Xiaomi Mi Max review: Hulked up

Hulked up

GSMArena team, 06 June 2016.

Display

The display is the very reason why the Xiaomi Mi Max form factor exists. The most popular size at the moment is 5.5" with a few 5.7-inchers and even some sixers out there. But the Mi Max is a rare breed that pushes the envelope well above the 6" mark.

The 6.44" diagonal is the defining feature of the phone and despite its mid-range status, Xiaomi didn't skimp on the quality.

Xiaomi Mi Max review

The 1080p resolution is enough to secure a pixel density of 342ppi, which is high enough to qualify as Retina-grade and above. QHD would have been nice, but still, the image is sharp enough even for small, thin type.

We were worried about the brightness, but as it turns out, it's pretty much par for the course. Compared to some other 6" devices, the only one that stands out is the Galaxy A9 on Auto brightness, where it enjoys a brightness overdrive in extra bright conditions. The AMOLED-packing Oppo R7 Plus, on the other hand, was darker.

The screen's contrast ratio, however, is nothing to write home about, the issue is mostly with the relatively high black levels (even compared to last year's Xperia C5 Ultra). It's by no means bad, though.

Display test 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Xiaomi Mi Max 0.46 424 922
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016) 0.00 427
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016) max auto 0.00 609
Huawei Mate 8 0.346 471 1361
Sony Xperia C5 Ultra 0.37 422 1144
Oppo R7 Plus - 351

From the settings you have the option to boost the contrast of the image if you prefer the punchier look. One mode just boosts the contrast, the other adapts it to the ambient light.

From here you can also tune the white balance - from Warm through Neutral to Cool. The colors are fairly accurate for this class, an average deltaE of 6.6. That's almost as good as the Huawei Mate 8 and slightly better than the Galaxy A9.

We found the Neutral setting to not quite live up to its name, the white and gray colors have a blue tint. Yet, we found that the color accuracy improves if you push the white balance slider towards Warm. The white balance improves quickly (but magenta goes off).

The Mi Max has an IPS display and the viewing angles are very good. The sunlight legibility, however, does leave something to be desired. It's better than some popular phones like the Redmi 2 or the OnePlus One, but there are strong performers like the Oppo R7 Plus and its AMOLED screen.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+
    4.615
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
    4.439
  • Samsung Galaxy S7
    4.376
  • HTC One A9
    4.274
  • Samsung Galaxy A3
    4.241
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge
    4.124
  • Samsung Galaxy Note5
    4.09
  • Huawei Nexus 6P
    4.019
  • OnePlus X
    3.983
  • Oppo R7s
    3.964
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016)
    3.918
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    3.895
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 outdoor
    3.879
  • Samsung Galaxy J2 outdoor
    3.873
  • Samsung Galaxy A8
    3.859
  • Apple iPhone 6
    3.838
  • Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016)
    3.817
  • Motorola Moto X (2014)
    3.816
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)
    3.789
  • Apple iPhone 6s
    3.783
  • Meizu Pro 5
    3.781
  • Microsoft Lumia 650
    3.772
  • Oppo F1 Plus
    3.709
  • Vivo X5Pro
    3.706
  • Apple iPhone SE
    3.681
  • Samsung Galaxy A7
    3.679
  • Meizu PRO 6
    3.659
  • BlackBerry Priv
    3.645
  • Apple iPhone 6s Plus
    3.53
  • Acer Jade Primo
    3.521
  • Microsoft Lumia 950
    3.512
  • Oppo R7 Plus
    3.499
  • Samsung Galaxy J7
    3.422
  • Meizu MX5
    3.416
  • Oppo R7
    3.32
  • Samsung Galaxy J2
    3.235
  • Motorola Moto X Play
    3.222
  • Huawei P9
    3.195
  • Lenovo Vibe Shot
    3.113
  • Motorola Moto X Force
    3.105
  • LG Nexus 5X
    3.092
  • Huawei Mate S
    3.073
  • Microsoft Lumia 640 XL
    3.065
  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    3.023
  • Sony Xperia X
    2.989
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.97
  • Huawei Mate 8
    2.949
  • LG G5
    2.905
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • Sony Xperia Z5
    2.876
  • Microsoft Lumia 550
    2.851
  • Sony Xperia Z5 compact
    2.784
  • LG V10
    2.744
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3
    2.735
  • Sony Xperia M5
    2.69
  • Vivo V3Max
    2.659
  • Xiaomi Mi 4i
    2.641
  • Xiaomi Mi 4c
    2.574
  • LeEco Le Max 2
    2.567
  • Microsoft Lumia 640
    2.563
  • Oppo F1
    2.528
  • Sony Xperia Z5 Premium
    2.525
  • Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
    2.503
  • Motorola Moto G
    2.477
  • Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus
    2.473
  • Huawei G8
    2.471
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Huawei Honor 7
    2.406
  • ZUK Z1 by Lenovo
    2.382
  • Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016)
    2.378
  • HTC 10
    2.378
  • HTC One E9+
    2.305
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    2.272
  • Lenovo Vibe K4 Note
    2.254
  • Sony Xperia C5 Ultra
    2.253
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (MediaTek)
    2.249
  • Sony Xperia C4 Dual
    2.235
  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    2.233
  • LG Nexus 5
    2.228
  • Huawei P8
    2.196
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 2
    2.166
  • OnePlus Two
    2.165
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • LG Aka
    2.145
  • Archos 50 Diamond
    2.134
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note
    2.119
  • Acer Liquid X2
    2.084
  • Huawei P8lite
    2.078
  • Moto G 3rd gen max manual
    2.026
  • Xiaomi Mi Max
    1.996
  • Sony Xperia E4g
    1.972
  • OnePlus One
    1.961
  • Meizu m3 note
    1.923
  • BlackBerry Leap
    1.892
  • Meizu m2 note
    1.892
  • HTC Butterfly
    1.873
  • ZTE Nubia Z9 mini
    1.759
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • Asus Zenfone Selfie
    1.68
  • Motorola Moto E (2nd Gen)
    1.675
  • ZTE Nubia Z9
    1.659
  • Jolla Jolla
    1.605
  • Motorola Moto E
    1.545
  • Sony Xperia M
    1.473
  • Xiaomi Redmi 2
    1.311
  • HTC Desire C
    1.3
  • Sony Xperia C
    1.283
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Sony Xperia E
    1.215

