Review Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S: did we really need it?

Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S review

The fu We MIX it has been an important device, able to influence the coming generations by introducing an atypical and "unique" way of design, even though it must necessarily sacrifice something. The second chapter has set itself the goal of raising the bar of the user experience. And lo Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S? What is the meaning of this smartphone? Is this yet another upgrade or can you aspire to be "something more"? Discover in our review if Xiaomi has hit the center.

Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S review

Unboxing

Lo Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S comes with a sales package identical in all respects to that of the Mi MIX 2. A beautiful, elegant, minimal black cardboard with the MIX logo printed on the front with golden letters. Inside the box there are:

  • Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S;
  • Quick Charge 3.0 wall charger;
  • USB / USB Type-C cable;
  • USB Type-C / mini-jack adapter;
  • rigid silicone cover;
  • pin for the SIM slot;
  • manuals in Chinese language.

Design and construction quality

The device measures 150.9 x 74.9 x 8.1 mm for a weight of 191 g, slightly larger than the previous model. Although this may seem like a flaw, in reality you will hardly notice this difference. The Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S presents a back cover in ceramic with curl 3D, slightly more rounded than the "past". This helps to improve the grip, at least in theory. In practice, the cover is a must and venturing without it is tantamount to being real daredevils.

Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S review

As for the general design, the only difference (in addition to the dimensions) is represented by the introduction of the dual traffic light camera. This is located in the upper left corner and has a thin golden frame around it. The back has the word Mi MIX Designed By Xiaomi and the usual fingerprint reader. The latter is lightning and do not miss a beat, even if you try it on purpose.

Around the device we have a aluminum frame, interrupted at some points by plastic bands for receiving the antennas. The lower edge houses the main microphone, the USB Type-C input and the speaker; on the opposite side, the second noise reduction microphone. Along the right frame are the volume rocker and the Power button; the left one presents the dual SIM slot.

As for design and build quality, the Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S can only pass with flying colors. The increased thickness and weight do not affect the overall appearance: all that shines is elegance and beauty. Winning formula does not change.

Display

The display is a panel IPS da 5.99 inches diagonal with resolution Full HD + (2160 x 1080 pixels), density of 403 PPI and a ratio screen-to-body dell '81.9%, slightly greater than the Mi MIX 2. Everything - of course - is protected by a Corning glass Gorilla Glass 4 with curvature 2.5D.

Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S review

The colors are a bit 'saturated, but all in all offer one realistic rendering. Although it is an LCD, i neri are deep (within the limits imposed by this technology, of course). Once again Xiaomi offers us an excellent panel: basically we are talking about a smartphone that makes the display its most important value.

Performances

But let's get to the first, real news of the Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S. Under the ceramic shell beats a Qualcomm heart, with the company's latest high-end chipset. The Snapdragon 845 - octa-core with Kryo 385 cluster and a maximum frequency of 2.8 GHz - is flawless.

I 6 GB of LPDDR4X-1866 dual channel RAM, together with 128 GB of storage UFS 2.1 (not expandable), literally allow you to "fly" the device. The graphic part is entrusted to the GPU Adreno 630: no problem reported with any type of game, from lighter and more resource-intensive ones (like Asphalt 8). Moreover, thanks to the games it is possible to have a clear picture of the possibilities offered by the renewed hardware compartment.

The most evident proof is represented by Portal Knight, with the maximum graphic settings: no lag and maximum fluidity, unlike what happened with the Mi MIX 2 (and its Snap 835). One single note: during extremely long gaming sessions the terminal tends to warm up in the chipset area. All regular, both with regard to the temperatures reached that the phenomenon itself.

Benchmark

Among all the various software used to test the capabilities of the device we found problems only with Antutu. The tests fail to go beyond the analysis of the graphic part and the reason for this is not clear. However nothing penalizing.

Photographic quality

The photographic sector represents the other big news for the top of the range. On board we find a dual chamber composed of a main sensor from 12 mega-pixels with opening f/1.8, pixels from 1.4 μm, OIS to 4 axes, Dual Pixel autofocus and Dual LED flash. We also have a telephoto always from 12 mega-pixels but with openness f/2.4

The news does not stop at the hardware part, since the camera is supported on the software side since the introduction ofAI. This is particularly useful for the scene recognition: if activated, it will change the parameters of the shot according to the framed scene.

But let's get to the heart of the matter. How does the smartphone behave from the photographic point of view? Once again the comparison with his predecessor is a must and it is the case to get straight to the point: the improvement is there and it is undeniable. The shots with daylight result full of details, with balanced colors e realistic (even if on some occasions the sensor tends to saturate some colors).

