Xiaomi Mi Max review: Good, but too much phone to handle

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The Good The Xiaomi Mi Max has a brilliant, massive 6.4-inch screen and ridiculously good battery life.

The Bad The phone's enormous size makes it hard to use one-handed; it's also heavy and sticks out uncomfortably in your pants pocket.

The Bottom Line The Xiaomi Mi Max's premium build, amazing battery life and superlarge screen make this a good phone for watching videos and playing games but the size makes it hard to use with one hand.

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7.4 Overall
  • Design 6
  • Features 7
  • Performance 7
  • Camera 7
  • Battery 10

If the phrase "too big" never made it into your vocabulary, then the 6.4-inch Xiaomi Mi Max was made for people like you. The display is bright and the battery lasts for a good, long time, but the question for any phone this large will always come back to size: is it too much for you, or can you work with it?

I'm personally not a fan. Phones don't need to be small, but they also shouldn't be hard to use one-handed. And let's be clear here, the Max is a strictly two-handed affair if you want to use it without difficulty (unless you have really large hands). I found it hard to reach apps, and it's just a pain to keep adjusting my grip to reach stuff at the top of the phone. Still, I guess the Mi Max is really useful to shade your face on a sunny day, and I do really like how the metal chassis feels in my hands.


The Xiaomi Mi Max is big enough to use as a shade if it's sunny outside.

Aloysius Low/CNET

Of course, the real reason you're buying this phone is to watch video and read -- e-books, articles, Facebook, whatever -- and the Mi Max is perfect for this. The large 6.4-inch full-HD (1,920x1,080 pixels) is sharp and vibrant, and Xiaomi's Sunlight Display technology makes details like words and images clearer under bright sunlight. Gaming on the phone was great. Asphalt 8 ran smoothly on High settings, and I actually liked having a bigger screen here.

Retailing at 1,499 yuan ($230, £160 or AU$315, converted) for the cheapest model with 32GB of storage, this big screen phone does offer a lot of value.

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