Xiaomi Mi Max 3 review

GSMArena team, 25 August 2018.

Massive 6.9-inch LCD

The Mi Max 3 really does stretch the definition of what can technically be considered a handset. Even with its extremely loose definition, the "phablet" category just barely seems to accommodate the massive 6.9-inch panel.

Xiaomi Mi Max 3 review

Whether or not you consider the Mi Max 3 a tablet or a phone, if you are looking into it, you have already subscribed to the particular footprint. If that isn't the case, we advise you to go and check it out in person first.

But size is far from the only thing the Mi Max 3 display has going for it. For one, we appreciate that Xiaomi didn't cheap out and went for FullHD+ resolution. Frankly, anything less would have looked blurry at this size.

Display test 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Motorola Moto G6 Plus (Max Auto) 0.564 776 1376
Motorola Moto G6 Plus 0.418 610 1459
Motorola Moto Z2 Force (Max Auto) 0 559
Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus 0.548 555 1013
Xiaomi Mi Max 2 0.401 519 1294
Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus (Standard) 0.355 508 1431
Huawei Honor View 10 (Max Auto) 0.311 507 1629
Xiaomi Mi Max 3 0.339 496 1462
Huawei P20 Lite 0.27 482 1785
Huawei Mate 10 Lite 0.257 476 1852
Xiaomi Mi 8 0 458
Xiaomi Mi 8 SE 0 455
Huawei Honor View 10 0.278 453 1629
Xiaomi Mi Max 0.46 424 922
Motorola Moto Z2 Force 0 376

