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Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 review: A great Xiaomi phone you can use anywhere

This snappy, all-screen phone costs less than the Note 8.

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Aloysius Low
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Aloysius Low

Senior Editor

Aloysius Low is a Senior Editor at CNET covering mobile and Asia. Based in Singapore, he loves playing Dota 2 when he can spare the time and is also the owner-minion of two adorable cats.

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Once again, Xiaomi has proven that you don't have to pay your body weight in gold to get a quality, feature-packed phone -- so long as you aren't looking for cutting-edge features.

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8.1

Xiaomi Mi Mix 2

The Good

The bezel-less Xiaomi Mix 2 is fast, snappy, and packs LTE support for the whole world.

The Bad

The selfie camera is still located at an awkward place below the display, and the phone is only sold in limited countries. It also lacks water resistance.

The Bottom Line

The Mi Mix 2 is the perfect bezel-less phone for Android fans all over the world, but can be hard to get if you don't live in China or India.

And for the first time ever, Android fans will be able to use a Xiaomi phone on LTE no matter where they live. The snappy, all-screen Mi Mix 2 includes the right radios to latch onto the fastest networks in the US and other countries across Europe. Before this, Xiaomi phones would ride slower 3G networks outside their home countries, which typically included China, India and Brazil, if they worked at all.

Although the Mi Mix 2 will still only sell in those limited markets and a few more besides, the fact that this high-value handset will work wherever it goes, is a step in the right direction for fans or the Xiaomi-curious that are resourceful enough to get their hands on one.

Xiaomi's Mi Mix 2 is all about the screen

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Still, don't think of this as a phone intended for the US or UK, though its dual SIM capabilities mean you'll be able to use it there if you frequently swap carriers or travel internationally. Any Mi Mix 2s bought in China will come without Google Play Services installed, but those sold through India's retail and online outlets should come with Google apps right out of the box; you'll want to play it safe and double check.

Though the Mi Mix 2 falls at the pricy end of Xiaomi's spectrum, it comes in below handsets such as the Galaxy S8 Plus. The base 6GB RAM, 64GB onboard storage model costs 3,299 yuan, which converts to about $535, £405 or AU$665. There are configurations with more storage that cost more (128GB, 256GB), with the most expensive special edition priced at 4,699 yuan, which converts to $720, £545 or AU$895.

Mi Mix 2 brings the goods

As with the iPhone X and Samsung's Galaxy Note 8, the Mi Mix 2 has a dazzling, edge-to-edge screen. Its 6-inch, 2,080x1,080-pixel resolution display is smaller than last year's 6.4-incher. This gives you a slightly less immersive feel, which I noticed right away, even though it's easier to hold. Its cool ceramic backing hangs on to fingerprints, but it also resists scratches and feels great in the hand.

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With enough light, the Mi Mix 2 can take great shots with lots of detail. 

Aloysius Low/CNET

The Mi Mix 2 doesn't have the dual cameras we're now seeing on almost all flagship phones, but the lone 12-megapixel shooter at the rear does a good job of taking bright, colorful and detailed images in full lighting all the way down to low light. Front-facing photos were at best decent, and comes with Xiaomi's beauty modes to make you look better. One major downside: You'll have to flip the phone upside down, which is a pain if you're a selfie fanatic.

Behind the scenes, the Mi Mix 2 runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, the same powerhouse chipset inside the Note 8 and S8. Games such as Asphalt 8 played gorgeously on the highest settings, and the phone runs smooth as silk.

Battery life was also is pretty good at 15 hours of runtime during our video loop tests (in airplane mode), and the phone's Snapdragon 835 processor matches similar handsets. While the battery didn't last as long as the Samsung Galaxy Note 8's 17-plus hours of run time, it got me through a whole day on a single charge.

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You'll be able to easily play games without any lag thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor. 

Aloysius Low/CNET

Unlike the original Mi Mix, which used technology to turn the whole phone into a speaker (Xiaomi called it a "cantilever ceramic piezoelectric actuator"), the Mix 2 falls back to an actual speaker that plays sound from a tiny slit that sits at the edge of the display. Calls are clear and the sound quality is good.

Water-resistance is conspicuously lacking, a misstep because it's quickly become the standard in flagship phones. You also won't find wireless charging, which isn't surprising because right now only comes in the top Samsung Galaxys and this year's iPhones.

With the Mix 2, Xiaomi proves that it does have the design and engineering chops to make a flagship phone that's markedly different from Apple, and if you're none too keen on the expensive iPhone X, the Mix 2 is worth a grab for that all screen goodness, low price for a flagship and global LTE support. Otherwise, there's always the LG G6 for another big-screen-small-bezel device, or the more expensive Pixel 2. Savvy buyers will also want to keep an eye out for the OnePlus 5T.

Hardware specs comparison


Xiaomi Mi Mix 2Samsung Galaxy Note 8iPhone 8 PlusGoogle Pixel 2 XL
Display size, resolution 5.99-inch; 2,160x1,080 pixels6.3-inch; 2,960x1,440 pixels5.5-inch; 1,920x1,080 pixels6-inch; 2,880x1,440 pixels
Pixel density 403ppi522ppi401 ppi538 ppi
Dimensions (Inches) 5.98x2.97x0.3 in6.4x2.9x0.34 in6.24x3.07x0.30 in6.2x3.0x0.3 in
Dimensions (Millimeters) 151.8x75.5x7.7mm162.5x74.8x8.6mm158.4x78.1x7.5 mm157.9x76.7x7.9 mm
Weight (Ounces, Grams) 6.53oz; 185g6.9 oz, 195g7.13 oz; 202 g6.17 oz; 175 g
Mobile software Android 7.1 NougatAndroid 7.1.1 NougatiOS 11Android 8 Oreo
Camera 12-megapixelDual 12-megapixelDual 12-megapixel12-megapixel
Front-facing camera 5-megapixel8-megapixel7-megapixel8-megapixel
Video capture 4K4K4K4K
Processor Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (2.45GHz+1.9GHz) Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (2.35GHz+1.9GHz) or Octa-core Samsung Exynos 8895 (2.35GHz+1.7GHz)Apple A11 BionicOcta-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
Storage 64GB, 128GB, 256GB64GB64GB, 256GB64GB, 128GB
RAM 6GB or 8GB6GB3GB4GB
Expandable storage NoneUp to 2TBNoneNone
Battery 3,400 mAh3,300 mAh2,675 mAh (Apple doesn't confirm this)3,520 mAh
Fingerprint sensor Back of phoneBack coverHome button (Touch ID)Back cover
Connector USB-CUSB-CLightningUSB-C
Headphone jack NoYesNoNo
Special features Global LTE supportS Pen stylus, water-resistant, wireless chargingWater resistant (IP67), wireless Qi charge compatibleGoogle Assistant; unlimited cloud storage; Daydream VR-ready
Price off-contract (USD) Converts to about $535AT&T: $950; Verizon: $960; T-Mobile: $930; Sprint: $960; U.S. Cellular: $963$799 (64GB), $949 (256GB)$849 (64GB), $949 (128GB)
Price (GBP) Converts to about £405£869£799 (64GB), £949 (256GB)£799 (64GB), £899 (128GB)
Price (AUD) Converts to about AU$665AU$1,499AU$1,229 (64GB), AU$1,479 (256GB)AU$1,399 (64GB), AU$1,549 (128GB)
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8.1

Xiaomi Mi Mix 2

Score Breakdown

Design 8Features 8Performance 9Camera 8Battery 9