Back in May Lei Jun, Xiaomi CEO, unveiled the Mi Max 2. Expected to have the same camera quality as the flagship Xiaomi Mi 6 and the latest MIUI and Android software, we see the device for the first time as we are getting ready to review it. We got the Matte Black version of the phone, which was launched a month later.

The first thing that grabs the attention when the Mi Max 2 is out of the box is its size. Xiaomi has kept the same humongous 6.44” LCD panel with Full HD resolution as the predecessor Xiaomi Mi Max but surprisingly comes with wider side bezels. The result is a slightly bigger device, which is a bit heavier too – 211 g instead of 203 g.

While the display is more or less the same, the chipset is new but not necessarily faster. Instead of a Snapdragon 650 or 652, the Mi Max 2 comes with a Snapdragon 625.

Xiaomi’s bestseller, the Redmi Note 4, packs the same SoC, and it has the best endurance rating in our battery test life results of all the Xiaomi phones. So Lei Jun & co decided to make the Mi Max 2 a power efficiency beast that can go a long way with the 5,300 mAh battery.

One thing that the Xiaomi CEO boasted at the launch is the Sony IMX386 camera sensor they’ve used. It is the same as in the Mi 6, but with a brighter f/2.2 aperture. We powered it on and tinkered with it a bit, but we were left unimpressed. The interface is simple with nothing jazzy.

The Manual mode is basic, and extra settings like Contrast and Saturation are found in another menu.

One cheesy feature that comes with the MIUI is the age and gender recognition in Beautify mode when the selfie camera is powered. We are not sure when exactly this feature might come in handy, but at least Xiaomi can guess your sex and age very accurately.

With a solid battery capacity, extremely power-efficient chipset and a decent screen, the Xiaomi Mi Max 2 might be the affordable phablet to have even if the camera is not its main strength. But is it worth the price tag of almost €300? Check back next week for the full review and our final verdict.

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