The exposure is also reliable and AI helps to improve the situation thanks to his contribution. In unfavorable light conditions or for night shots, the details are affected but getting anyway satisfying results. One of the faults is represented by the bokeh effect in the Portrait mode, which does not always succeed for the best.

Frontally we find what we could define the black sheep of the device, or the selfie camera from 5 mega-pixels, with opening f/2.0 and pixels from 1.4 μm. Compared to Mi MIX 2 we have some software side improvements like the introduction of HDRAuto HDR e Depth Effect. Nice features that definitely allow you to get better shots. However, when darkness falls the problems are the usual: the details vanish and the images are pasty and poco enjoyable.

The smartphone is able to record video in 4K / Full HD to 30 fps, reasonable as quality though not at the top. Also in this case we notice a tendency to overload the stronger colors.

Connectivity and audio quality

The Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S presents a module again dual Nano SIMs. with connectivity support 4G + e band 20. This translates into a reception almost always impeccable, which never reported problems during the test phase. Furthermore, the audio in the capsule is clear and the volume is high.

As for the rest of the sector, the smartphone presents the Wi-Fi ac Dual Band, Bluetooth 5.0 e NFC. Absent, however, FM radio and IR sensor. No problem even with satellite navigation (GPS / A-GPS / GLONASS / BeiDou) complete with a compass.

The audio is conveyed via stereo speaker, obtained from the combination of lower speaker and ear capsule. This allows for an excellent audio experience. There are some imperfections as the volume increases, but it is an acceptable solution.

Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S review

Software

The default software on board the flagship is the MIUI 9.5 China Stable based on Android 8.0 Oreo with March 2018 security patch. Installing the Play Store and the rest of Google services is a walk and the only limit could be that imposed by the language (partly offset with MoreLocale 2). However, the experience with this ROM was not at all traumatic.

This is a firmware in perfect MIUI style, fluid and snappy (also thanks to the hardware), with a lot of customizations. Bad presence of Chinese bloatware but the most can be uninstalled without problems. We did not find any kind of problem with the various Google services. Let's take a look at the various features present.

  • Security Manager: a practical tool that allows you to quickly access the various optimizations (the Cleaner, the Game Mode and so on) and to the battery settings;
  • full-screen gestures: they are basic and can be replaced by the usual navigation bar, for a truly "immersive" experience;
  • support for themes through the Theme Manager of Xiaomi;
  • possibility of exploiting the Second Space;
  • One-handed Mode;
  • various gestures, like the screenshot with three-finger slides;
  • Split Screen;
  • Dual Apps;
  • App Lock by password or fingerprint;
  • Face Unlock: much improved compared to the previous model (faster and more precise) but still a solution poco practical due to the position of the selfie camera.

Autonomy

The Mi MIX 2S arrives with a battery from 3400 mAh, a solution already seen in the previous model. One of the weaknesses of this was represented by autonomy; as a user of a Mi MIX 2, I was curious to try the device in this respect. Well, it seems that here we have yet another step forward.

The smartphone - with an average use - quietly arrives at 6 hours of display switched on. Under stress - or with numerous background features like Bluetooth and Spotify - hours of autonomy inevitably tend to decrease.

The complete recharge is carried out in approx 1 30 hours and minutes, Thanks to the technology Quick Charge 3.0. Icing on the cake, there is support for the Qi wireless charging, news very welcome.

Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S Review - Price and conclusions

By hanging up with the initial questions and drawing our conclusions, one wonders why we really need this smartphone? Well, after an initial skepticism (at first glance may seem a "simple" upgrade), the answer can only be affirmative. Yes, we probably needed the Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S.

The device, although not immune to defects, presents major improvements and innovations which make it an attractive smartphone. The Mi MIX 2S does everything it promises: the hardware sector is first class and the dual camera does its duty, albeit with some small gaps compared to the competitors in the premium range (and with higher prices).

Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S review

If we add one design to scream, can only be an obligatory choice if you love this range. Even the slightly larger dimensions (both in terms of thickness and reflex weight) are swept away by the beauty and "truly" premium appearance of the device.

On the other hand there is a host of users in possession of the Mi MIX 2 who wonders if it is permissible to switch to the new model. In this case, the choice must be carefully weighed according to your needs (and your budget). But if you love its unmistakable style, then it's the smartphone that's right for you. The main faults of his predecessor find here a happy ending, thanks to better autonomy and the new dual camera.

Lo Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S is available for purchase on MastMen at a price of 587.73 € using the coupon "GIZCHINA15". The product is shipped from China via DHL in 3-5 working days, with 24 months warranty ed assistance in Italy.


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