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Xiaomi just launched a new phablet, and there’s nothing reasonable about it. Except its price tag.

The Xiaomi Mi Max features an outrageously large 6.44-inch display and a battery that is sure to please folks that tend to get anxious when the battery icon turns red on their phone.

Hugo Barra called the Mi Max “Xiaomi’s first ever super large 6.44″ display smartphone that is still extremely pocketable.” Describing the Mi Max as “extremely pocketable” is a stretch, because you’ll have to literally stretch your hand to hold this monster. That said, the 7.5 mm metallic body weighs just 203 grams, which is not bad at all for what’s essentially a small tablet.

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The 6.44-inch display is Full HD, which results in a mediocre (for today’s standards) pixel density of 342 pixels per inch.

Like a number of recent devices, including the “lite” versions of the LG G5 and HTC 10, the Mi Max is powered by the Snapdragon 652 system-on-a-chip (the 4GB/64GB and 4GB/128GB versions – the base 3GB RAM/32GB model comes with a Snapdragon 650). This chip is rapidly gaining followers among OEMs looking to deliver solid performance without spending extra on the Snapdragon 820.

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Storage can be expanded via the microSD card slot, which is located on a hybrid tray that can alternatively host two SIM cards. A circular fingerprint sensor is located on the back of the phone.

The Mi Max’s main camera features a 16MP sensor with phase detection autofocus that appears to be similar to the camera on the Mi 5, which Xiaomi introduced in February. The 5MP cam on the front features the – now obligatory – wide-angle (85 degree) camera for all-inclusive selfies.

And then, there’s the battery. The Mi Max battery is a massive 4850 mAh, and very few smartphones in 2016 can compete with that. Indeed, the Mi Max’s battery is a notch above other heavyweights including the Huawei Mate 8 (4000 mAh), Galaxy S7 Edge (3600 mAh) or the Moto X Play (3630 mAh). Only the Asus Zenfone Max, with its 5000 mAh power unit, can outsize the Mi Max.

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The Mi Max is the first device to run version 8.0 of Xiaomi’s MIUI operating system. Now used by 200 million people worldwide, MIUI is getting a major redesign and a number of new features that Xiaomi has detailed here.

Like most Xiaomi smartphones, the already excellent specs of the Mi Max are put in favorable light by its price tag:

  • 3GB RAM/32GB + Snapdragon 650 – RMB 1499 ($230)
  • 4GB RAM/64GB + Snapdragon 652 – RMB 1699 ($260)
  • 4GB RAM/128GB + Snapdragon 652 – RMB 1999 ($307)

These are the prices valid in China, and, as the experience of Indian customers has taught us, the Mi Max may be significantly more expensive in other markets. Regardless of that, the value for money you’re getting here is outstanding, provided you’re interested in such a large phone in the first place.

Other OEMs have dabbled in the oversized market with devices in excess of six inches. In fact, Sony’s Xperia Z Ultra, released in 2013, featured a very similar 6.4-inch display; the battery, however, was 40% smaller.

Thoughts on the Xiaomi Mi Max?

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