After teasing it for some time, Xiaomi has officially unveiled its latest smartphone, and it’s a huge one – literally. With a 6.44-inch Full HD display, the Mi Max is the largest Mi phone the Chinese company has ever produced.
At 203g, the Mi Max is actually just 11g heavier than the iPhone 6s Plus. It’s also fairly thin at 7.5mm, with a body shape that’s similar to the Mi Note. There’s a similar 2.5D curved glass display, and a rounded back for better grip.
As expected of a Mi phone, the Mi Max sports a metal body, and naturally runs on the just-announced MIUI 8. As a large device, the smartphone can easily be used with one hand via MIUI’s one-handed mode, which can easily be enabled via a swipe from the home button to the Back or Recent Apps buttons.
On the software front, MIUI 8’s “suspension ball” makes it even easier to navigate on the large display. It works similarly to iOS’ Assistive Touch, but with the option of customising the buttons beyond the five standard buttons.
Of course, the whole idea of a large screen smartphone is to allow users to do more. Apps like Google Maps and office documents show more information on the screen, games are more immersive, and video playback is certainly a lot more enjoyable on a display as large as the Mi Max’s.
At the same time, the display cannot be too large as to make the whole device unwieldy. Through its internal research, Xiaomi found that 6.44 inches is largest screen size possible for a smartphone. This isn’t too far from Sony’s Xperia Z Ultra from 2013 which had a 6.4-inch display long before anyone else did, as well as the more recent Lenovo Phab Plus, which was basically a tablet at 6.8 inches across.
Xiaomi also made sure that with such a large smartphone, battery life is not a concern. The Mi Max packs a huge 4,850mAh battery, again the largest ever on any Xiaomi smartphone. The company claims that the Mi Max, with its large battery and MIUI 8’s new battery optimisations, will easily last more than one day’s worth of use.
Now, on to the hardware specs. The Mi Max will be available in three configurations, but they will all share the same following hardware: 16MP rear camera with PDAF, 5MP wide-angle front facing camera, 6.44-inch Full HD display with Sunlight Display technology, 4,850mAh battery, fingerprint sensor, as well as 4G+ and VoLTE network support.
There’ll also be a “3 choose 2” SIM tray, which either supports two SIM cards (1 nano + 1 micro SIM), or one micro SIM with one microSD card slot that supports up to 128GB cards.
The lowest end of the Mi Max configuration isn’t exactly that bad either. It’ll have 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, and run on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 650 processor. The middle configuration has the same RAM, but double the storage at 64GB and has a slightly more powerful Snapdragon 652 chipset.
The top-end variant of the Mi Max sports 4GB of RAM, a massive 128GB of internal storage, and runs on the Snapdragon 652 chip.
Finally, there’s the price. The 3GB/Snapdragon 650 variant will retail for 1499 Yuan (about RM930), while the middle 3GB/Snapdragon 652 version will be selling at 1699 Yuan (about RM1,055). The high-end 4GB/Snapdragon 652 variant will be sold for 1999 Yuan (about RM1,240).
The Mi Max will be available for pre-order starting today in China, with the first round of sales starting on 17 May in China only. As this event is focusing only on the China market, there is no information regarding international availability.