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

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 ($459 at Amazon)'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 ($660 at Walmart).

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 ($280 at Amazon) for another big-screen-small-bezel device, or the more expensive Pixel 2 ($460 at Walmart). Savvy buyers will also want to keep an eye out for the OnePlus 5T.

Hardware specs comparison

Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 Samsung Galaxy Note 8 iPhone 8 Plus Google Pixel 2 XL
Display size, resolution 5.99-inch; 2,160x1,080 pixels 6.3-inch; 2,960x1,440 pixels 5.5-inch; 1,920x1,080 pixels 6-inch; 2,880x1,440 pixels
Pixel density 403ppi 522ppi 401 ppi 538 ppi
Dimensions (Inches) 5.98x2.97x0.3 in 6.4x2.9x0.34 in 6.24x3.07x0.30 in 6.2x3.0x0.3 in
Dimensions (Millimeters) 151.8x75.5x7.7mm 162.5x74.8x8.6mm 158.4x78.1x7.5 mm 157.9x76.7x7.9 mm
Weight (Ounces, Grams) 6.53oz; 185g 6.9 oz, 195g 7.13 oz; 202 g 6.17 oz; 175 g
Mobile software Android 7.1 Nougat Android 7.1.1 Nougat iOS 11 Android 8 Oreo
Camera 12-megapixel Dual 12-megapixel Dual 12-megapixel 12-megapixel
Front-facing camera 5-megapixel 8-megapixel 7-megapixel 8-megapixel
Video capture 4K 4K 4K 4K
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 Bionic Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
Storage 64GB, 128GB, 256GB 64GB 64GB, 256GB 64GB, 128GB
RAM 6GB or 8GB 6GB 3GB 4GB
Expandable storage None Up to 2TB None None
Battery 3,400 mAh 3,300 mAh 2,675 mAh (Apple doesn't confirm this) 3,520 mAh
Fingerprint sensor Back of phone Back cover Home button (Touch ID) Back cover
Connector USB-C USB-C Lightning USB-C
Headphone jack No Yes No No
Special features Global LTE support S Pen stylus, water-resistant, wireless charging Water resistant (IP67), wireless Qi charge compatible Google Assistant; unlimited cloud storage; Daydream VR-ready
Price off-contract (USD) Converts to about $535 AT&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$665 AU$1,499 AU$1,229 (64GB), AU$1,479 (256GB) AU$1,399 (64GB), AU$1,549 (128GB)

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