The panel gets decently bright, which, as you can imagine, is a harder feat, as size goes up. It keeps light bleed at 0% in check fairly well, making for respectable, if not chart-topping contrast levels. The only real omission we came across is the lack of a max auto mode.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Apple iPhone X
    5.013
  • OnePlus 5T
    4.789
  • Samsung Galaxy S8
    4.768
  • Samsung Galaxy S8+
    4.658
  • Samsung Galaxy S9
    4.63
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+
    4.615
  • Samsung Galaxy S9+
    4.537
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9
    4.531
  • Motorola Moto Z2 Play
    4.459
  • Oppo R11
    4.454
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
    4.439
  • OnePlus 3
    4.424
  • Samsung Galaxy S7
    4.376
  • OnePlus 6
    4.321
  • HTC One A9
    4.274
  • Oppo R15 Pro
    4.251
  • Samsung Galaxy Note7
    4.247
  • Samsung Galaxy A3
    4.241
  • Nokia 8
    4.239
  • Google Pixel 2 XL (pre-update)
    4.234
  • OnePlus 3T
    4.232
  • Google Pixel XL
    4.164
  • ZTE Axon 7
    4.154
  • Samsung Galaxy Note8
    4.148
  • Meizu Pro 7 Plus
    4.147
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge
    4.124
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017)
    4.124
  • Huawei Mate 10 Pro (normal)
    4.096
  • Samsung Galaxy Note5
    4.09
  • Huawei P20 Pro
    4.087
  • Xiaomi Mi 8
    4.086
  • Meizu 15
    4.082
  • Nokia 6 (2018)
    4.052
  • Google Pixel 2 (pre-update)
    4.023
  • LG V30
    4.022
  • Huawei Nexus 6P
    4.019
  • vivo NEX S
    4.012
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro
    3.998
  • OnePlus X
    3.983
  • Vivo Xplay5 Elite
    3.983
  • LG G7 ThinQ (outdoor)
    3.978
  • Oppo R7s
    3.964
  • Apple iPhone 7
    3.964
  • Apple iPhone 8 (True Tone)
    3.957
  • Huawei P9 Plus
    3.956
  • Oppo Find X
    3.954
  • Meizu Pro 6 Plus
    3.935
  • Lenovo Moto Z
    3.931
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016)
    3.918
  • OnePlus 5
    3.914
  • Samsung Galaxy C5
    3.911
  • Xiaomi Mi 8 SE
    3.901
  • Samsung Galaxy C7
    3.896
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    3.895
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 outdoor
    3.879
  • Samsung Galaxy J2 outdoor
    3.873
  • Motorola Moto G6 Plus
    3.865
  • Samsung Galaxy A8
    3.859
  • Samsung Galaxy A8 (2018)
    3.842
  • Samsung Galaxy A6+ (2018)
    3.834
  • Sony Xperia XZs
    3.818
  • Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016)
    3.817
  • Motorola Moto X (2014)
    3.816
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017)
    3.812
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)
    3.804
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) outdoor mode
    3.802
  • Xiaomi Redmi Pro
    3.798
  • LG V20 Max auto
    3.798
  • Sony Xperia XZ
    3.795
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)
    3.789
  • Apple iPhone 6s
    3.783
  • Meizu Pro 5
    3.781
  • Microsoft Lumia 650
    3.772
  • Xiaomi Mi 6
    3.767
  • Sony Xperia XZ1
    3.765
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)
    3.756
  • Nokia 8 Sirocco
    3.745
  • Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact
    3.729
  • Apple iPhone 8 Plus (True Tone)
    3.725
  • Oppo F1 Plus
    3.709
  • Vivo X5Pro
    3.706
  • Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017)
    3.688
  • Huawei P20
    3.683
  • Apple iPhone SE
    3.681
  • Huawei Mate 9
    3.68
  • Samsung Galaxy A7
    3.679
  • Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact
    3.675
  • Meizu PRO 6
    3.659
  • BlackBerry Priv
    3.645
  • Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra
    3.597
  • Apple iPhone 7 Plus
    3.588
  • Sony Xperia XZ2
    3.58
  • LG G6
    3.556
  • Apple iPhone 6s Plus
    3.53
  • Motorola Moto Z Play
    3.526
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016)
    3.523
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) outdoor mode
    3.523
  • Acer Jade Primo
    3.521
  • Microsoft Lumia 950
    3.512
  • Oppo R7 Plus
    3.499
  • Nokia 7 plus
    3.479
  • nubia Z11
    3.466
  • Huawei P10 Plus
    3.456
  • HTC U Ultra
    3.453
  • Motorola Moto G6
    3.448
  • Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra
    3.445
  • Samsung Galaxy J7
    3.422
  • Motorola Moto G6 Play
    3.419
  • Meizu MX5
    3.416
  • LG V20
    3.402
  • Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018)
    3.397
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 AI Dual Camera
    3.393
  • LG G7 ThinQ
    3.39
  • Huawei P10
    3.379
  • Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016)
    3.378
  • Oppo R9s
    3.352
  • Honor 8 Pro
    3.341
  • Oppo F7
    3.333
  • Oppo R7
    3.32
  • Lenovo P2
    3.316
  • Archos Diamond Omega
    3.305
  • Honor 9
    3.289
  • Xiaomi Mi 5s
    3.276
  • Nokia 5
    3.261
  • Nokia 6 (Chinese version)
    3.244
  • Xiaomi Mi 5
    3.24
  • Nokia 6 (Global version)
    3.238
  • Samsung Galaxy J2
    3.235
  • Sony Xperia X Performance
    3.234
  • Xiaomi Mi Note 2
    3.228
  • Motorola Moto X Play
    3.222
  • Oppo F3 Plus
    3.218
  • BlackBerry KEY2
    3.212
  • Huawei Mate 9 Pro
    3.206
  • Huawei P9
    3.195
  • Xiaomi Mi Mix 2
    3.19
  • ZTE Nubia Z17
    3.159
  • Oppo R11s
    3.153
  • Lenovo Vibe Shot
    3.113
  • HTC U11 Life
    3.108
  • Motorola Moto X Force
    3.105
  • LG Nexus 5X
    3.092
  • HTC U11
    3.089
  • Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite
    3.087
  • HTC U12+
    3.085
  • Xiaomi Redmi S2 (Y2)
    3.077
  • Huawei Mate S
    3.073
  • Microsoft Lumia 640 XL
    3.065
  • Xiaomi Mi Max 3
    3.061
  • Xiaomi Pocophone F1
    3.059
  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    3.023
  • Asus Zenfone 4 ZE554KL
    3.019
  • Sony Xperia XA1
    3.012
  • Motorola Moto X4
    3.012
  • Sony Xperia L1
    2.994
  • Sony Xperia X
    2.989
  • LG Q6
    2.987
  • Huawei P10 Lite
    2.974
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.97
  • Huawei P20 Lite
    2.952
  • Xiaomi Redmi 5
    2.951
  • Huawei Mate 8
    2.949
  • Sony Xperia XA2
    2.938
  • Oppo Realme 1
    2.932
  • Xiaomi Redmi 4
    2.92
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3S
    2.913
  • Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus
    2.913
  • Sony Xperia XA Ultra
    2.906
  • LG G5
    2.905
  • Huawei Honor View 10
    2.896
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3s Prime
    2.893
  • Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus
    2.884
  • Sony Xperia XZ Premium (sRGB)
    2.877
  • Sony Xperia XZ Premium
    2.877
  • Sony Xperia Z5
    2.876
  • Nokia 3
    2.871
  • Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium
    2.867
  • Microsoft Lumia 550
    2.851
  • Nokia 3.1
    2.837
  • Lenovo Moto M
    2.813
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3 Pro
    2.803
  • Sony Xperia Z5 compact
    2.784
  • Honor 10 (Vivid)
    2.757
  • Nokia 2
    2.752
  • Meizu MX6
    2.751
  • LG V10
    2.744
  • Huawei Mate 10 (normal)
    2.742
  • Motorola Moto G5S Plus
    2.737
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3
    2.735
  • Huawei Honor 7X
    2.734
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (S625)
    2.714
  • Meizu M5
    2.71
  • Xiaomi Mi A2
    2.696
  • Sony Xperia M5
    2.69
  • Xiaomi Mi A1
    2.689
  • Huawei P9 Lite
    2.679
  • Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime
    2.679
  • vivo V7+
    2.671
  • Vivo V3Max
    2.659
  • Xiaomi Mi Mix
    2.658
  • Huawei Mate 10 Lite
    2.654
  • Oppo F5
    2.653
  • Doogee Mix
    2.642
  • Xiaomi Mi 4i
    2.641
  • Xiaomi Redmi 4a
    2.635
  • Xiaomi Mi 5X (Standard)
    2.616
  • Sony Xperia XA
    2.609
  • Motorola Moto G4 Plus
    2.582
  • Motorola Moto G4 Plus (max auto)
    2.582
  • Meizu M5s
    2.58
  • Xiaomi Mi 4c
    2.574
  • LeEco Le Max 2
    2.567
  • Microsoft Lumia 640
    2.563
  • Asus Zenfone 3 ZE552KL
    2.563
  • Huawei P Smart
    2.563
  • Xiaomi Mi Max 2
    2.561
  • HTC U11+
    2.556
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A (Y1)
    2.556
  • Lenovo Moto G4
    2.544
  • Lenovo K6 Note
    2.544
  • Oppo F1
    2.528
  • Sony Xperia Z5 Premium
    2.525
  • Huawei Honor 7 Lite / Honor 5c
    2.506
  • Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
    2.503
  • BlackBerry Motion
    2.494
  • Oppo F1s
    2.481
  • Motorola Moto G
    2.477
  • Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus
    2.473
  • Huawei G8
    2.471
  • Huawei nova
    2.467
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Lenovo Vibe K5
    2.459
  • Meizu m3 max
    2.447
  • Xiaomi Mi 5X (Auto)
    2.417
  • HTC 10 evo
    2.407
  • Huawei Honor 7
    2.406
  • Vivo V7
    2.404
  • Sony Xperia E5
    2.386
  • ZUK Z1 by Lenovo
    2.382
  • HTC 10
    2.378
  • Oppo F3
    2.376
  • vivo V5 Plus
    2.371
  • Meizu m1 note
    2.362
  • Huawei nova plus
    2.329
  • Razer Phone
    2.328
  • HTC One E9+
    2.305
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    2.272
  • Sony Xperia L2
    2.266
  • Lenovo Vibe K4 Note
    2.254
  • Sony Xperia C5 Ultra
    2.253
  • HTC U11+ (EU)
    2.253
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (MediaTek)
    2.249
  • Sony Xperia C4 Dual
    2.235
  • Xiaomi Mi Note
    2.234
  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    2.233
  • LG Nexus 5
    2.228
  • Huawei P8
    2.196
  • Meizu M5 Note
    2.189
  • Huawei Honor 6
    2.169
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 2
    2.166
  • OnePlus Two
    2.165
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • LG Aka
    2.145
  • Sony Xperia L
    1.351
  • Xiaomi Redmi 2
    1.311
  • HTC Desire C
    1.3
  • Nokia X
    1.291
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Sony Xperia E
    1.215

