Recently Xiaomi and Apple held a conference on the same day launching their full-screen smartphones. Honestly, we have been waiting for them for a long time. We even knew too much before they were officially unveiled. Seems they should come with many common features, but actually they are quite different phones. Many ask how a smartphone will look sporting a mixed appearance and features of both devices. That’s a good question, and we are going to answer it now. The iPhone X, as well as the Xiaomi Mi MIX 2, are premium flagships with at least one selling point – the bezel-less screen.
But the iPhone X’s display has a hook hanging on the top. In this sense, the Mi MIX 2 uses more attractive design. There are a few other smartphones with a similar design, but they belong to a lower category and can’t compete with the aforementioned beasts. However, there is an amazing phone using an identical design and coming our way from the top-notch smartphones niche. If you follow this market, you should know Andy Rubin has founded his own company and has already managed to launch the first phone dubbed the Essential Phone. Today we are going to compare this interesting device with our favorite Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 and find out whether it has chances against this monster.
Andy Rubin helped Google to create its own mobile operating system. This requires a lot of research and observations. I mean during last years he was watching how the smartphone market works. As he proves, the mobile industry prioritized iteration over innovation. A few years ago, the smartphone market was divided into two parts belonging to Apple and Samsung. But he was sure if a company makes a premium smartphone, it could make a competition to the aforementioned leaders. And here we are. The Essential Phone (aka Essential PH-1) has been launched a couple of months back. So it’s not outdated in comparison to the newly launched Mi MIX 2.
As we have already reviewed the Mi MIX 2, we’ll pay more attention to the Essential Phone.
Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 vs Essential Phone: Appearance
Generally, the Essential Phone looks identical to the Xiaomi Mi MIX 2. It comes with the same ceramic housing, but the company has covered it with an oleophobic coating to avoid fingerprints left on the body.
The Essential company has been thinking to come in with a flawless smartphone when designing this handset. So it packed its model with a dual-camera unlike the Mi MIX 2 that sports only a single camera sensor. The LED lights and the flashlight are placed on one line with the camera lenses. This is something unique. I mean we have seen many designs such as the Meizu M6 Note, but none of them came with such an appearance.
However, the fingerprint sensor is at the same place where the Xiaomi Mi MIX 2’s fingerprint scanner is.
The Essential Phone uses a high-class titanium frame. As the official information claims it won’t scratch or blend. That’s why you will find a protective case or other accessories to protect this handset with difficulties. However, it has only an IP54 certificate, which means it is protected from limited dust ingress as well as water spray from any direction, and limited ingress protection. On contrary, the Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 has an IP67 certificate. Thus it is protected from total dust ingress as well as immersion between 15 centimeters and 1 meter in depth, and limited ingress protection.
As for the front panels, the Essential Phone sports a 5.71-inch LTPS IPS LCD screen with a resolution of 1312 x 2560 pixels. It also comes with an unusual screen ratio of 19:10. The Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 sports a 5.99-inch screen with a resolution of 2160 x 1080 pixels and screen ratio of 18:9.
The front camera and the proximity sensor are placed on the middle upper side. Yeah, that’s the same ‘design element’ that can be seen on the iPhone X and Sharp Aquos. Although it differs a little on the iPhone X. as for the Mi MIX 2, we know it places the camera in the lower right corner. Generally, the second-gen Mi MIX comes with three innovative technologies known as a micro-front camera module, COF (Chip-on-Film) screen driver flexible packaging technology, and active antenna tuning program to enhance the call quality. This trinity allows the manufacturer to reduce the phone size by 12%. The Essential Phone doesn’t use so many new technologies, but its designers have been capable of hiding the speaker and the LED indicator behind the display glass. Honestly, the first Mi MIX was the pioneer in the market coming with innovative technologies such as a piezoelectric ceramic driver and an ultrasonic proximity sensor. The former term means the vibrations will be beamed right through the glass making the people listen to a call without the traditional gap for a speaker, while the latter means the phone will dim when the display is held against your face.
Well, we already understood the Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 is larger than the Essential Phone. Moreover, we saw the latter uses a special hook to place some sensors there. Many think it’s an alternative approach to the full-screen design, but it affects the overall performance. Say, that additional part is used by the Mi MIX 2 to view the information about carriers or something like that.
Another example, when playing games or watching videos the Mi MIX 2 provides a real full-screen experience, while its rivals don’t.
Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 vs Essential Phone: Performance
Both models are packed with the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octa-core chip. But we know the SoC itself doesn’t mean anything. I mean the same hardware may provide quite different performance on different smartphones. Seems this is the case. Looking at the AnTuTu results we can prove Xiaomi has no rivals in this area. Maybe OnePlus and ZTE can compete with this company via their OnePlsu 5 and Nubia Z17 models.
Probably, such a gap is considered by the fact the Essential Phone is packed with a 4GB of RAM, while its rival comes with a 6GB or 8GB memories. And finally, the former model features a 128GB variant only. The Mi MIX 2 comes with a few options including 64/128/256GB variants.
Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 vs Essential Phone: Battery
Our favorite Xiaoami Mi MIX 2 is powered by a 3400mAh capacity battery, which is almost the same as its predecessor’s battery. But as there is a real difference in screen sizes, it provides longer lifetime. Apart of this, the charging head supports 18W output. Thanks to this feature and the QC3.0 the phone can be charged fully in 1.5 hours.
The Essential Phone comes with a 3040mAh battery. But it supports 27W super-fast charging, so it can reach up to 40% of power in half an hour. Moreover, it takes only an hours to charge the phone up to 83%. 1 hour and 34 minutes are required to charge it fully.
Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 vs Essential Phone: Camera
Though the Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 sports the same sensor found on the Xiaomi Mi 6 and its larger variant, Mi Note 3, there is only a single lens. The Sony IMX386 sensor comes with a 1.25um pixel area, 4-axis OIS, and other good options for better shooting performance.
Its rival, the Essential Phone sports a 13MP dual-camera (color + black and white) with an aperture of f/1.9. Thanks to it this device is capable of shooting great photos when there is a sufficient amount of light. But when it comes to night shots, we notice some noise.
The Essential Phone is a well-designed smartphone sporting all the trendy features. It comes with a full-screen, dual-camera, Snapdragon 835 chip, ceramic housing with an oleophobic coating, and so on. All these features provide a good experience on Android 7.1. But this is the first phone of a newly founded company. Regardless who is at the helm, there are many features that should be improved in coming models. As for the Xiaomi Mi MIX 2, the company has fixed many shortcomings on this model. That’s why it provides an enhanced performance. At last, the Xioami Mi MIX 2’s price starts at 3299 yuan ($506), while the Essential Phone is available at $699.99. Which one do you choose?