when indoors.
Xiaomi has launched two variants of the Mi Max in India- 3GB RAM/32GB ROM at Rs 14,999 and 4GB RAM/128GB ROM at Rs 19,999. While the 3GB RAM version is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 SoC, the top-end 4GB RAM variant runs Snapdragon 652 SoC. The device comes with a hybrid sim card slot, which supports a microSD card of up to 128GB.
The device performs well and gave us very little to complain. Overall, teh 7-inch tablet users will find the Mi Max superior in performance. It also caters well to the needs of the gamers. The big screen gives that extra oomph after getting used to the form factor of the device.
The review unit came with Android 6.0.1-based MIUI 7, there is nothing new to write about the UI, which takes over Android completely. The good news is that the Mi Max will get MIUI 8 update very soon with several new features.
The Xiaomi Mi Max is powered by a 4,850mAh battery, with Quick Charge support. The battery lasts up to 2 days depending upon usage. The device offers 4G, Bluetooth, GPS, Wi-Fi along with other regular connectivity features.
The Xiaomi Mi Max comes with a 16MP f/2.0 PDAF rear camera with dual-tone Flash. It is capable of recording Full HD videos, too. There is a 5MP f/2.0 front camera for selfies. More MPs doesn’t necessarily mean great photos always, the camera quality is average at best. In our outdoor test, we did find the device producing some great shots. However, in low light conditions, the image quality is not up to the mark and is quite grainy.