Xiaomi has priced its phablet Mi Max at just Rs 14,999, pitching it at roughly the same level as in China.
The entry-level version is powered by the Snapdragon 650 chipset. The China price for the device is around Rs 15,200.
Xiaomi also offers super-charged version with 128 GB of memory, 4 GB of RAM and the more powerful Snapdragon 652 processor at Rs 19,999. The SD652 is about 50% more powerful than the SD 650 chip.
The phones will be available on various online channels, including Paytm, via open sale.
The devices will soon get MIUI 8, which allows users to use two separate identities or profiles on their phones, in August. With this, users can dedicate one SIM for each identity. In other words, you can have two WhatsApps running simultaneously, as well as two Facebook apps.
The entry-level phone is supposed to give about 8-9 hours of screen-on time thanks to its 4.85 Ampere hour battery, according to the company. The more powerful variant should therefore give about 6-7 hours.
With a 6.44-inch display, the Mi Max will compete with Lenovo’s PHAB Plus, which comes with a 6.8-inch screen. The PHAB Plus is priced at Rs 14,999 in India, and is available on Amazon.
Like the PHAB Plus, the Mi Max will come with a rather modest full-HD display resolution.
At such a huge size, a full-HD display translates to a pixel resolution of just 324 per inch.
To put that in perspective, the most humans can see individual pixels (if they try) at this resolution. The rule of thumb to arrive at the correct resolution is to divide the number 5256 by the distance (in inches) from the eye.
Given that most people hold their phones at a distance of around 14 inches, that gives you an ideal resolution of 5256/14, or 375 pixels per inch.
In other words, the Mi Max can work as a ‘retina display’ for you if you normally hold you phone at 16 inches or farther away from your eyes. If, like most of us, you hold it at a distance of 12-15 inches, the picture quality will be less than perfect, though still sharp and attractive.
Does this really matter? To most people, it doesn’t.
The Mi Max, like the PHAB Plus, is really about breaking new grounds.
Four or five years ago, the average display size was around 4.5 inches. People wondered why anyone would need a five inch display, but manufacturers still brought out a few, and soon 5-inch displays were the norm.
Unlike in Western countries, where people often have a computer at home, in India, over 95% of smartphone users do not have a computer at home.
So, the smartphone becomes the computer for them, as they try to achieve more and more with their devices. Watching movies? Sure, why not?! Reading news? Definitely.
This naturally creates a bias towards larger displays, and by about two years ago, the 5-inch display had given way to the 5.5-incher, at least as far as the youth — who drive the market — were concerned. By some accounts, women continue to prefer 5 inches more often than not.
Sony was among the first to try to push this boundary, with its Xperia Z Ultra and later, the Xperia C Ultra, both of which saw decent sales in the country. Lenovo too tested the waters with the Vibe Z2 Pro.
All of these models came with 6 inch screens, under the assumption that 6-inches is as much as your palm, and your trouser pocket, can take.
So it will be interesting to see how the market responds to Xiaomi’s Mi Max. Of course, much of it will be determined by the pricing — something that Xiaomi tends to get right.
Besides, the ‘phablet’ is a beast — coming with Snapdragon 652 chipset and either 3 or 4 GB of RAM.
Camera resolution is 16 MP at the back and 5 MP on the front. The 3 GB variants come with either 32 GB or 64 GB of internal memory, while the 4 GB variant comes with a whopping 128 GB of built-in storage.
For such a large display, the Mi Max does come with Corning Gorilla Glass protection, and that too, version 4.
And if you’re worried about the weight, don’t be. Despite being such a monster, the weight is only 203 gm, which is only 18 gm more than LeEco’s Le Max2, which comes with a 5.7 inch display.