Phone Comparisons: Xiaomi Mi Max vs Google Pixel XL

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Introduction

Do we have a good one for you today – the huge Xiaomi Mi Max takes on the new Google Pixel XL. The Max is an all-metal design while the Pixel XL is a combination of polished glass and metal. The Mi Max is more of a tablet-sized display coming in at 6.44-inches, which makes it quite a 'pocketful' to carry around, while the Pixel XL is a 'perfect' 5.5-inches. Both devices have a solid build and a premium feel to them with the Pixel XL much easier to hold in your hand for extended periods of time. 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 Xiaomi Mi Max and the Google Pixel XL have very few things in common. They are different from the size of their display to the type of display to their processor to their memory to their camera. They both use Gorilla Glass 4 for their displays, so I guess that is a similarity. They both use a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and an Adreno GPU, but both are very different from one another. They both have a 32GB variant, but only the Mi Max has expandable memory – you must purchase a 128GB model if you want more internal memory in the Pixel XL. Both devices use non-removable batteries with the Pixel XL offering rapid charging. They have most of the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, and a microUSB port for charging and data transfer – the Mi Max uses the older v2.0 USB model, and the Pixel XL uses the new Type-C reversible style. They both offer a fingerprint sensor for unlocking the device, but only the Pixel XL has NFC to accept mobile payments and support for Android Pay.

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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.

Specifications

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Xiaomi Mi Max

Xiaomi-Mi-Max-AH-NS-ui-one-handFor this comparison, we are looking at the Xiaomi Mi Max model with 3GB/32GB. 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 Google Pixel XL or even a place as an everyday driver?

The Xiaomi Mi Max sports a large 6.44-inch IPS LCD display with a Full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 342 pixels-per-inch (PPI) to help keep the price down. 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 the graphics. It packs 3GB of DDR3 RAM and 32GB/64GB of expandable internal memory via a microSD card.

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The main camera uses a 16MP sensor with phase detection autofocus (PDAF,) a dual-tone LED flash, and an aperture of f/2.0. The front-facing camera (FFC) is 5MP and features a f/2.0 aperture to handle the selfies and video chats. It packs a large non-removable 4850mAh battery for power that should last you all day long.

The Xiaomi Mi Max has its fingerprint sensor on the back of the device that is strictly for unlocking the device, as it carries no NFC chip to make mobile payments. It also includes an FM Radio and IR Blaster. While it looks like there are dual speakers on either side of the microUSB port, there is only a mediocre speaker for sound. This device is not specifically for the US market but is still very usable on 3G or WiFi for watching movies or videos. 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 3GB/32GB will vary but is close to $300 in the US.

Google Pixel XL

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google-pixel-xl-ah-ns-15It just doesn't feel right not writing about the newest Nexus devices and how they hold up to other models. We have nobody but Google to thank for this change in nomenclature and new direction that Google is taking to create their own Apple-like ecosystem. In Google's ecosystem, Google Pixel owners can communicate directly with their new Home products and Chromecast Ultra – buy one device and want them all. We will be looking at the Google Pixel XL this time around to see just how this newly designed Pixel XL with its polished glass and metal construction holds up to the all-metal Xiaomi Mi Max.

The Google Pixel XL sports a 5.5-inch QHD AMOLED display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels with 531 PPI. For processing power, Google plucked the newest Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 quad-core processor with a dual-core clocked at 1.6GHZ and a dual-core clocked at 2.15GHz. The Snapdragon 821 is 10-percent quicker than the original Snapdragon 820 according to Qualcomm. The 821 works with an Adreno 530 GPU to take on any graphics you can throw its way. It packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 32GB or 128GB of the faster UFS memory, although there are no means to expand the built-in memory. It uses a large 3450mAh non-removable battery for power and has rapid charge capabilities.

Google wisely used the same camera in both Pixel models. It does not have impressive looking specifications – it comes with a 12.3MP sensor for the primary camera along with an aperture of f/2.0, phase detection autofocus (PDAF,) a dual-tone LED flash, and no OIS, but does use EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization.) However, when tested by DxOMark it received a score of 89 – the highest rating yet for a smartphone camera. The Pixel XL provides a large 8MP FFC that comes with a f/2.0 aperture, a 1.4µm pixel size, and 1080p video support. This combination of specs offers up great selfies to share with your friends on social media as well as video chatting.

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A rear-mounted fingerprint sensor will allow you to unlock your device or to authorize mobile payments and of course, it will have access to Android Pay. The Pixel XL has Google Assistant built in that will work with other Google products such as Google Home and Chromecast Ultra. It will be running Android 7.1 Nougat out of the box and receive the fastest updates. The Pixel XL measures in at 154.7 x 75.7 x 8.6mm and weighs in at 168 grams. There are three different colors available: Quite Black, Very Silver, and Really Blue (a limited edition color.) The Pixel XL is IP53 rated against dust and splashing water, and the 32GB model will cost you about $770.

…And The Winner Is…

google-pixel-xl-ah-ns-10

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The Final Word

The selection of a winner was easy for this comparison – the Google Pixel XL. It easily has the highest specifications of these two devices, along with a higher price. You can easily buy two of the Xiaomi Mi Max for the price of one Pixel XL, but it shows up when you compare the specs and features.

The Pixel XL has a Quad HD display, a much better processor and GPU, More RAM, a quick charge battery, NFC for mobile payments, Splash protection, Google Assistant that will work on its own or with Google Home and Chromecast Ultra, and Android and mobile payments. It is running Android 7.1 Nougat and will receive the quickest updates.

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If you want a big display, mid-range performance, and do not intend on making mobile payments, then the Xiaomi Mi Max may be just what you need. That or if you want a cheap, secondary device to have a larger display for watching movies and videos, the Xiaomi Mi Max could be for you, but as a primary driver, it just does not make the cut for most people.

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