Even so, the Mi Max 3 is quite usable outdoors.

But color accuracy has to be the most impressively unexpected bit about the Mi Max 3. In its default "Adaptive contrast" mode, it managed to score a decently low average deltaE of 4.6 and a maximum of 9.2, in the white. A general blue hue was present all throughout the UI - pretty standard nowadays, even for some flagship phones.

Increased contrast mode does remove some of the cold blue tint, bringing the average deltaE down to 4.4 and a maximum of 9. Pretty good, but we can probably do better, with some fiddling with the manual white point controls, Xiaomi so graciously provides.

Xiaomi Mi Max 3 review

Luckily, before we started messing with those, we gave the "Standard contrast" mode a try and it left us truly amazed. An average deltaE of 1 and a maximum of 2.1. Those are values even most flagships struggle with. Especially out of the box. Xiaomi deserves plenty of praise in the color accuracy category.

Battery life

One of the potential perks of a massive footprint is an equally massive battery pack. The "potential" bit is important to note here, though, since space alone is no guarantee. We applaud Xiaomi for going as high as 5,500 mAh in the Mi Max 3.

Xiaomi Mi Max 3 review

But, a huge battery can still be wasted away by powerful or sub-optimal hardware, as well as software. MIUI has a pretty solid track record in this respect leaving few points of concern when it comes to pure Android battery optimization.

As for the hardware bit, the Snapdragon 636 might not be the fastest chipset around, not by a long shot, but it is a modern one, based on an efficient 14nm process. The Kryo 260 Gold and Kryo 260 Silver cores also feature quite a few improvements over their vanilla Cortex-A73 and Cortex-A53 counterparts.

