Why Xiaomi Mi Max is a super giant to own
The stellar device is a good example of why one should just be purchasing large phones.
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Big smartphones or, as some people like to call them, 'phablets' have been around for a long time. Dial back to 2011, you'd remember the first Samsung Galaxy Note, which is now a family of products that defines what a big phone should do.
A couple of months before the Galaxy Note was launched, a monstrosity called the Dell Streak was launched, much to the chagrin of us tech reviewers.The end result is fluid performance, which is consistent and reliable.
Phone users who would then say, "It's too big", "Is that a tablet" back then now go on to complain about the fact that the screen is either too small or the battery life of the product too poor.
Clearly, the category has come a long way.
But the fact remains that to many users, some of the so-called big phones seem just too small. That's where Mi Max comes in. The Xiaomi product blurs the lines between a tablet and a phone, and the phone is a good example of why one should just be purchasing large phones:
Battery life for the roadrunner
Like the Redmi Note 3 smartphone, which admittedly is one of my favourite smartphones of 2016, the Mi Max offers more of the same, but in a bigger package.
Think about it: this is a phone that manages to cram in a massive 4,850mAh battery in a package that's just 7.5mm thin. Yes, that's almost three times the size of the iPhone 6S battery. There is no arguing the fact that this is one of the thinnest phones in the world to pack in such a massive battery.
The advantage of this battery is indisputable. In my tests, I managed to clock over 30 hours of use on single charge, which meant that I didn't need to charge the phone till the fag end of the second day.
This is of course with heavy use. If you're a moderate user, chances are that you can get away with charging the phone once in three days.
It is that good. The only hitch despite the fast charging is that attaining 100 per cent charge takes some time.
Big wide canvas
A 6.4-inch screen pushes it toward what is categorised as a phablet. In my conversation with Xiaomi's Jai Mani, I got a sense that there is a quiet confidence about the product because it feels that phones that have come before this it have always been either too expensive or incapable of the firepower to make use of the big canvas yielded to the product.
Jai Mani isn't wrong - the Sony Xperia Z Ultra was massive and expensive, the Nokia Lumia 1520 was impressive, but based on Windows, an operating system most people hate and everything else that has been of the size has been quite forgettable.
The Mi Max has a nice 6.4-inch screen with a full HD resolution. For me who writes for a living, it is the perfect screen to stream YouTube videos, play games like Asphalt 8 and edit or create documents, which end up being articles. For the record, the final draft of this piece has been edited on the Mi Max.
Naysayers who harp on specs like "single hand usage" should be ignored because single hand usage comes in handy for texting and typing while driving and you know what that's illegal and you shouldn't be doing it anyway.
The Galaxy Note line of smartphones became a winner for Samsung because in terms of hardware Samsung cut no corners. The Galaxy Note phones are the very best of what Samsung offers. The Mi Max because of its size is more niche, so Xiaomi decided to make a phone that's more mainstream than what most people have attempted before, albeit with minimal compromises.
The Mi Max uses a wicked fast six-core processor which is the same one as the Redmi Note 3 and marries it to 3GB RAM and 32GB of storage.
The end result is fluid performance, which is consistent and reliable.
It doesn't heat up despite its swanky metal frame. I have noticed over the last few years that the big phones manage heat dissipation in a better manner than smaller phones packing the same hardware, and in that regard, the Mi Max performs pretty well.
Xiaomi has made a name for itself as it designs some elegant-looking smartphones.
It is brave when it comes down to smartphone design. The Mi Max is possibly the most well-designed Xiaomi smartphone, which is ironic considering it comes with a massive ergonomics handicap; its 6.4-inch screen.
That being said, it blends the best design traits of the Mi 5 and the Redmi Note 3.
You get a lovely metal back. The Mi Max remains "too big" for most people, but it manages to make the 6.4-inch screen size friendlier than any other phone I have got my hands on in the recent past.
For some context, it is just a hair thicker and heavier than the iPhone 6S Plus, while packing in a screen that's almost an inch larger.
And that takes some special engineering skills.
The thing about such a niche device is that buyers will choose it for functions that it excels at.
However, an added benefit of this is that you get a device which has a very good rear camera, robust and easy-to-understand software and fast wireless capabilities, which makes it a darn good package for less than Rs 20,000.
The big takeaway with the device is that it isn't meant for everyone as it is massive. That being said, Xiaomi has carved enough wiggle room for the Mi Max within the confines of its size and gone on to create a stellar device.
It is a sterling example of why people should buy big smartphones. More often than not, they deliver good performance with heat management, have great screens and their battery life is top class.