- Gorgeous Design
- Top Tier Performance
- Good Camera Capabilities
- Decent Battery Life
- Affordable Price Tag
- Display could have been upgraded
- No Headphone Jack
One thing we have seen lately in the whole smartphone division is these premium smartphones. These smartphones pack a flagship specification on the outside and has an impressive build on the outside. One company that stole the headlines would be Xiaomi. They made something that stood out – both in terms of looks and innovation. Meet the Mi Mix 2S, a gorgeous smartphone inside and out. I have been using the phone as my daily driver for almost a month right now and it’s time for me to give my final verdict on the phone itself.
Design & Build Quality
The Mi Mix 2S has a very sleek and slender design. The moment you look at it, you’ll notice the black slate finish that gives a pleasing look to the eyes. The phone shares the same design with the Mi Mix 2 which came out last year. The front of the device is clean finish. On the back, you’ll notice some key design that gives the phone away. The camera is located on the top right side of the phone with the gold-plated trims all around it. You’ll also notice the printed sentence “Mi Mix Designed by Xiaomi” in Gold color. The whole back curves and slips into the frame beautifully – making it the sexiest finish we have seen on a smartphone.
As for build quality, Xiaomi has opted in for a premium material. On the front, it is covered in this 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass and on the back, it houses a Ceramic back plate. I love smartphones that has a bit of weight to it and the Mix 2S has a good weight to it. It feels solid – like a well put smartphone. The weight distribution isn’t quite there – as the top area of the phone is heavy. I’d suggest you pop a case on and protect your phones from any unwanted damages. As the phone is covered in this gorgeous glass and Ceramic finish, it is prone to fingerprints and you’d be carrying a microfiber cloth with you always.
Overall, the Mi Mix 2S knows how to be sexy and it does it well.
Specification and Benchmark
The Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S comes in two different configurations – 6GB RAM | 64GB Internal and 6GB RAM | 128GB Internal. Other than that, the rest is pretty much the same. It come with the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 clocked in at 2.8GHz. As for the GPU, it has an Adreno 630 GPU.
We performed two benchmarks on this smartphone and with that said, you can find the scores to the device below. Do take note that the benchmark scores do not add up to day-to-day usage as it may vary.
The Mi Mix 2S packs a 5.99” Full HD+ Display with an 18:9 aspect ratio. It has a pixel count of 403 per inch. The display covers the DCI-P3 color gamut – to offer sharp and vibrant colors. Once again, Xiaomi decides to stick with Full HD resolution and with that said, their panel on the Mi Mix 2S is sharp and vibrant. The display is calibrated towards a warmer tone, but good thing is – the display can be calibrated according to your like in the settings.
Watching series on Netflix and iflix is quite the fun – as it packs decent color production overall. There isn’t a washed out feel to it and the viewing angles are nice and pleasing to the eye. As it doesn’t have a bezel or a notch up top, the display looks immersive and you’ll just forget that there’s a chin at the bottom. It can be a bit hard to hold the phone especially when you game as one side of your hand will cover the display.
Overall, it is a nice display. I wish they stepped their display game on with the Mi Mix 2S with an AMOLED or an OLED panel which produces true blacks.
As it’s a flagship smartphone, the performance is rather snappy and quick – thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 with 6GB RAM under the hood. Memory management is amazing, and I was able to go back to an app exactly where I left it. The boot up time is quick as well and it loads up all the data and apps in a snap.
We played games like Fortnite because Mi Mix 2S is on the supported list, Need for Speed and Asphalt: 9. The graphics on both the Need for Speed and Asphalt: 9 was smooth and snappy – you’ll definitely have a good time playing games like this on this smartphone. Now as for Fortnite, I set the settings to Ultra and the phone handled the game very well with no frame drops.
Overall, the performance is on par as any other flagship smartphone that runs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 – Impressive.
Battery & Charging
Under the hood, the Mi Mix 2S packs a 3500 mAh battery and as for charging – they’ve included a Quick Charge 3.0 enabled adapter inside the box. This is also Xiaomi’s first attempt in including Qi Wireless charger under the hood – which offers 7.5W Fast Charging capability as well.
The battery life on this phone is impressive. As I used the Mi Mix 2S as my daily driver, I really enjoyed using it. Most of the time, I was able to end my day with 30% battery left and a SoT of 4 hours 21 minutes. It involves me watching shows on Netflix, listening to music on Apple Music, using my social network and pretty much it.
I was able to charge my Mi Mix 2S from 10 to 100 in less than 2 hours with the help of the included QC 3.0 adapter which is a nice touch. We also tried charging the phone with the ZMI Qi Wireless Charger which we reviewed earlier and we were able to charge in 2 hours 20 minutes. I, personally am very happy to have the option to charge via Wireless as it does not affect the cells when left for a longer time.
