Xiaomi had introduced its new flagship, the Mi MIX 2S, yesterday, during a press conference in Shanghai. This is the first time Xiaomi hosted a press conference outside of Beijing, as far as China is concerned, and the Mi MIX 2S definitely is a compelling smartphone, but it just feels like the company missed an opportunity here, as the phone could have been truly remarkable. The Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S is quite similar to its predecessor, the Mi MIX 2, especially when it comes to its design, as the phone is almost identical to the Mi MIX 2 as far as the design is concerned. The Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S was announced in two RAM variants, 6GB and 8GB RAM models, and both of those variants are made out of ceramic, while the Mi MIX 2 came in both metal + glass (6GB RAM) and ceramic unibody (8GB RAM models. The only obvious difference between the Mi MIX 2 and Mi MIX 2S, when it comes to the design, comes down to rear-facing cameras, as the Mi MIX 2S sports two cameras on the back, while the Mi MIX 2 features only one. It is worth saying that the Mi MIX 2S is a hair narrower and shorter than the Mi MIX 2, while it is also a bit thicker, so the company did not exactly use the Mi MIX 2’s shell here.
That being said, the device does not sport a display notch, which is something worth noting, as a ton of Chinese smartphone OEMs are including a notch into their devices, while Xiaomi managed to keep the bezels on the Mi MIX 2S extremely thin, without the need to include a notch, so it definitely feels like other OEMs should learn something here. Display notches, are, in most cases, completely unneeded, and it just feels like most OEMs want to keep their devices trendy, and do the same thing that Apple did with the iPhone X (and Essential with the PH-1 before that). Xiaomi did not include a notch in the Mi MIX 2S, which is a plus in my book, and chances are that most of you feel the same way, and even though the phone looks really nice, it just feels like Xiaomi could have made some changes here compared to the Mi MIX 2, just so that this feels like a new devices. LG introduced the LG V30S ThinQ, which looks the same as the V30, while Samsung did something similar with its new Galaxy S9 smartphones (compared to the Galaxy S8 series), so we can’t really blame Xiaomi for keeping this nice design intact, but the company could have made some changes just to keep the phone fresh. That being said, it’s nice that the company decided to include ceramic in both 6GB and 8GB RAM variants this time around, though, as ceramic will not scratch as easily as glass, though the phone is noticeably heavier because of it, which is something worth noting if you’re planning to buy one.
Now, the design is not the only aspect of the Mi MIX 2S which feels too similar to the Mi MIX 2, as the two phones sport basically the same display, Xiaomi may have done some additional optimizations in the Mi MIX 2S’ panel, but we’re still looking at an IPS LCD display here, while many people expected the company to include an OLED panel in the Mi MIX 2S, so that feels like a missed opportunity as well. The Snapdragon 845 is fueling the Mi MIX 2S, and there’s not much to complain here, as it is a noticeable step-up compared to the Snapdragon 835, though probably not enough to make those of you who purchased the Mi MIX 2 to upgrade, as the Snapdragon 835 is still an extremely powerful CPU. RAM and storage remained more or less the same when it comes to the Mi MIX 2S, and one of the most notable improvements in this handset is the addition of the second camera on the back, though Xiaomi also changed the primary shooter as well in the Mi MIX 2S, we’re still looking at a 12-megapixel camera, but a whole new sensor.
The Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S comes with two 12-megapixel cameras, the phone’s main snapper packs in Sony’s IMX363 sensor, and it comes with 1.4um pixels, f/1.8 aperture, and 4-axis OIS, which is an improvement over Mi MIX 2’s 1.25um pixel size, and f/2.0 aperture. The secondary sensor on the Mi MIX 2S comes from Samsung, and we’re looking at 1.0um pixel size here, and f/2.4 aperture, while it is worth saying that this is a telephoto lens, and it makes it possible for you to utilize 2x optical zoom, though this secondary sensor will not do well in low light situations. According to DxOMark, the Mi MIX 2S’ cameras are quite capable, as the phone score 97 on DxOMark’s scale, 101 for photos, though it remains to be seen if these cameras are any good in real life. The Mi MIX 2’s camera snapper was okay, but nothing to write home about, and if DxOMark’s assessment is to be believed, the Mi MIX 2S is considerably better, so that’s probably the main change compared to the Mi MIX 2, in addition to a new processor.
On top of everything that was mentioned above, the Mi MIX 2S also comes with wireless charging, which is a feature that the Mi MIX 2 does not have. The Mi MIX 2S features Qi wireless charging, and Xiaomi did introduce its very own Qi wireless charger for it, though the phone is compatible with pretty much any Qi wireless charger out there. That being said, every other aspect of the phone is pretty much identical to the Mi MIX 2. The Mi MIX 2S has the same storage and RAM setups, same battery, same fast charging (Quick Charge 3.0), same display, and so on. The Mi MIX 2S is named ‘Mi MIX 2S’ for a reason, as the Mi MIX 3 is expected to be a whole new chapter for the company’s ‘Mi MIX’ line, but the Mi MIX 2S still feels like a missed opportunity. It just feels like Xiaomi could have done more to differentiate this phone from the Mi MIX 2, both in terms of the design and features, as that would probably intrigue more people to buy it, especially those who already own the Mi MIX 2. The timing of the Mi MIX 2S’ announcement is also a bit odd, as the Mi 7 was expected to arrive in the first half of the year, but considering that the Mi MIX 2S launched, the Mi 7 will probably have to wait until summer, probably late summer, after which the Mi MIX 3 will launch in Q4. So, to wrap up, the Mi MIX 2S is definitely a compelling phone, but it just feels too similar to the Mi MIX 2, and a bit of a missed opportunity for the company as a result. The company should have opted to launch the Mi 7 in H1, and maybe even skip the Mi MIX 2S altogether, to make a splash with the Mi MIX 3 later this year.