The Xiaomi Mi MIX won customers hearts quickly due to a full-screen design. Though it wasn’t the first model in this type, the first-gen Mi MIX was the first to get so much attention. After its launch many smartphone makers revised their strategy and began focusing on the comprehensive screen rather than other features. We should state there are many top brands such as Samsung, LG, and Sharp grouped to fight against Xiaomi. Looking at the Sharp S2 and Galaxy S8/S8 Plus/Note 8 we understand one of the main goals is to beat the newly launched Xiaomi Mi MIX 2. But Xiaomi doesn’t yield its competitors. The brightest example of that is the Samsung-Apple comparison drawing at the Mi MIX 2 presentation.
Read: Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 Review
The Xiaomi Mi MIX has been a great device, but as the name suggests it is a mix of different innovative and experimental features. That’s why it came with a number of shortcomings such as a large size, poor call quality, poor camera experience, and so on. Thus most of its features can be found on a thousand yuan models.
The Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 was designed by the same person, a popular industrial designer, Philippe Starck. That’s why we have been waiting for an improved appearance. But we have been also waiting for enhancements concerning all the aspects.
As you remember, the original model has had real problems related to the production capacity. The Xiaomi Mi MIX used ceramic for the body, and it slowed down the production process. To fix this the company made some changes. The Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 comes in two variants. One of them uses a metal frame and ceramic housing, while the second variant comes in an all-ceramic body. The former one uses 7 series aluminum, which is more suitable in terms of mass production.
The first thing we should compare is the look. Let’s take a glance at the packaging and the overall look of the Mi MIX 2 and see what differences are there between two models.
Read: Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 Unboxing
The phone comes in a matte black square-shaped box hinting at its premium class.
Inside you can find interesting words with Xiaomi CEO, Lei Jun signature. ‘When researching do not stop investing continues efforts to break through. Even if there is one percent of luck, we’ll be given completely.’
The box content corresponds to other phones – the phone itself, a USB cable, and a charger.
The Mi MIX 2’s selling points is its 18:9 full screen.
The ultrasonic distance sensor is located on the upper side of the front panel.
The virtual Android keys are on the lower part of the screen, while the front camera is placed under the display on the right corner.
The back comes with a four-sided curved ceramic body.
The main camera on the back uses the Sony IMX386 sensor found on the Xiaomi Mi 6.
No 3.5mm audio jack can be found. It’s canceled on this model.
If you don’t want to use Bluetooth for connecting headphones, there is a USB Type-C port for this deal.
The SIM card slot is on the left.
The volume rocker and the power button are on the opposite side.
The charging head supports 18W power output.
There is also a USB-C to 3.5mm adapter.
Well, now let’s put this phone next to its predecessor for better visual comparison.
The overall size has been decreased by 12%. Now it’s better in terms of ergonomics and single-hand operations.
The company still uses a ceramic material for this flagship line.
The photo below shows the difference between the all-ceramic Mi MIX and Mi MIX 2 coming with a metal frame.
The first-gen Mi MIX came with an unusual screen ratio of 17:9. The company has changed it to 18:9. Such an improvement has been done due to the screen size change – the 6.4-inch screen has now become 5.99 inches. That’s why the overall resolution and the pixel density have been increased.
The photos below show the advantages of a full screen when playing our favorite King of Glory.
The biggest improvement in this handset concerns the camera. Now it uses MI 6’s 12MP sensor, which provides better imaging performance as well as optical image stabilization technology. Apart of this, the lens comes with PDAF, f/2.0 aperture, two-color warm flash, and 4K video recording capabilities.
There are three different frames for shooting:
As shown above, from 4: 3 to 16: 9, to 18: 9 frame, the horizontal view of the sample is becoming wider and wider, but the upper and lower sides cut more details. So the total pixel value is gradually reduced.
Sample Photos: Xiaomi Mi MIX (left) vs Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 (right)
Good lighting conditions
The brightness and white balance are improved a lot.
Thanks to a large aperture the Mi MIX 2 shots better macro photos and provides higher saturation.
Though both models provide great performance when the HDR is on, the Xiaomi Mi MIX has real problems when there is not enough lighting.
Though the first-gen Mi MIX comes with a 16MP camera, it can’t shot clear photos indoor. But it controls the white balance more accurately than the Mi MIX 2.
Low light conditions
The EXIF parameters of shots taken by these two phones are almost the same. So the exposure performance is also similar. When it comes to the HDR effect in night shots, the Xiaomi Mi MIX 2’s brightness is higher. The synthetic speed is 1s for the Mi MIX, while the Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 is 2s.
Both models sport a 5MP camera sensor on the front, but the Mi MIX 2’s camera provides more natural and seductive imaging performance due to algorithm optimization.
Read: Xiaomi Mi Mix vs Xiaomi Mi Note 2 vs iPhone 7 Plus Camera Comparison
Advanced beauty mode settings
The Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 is the first phone of the manufacturer coming with an 8GB of RAM. Apart of this it sports the latest creation of Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 835 chip. Do you imagine what a beast we are dealing with? To understand this, let’s compare the benchmark results of the Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 and Mi MIX. Just a reminder, the latter is powered by a Snapdragon 821.
Note: we are testing the 6GB variant.
No chip could outrun the Snapdragon 821 last year. It was the best SoC appeared on the top-notch models. But the Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 comes with a Snapdragon 835 that means there should be a gap.
This test clearly shows the difference between a quad-core high-end chip and an octa-core chip.
It’s been expected to see a relatively higher read and write speed on the Xiaomi Mi MIX 2.
Regardless the game scene, the Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 frame rare is basically at 30fps.
The Xiaomi Mi MIX sports a 4400mAh battery, while its sibling comes with a 3400mAh. But the screen size has been reduced as well. I am not talking about the power consumption optimization coming with the Snapdragon 835. So the smaller battery shouldn’t be a problem.
We tested the phone for power consumption when playing games. After 30 minutes the power of the Mi MIX 2 reduced from 98% to 91%, while the Mi MIX did from 62% to 53%. Thus the second-gen phone consumed 7%, while its sibling did 9%.
Mi MIX 2
A similar test was held for a video playback. The Xiaomi Mi MIX 2’s power reduced from 85% to 76%, while the Mi MIX’s power reduced from 81% to 74%.
Mi MIX 2
PCMark Life test
The Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 charges to 70% in 40 minutes, and it took 85 minutes to charge the phone fully.
The Xiaomi Mi MIX has been considered as one of the most innovative phones. It came with technologies such as piezoelectric ceramic driver for the earpiece and an ultrasonic proximity sensor. The whole Mi MIX team has done a great job, and it was accepted by people with applauds. However, the Xiaomi Mi MIX couldn’t avoid shortcomings. The first thing customers complain about was the call quality. Second, it’s too big. So single-hand operations can’t be implemented easily. The camera performance is not satisfying and so on. Xiaomi has taken all these features into account and came in with and improved model that shocked the word again. The Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 is one of the best models of all time, and its advantages in comparison to the original Mi MIX and other handsets are obvious.