Front Facing Camera
The front facing camera is still located at the bottom right corner. It’s a 5MP camera with AI Beautify mode and HDR. Upon examining, the front camera sure does a good job in taking really good selfie pictures. There isn’t any over exposure or under with any of the shots and the colors produced of my skin tone was pretty neutral. I turned off the beautify mode because it’s still not something I’d use.
Rear Facing Camera
One key feature Xiaomi emphasized with the Mi Mix 2S would be the Rear camera. This time the Mix 2S packs a Dual camera on the back – both configured at 12MP respectively. The primary sensor packs a Wide-angle lens with 4-axis OIS and an aperture of f/1.8. The secondary sensor is a 12MP Telephoto lens with an aperture of f/2.4.
Let’s start off with the Primary sensor. This first picture we shot was under normal mode and the details captured is decent. The clouds up which has a bit of a shape is captured really well. The small tree plant is sharp and once you zoom in to look at the detail, it still is sharp. The floors have a grey shade and the detailing is on point.
Here’s a night shot. In this shot the detailing on the building is sharp and looks fine upon zooming in on it. The colors are vivid but it still feels like the dynamic range is limited. The detailing on the trees are lost and it looks fuzzy. If you are not a pixel peeper, then the picture in a whole will just look fine.
Generally, the Mi Mix 2S takes wonderful pictures in a whole. I am impressed that it is heading into the right direction. There is an improvement over the Mix 2 which didn’t do a very well job in low light. The telephoto lens is definitely a feature I personally love and appreciate – and the details captured with that lens is impressive. Overall, the Mi Mix 2S camera does have it’s fair share of minuses – like the loss of detail in very low light and the limited dynamic range but other than that – it’s still one nice camera. The portrait mode works phenomenally well too.
The Mi Mix 2S also has AI Capabilities where it detects scenes or object and alters the camera setting accordingly and so far, it seems to work fine.
You can click here to take a look at all the shots taken on our Flickr Album. 😊
Speakers, Connectivity and Security
The speakers on the Mix 2S is configured in a stereo setup. On the side firing speaker still covers most of the audio, the earpiece acts as a tweeter. Honestly, there isn’t much of a difference but the sound quality on these speakers are nice to hear. It’s loud, clear and crisp. Good thing it doesn’t distort at maximum volume.
As for connectivity, the Mi Mix 2S is possibly the best phone as it supports all the band that’s required for LTE in different countries. It also has a Bluetooth 5.0 under the hood – which means better connectivity and the support for AAC, aptX and aptX-HD via Bluetooth. It also supports all the popular bands when it comes to Wi-Fi, that is 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac.
As the phone doesn’t have a headphone jack, it comes with a 3.5mm Headphone Jack dongle that connects via the USB C port. Or else, you could pick up a Bluetooth earphone for about RM 150 at the Mi Stores.
The phone features a fingerprint sensor on the back – ideally placed where your index finger would fall. It unlocks the phone in a snap making it one of the fastest fingerprint sensors we have come across.
UI & OS
Just like any other Xiaomi phone, the Mi Mix 2S runs a custom build of Android, MIUI 8 on top of Android 8.0. MIUI 8 is a highly customized UI and this time around they emphasize more on speed of the app launch. Other than that, it does have tons of trick up it’s sleeves. Like for instance, you can have dual apps, second space to keep Work and Personal separate, Battery Managements and so much more.
Although I personally don’t use most of the features, it’s nice to have the option as a lot of people now prefer Dual App and separate space for privacy related purposes. You can always pop your favorite launcher on top of it if you are not a fan of the MIUI Launcher. One thing I personally love about MIUI is the UX – there’s two ways to navigate – one is through the conventional buttons and secondly is through gestures.
MIUI is probably the only UI that made a well thought out interface where swiping from the Left or Right goes back and swiping up from the Bottom Chin will allow you to go back home or recent apps. There’s one thing that needs to be fixed – that is coming out of Screen Pinning in this navigation mode.
Other than that, it is one fine baked Software inside out.
Here’s my final verdict on the Mi Mix 2S. It is without a doubt a gorgeous smartphone inside and out. What I personally like about the Mi Mix 2S is that it looks and feels premium without even trying so much. There isn’t a single complain with the Mi Mix 2S. Now yes, it is an iterative update from the Mix 2 and the only change is the camera and the processor. None the less, if you are looking for a premium flagship smartphone at a price tag that doesn’t break your bank – look no further.
Now that we have the Mi 8 in Malaysia, I am excited to see what that has to offer. So, stay tuned as we will keep you posted. 😊 This only gets me excited for one thing from Xiaomi – that is the Mi Mix 3 which is rumored to have a full screen display and a camera pop up. I am looking forward to this.