Hands-on with the Xiaomi Mi MIX 2

Although the Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 arrived last week, it wasn't quite ready to be used right out of the box, as it was missing Google's apps and services. Although it was a bit tedious, after 72 hours, the handset was ready to go, and has been in use for the past couple of days.

There is no doubt about it; the Mi MIX 2 is a beautiful handset, one that makes use of metal and ceramic for its exterior. This combination is truly stunning when seen in real life - photos and videos simply don't do it justice. As you can probably guess, this also means that it is a fingerprint magnet, attracting smudges with just the lightest of touches. It isn't just about looks though, as it feels quite solid in hand and is comfortable to hold for the most part. Those that have smaller hands will most likely feel the angular corners of the device.

Like many of its contemporaries, the Mi MIX 2 has a display with an 18:9 aspect ratio. The large 5.99-inch IPS LCD looks good in most conditions and has excellent viewing angles as well. While the colors don't pop as much as an AMOLED panel, Xiaomi does give users limited options when it comes to customizing the colors. For the most part, there are no complaints here. What did come as a bit of surprise is the device's audio. While it does make use of a bottom firing speaker, which is quite loud, it also utilizes the earpiece to produce sound as well. This dual speaker setup works quite well when enjoying media, and the difference, when compared to a single speaker setup, is easily noticeable.

So what about the camera? The Mi MIX 2 is a bit of a mixed bag - and this is while shooting during the daytime. There are times when the images are brilliant, but other times when it fails to focus properly. This problem is also apparent when recording video, as autofocus sometimes can take its time to lock in on the subject. While these are things that can be dealt with, the Mi MIX 2's audio recording is absolutely atrocious. You can get a sense of its poor quality from the sample video clip above. From poking around on the internet, it appears that the phone records its audio at 96kbps, which is quite low, and results in the muddled audio. Hopefully, the firm will update the software to improve this, as it kills the recording experience.

Overall, this handset is a pleasure to use. The Mi MIX 2 looks and feels good, and its performance is top notch. The 3,400mAh battery lasts a complete day, even when making use of more intense apps like Snapchat. The camera can take some great photos but it isn't 100 percent reliable, and the audio quality when recording videos is a real problem. This is just a quick first impression of the unit, if you have any questions, feel free to comment down below. A full review of the Mi MIX 2 will be coming shortly.

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