Xiaomi wants to bring phablets back with its massive 6.4-inch Mi Max

Xiaomi wants to bring phablets back with its massive 6.4-inch Mi Max
Credit: Xiaomi

Although smartphone makers like Samsung and Sony went with smaller devices than the current 5.5-inch standard this year, Xiaomi believes there’s room for a bigger handset.

It’s launched the Mi Max today in China, a 6.44-inch phone designed for enjoying video on a budget. It’s not the biggest phone ever made, but it’s larger than Google’s 6-inch Nexus 6 from 2014, as well as last year’s 5.7-inch Nexus 6P.

The device features a metal body with a curved glass front protecting the large 1080p display. It weighs a hefty 203g and comes in at 7.5mm, which means it’s thinner than Xiaomi’s budget Redmi Note 3 and just a hair thicker than this year’s Mi 5 flagship.

Under the hood, you’ll find a Snapdragon 650 series processor, paired with an Adreno 510 GPU. There are three variants to choose from, starting with 3GB RAM and 32GB of onboard storage, going up to 4GB RAM with 128GB of space.

On the rear is a 16-megapixel camera and a fingerprint sensor. You can also add up to 128GB more room with a microSD card.

The Mi Max features a massive 6.44-inch display and a 4,850mAh battery
The Mi Max features a massive 6.44-inch display and a 4,850mAh battery

Xiaomi says the Mi Max’s 4,850mAh battery allows for up to 14 hours of streaming video over Wi-Fi on a single charge.

The phone will feature MIUI 8, the latest version of the company’s own flavor of Android, which brings a raft of new features.

Notable among them are the ability to clone apps like messaging services so you can run multiple accounts (perfect for Instagram) and an option to launch a second home screen with custom settings and data (such as contacts and call history) by using a different fingerprint.

There’s also a new tool to take extended screenshots of things like long Web pages, a revamped photo gallery with gesture controls for sharing and changing filters, as well as new video editing tools to add effects and music.

In addition, MIUI 8 will let you scan and save documents and business cards, as well as math questions to get step-by-step solutions. You can even scan physical objects so you can shop for them on Taobao.

Xiaomi says it will begin beta testing MIUI 8 in China on June 1 and release the developer ROM on June 17 with support for Mi, Mi Note, Redmi and Redmi Note series of devices.

The Mi Max will go on sale in mainland China on May 17 with prices starting at RMB 1699 ($230) and going up to RMB 1999 ($306), depending on the variant you choose; there’s no word yet on whether it will come to other markets in Asia and Europe.

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