Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi made a big splash when it announced the the Mi Max, its much-heralded device with a near bezel-less display, last year — now we have a follow-up phone.
The Mi Max 2, unveiled today at an event in Beijing, will be available in China from June 1 priced upwards from RMB 1699, that’s around $ 247.
Xiaomi claims it sold over three million of the original Mi Max — which was billed as a concept device at launch — and the main selling point of the second version is a gigantic 5300mAh battery which the company claims will last for two days per charge. It claims that the device can charge to 68 percent in an hour and that its full capacity will give a user up to 18 hours of watching video, or 57 hours of call time.
The Mi Max 2 packs a unibody metal design and comes it at the same 6.44-inch size. It is available with 4GB RAM with the option of 64GB or 128GB storage — that larger capacity option costs slightly more at RMB 1999, or approximately $ 290. The device packs a 12MP rear camera, with a five megapixel front camera, stereo speakers and a fingerprint sensor on the reverse. Under the hood, the party is powered by an octacore 2.0 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 chipset.
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On the software side of things, the home-baked MI UI includes a one-handed mode — not unlike Apple’s reachability for larger iPhones — while a split screen version is planned soon to provide multi-tasking options.
There’s no word on an international launch date but, given the popularity of the original Mi Max, you can expect that there are plans to sell this new version outside of China soon.
The launch of the Mi Max comes right after Xiaomi unveiled its newest flagship, the Mi 6, last month. As we said at that launch, these are challenging times for the company — which investors valued at $ 45 billion as recently as 2014.
In 2016, rivals Huawei, Vivo and Oppo were among the challengers that rose up with competitively priced phones and strong offline distribution reach to knock Xiaomi off the number one perch for smartphone sales in China. Lei Jun has promised to bounce back and expand Xiaomi’s offline commerce efforts, while he intends to continue its ‘smart device’ ecosystem push to increase customer engagement and generate increased revenue. Indeed, the Xiaomi CEO recently likened his firm to U.S. retailer Costco rather than Apple, the latter being a common comparison made in previous years.