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Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S announced: Snapdragon 845, dual cameras, and no notch!

Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S comes with a new processor and dual camera, but is it worth the upgrade?

Published onMarch 27, 2018

Six months after the release of the Mi Mix 2, Xiaomi is back with a refined variant of its all-screen large-format smartphone. The Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S has just been officially announced in Beijing and we have all the key details on the Mi Mix 2s specs, features, and availability right here.

Iterative update

The “S” in the name is the giveaway. The Mi Mix 2S is a slightly improved variation of the Mi Mix 2, a phone that is not just very recent, but also pretty well-endowed in terms of specs and features. The most visible highlight of the Mix 2S is the secondary camera on the back, arranged in the trendy vertical configuration. But there are improvements under the hood: Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 keeps the Mi Mix 2S in line with competitors and the camera has got a new and improved sensor that looks very promising.

Proof you don’t need a notch

In their rush to look on-trend, Android manufacturers are increasingly adopting the controversial notch (the HUAWEI P20, launching in just a few hours, is a great example). But despite what notch proponents would have you believe, you can have full-screen designs with minimal bezels without a notch, and the Mi Mix 2S proves it.

Great as the notch-free screen may be, there’s a real compromise that users will have to accept on the Mi Mix 2S. Just like on the Mi Mix 2 and the original Mi Mix, the front facing camera is placed in an awkward position in the bottom right corner of the phone. This makes taking great selfies a bit of a pain.

The notch-free screen comes with a compromise.

Would you have preferred a notch or are you happy with the bottom selfie cam? Let us know in the comments.

Little change on the outside

Xiaomi foresaw the rise of bezel-less designs before anyone else, and the Mi Mix series capitalized on this design element to stand out from the crowd. As more and more phones go bezel-less, the Mi Mix 2S is no longer very unique looking, but the phone still looks fabulous.

Xiaomi didn’t mess with the design of the Mi Mix 2S. The dual camera is pretty much the only detail that sets the new version away – it’s now located on the left edge of the back of the phone, compared to the Mi Mix 2’s single camera on the center. The fingerprint sensor is still in the center though, as is the prominent “Mi Mix Designed By Xiaomi” text.

Mi Mix 2
Mi Mix 2S

The Mix Mi 2S comes in black or white, and both variants are made of luxurious ceramic with aluminum frames. There is no ceramic unibody edition this time around.

A bump in the specs

You can check the full Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S specs in our dedicated post, but know that Xiaomi has mainly focused on replacing the Snapdragon 835 processor with the Snapdragon 845. You still get tons of RAM: 6GB if you choose the 64GB or 128GB storage options, 8GB if you splash on the 256GB model. You’ll want to weigh in carefully which version to pick, because there’s no microSD card slot on this phone.

The 6-inch 18:9 LCD screen appears to be unchanged. That’s not bad, unless you consider the FHD+ resolution a drawback. But seeing how QHD+ phones like the Galaxy S9+ are set to run at FHD+ out of the box, we don’t see this as being a major issue.

The main reason you will want to get the Mi Mix 2S over the Mi Mix 2 is the camera.

Dual lens, better sensors

The main reason you will want to get the Mi Mix 2S over the Mi Mix 2 is the camera. Previously, you got a single 12MP shooter that was, as Josh put it in the review, “nothing special.” With the Mix 2S, you get an upgraded sensor – a 12MP Sony IMX363 with largish, 1.4-micron pixels that should capture more light for crisper shots. The secondary sensor – a Samsung S5K3M3 unit – is also 12MP but features a f/2.4 lens, compared to f/1.8 on the Sony sensor.

The combination between the two sensors makes possible a couple of useful features, including 2X optical zoom and the portrait mode. Up front, the awkwardly-placed selfie camera is still 5MP.

As you can see in our Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S hands-on, the camera already looks like an improvement, with nicer colors and sharper details compared to the Mix 2.

Complementing the hardware, Xiaomi promises you’ll get to use AI to touch up your selfies and portraits. We truly live in the future.

MIUI 9: Same same, but different

The Mi Mix 2 ran MIUI 9 based on Nougat. The Mix 2S also runs MIUI 9, but this time it’s based on Oreo. It’s a bit confusing, but that’s how Xiaomi does things when it comes to its skin, which gets constant updates that don’t necessarily follow Google’s release schedule.

The main thing to talk about here is the ability to use swipes to navigate through the OS, a la iPhone X.

Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S price and availability

The Mi Mix 2S will be available in China, though considering how many network bands it supports, you will be able to happily use it around the world. Here’s the official Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S price in China:

  • Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S 64GB storage/6GB RAM: RMB 3299 ($525)
  • Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S 128GB storage/6GB RAM: RMB 3599 ($575)
  • Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S 256GB storage/8GB RAM: RMB 3999 ($635)

Even in the top versions, Mi devices tend to be cheaper than most competitors, and that’s not looking to change with the Mi Mix 2S.

Mi devices tend to be cheaper than most competitors, and that’s not looking to change with the Mi Mix 2S.

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More coverage

Check out our other Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S coverage and let us know what you think of the phone!

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