The most revolutionary phone of 2016 has had an upgrade, and though it's lost some of its wow factor it is more gorgeous than ever with awesome performance. Discover Xiaomi's hits and misses in our Mi Mix 2 review.

Mi Mix 2 is more gorgeous than ever, but brought into line with other flagships

Despite being introduced as a concept phone, Xiaomi’s Mi Mix was arguably the most interesting smartphone we saw in 2016. It was the phone that inspired Samsung, LG and Apple to feature 18:9 full-screen displays in their latest flagships, and it garnered so much attention in the consumer tech industry that today I have no fewer than six Chinese copycat phones sitting on my desk waiting to be reviewed, all with the product name ‘Mix’.

Producing a successor to that revolutionary handset was always going to be a tough job for Xiaomi, but in the Mi Mix 2 it has returned a gorgeous flagship that is more manageable in the hand and significantly faster. It also features the same primary camera as the company’s Mi6, which is a good thing

Running the 2.35GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 821, Adreno 530 GPU and 6GB of RAM, the original Mi Mix was a force to be reckoned with. Swapping in that 14nm chip with the 10nm Snapdragon 835, also running at 2.35GHz and paired with 6GB of memory, the Mi Mix 2 now makes that phone look slow. The Snapdragon 835 makes huge savings on battery life and significantly improves performance.

The Mi Mix 2 has performance as good as anything we've seen this year, bar the iPhone 8, and in fact, its full-HD display means that it doesn't have to push so hard in our onscreen graphics tests.

We've collated the results of our benchmarks for various comparable phones in the chart below, but the Mi Mix 2 is right up there with the likes of the Galaxy Note 8, OnePlus 5 and Pixel 2 XL. And it shows a significant boost over the original Mi Mix.

We recorded a staggering 6675 points in Geekbench 4's multi-core component, which is faster than the Pixel 2 XL and only a tiny amount behind the Galaxy Note 8 and OnePlus 5. Its AnTuTu score of 177903 beats the Note 8's 166,832, though.

In graphics tests using GFXBench the Mi Mix 2 scored the maximum framerate of 60fps in T-Rex, so we increased the intensity and in Manhattan, it achieved a commendable 55fps. In Manhattan 3.1 and Car Chase, it recorded 30fps and 24fps, which are still very respectable, easily playable framerates.

Lastly, we run JetStream, which is a JavaScript benchmark. The Mi MIx 2 scored 60.8, in line with all other Android flagships.

So what do all these numbers mean? In essence, the Mi Mix 2 is a powerhouse. We defy you to find any issue with its performance.

In terms of space for your stuff you get a choice of 64GB, 128GB or 256GB UFS 2.0 fast storage. All these options are generous, though there is no possibility of adding in more later via a microSD card. Choose carefully.

Connectivity-wise the only thing missing is an IR blaster. So you get NFC and a fingerprint scanner, which is necessary for making mobile payments, fast Wi-Fi, GPS and GLONASS, OTG USB and the latest Bluetooth 5.0.

There's also the aforementioned dual-SIM capability that will be useful if you want to use separate contracts for home and abroad, or business and leisure, and Mi Mix 2 supports all UK 4G connectivity bands.

In this regard the MIUI operating system supports Dual Apps, allowing you to run two instances of the same app each with their own home screen shortcut. This might save you having to keep switching your logins within apps, and it ties in neatly with the second relevant software feature...

Second Space lets you create a separate space on your phone that is password-protected. You can import photos, files, and apps to this space, then switch between spaces using the command in the notification bar. It may come in useful if you're using two numbers on the phone, or if you have something to hide.


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