Do we have a good one for you today – the Google Pixel takes on the Xiaomi Mi MIX. These two smartphones are both a breakout design for Google and Xiaomi. Google ditched the Nexus name and started anew with the Google Pixel line designed to fit into their ecosystem – it is the first device to include Google Assistant built in and it can send requests to Google Home. It is a new polished glass and metal design with a rear-facing fingerprint sensor.
Xiaomi's usual design strategy is to follow the iPhone, but as Xiaomi starts its quest to become a global seller, they have taken on a new design and it is quite striking. The Mi MIX is made from zirconia ceramic that is both beautiful and resistant to scratches, although a little slippery – it comes with a leather cover. The display goes out to the edge of the phone, even at the top giving it a unique look. They both offer a solid build and a nice, clean, design, although the Mi MIX would win in the looks department. Let's look at some of the similarities between these two devices before we look at each one individually.
The Xiaomi Mi MIX and the Google Pixel have a few things in common. Besides the big difference in screen size, both use an FHD resolution, whereas the Pixel uses an AMOLED display and the Mi MIX uses IPS LCD technology. Both use a Snapdragon 821 processor and Adreno 530 GPU for graphics, although the 821 in the Mi MIX is clocked slightly faster. They both pack 4GB of RAM, and both offer non-expandable memory – the Pixel offers 32GB or 128GB, and the Mi MIX offers up 128GB or 256GB. The Pixel has a great camera area, and it will satisfy any photo buff, whereas the Mi MIX has a rather disappointing camera according to our review. They both have a large enough non-removable battery to get you through the entire day – especially the Mi MIX – and both offer rapid charge. They both have a fingerprint sensor for unlocking your phone or authorizing mobile sales as well. The usual suspects are there – WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, NFC, and a reversible Type-C USB port for charging and data transfer.
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.
Googles' new line of Nexus replacement phones is out – the Google Pixel and Pixel XL. They say 'made by Google,' but we all know that HTC built the devices via Google's specs. It makes you wonder who will get asked to make the 2017 model Pixels. We will be looking at the smaller Google Pixel this time around to see just how this newly designed Pixel with its polished glass and metal construction holds up to the Xiaomi Mi MIX.
The Google Pixel sports a smaller 5.0-inch AMOLED display with a Full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and roughly 441 pixels-per-inch (PPI). The Pixels came out late enough they were able to use the newest revised version of the 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor, the Snapdragon 821, which should give it a 10-percent performance boost over the original 820. It comes with a dual-core clocked at 1.6GHZ and a dual-core clocked at 2.15GHz and uses an Adreno 530 to handle any graphic needs. It packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and either 32GB or 128GB of the faster UFS 2.0 memory with no means to expand. The Pixel has a 2770mAh non-removable battery with rapid charge capabilities.
Google made a great decision by using the same excellent camera in both Pixel models. The primary camera uses a 12.3MP sensor, an aperture of f/2.0, phase detection autofocus (PDAF), and laser autofocus, a dual-tone LED flash, and EIS rather than OIS. There is an excellent 8MP front-facing camera (FFC) that comes with a f/2.0 aperture, a 1.4µm pixel size, and 1080p recording, offering great social selfies and video chatting.
The polished glass and metal back of the Pixel is a look that some people have to get used to, but it looks just fine, and this is where you will find a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor. It will allow you to unlock your device or to authorize mobile payments, including Android Pay because it has NFC capabilities. The Pixel does not have and IP68 certification, but it does have an IP53 certification rating for splash and dust resistance. The Pixel is running Android 7.1 Nougat out of the box and will continue to receive the fastest updates from Google. The Google Pixel measures in at 143.8 x 69.5 x 8.5mm and weighs in at 143 grams. It comes in Quite Black, Very Silver, and Really Blue (limited edition color.) The 32GB Google Pixel will cost you about $650, and the 128GB will run you about $750.
Xiaomi Mi MIX
Xiaomi is a Chinese manufacturer known for giving their customers a high-quality product at a reasonable price. They are also known for cloning the iPhone into their design philosophy. However, it looks like Xiaomi is boldly going in a new direction – just look at their Mi Note 2 and now the Mi MIX. The Mi MIX is so different looking it will take you a moment to realize that there is only one bottom bezel. The display simply wraps around the top and the sides, leaving a bezel on only the lower portion of the device. The entire device is engulfed in ceramic, that adds both toughness to the device, but it can also be a bit slippery. However, kudos on the design as it looks beautiful and it allows Xiaomi to include a 6.4-inch display in a much smaller package size. Let's see just how it holds up to the new Pixel.
The Xiaomi Mi MIX comes with a tablet-sized 6.4-inch FHD IPS LCD display with a resolution of 2040 x 1080 pixels with 362 PPI. Xiaomi waited to use the newest Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 quad-core processor with a dual-core clocked higher at 2.19GHZ and a dual-core clocked at 2.35GHz. For graphic demands, the Mi MIX includes the powerful Adreno 530 GPU. It packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 128GB of the faster UFS memory, with no means to expand the built-in memory. Xiaomi also has a model listed with 6GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. The Mi MIX packs a massive 4400mAh battery for power, and it has rapid charge capabilities.
We were hoping for an excellent photo experience, but the Mi MIX came away with mixed results in our test. It sports with a 16MP sensor for the primary camera along with an aperture of f/2.0, phase detection autofocus (PDAF,) a dual-tone LED flash, and opting to use EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization) – the same used on the Pixel. Xiaomi also included a 5MP FFC that should offer up some good selfies to share with your friends on social media as well as video chatting.
The Xiaomi Mi MIX is striking in looks with its edge-to-edge display and lack of bezels. It is a big step forward for the company as they prep themselves to start selling globally. Even their new Mi Note 2 is a spitting imagine of the Galaxy Note 7. If they refine them and make them US ready, we can see them giving Samsung, Lenovo, and LG a run for their money. The Mi MIX offers 24-bit sound for the earphone, and the huge battery will easily last over a day. The Mi MIX measures in at 158.8 x 81.9 x 7.9mm and weighs in at 209 grams, although it is not much larger than the Pixel XL due to its design. It comes in our favorite color – Black – and it will cost you about $515 for the 128GB model and $590 for the 6GB/256 of internal storage.
…And The Winner Is…
The Final Word
The Xiaomi Mi MIX is a real winner in the build and looks department, and the $515 price tag for 128GB is a real plus as well. Its biggest drawback is the limited US bands, as it will only work on the AT&T or T-Mobile networks – but a step in the right direction. Xiaomi was also able to cramp a 6.4-inch display in a 5.7-inch body making it easier to carry, although it is a little heavy.
So, you may be wondering why did I pick the Google Pixel as the winner of this comparison. While the Mi MIX has many admirable qualities, it has a weak main camera and front camera, and the placement of the earpiece under the glass, in the middle of the device makes it hard to use as a phone, although the speakerphone works great. These are two of the most important things in a smartphone – picture taking and talking on the phone.
The Google Pixel is pricey at $750 for a matching 128GB, but you receive a full-service phone. You have an excellent AMOLED display with more PPI due to the screen size. You also receive the currently highest rated camera, Google Assistant, IP53 splash resistance, Android 7.1 Nougat along with the fastest updates. It will also work on all major US networks, which is a huge plus. The $230 extra is certainly a big difference in price, but you get a more useful and complete device for use in the US.