Xiaomi Mi Max 3 review

Putting all this together, we get a real endurance beast of a phone, with a total rating of 115 hours in our proprietary test. That definitely cracks the all-time top 10 in our endurance chart, but we still felt like this particular hardware setup should be capable of a bit more.

Call us greedy, but the Mi Max 2 managed a better overall endurance from a smaller 5,300 mAh battery. Then again, it does also have a smaller display and an older, less powerful Snapdragon 625 chipset. Our best guess for where the variance stems from, however, is the different LTE modem. Both phones manage a consistent 3G talk time of around 30 hours, which, in itself, indicates that the newer X12 LTE modem is drawing a bit more juice from the larger battery pack. That extra strain, naturally carries over to standby, as well, which came in at around 380 hours, on the Mi Max 3. Our initial expectation were a bit higher.

Enough with the complaining. At the end of the day, the Mi Max 3 is a true marathon runner in smartphone terms. It definitely won't let you down.

Our endurance rating denotes how long a single battery charge will last you if you use the Xiaomi Mi Max 3 for an hour each of telephony, web browsing, and video playback daily. We've established this usage pattern so our battery results are comparable across devices in the most common day-to-day tasks. 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.

Loudspeaker

The Mi Max 3 has a single bottom-firing speaker at its disposal. Or, at least, that's what all the official specs see, to quote. Interestingly enough, the phone does also utilize its earpiece as a second channel, during playback. It's not nearly as loud or clear, but still manages to improve the experience a bit, mainly because the main speaker is not firing in the same direction. If it was forward-facing, as well, the lack of balance between the pair would definitely be annoying.

Speakerphone testVoice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score
Xiaomi Mi Max 67.1 66.2 68.1 Average
Huawei Honor View 10 68.6 69.9 77.8 Good
Huawei P20 Lite 66.3 71.5 84.9 Very Good
Huawei Mate 10 Lite 67.8 71.0 84.5 Very Good
Xiaomi Mi Max 3 68.5 71.6 83.6 Very Good
Lenovo Moto Z2 Force 68.2 70.2 86.1 Very Good
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 AI Dual Camera 68.4 71.6 84.8 Very Good
Xiaomi Mi Max 2 78.4 71.7 79.2 Excellent
Xiaomi Mi 8 SE 70.5 74.1 85.2 Excellent
Motorola Moto G6 Plus 82.2 76.1 86.8 Excellent

Anyway, we'll leave it up to you to decide whether to brag to your friends that your Mi Max 3 is stereo or not. In terms of loudness, the phone managed a "Very Good" score, making it perfectly decent for casual use. The same can be said about the loudspeaker quality - decent, but not impressive.

Audio quality

The Xiaomi Mi Max 3 had faultless output with an active external amplifier. Nicely high loudness and perfectly clear - the phablet ticked the boxes with ease.

Better yet, degradation with headphones was minimal to non-existent - even the stereo quality was barely affected. Certainly one of the better performers out there, this one.

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
Xiaomi Mi Max 3+0.02, -0.06-93.793.80.00140.0069-94.0
Xiaomi Mi Max 3 (headphones)+0.06, -0.02-93.893.70.00140.041-79.3
Xiaomi Mi A2+0.02, -0.06-91.691.60.00180.014-95.3
Xiaomi Mi A2 (headphones)+0.08, -0.12-92.692.60.00280.120-69.0
Xiaomi Mi 8 SE+0.06, -0.02-96.096.03.2660.980-95.9
Xiaomi Mi 8 SE (headphones)+0.30, -0.32-95.495.30.0160.473-56.4
Samsung Galaxy A6+ (2018)+0.07, -0.03-89.789.90.00600.201-91.7
Samsung Galaxy A6+ (2018) (headphones)+0.22, -0.21-91.691.00.0160.305-56.2
Oppo F7+0.01, -0.10-92.592.70.00190.0077-91.2
Oppo F7 (headphones)+0.50, -0.20-91.491.80.00790.402-51.5
Honor View 10 (headphones)+0.17, -0.03-92.092.10.00230.092-52.8
Nokia 7 Plus+0.02, -0.31 -38.881.70.00134.690-95.9
Nokia 7 Plus (headphones)+0.25, -0.23-93.390.40.00450.227-53.9

Xiaomi Mi Max 3 frequency response
Xiaomi Mi Max 3 frequency response

You can learn more about the tested parameters and the whole testing process here.

Reader comments

  • Mak Ladakhi

When will the max 3 launched in India....

  • Ibanezac

How to enable RAW format for photography?

  • Jesse

I have gotten 4G and LTE in the US with AT&T on the Mi Max 2. I've been from New York to Ohio and never dropped below 4G.