Classy and Luxurious
Even before I held the device, the Mi Mix 2S had an aura of class to it. The box it came in was all black and came with a message from Xiaomi’s founder, Lei Jun. It certainly gave the whole device a very bourgeois feel to it, even before using it. When I did begin using the Mi Mix 2S, it just got even better. The body and build of the device looks and feels incredible, the bezelless full screen display is one of the best I’ve seen, and the camera placement is smart as it prevents the use of a notch since there was always going to be a chin on the device. Overall, in terms of the design of the device, this is probably one of Xiaomi’s best to date, although I am biased towards the notch-free design.
More Than Capable Performance
We’ve seen enough Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 devices to know that this is one of the best mobile chipsets available. Indeed, the Mi Mix 2S doesn’t disappoint at all, with the benchmark tests resulting in good, high scores. Surprisingly, the device didn’t warm up too much either during the testing; it was mildly warm as expected, but definitely a lot cooler than other top end devices that I’ve come across before. In terms of everyday performance, it performs very well as expected, with no noticeable lag even under severe load and a ridiculous amount of background apps. The MIUI 10 that comes with it is has a simple and minimalistic theme to it that’s user-friendly and easy to work it too. The gesture system it uses feels natural and you’d begin wondering why even bother with capacitive keys in the first place.
Decent Albeit Noisy Shooter
The cameras on the Mi Mix 2S are, well, decent. It’s just a little disappointing as it isn’t the best out there. One gripe I have with the cameras is that when lighting conditions aren’t the best even by a tiny bit, images will tend to end up grainy or noisy. It’s not exactly noticeable or annoying per se, but I was certainly expecting better from a top end device. That being said, it is capable of incredible quality images when you can get some nice lighting around you. The front camera user experience is unique to say the least, where I had to turn the device around to effectively place the device’s chin up top for the camera to be at a more standard position. It’s also nice that it doesn’t oversaturate like other Chinese devices.
Does Everything and More
Earlier in this review I pointed out how well the Mi Mix 2S performs when using it for work purposes. Microsoft Word, various Google apps, social media, Spotify all performed just fine even under prolonged use. But what about entertainment? Well you’d be glad to hear that its pretty great for games too; it held up even after numerous games of Hearthstone, with the battery more than capable of lasting through a solid gaming session. The speakers are loud and clear and does the job, although it does come up a bit short in terms of bass. Xiaomi’s bezelless screen is incredibly good when it comes to watching movies and YouTube too, which no notch getting in the way.
Big but Bloated
I’ve handled and reviewed Xiaomi phones in the past, which is why the one nitpick I have against it is that the Mi Mix 2S comes with way too much bloatware preloaded. App after app with their names in Chinese dominate the Mi Mix 2S for some odd reason. If this was China then I would understand, but with a global ROM on it, all that bloatware is just annoying and unnecessary to say the least. On top of that, the new MIUI doesn’t resolve many of the issues that I have with MIUI 9. Notifications are still very messy Also, no headphone jack! At the very least it does come with a USB-C to 3.5mm dongle I guess.
High End Goodness
Despite the few issues with the Mi Mix 2S, they aren’t any major issues that make the device completely unusable. It’s still a really pretty smartphone with a full screen display and no notch getting in the way of things. The cameras, as mentioned earlier, are decent and good enough for Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook. Battery life is solid too, with quick charge and Qi wireless charging making it nice and handy whenever you need to charge it up in a small space of time. Overall, it’s hard to argue against the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S when it comes to getting the best bang for your buck top end Snapdragon powered device. For a sub-RM2000 device, could you really ask for more?
Verdict: Top end hardware at this price makes the Mi Mix 2S a very attractive buy, but it’s definitely not without some drawbacks.