So, it finally happened. Xiaomi's ambitious flagship phone for 2017, the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 today launched in India at Rs. 35,999. I know, I know, what you will be thinking now. Yes, the Mi Mix 2 is aimed at stealing OnePlus' dominance in the sub Rs. 40,000 price point. Well, not only OnePlus, Xiaomi is also looking to spoil the party of HMD Global, whose flagship device, the Nokia 8 will be up for sale later this week.
After watching the brands such as OnePlus, Huawei, Honor grow in the affordable flagship segment over the last two years in India, Xiaomi has made the right decision to bring the Mi Mix 2 to India. That said, the strong sales of Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ also made Xiaomi bring Mix 2 to India because Indian consumers treated both the Samsung duo extremely well, thanks to the edge-to-edge display.
The Mi Mix 2 is here, the pricing is out, and the first preview sale will take place on October 17. All are good, but what about the device? Will it steal the thunder of OnePlus 5, and become the new sub Rs. 40,000 leader? Here's what I think after using the device for a brief period (more than 30 minutes, to be precise).
Right from picking up the device for the first time, I felt like holding a small rectangular block in my hand. The Mi Mix 2 is fairly heavy at 185grams, thanks to the use of Ceramic material to construct the smartphone. The edges are neatly curved, and the device looks stunning in hands.
Even though packing a 5.99-inch massive display, the Mix 2 has a footprint of a 5.5-inch smartphone because it has the Full-Screen display up front with thin bezels on the top and either side. A small chin is present, which houses the front-facing camera. The volume rockers and power button are present at the right side and are easily reachable with single hand.
The use of Ceramic at the back means that the device will be prone to smudges and fingerprints. The back is glossy and the smudges are even more visible. Thankfully, Xiaomi is bundling a plastic case in the retail box itself. Also, the glass back makes the device slippery.
Being a flagship phone, the Mix 2 offers top-notch hardware in the form of 2.45GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of internal storage, Adreno 540 GPU. So, expect snappy performance from the device. Unfortunately, the device will not run MIUI 9 out of the box, instead, it has MIUI 8 based on Android 7.1.1 Nougat on top of September 2017 security patches.
The bold decision made by Xiaomi with the Mi Mix 2 is removing the 3.5mm headphone jack. That's a bummer for many out there, but Xiaomi also revealed a solution for that by launching the Mi Noise Cancelling USB Type-C headphones in the country for Rs. 2,999. So, a slight relief for some, but still, many would be in the same mood of disappointment.
Camera performance is something Mi Mix 2's future will depend on- it offers great display, gorgeous design, top-notch hardware, but what about the camera? Well, Xiaomi has also addressed this issue, but you won't find dual camera setup here though. The Mix 2 comes with a 12MP rear camera with the same sensor used as the Xiaomi Mi 6. I did not test the camera of the phone, but as per Xiaomi' stock photos shown at the launch event, the phones looked great. As said earlier, the front-facing camera is placed on the chin, quite awkwardly, but again a solution is given by Xiaomi- rotate the device 180-degree wise and use the selfie camera.
Concluding, the Mi Mix 2 is a great product from Xiaomi's house. But over the last two years, Xiaomi has become a budget-friendly company. It would be interesting to see how Indian consumers will receive the Mi Mix 2.
And lastly, I was little disappointed after Jai Mani (Xiaomi India Lead Product Manager) revealing the price as Rs. 35,999, because I went to the launch event of the device imagining that Xiaomi will launch the cheapest Snapdragon 835 smartphone, possibly at Rs. 29,999. But turns out be the price is slightly on the higher side at Rs. 35,999, but still, the Mi Mix 2 is completely worth the price tag according to me.