Xiaomi has been a vendor we’ve been working with for a few years now, but never got to the point where we really wrote an in-depth article on. Today as the company is eyeing on going public with an IPO in Hong Kong and an ever increasing advance on European markets, it’s the best time to actually shine a light on one of the company’s latest flagships – the Mi MIX 2S.

The Mi MIX 2S is actually a successor to last year’s Mi MIX 2, which in turn was a successor to the original Mi MIX which was a pioneer design in terms of bezel-less smartphones and ahead of the curve in terms of screen-to-body ratio metrics. The original Mi MIX was meant to show off the company’s design prowess – but it actually evolved into a mass product with the MIX 2S. This year’s new Mi MIX 2S iterates on the design and updates the internals to the latest hardware.

  Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S
SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
4x Kryo 385 Gold @ up to 2.80 GHz
4x Kryo 385 Silver @ up to 1.77 GHz
Adreno 630 @ up to 710 MHz
Display 5.99-inch 2160x1080 (18:9)
IPS LCD
Dimensions 150.9 x 74.9 x 8.1 mm
191 grams
RAM 6GB / 8GB LPDDR4x
NAND 64GB / 128GB / 256GB
Battery 3400 mAh
Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0
Qi Wireless Charging
Front Camera 5MP, 1.12µm pixels, f/2.0
Primary Rear Camera 12MP, 1.4µm pixels, f/1.8
Sony IMX363
Secondary Rear Camera 12MP, 1.0µm pixels, f/2.4 2x Zoom
Samsung S5K3M3
SIM Size 2x NanoSIM
Connectivity 43 global bands (8GB+256GB model only),
4x4 MIMO, 2.4/5G WiFi,
WiFi Direct, WiFi Display,
NFC
Interfaces USB 2.0 Type-C; no 3.5mm
Launch OS Android O (8.0) with MIUI 9
MSRP
Launch Price
6GB/64GB: ¥3299 / $449 / €423
6GB/128GB: ¥3599 / $490 / €462
8GB/256GB: ¥3999 / $544 / €513 

Digging into the hardware, that’s where we see the biggest changes compared to the Mi MIX 2. The 2S sports a latest generation Snapdragon 845 SoC with 4x Kryo385 Gold/A75 at 2.8GHz paired with 4x Kryo385 Silver/A55 at 1.77GHz. I was impressed with the overall performance of the S845 in our Galaxy S9 review so I’m expecting the MIX 2S to perform no worse.

The phone comes in 64, 128 and 256GB NAND storage variants, with 8GB RAM configuration reserved for the 256GB SKU, while the smaller ones come with 6GB standard.

The Mi MIX 2S sports a 3400mAh battery which is covered by a ceramic back on which we find the fingerprint sensor as well as a very iPhone X inspired camera housing – one of the major design changes compared to the MIX 2.

Obviously the display is the defining feature of the MIX series and here we see a 5.99”, 18:9 aspect ratio IPS LCD screen with a resolution of 2160x1080. Xiaomi was indeed one of the pioneers in bringing out this type of small bezel designs out to market. Way the company achieved this is by shifting all front sensors and camera to the bottom of the phone.

The top of the phone hides a very narrow speaker grill for the ear-piece. It’s not the greatest earpiece but it does serve its purpose well, and actually acts as a second stereo speaker alongside the bottom main unit. For this review I’m trying to reintroduce audio quality evaluation, starting with speaker measurements in a section later in the article.

While the front camera positioning is generally functional, it has the large drawback that front-camera operation becomes quite cumbersome in portrait mode as most of the time it’s looking “up” to you and for right-handed people taking a selfie means sometimes covering up the camera with your thumb, an issue that can be solved by alternatively using the fingerprint sensor as the shutter button. In landscape mode (with the camera on the upper right side) this is less of an issue. In general as I think there’s vastly more right-handed people and most front-camera operation happens in portrait mode, the camera should have been put in the left corner of the bottom of the phone.

On the right side of the phone we find the volume rocker and the power button underneath.

