• Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S Review - Ceramic Phone with a Superb camera!

Introduction

Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S is a redesigned variant of the last year’s Mi Mix 2, and it received quite a few changes. This new device comes with a double camera setup, wireless charging support and we must not forget the new chipset either.

This is one of the rare phones in 2018 that don’t have a notch, as Xiaomi had a different approach to creating a minimum bezel device, so the front facing camera is located in the bottom right corner of the front panel. Maybe you’ll like this concept, maybe not, it’s not up to us to decide, but we like it. It certainly seems like a better way than the notch to enhance screen to body ratio.

Inside the box of their new flagship, one of the world’s leading smartphone manufacturers included: the phone itself, a charging adapter, USB Type-C cable, user manuals, a SIM tray tool as well as a USB Type-C to 3.5mm port converter. Another welcome feature was the plastic case with a matte coating. It is clear that Xiaomi focused almost as much attention to the case as they did to the phone itself because the phone looks and feels almost the same with and without the case.

Let’s take a closer look at the phone to see what exactly is it that’s different compared to last year’s device.

Video review


Unboxing


Display

The display has remained the same as it was in the Mix 2, it is still the same IPS matrix that can be a bit problematic on the direct sunlight because the image is not always clearly visible. Xiaomi could’ve used AMOLED display for their new flagship, but with that panel the price of the phone itself would skyrocket.

Still, one small thing has changed. Now there is a camera on the bottom of the panel below the display which reduces the bezel for around 2mm, but that’s all that has changed. The size of the panel is still 5.99” with FullHD resolution, which all translates to more than 400 pixels per inch.

Hardware and OS

The best and the latest, most powerful chipset had to be involved into this completely redesigned device. You know what we’re talking about, the Snapdragon 845, which provided AI options to the camera as well as more processor and graphics power. There are also multiple memory configurations, with either 6 or 8 GB of RAM and 64, 128 and 256 GB of internal storage. Combined with this chipset there has to be a well implemented user interface, right?

Of course, there is the new version of the MIUI which brought something new to the table – something that we’ve had a chance to see on the iPhone X – and that is the gesture navigation through the menu, which makes handling the device much easier.

The speaker of this device is once again located on the bottom side of the device next to the Type-C charging port, and it can be very loud, but sound quality is not the best since deeper tones are not that well reproduced. A small call speaker brought the old technology back because the last year’s iteration used piezoelectric effect that nobody way happy with.

Camera

The Mi Mix 2S brought an additional telephoto sensor next to the primary camera that enabled up to 2x optical zoom, but it is not optically stabilized. The main camera has a 12 megapixel resolution and aperture of f/1.8. Because of the chipset there is also the AI shooting technology that can detect more than 200 scenes, and it will enhance the quality of the captured moment.

Photos made by the primary camera have really outstanding quality, with very good exposition and plenty of details, but the camera sometimes provides poor results using the HDR in well-lit scenes with shadows.
The portrait mode also does an excellent job, but all phones blur the background using software, so we can notice poorly separated edges – still, results similar to Huawei P20 Pro.

Video recording is also very high quality, and with 4K support the camera is capable of capturing a huge level of details, but once again we have some problems with sound since the mic records too many low frequency sounds. This issue will supposedly be removed in one of the following system upgrades since this is, thankfully, a software flaw rather than hardware.

The selfie camera is only a 5 megapixel sensor placed behind the lens with aperture of f/2.0. We couldn’t help but to think that the results would be catastrophic, but we were surprised because the photos are very nice. The portrait mode, however, doesn’t perform super well because it has issues distinguishing between the edges of the object.

Connectivity

The main news in this section is that this device supports Qi charging which is more than welcome. Xiaomi enabled wireless charging through the use of the ceramic back panel – the only thing missing from the box is the charger itself. Ok, let’s not over exaggerate, Qi chargers are not that expensive anyway as they are only about $15 which means that they will not hurt your wallet to much. Every Mix 2S comes as a dual SIM device and it can store 2 nano SIM cards. It doesn’t support microSD storage expansions and it sadly doesn’t have a 3.5mm audio port, but it’s made up for by the Type-C to 3.5mm converter which is included in the box.

Wireless connections supported by the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S are:
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual band with Wi-Fi Direct and HotSpot mode
  • Bluetooth v5.0 with A2DP and LE
  • GPS with GLONASS and BDS
  • NFC
  • Qi wireless chaging

Supported network frequencies are:
  • 2G GSM: 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz
  • 3G WCDMA: 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100 MHz
  • 4G LTE: 700 / 800 / 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1800 / 1900 / 2100 / 2600 MHz

Battery

Excluding wireless charging, there’s nothing new regarding the battery. There is still the same 3400 mAh battery that can secure around 5 hours of screen on time. Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 system is still here and it reduces charging time down to around 1 and a half hours.

Next to great information about the battery itself, we have to give praises to battery settings. Here you can manually adjust how the battery behaves in certain moments, and you can preset when to turn on battery saving mode.

Final words

With the Mi Mix 2S, Xiaomi showed that they are still competitive on the flagship market, although there definitely exists a lot of room for improvements, mainly software-wise.  Primarily we mean sound recording issues, which should soon be fixed anyway. For the next iteration, it would be nice to have some sort of water and dust resistance. On the other hand, we fully support implementation of the ceramics on the back – it is simply gorgeous. Wireless charging is always welcome as well. Mi Mix 2S is a quality device, and it certainly deserves the attention it’s getting.

Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S Full Specifications

Do you like the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S? We’d like to hear your opinion in the comment section below. If you have any suggestions or you would like to see some new devices being reviewed, let us know either here or on our Facebook page. If you liked this review, subscribe to our YouTube channel, like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram, sit back and relax as we’re working hard on new material for you.

Advantages and disadvantages

Reasons for and against it

Great ceramic look
Good AI cameras
Qi wireless charging support
Without 3.5mm audio jack
Audio problem while recording video