Review of the ceramic “high-end” – smartphone Xiaomi Mi Mix 2s

Xiaomi Company has found a place among manufacturers of unusual smartphones, having released about one and a half years ago its first Mi Mix – a conceptual frameless device, besides without a telephone speaker. Then the device caused surprise and exclamations like “Well, why?”. It seemed that such an experiment would not find practical application. But then the sequel followed – Mi Mix 2 , followed by Mi Mix 2s , which became an advanced version of its predecessor.

The smartphone can still be called unusual: Mi Mix has become a kind of brand (for those who follow the devices of this company), and owners of the flagships of other manufacturers will probably make round eyes, looking at Mi Mix 2s – “And where is the monobrow” ? “But there is no it. Nevertheless, it is more difficult to cause a wow effect to the Xiaomi mobile phone. The people got used to frameless smartphones in various degrees, all sorts of tricks with an unusual aspect ratio of the screen and similar “chips”.


  • Appearance, ergonomics
  • Performance and battery life
  • Camera, sample photos
  • Sound and Screen
  • Conclusions and assessment
  • Competitors

Appearance, ergonomics

The Mi Mix 2s has much in common with the original Mi Mix introduced in the autumn of 2016, and even more so with the “usual” Mi Mix 2. But instead of a single camera in the center, we see a more familiar double camera top left. The fingerprint scanner remained in the same place, and the rest of the sense elements were not moved any more. Oh no, we have to do something with the front camera, but, apparently, not this time – it stayed in the same place, in the lower right corner, where the other mobile phones have nothing.

The frames around the screen nowhere, as you might guess, have not disappeared, and if you want they can be called wide: in addition to the chassis proper, there is a black edging around the perimeter of the 6-inch display, which is noticeable after its inclusion.

The first model was experimental – the speaker was absent, its role was played by a case and an accurate piezoelectric actuator, which made the body vibrate for voice transmission. The Mi Mix could be brought to the ear by either side, it was not affected by audibility and quality – they always remained so-so, and people around were aware of the topic of the conversation.

In the second version and its new colleague – Mi Mix 2s – the usual conversational speaker is installed, located on the edge of the upper end.

One of the “chips” of the Mi Mix line – the ceramic case – still beautifully glitters, something resembling a stone (in a good sense), but extremely actively collecting fingerprints. In fact, there are three stages of the appearance of the rear panel:

  • virgin clean, looks at 120%;
  • slapped here and there, I want to wipe it off, “so that it’s beautiful”;
  • covered with several layers of fingerprints, wiped tired, “and so will come down.”

If you carry the Mi Mix 2s in your pocket, you can almost always be in the second stage. Use the bumper / cover? But what about the aesthetic pleasure of owning such a device? Especially the applied ceramics, the manufacturer assures us, is very resistant to scratches (we did not check). Smartphone, of course, slippery – from some surfaces and strives to escape.

But to hold the device in hand is convenient, although the weight is certainly considerable – about 190 grams with dimensions of 150.9 × 74.9 × 8.1 mm. By comparison, by the way, the first Mi Mix with a 6.4-inch screen weighed 209 grams and measured 158.8 × 81.9 × 7.9 mm.

Performance and battery life

The smartphone Mi Mix 2s was one of the first to come on the market with a new top-end mobile chip Qualcomm – Snapdragon 845. Work is assisted by 6 GB of RAM. The model, incidentally, comes in several configurations: with 8 GB of operating and 256 GB of internal memory, or with 6 GB of operating and 64/128 GB of built-in. It is difficult to imagine that this tandem can be too tough. If the claims to the speed of work arise, they will be connected, we believe, with the software and the optimization of the system as a whole.

To catch the Xiaomi smartphone on these things we managed with difficulty: this is the case when everything flies. What will happen after a couple of months of work is unknown, but the device just turned on and updated works like a clock: the menu, curtains, windows, camera, browser, YouTube run without a hint of brakes. And, no, in the application store a half-second “frieze” is fixed … There would be a desire, but there is a defect.

With games the same situation – high fps in demanding games (they say, even in mobile PUBG the frequency is not a couple of console).

Synthetic benchmarks are expected to show high performance.

The capacity of the Mi Mix 2s battery is quite usual for this size device 3400 mAh. Taking into account the “non-gratuitous” resolution of 1080 × 2160 pixels (18: 9 aspect ratio, 403 ppi pixel density), the smartphone works up to a day and a half with quiet use in the city, where a good reception. The usual indicator, but much depends on the habits of the owner of the device, since active gaming can easily sentence the battery in less than 4-5 hours. Most will charge the device once a day.

Well, a nice addition will be that Mi Mix 2s is the first Xiaomi smartphone with wireless charging. In addition, the built-in software allows you to optimize power consumption – there are so-called “smart scenarios” that disconnect wireless communication modules, a fingerprint scanner, and also activate the screen when notifications are received.


The model received a main camera with two 12-megapixel modules (f / 1.8 with OIS and f / 2.4), a dual optical zoom, a phase autofocus and a dual flash. On the screen of the smartphone, the pictures look like masterpieces, on the computer monitor everything turns out to be less than rosy. The problems have arisen where they are least expected: the focus for some reason ran away from the selected location, macro shooting or close-up shooting also requires getting used to the camera. First, here, then there is a defocus, artifacts are characteristic of the movement, even though the object is motionless.

The colors seem bulging, although the HDR was disabled from the very beginning. Probably, it’s all about artificial intelligence that requires training. Be that as it may, the contrast is sometimes a bit too much, and in the dark places there is a grain of shumoda. But this is noticeable only with an increase to the original megapixels. In conditions of insufficient illumination, the delay of the shutter release is felt.

Ah, well, Xiaomi’s indefatigable desire to spank the watermark by default with the name of the camera in the corner. Why did not the manufacturers of professional photo and video equipment think of this before? James Gunn took off the “Guardians of the Galaxy”, sent to the cinemas, and there is an inscription on the half-screen: “shot on Arri Alexa XT Plus with a dual camera.”

The front camera is 5-megapixel, and everything that can be said about it is located in an unusual place. The most convenient way to use it is to put the phone upside down. Also an original “chip”.

Sound and Screen

As mentioned above, unlike the original Mi Mix, in Mi Mix 2 and Mi Mix 2s there is a talking speaker, it is also a pair to the speaker below, providing stereo sound. The upper one is responsible for the high frequencies, the lower one for the bass and the middle ones. If you cover the bottom, from the top comes what you can not call music, but together they work very well, giving the impression of a quality “sound around”.

Bass has always been the weak side of smartphone audio systems, but Mi Mix 2s shows that there are pleasant exceptions. No, he does not pump low frequencies properly, but he earned a 10-point scale of 7 points, which is a high figure. Nevertheless, sitting on a bench with friends and talking about the eternal, it is better to give preference to the instrumental classics – it will reveal itself best.

The 6-inch IPS display (or 5.99-inch, to be quite accurate) has a relatively low resolution for the class and diagonal – now, after all, all 2K-give or something like that. With the default settings, when the contrast is automatically adjusted to the lighting, it tends to warm shades, noticeably yellow, and this in some cases is particularly noticeable. Brightness is at an average level.

Conclusions and assessment

In general, the concept laid down by Mi Mix, has not yet outlived itself, it is not time to invent something new just for the sake of the process itself in Xiaomi, although it is already time. In 2016, the company introduced the iconic smartphone, which became a kind of business card, which says “We can do cool things.” Technically, the device is not perfect, but it definitely has a certain personality (when viewed from the front, behind Mi Mix 2s for some reason looks like the  iPhone X ). He is productive and has a pass to the big leagues.

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