As we mentioned earlier, one of the larger design changes compared to the Mi MIX 2 is the camera setup. The 12MP f/2.0 shooter has been replaced with a newer sensor from Sony; the IMX363 increases the pixel pitch from 1.25µm to 1.4µm and the lens also has a larger aperture at f/1.8. In addition to the main sensor we see a new secondary module with a 12MP Samsung S5K3M3 sensor with 1µm pixel pitches and an f/2.4 aperture lens with a 2x optical zoom.

At the bottom of the phone we find the USB-C port alongside a microphone and the main speaker grill. The main speaker seems to be very much downward firing, but otherwise performs adequately. There’s no headphone jack here, which is a great disappointment and what I think is a misstep for the industry as a trend.

System Performance
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  • Arbie - Friday, June 29, 2018 - link

    No microSD, no sale. I want to easily load and swap sets of media files. The lack of a standard headphone jack hurts too. Reply
  • Lolimaster - Friday, June 29, 2018 - link

    Seems phone makers don't get it. Why depende on internet, when you can have tiny sets of mSD's on your wallet, pocket, backpack with different kind of content (favorite music, cartoons, anime, manga, popcorn/hentai) Reply
  • Destoya - Friday, June 29, 2018 - link

    Maybe I don't get it either. I admittedly have a S8 with a 128GB SD card in it but I would have no problem going to a phone with 256GB internal storage and no SD card. I have something like 2000 320kbps songs, a bunch of games/apps, and that still is only around half of my total storage. If I really wanted to I could fill the rest of the storage with something like 40 hours of high-quality 1080p rips. More likely if I watch something on my phone I just connect to my Plex server back home with its terabytes of content.

    SD card support on android has always been a mediocre experience; it certainly works but has always felt tacked on at best. OTG SD/flash drive readers cover most of the remaining use-cases anyways.
    Reply
  • FunBunny2 - Friday, June 29, 2018 - link

    "Seems phone makers don't get it."

    their all trying to emulate Jobs: tell the consumer what s/he needs irregardless. so far, he's about the only one to pull it off.
    Reply
  • close - Saturday, June 30, 2018 - link

    I'm willing to bet their surveys showed people will complain but still buy the phones because the SD slot isn't a real *must* have. I've heard too many people claim "128/256GB is not enough" only to fall flat when they realize how much music fits in there, how many pictures, videos, etc. And the argument "my 4K videos, my lossless audio, my RAW pictures" is about as realistic and compelling as "but my mouse, my Excel, my coding project" on the phone.

    If you consider how much of that data has to be with you at any time it really stops making sense to insist on memory cards. Especially since they don't excel at reliability so having your only copy on that SD would be a monument of ignorance euphemistically speaking.

    Over the years I heard people screaming "no [whatever] no buy" 1000 times. Yet most of them now rock a phone with no replaceable battery, no physical keyboard, no SD slot, no headphone jack, no physical button, no week-long battery, notched screen, etc. They *ALL* pull it off ;).
    Reply
  • serendip - Saturday, June 30, 2018 - link

    64 GB internal flash with no MicroSD isn't enough for me, especially when the user-accessible space is more like 45 GB after subtracting system and data partitions. Reply
  • Holliday75 - Tuesday, July 03, 2018 - link

    How many people do we know in real life that would even know their phone has a SD slot or not? I for one can only think of a couple of cousins and maybe on uncle who would know, and even then I doubt they care.

    I'm in IT professionally, but even I have no use for it. How big is the market for such items? Sounds great to have and I'm sure if you told people what it was and asked if they wanted it they would mostly say yes, but in the real world I see very little use of it.
    Reply
  • ianmills - Friday, June 29, 2018 - link

    Go cheaper and you can have what you desire. Xiaomi Redmi note 5 does all that for ~$200 Reply
  • djayjp - Friday, June 29, 2018 - link

    Apparently NAND performance doesn't matter........ Reply
  • Pallmei - Friday, June 29, 2018 - link

    400MB/s read, 160MB/s write on my Mi Mix 2. I am sure 2s is no worse and AFAIK they haven't upgraded the specs either Reply

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