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Xiaomi Mi Max Review – The Gargantuan Mid-Ranger

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Xiaomi Mi Max does gigantic justice to its name

Rating: 85/100Price: Rs 14,999/- and Rs 19,999/-Specs:

  • 6.44” FHD IPS Sunlight Display
  • Snapdragon 650/652 SOC
  • 3/4GB RAM, 32/128GB ROM expandable up to 128GB
  • MIUI 7 with Android 6.0.1
  • 16MP Rear Camera & 5MP Front Camera – Both f/2.0
  • IR Blaster and 4850mAh battery

How does it feel out of the box?Open the box to find a phone as large as its packaging and you know you are in for Max. The thought of slipping my SIM in a phone sporting a massive 6.44-inch display had me eager to test its usability in real life. Right out of the box, it was clear that this beast is not meant for the “ideal users”. This is a thoroughbred Smartphone for a crowd that wants the maximum value for the price they pay and the Mi Max delivers massively considering this very fact.What do I get for the price?We have witnessed several phones with the term ‘Max’ and while most concentrate on battery life, Xiaomi decided to max-it-out when it comes to phone design, performance, screen size, and battery life. Imagine an offspring from a Mi 5 and a Redmi Note 3, and you end up with Mi Max. Backed by the tried and tested Snapdragon 650 SOC, coupled with 3GB RAM and 32GB ROM capable of external storage up to 128GB via a Hybrid SIM Slot, the phone manages to stay handy with its 7.5mm thin profile and curvy rear design, despite the massive screen size. The 6.44” FHD IPS Sunlight Display is pure bliss for multimedia users. Be assured, though, you WILL have to use this phone with two hands. There is another variant that looks the same but packs in a slightly better Snapdragon 652 SOC with 4GB RAM and a whooping 128GB ROM. We test the former.How does it perform?Ask the question – How does the Redmi Note 3 perform and you have your answer! But they differ massively when you compare their screen sizes. Firstly, Xiaomi has done a commendable job of keeping the screen-to-body ratio impressive. While I was sceptical at first, the 1080p panel is crisp and delivers great viewing experience. Watching HD videos was extremely fun and gaming experience was a world apart from the usual 5-5.5” displays. I wound up playing a lot of games, reading books/magazines and consuming numerous movies/series.  If you are into reading, there is a read mode that warms to display to ease your eyes. The loudspeaker was truly louder than average and added to the phablet experience. This phone absolutely replaced my tablet with goodies of cellular services.XIAOMI MI MAXThe fingerprint scanner at its rear is fast and registers almost every time, while MIUI 7 over Android 6.0.1 powers the phone through everyday tasks. For such a massive display we did expect split screen feature, but Xiaomi left us disappointed, at least as of now. Mi Max will surely receive MIUI 8 update making the phone even more fun, but that’s a future yet to be experienced. Wi-Fi and 4G networks performed extremely well and call quality was spot on. There is an IR Blaster in case you are lazy enough to get up for that TV remote and a bright customisable LED notification light. Power and volume buttons are easily accessible with one handed usage while the chamfered metal edges make it feel premium especially considering its price point. An icing on cake is that massive 4850mAh battery which lasted 2 days with moderate usage and a day with intense usage – hours of video playback, gaming, long calling sessions and data depleting app usage.  Here’s something for Xiaomi – some apps misbehaved on this phone. Issues ranged from irresponsive touch to apps (Especially, VLC) crashing at every instance. Also, audio on most video files were not supported and the lack of VLC had me stranded at times. We do hope the next update solves app annoyance.What’s so special about it?The 16MP rear camera with f/2.0 comes equipped with PDAF, allows for fast autofocus. This ensures a good image/video almost every time. Front 5MP camera does its job pretty well thanks to several beautification levels one can choose from. That said viewing these images on a massive IPS panel has been an experience unparalleled. This phone seems “too big” considering its size but what it offers is humongous tablet-like screen estate backed with smartphone-level performance.What’s your final take?The Mi Max bridges the gap between a tablet and a large smartphone by bringing you the best of both worlds. While this phone is not meant for everyone, it is a definite choice for someone in search of a compact tablet. I am one of those and absolutely enjoyed my time with the MI Max. And before you ask – Yes, it does fit in a jeans pocket and it will restrict certain movements, but when out of pocket, be prepared for some massive fun. 

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