Do we have a good one for you today – the Sony Xperia XZ goes up against the Xiaomi Mi MIX. While the Xperia XZ looks like your typical Sony smartphone with large bezels at the top and bottom, the Mi MIX is an entirely new design from Xiaomi. Except for the bezel at the bottom of the display, the phone is completely without bezels as the display runs up over the other three edges. Xiaomi even had to put the speaker under the display, but the problem is that it lands more in the middle of the screen than at the top, making phone calls more difficult unless you use the speakerphone. The Xperia XZ is an all-metal design whereas the Mi MIX is a ceramic that is beautiful to look at, but slippery to hold. They both offer a solid build and a nice, clean, design, although the Mi MIX would easily 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 Xperia XZ have a few things in common. Besides the big difference in screen size, both use a Full HD resolution, and both use an IPS LCD display. Both use a Snapdragon 820 or 821 processor and Adreno 530 GPU for graphics and the 821 in the Mi MIX is clocked slightly faster. The Xperia XZ is packing 32GB of expandable storage and the Mi MIX offering fixed storage of 128GB or 256GB. The Xperia XZ has a great camera area, and it should satisfy any photo buff, whereas the Mi MIX received mixed reviews according to our full review. They both have a large enough non-removable battery to get you through the entire day – especially the Mi MIX with 4400mAH – and both offer rapid charge. They both can authorize mobile sales as well, although the Mi MIX is the only one with a fingerprint sensor that is functional. 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.
Sony Xperia XZ
Sony's latest Xperia XZ for the US market only works on AT&T or T-Mobile and the fingerprint sensor does not have the necessary firmware to operate. However, by flashing the UK firmware to the US Xperia XZ, you can use the fingerprint sensor, but that is something you should not have to do on a flagship phone sold for the US. The Xperia XZ uses an all-metal backing and has the familiar Sony rectangle shape with its large top and bottom bezels. Let's see how it stands up to the new Mi MIX.
Sony does not like to use QHD displays so the Xperia XZ sports their usual IPS Full HD display of 5.2-inch with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels with a respectable 424 pixels-per-inch (PPI.) Sony did select the best processor they could in the 64-bit Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with dual cores clocked at 1.6GHz and dual cores clocked at 2.15GHz and with the Adreno 530 GPU, it should handle any graphics you can throw its way. It packs only 3GB of DDR4 RAM, and you can have your choice of 32GB or 64GB of expandable internal memory.
Sony has always put a great camera on its smartphones, and this tradition continues in the Xperia XZ's camera area. The Xperia XZ sports a new 23MP Sony lens for its primary camera with an aperture of f/2.0, 24mm, phase detection autofocus (PDAF) and laser autofocus, and LED flash. For its front-facing camera (FFC) it uses a huge 13MP sensor with a f/2.0, 22mm, and HDR capabilities allowing you to take great selfies or video chatting. The Xperia XZ uses a smaller 2900mAh non-removable battery with Quick Charge 3.0 to give you a rapid charge.
Besides its great camera, the Xperia XZ comes with its Hi-Res audio and produces great sound through the earphones or the dual front-facing stereo speakers. It also comes with IP68 certification for dust and water resistance – something not found on the Mi MIX. The Xperia XZ bands do not allow it to operate on all major US carriers (only AT&T or T-Mobile) and it has no fingerprint sensor for unlocking the device or for authorizing mobile payments, although mobile payments are possible because it has NFC capability. It measures 146 x 72 x 8.1MM and weighs in at 161 grams. It comes in Mineral Black, Platinum, Forest Blue, or Deep Pink. It will cost you a sizable $699 for this Sony flagship.
Xiaomi Mi MIX
Xiaomi is a newer Chinese manufacturer that has slowly started to expand their sales from China and eventually want to sell in the US. They are known for giving their customers a high-quality product at a reasonable price, and the Mi MIX is just another example. They basically cloned the look of an iPhone in prior models, however, it looks like Xiaomi is boldly going in their own direction – just look at their Mi Note 2 and now the Mi MIX. The Mi MIX is so different and stunning that it will take you a moment to realize that the display wraps around the top and the sides, leaving a bezel on only the lower portion of the device. The device is buried in a ceramic backing that adds toughness to the device, but it can also be a bit slippery. However, the way it is designed 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 Sony Xperia XZ.
The Xiaomi Mi MIX sports a large tablet-sized 6.4-inch FHD IPS LCD display with a resolution of 2040 x 1080 pixels with 362 PPI. Xiaomi waited to release the Mi MIX so it could 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 sticks with the powerful Adreno 530 GPU. It packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 128GB of 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 – some pictures were wonderful and others so-so. It sports a 16MP sensor for the primary camera along with an aperture of f/2.0, PDAF, a dual-tone LED flash, and opting to use EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization) rather than OIS. Xiaomi also included a 5MP FFC for social media selfies to share with your friends 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 design step for the company as they slowly prep themselves to start selling globally – if they can deliver a device that can be used on all major US carriers, they will give the Samsungs and LGs a run for their money. The Mi MIX offers Hi-Res 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 or Galaxy Note 7 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 no-brainer in the win department. Except for the quality of the photos, the dual stereo speakers, and the IP68 rating, the Xperia XZ has nothing over the Mi MIX except higher pricing – the Xperia XZ will cost you about $700 while the 128GB Mi MIX will cost you only $515.
The Mi MIX has a much larger display, faster processor, more RAM, a working fingerprint sensor, a much bigger battery, and a beautiful, sexy (yes, sexy) design. The device just looks like it is two years ahead of the Xperia XZ in design.
Both devices only operate on AT&T or T-Mobile, and while the Xperia XZ just received its Android Nougat, the Mi MIX is scheduled for a Nougat upgrade. With more technology and a lower price, the Xiaomi Mi MIX is the winner of this comparison.