Comparison: Xiaomi Mi Max 3 vs Xiaomi Mi Max 2

The Xiaomi Mi Max series of smartphones sit in a class of its own as there are very few phablets in the market right now. The only phone that comes close is the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1.

Xiaomi’s latest offering, the Mi Max 3 was recently unveiled in China on Tuesday. Xiaomi hasn’t mentioned anything about its launch in India, but the buzz is still on. It doesn’t really have a real competitor other than its predecessor the Xiaomi Mi Max 2, as it is one of the very few ‘phablets’ made in 2018. So let’s find out if the Mi Max 3 is actually an upgrade over the Max 2.

Design and display:

The Mi Max 3 is a nearly 7-inch tall smartphone with a full aluminium body. It is definitely not a pocket friendly smartphone. It has taken most of its design cues from the outgoing Mi Max 2, which was slightly shorter and slimmer. The two design major changes this time are an 18:9 aspect ratio screen and a dual camera on the back.

On the front, the Mi Max 3 boasts a bigger, 6.9-inch HD+ display with a resolution of 2160x1080 and a higher screen-to-body ratio of 79.8%. The Mi Max 2 has 6.4-inch screen with a resolution of 1920x1080 and screen-to-body ratio of 74%.

This means the screen of Mi Max 3 is taller but of the same width with lesser bezels as compared to the Mi Max 2.

Hardware and Software:

The Mi Max 3 is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 SoC, the same chipset that powers the Redmi Note 5 Pro and Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1. It is paired with 4GB of RAM in the 64GB storage variant and & 6GB of RAM in the 128GB variant. The phone runs Android Oreo 8.1 with a newer version of Xiaomi’s custom ROM, the MIUI 9.5 and has its own AI voice assistant.

The Mi Max 2 comes with a Snapdragon 625 SoC, a popular previous generation mid-range chipset which is paired with 4GB RAM and comes in three storage variants of 32 and 64GB. The phone runs an older Android Nougat 7.1 with MIUI 8.5.


The most prominent change, besides the chipset, in the newer Mi Max 3 is the camera. The Mi Max has a 12MP + 5MP dual camera on its back armed with AI powered goodness like AI scene modes and AI face-detection. On the front is an 8MP camera with support for face unlocking.

The Mi Max 2 has a lonesome 12MP camera on the back and a 5MP selfie camera on the front.


When the Mi Max 2 came out, it was widely praised for having a giant 5,300mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 support and parallel charging with a standby time of 126 hours. It could even be used as a portable charger to charge other devices. Xiaomi took the tradition a notch further and fit the Mi Max 3 with a 5,500mAh battery, with a claimed standby time of 474 hours (or 20 days). It supports Quick Charge 3.0 as well and the company says it can be charged to 71% in one hour.


The Xiaomi Mi Max 3 starts at 1,699 yuan (approx. 17,000) for the 4GB RAM/64GB ROM model and 1,999 yuan(approx. 20,000) for the 6GB RAM/128GB ROM version.

The Xiaomi Mi Max 2 costs 13,999 for the 32GB variant and 15,999 for the 64GB variant.

To conclude:

Theoretically, Mi Max 3 is significant improvement in every aspect over the Mi Max 2 thanks to a more efficient chipset, more powerful camera and a larger battery and screen. It goes to prove that an attempt at a phablet without a compromise on performance and endurance is still welcome in a world of slimmer, bezel-less phones.