Do we have a good one for you today – the huge Xiaomi Mi Max phablet goes up against the diminutive Sony Xperia X Performance. While I make fun of their sizes – the 6.44-inch Mi Max is excessively large to use as an everyday driver and the 5.0-inch Sony is almost too small by today's standards. Both devices have a solid build and surround themselves with an all-metal design, although the metal that Sony uses reminds one of a plastic look and feel. Let's look at just what these two devices have in common, if anything, and then we will take a closer look at each one in hopes that we can determine a winner of this comparison.
The Xperia and the Xiaomi have very little in common – anywhere. The displays both use the IPS LCD technology, and they use the same resolution, but what a size differential. They both use a Snapdragon processor but are different models with different GPUs to handle graphics. They both have 3GB of RAM and either 32GB or 64GB variants with expandable memory. The camera areas are both entirely different, and here Sony has the upper hand. They both use non-removable batteries, and the Sony offers Quick Charge 2.0. They have most of the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, and a microUSB V2.0 port for charging and data transfer. The Mi Max has a fingerprint sensor, but only the non-US Sony model is treated to one.
Please take a careful look at the detailed Specifications Comparison chart below and here you will see just how these two great devices stack up against one another – click on the "View Full Comparison" link at the end of the chart to expand the details. After that, we will look at each device in greater depth and point out some of its pros and cons. From all of this information, we will try to determine the winner based on specs and execution of design and functions.
Sony Xperia X Performance
The new Xperia X line of smartphones went from metal and glass to an all-metal design, but they do look very much like the Xperia Z line they are replacing. Sony's basic rectangle design is all there, as are the large bezels, and obligatory FHD display. While it does have a good feel in your hand, the metal they used looks and feels like plastic. Let's see just how the Xperia X Performance model stands up to the Xiaomi Mi Max.
The Xperia X Performance sports a small 5.0-inch IPS LCD FHD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, and 441 pixels-per-inch (PPI.) Sony grabbed the best processor out there, the 64-bit Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with dual cores clocked at 1.6 GHz and dual cores clocked at 2.15 GHz along with the Adreno 530 GPU to handle the graphics. It is also packing 3GB of DDR4 RAM, comes with 32GB of internal memory, which is expandable to 200GB via a microSD card.
Sony's 23MP camera sensor is used for its primary shooter. Sony added an aperture of f/2.0, 24mm lens, Phase Detection Autofocus (PDAF,) and LED flash – but still, refuses to use OIS. Sony increased the front-facing camera (FFC) from 5.1MP to 13MP, gave it an aperture of f/2.0 and 22mm lens for great selfies and video chats. A 2700mAh non-removable battery with Quick Charge 2.0 capabilities supplies the power.
The Sony Xperia X Performance does retain its IP68 certification rating against dust and water, and it also keeps its excellent dual stereo front-facing speakers. Although there is no fingerprint sensor in the US version, the international version should work on limited US networks – check with your carrier. The Xperia X Performance measures 143.7 x 70.4 x 8.7 mm and weighs in at 164.4 grams. The colors are White, Graphite Black, Lime Gold, and Rose Gold and the Xperia X will cost you about $600.
Xiaomi Mi Max
In this comparison, we are looking at the Xiaomi Mi Max model with 3GB/32GB to make it a more fair comparison with the Sony Xperia X Performance. The Mi Max is more like a tablet than a phone with its massive 6.44-inch display, but with a price tag of less than $300, it is too cheap to pass up a look. It is an all-metal design and has a solid build quality for a device this size and price. It measures 173.1 x 88.3 x 7.5mm and weighs in at a hefty 203 grams, although the large battery causes some of that weight. Does this rather large, mid-priced phablet have what it takes to stand up to the Sony Xperia X Performance?
The Xiaomi Mi Max sports a large 6.44-inch IPS LCD FHD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 342 PPI. It packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 hexacore processor with a quad-core clocked at 1.4GHz and a dual-core clocked at 1.8GHz. An Adreno 510 GPU handles graphics, and it packs 3GB of RAM and 32GB/64GB of expandable internal memory via a microSD card.
The main camera uses a 16MP sensor with phase detection autofocus (PDAF,) a dual-tone LED flash, and an aperture of f/2.0. An FFC of 5MP with a f/2.0 aperture handle the selfies and video chats. It packs a large non-removable 4850mAh battery for power that will last you all day long.
The Xiaomi Mi Max has its fingerprint sensor on the back of the device that can be used strictly for unlocking the device, as it carries no NFC chip. It also includes an FM Radio and IR Blaster. It looks like there are dual speakers on either side of the microUSB port, but only one contains a speaker with mediocre sound. This device was not made for the US market, but is still usable on 3G, and there is no NFC for mobile purchases. Both models ship in black, white, and gold colors. The Mi Max is now running MIUI 8, which runs atop Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The price for the 4GB/128GB will vary, but is close to $300.
…And The Winner Is…
The Final Word
This is a mixed bag of a win, but I will have to pick the Sony Xperia X Performance as the winner of this comparison. The display is too small, and it is only 1080p, but the processor and GPU are heads above the one found in the Xiaomi Mi Max. It also has IP68 certification for dust and water resistance, and a quick charge battery. It has a better camera area for the serious photographer and has dual front-facing stereo speakers and Hi-Res audio. The Xperia X Performance also has NFC capabilities, which will allow for mobile purchases or file transfers.
The Xiaomi is a solid and well-built smartphone, but with its large display, it is best suited for watching videos and playing games. The price is lowering on the Xperia Performance, so the $300 difference in price keeps shrinking.
It is hard for me to justify the price of the Xperia X Performance, but when it comes to specifications, it is the winner.