The Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 is another proof that you don’t have to pawn your grandfather’s antique to get a high-end smartphone.

The recent series of smartphone launches from the major players, Samsung and Apple, has everyone desiring bezel-less screens and high-tech OS. What’s stopping most though is these smartphones’ prices.

The iPhone X, the phone that uses your face as the ID, costs at least $999 while the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is merely $49 cheaper.

Those who cannot afford these are then in search of the best yet cheaper alternative.

So here we are giving you more options to choose from just in case you want the latest technology in your hands without having to break your bank.

Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 Specs

Let us start with the technical specs of this smartphone borrowed from GSMArena.

Network

GSM / CDMA / HSPA / EVDO / LTE

Dimensions

151.8 x 75.5 x 7.7 mm (5.98 x 2.97 x 0.30 in)

Weight

185 g (6.53 oz)

Build

Front glass, aluminum frame, ceramic back; 128/8 GB model – all ceramic

SIM

Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)

Type

IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors

Size

5.99 inches, 92.6 cm2 (~80.8% screen-to-body ratio)

Resolution

1080 x 2160 pixels, 18:9 ratio (~403 ppi density)

Multitouch

Yes

Protection

Corning Gorilla Glass 4; – MIUI 9

OS

Android 7.1 (Nougat)

Chipset

Qualcomm MSM8998 Snapdragon 835

CPU

Octa-core (4×2.45 GHz Kryo & 4×1.9 GHz Kryo)

GPU

Adreno 540

Card slot

No

Internal

128 GB, 8 GB RAM or 64/128/256 GB, 6 GB RAM

Primary

12 MP (f/2.0, 1/2.9″, 1.25 µm), phase detection autofocus, 4-axis OIS, dual-LED dual-tone flash, check quality

Features

Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, HDR, panorama

Video

[email protected], [email protected], [email protected], check quality

Secondary

5 MP, f/2.0, 1080p

Battery

Non-removable Li-Ion 3400 mAh battery

Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 Display

In case you are not aware, Xiaomi is the originator of the bezel-less displays. It first started with the Mi Mix 2’s predecessor, Xiaomi Mi Mix. The first generation Mix was highly acclaimed by its users; however, it was sold in very select markets only.

The Mi Mix 2 wants to retain the same outstanding bezel-less display while making it available to a wider market. And when we say bezel-less, we really mean edge to edge display, except for the relatively big space on the chin area for some reason we will reveal later.

However, Mi Mix 2 has a smaller screen size as the 6.4” of the Mi Mix was a bit hard for one-handed operation. Mi Mix 2, consequently, has a 5.99” screen with a ~80.8 screen-to-body ratio.

Nevertheless, with an 18:9 aspect ratio, it still means you won’t be able to touch the edge of the screen with just one hand unless, of course, you have big hands.

Despite the big screen, however, Mi Mix 2 did not opt for the QHD display. It stayed with the FHD+ type with a resolution of 2160 x 1080, which still fares really well.

It may not be as saturated as the AMOLEDs, but it reproduces colors accurately. It also gets bright enough for outdoor usage.

Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 Performance

As outlined in the table above, the Mix 2 is powered by Qualcomm MSM8998 Snapdragon 835 chipset and an Octa-core CPU. It is paired with either a 6 or 6 GB RAM depending on the storage size you choose.

Several reviews from CNET, Android Central, and Android Authority reported that they did not experience any lags using the phone despite playing games such as Asphalt 8 at its highest settings.

Also, there was no heating/overheating reported during the entire course of the tests.

With the implementation of the MIUI 9, the phone is even more responsive compared to the ones with the MIUI 8. However, it may not be any different from the UI you get on the Mi 6.

But probably one of the best features of the Mix 2 in terms of performance is its battery. CNET did a video loop test with the phone in airplane mode and Mix 2 lasted approximately 15 hours. It may be less once you have your data turned on, but it should still be enough to last the entire working hours.

Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 Camera

This phone hasn’t embraced the dual cam trend almost every phone is donning now, but it still captures pretty decent photos be it taken in a low light setting thanks to the 12 MP resolution and 4-axis optical image stabilization feature.

Note, however, that for you to capture a decent image in low light, you have to enable the HDR mode, which slows down the shutter speed. This mode is not advisable for moving subjects. You may also choose the HHT or the Hand-held Twilight mode, but images may be darker than ones taken with HDR.

The front camera may be a bit more disappointing as it seems to be “misplaced” if that’s how you call it.

It is located at the bottom right of the phone (hence the big chin we mentioned earlier), requiring you to hold the phone upside down when taking selfies. It may be a bit annoying particularly when we don’t have enough time.

Also, this 5 MP-front camera is a bit narrow compared to the ones we have been enjoying on Galaxy phones and iPhones.

Adding insult to the injury is the fact that you cannot use the front cam upside down with certain apps such as Skype, Instagram, and Snapchat.

If you’re a vlogger, however, it may be consoling to know the rear cam captures up to 4K videos, so you may get that going for you which is nice.

Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 Hardware

One of the notable hardware specifications on the Mi Mix 2 is the ceramic body (ceramic-aluminum for 64GB variants), which does a good job in protecting the phone against scratches and giving the phone an elegant look. Sadly, though, the same material is a huge fingerprint magnet. Also, it doesn’t support wireless charging.

Another deal breaker for you might be the fact that Mi Mix 2 has also let go of the audio jack. It has a USB Type-C connector though, so it’s compatible with more devices.

Our take

Just like the OnePlus 5T, Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 has loud bells and whistles with a moderately quiet price. It has a long battery life, superb performance, decent display, and intuitive UI.

If you are after HD images or a selfie addict, the camera may be a bit of a disappointment though. But other than that, this is a great phone.

But, if you’re really looking for a nice backup phone that’s very affordable, check out UMIDIGI Crystal 4G Phablet. It’s only $103.99 as of this writing.