Connectivity

The Xiaomi Mi Max is a dual-SIM phone with LTE connectivity. One card is nanoSIM the other micro and the slot is a hybrid solution, which allows you to replace one of the SIM cards with a microSD card.

Since we're reviewing the Chinese model, we also have to mention that there is support for China Unicom LTE and CDMA.

There's also Wi-Fi ac with MIMO support, so the phone will benefit from a fast router if you've got one. Bluetooth 4.2 is also available. For positioning, you get GPS, GLONASS and, quite naturally, Beidou.

The IR blaster is located at the top of the phone and, coupled with the right software, you can use it to remotely control pretty much any IR controlled home appliance. Xiaomi provides its own MiRemote app, which supports a long list of devices right out of the box.

The microUSB 2.0 port on the bottom is a bit of a surprise, considering Xiaomi has been moving up to Type-C for a while now. Still, the port supports USB On-The-Go if you need to access some external storage or use a USB accessory.

Battery

The massive 4,850mAh battery of the Xiaomi Mi Max matches its larger-than-life demeanor. With a reasonable screen and chipset, it's set to be a champ.

The Endurance rating works out to 108 hours, you'd be hard pressed to find a device that lasts longer. Even adding a second SIM doesn't have a huge impact, dropping to 102h Endurance.

The individual tests are great too. Talk time is a day, that's 24 hours! The web browsing is particularly impressive at 19 and a half hours, only two phones lasts longer (and they are battery-focused, have 720p screens and lower-end chipset). The video playback is great too, just not quite as amazing.

Xiaomi Mi Max review

Note that while the Xiaomi Mi Max does not come bundled with a Quick Charger, it can definitely benefit from a Quick Charge 2.0 or 3.0 power brick. The charger we got in the box was 5V * 2A = 10W, but we got readings as high as 15W with several Quick Chargers we tried (the exact voltage and amps differed, but total power was always 14W-15W). So you can expect a 40%-50% bump in charging speed if you have a more powerful charger at home.

The battery testing procedure is described in detail in case you're interested in the nitty-gritties. You can also check out our complete battery test table, where you can see how all of the smartphones we've tested will compare under your own typical use.

Reader comments

  • Agoes

What's the biggest capacity of SDCard/external memory ever you guys inserted in and still works fine with this phone? Perhaps 128, or 256 GB?

  • Campbell

Perfect but how much

  • Anonymous

Can we use mi max 2 touch panel for this phone?