The Big Screen Brawl

06-09-2016

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The Big Screen Brawl

Neither pretends to be small. And both are trying to cash in on the consumer segment that wants the display size of a tablet blended with the ease of use of a handset. We pit the Xiaomi Mi Max and the Samsung Galaxy J Max against each in the battle of the big displays in the Indian market.

They seemed to be set to take over the market and then they faded away. We are talking of large screen devices that were as much phone as tablets and which were the rage barely a couple of years ago when everyone was trying to make their phones with larger displays. While popular that wave did not last long and while phone displays continued to grow larger, they no longer seemed to wish to be in tablet land. Well, that could change with the arrival of large screen devices like the Samsung Galaxy J Max and the Xiaomi MI Max, both of which try to pack in a large display into a relatively compact form factor trying to occupy the middle ground between tablets and phones. But which of these is the one for you if you too are in the market for a phone-cumtablet? Here’s how the two shape up against each other:

Appearance and looks

This is an interesting battle. Those preferring a compact form factor might go for the Xiaomi Mi Max with its 173.1 x 88.3 x 7.5 mm dimensions as against the much larger 186.9 x 108.8 x 8.7 mm of the Galaxy J Max. The Mi Max is also lighter at 203 grammes against the 289 grammes of the J Max. However, those coveting a larger display would like the 7.0-inch display on the J Max as compared to the 6.44 one on the Mi Max. Both devices are smart enough to look at, but we think the Mi Max’s chamfered edges and metal back win it this round.

Winner: Xiaomi Mi Max

Hardware

The hardware battle is however very one sided. The Mi Max is much the better specced device with its full HD display as compared to the 1280 x 800 one on the J Max. It is also powered by a Snapdragon 650 processor and comes with 3 GB RAM and 32 GB storage, which is well above the Spreadtrum chip and 1.5 GB RAM with 8 GB storage on the J Max. Rounding off matters for the Mi Max are its having a fingerprint sensor (the J Max does not have one) and a 16.0-megapixel front facing camera as compared to the 8.0-megapixel one on the J Max.

Winner: Xiaomi Mi Max

Software

For some, the fact that the Mi Max runs Android 6.0, while the J Max runs Android 5.1 would be enough to decide in favour of the former but in reality, this is a battle between Xiaomi’s MIUI and Samsung’s TouchWiz interface. While MIUI does seem to be more feature rich, it still seems like a phone’s software, while Samsung has added some neat tablet touches like the ability to open two apps next to each other on that large display. TouchWiz is also a lot less cluttered than in the past. It’s tablet-y touches make us give us round by a whisker to the Galaxy J Max.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy J Max

Multimedia

This is a terrific tussle. The Mi Max’s higher resolution and brighter display make it the better option for viewing videos and browsing the Web but the J Max steals a march when it comes to sound quality and well, there are some who would consider its larger display to be as good an option for viewing video content.TheMi Max’s markedly superior 16.0- megapixel camera however tilts the scales in its favour.

Winner: Xiaomi Mi Max

Gaming and multitasking The J Max might have the edge in sound but the more powerful chip on the Mi Max allow the Xiaomi device to pretty much pull away in this department. The J Max performs very creditably for its specs but is really no match for the Mi Max here.

Winner: Xiaomi Mi Max

General usage

This is where it gets interesting once again. While the Mi Max’s compact form factor makes it easier to use as a phone, the J Max is a better option for those who want to have a more ‘book like’ reading experience. In terms of battery life, the Mi Max wins it from the J Max, lasting comfortably over two days while the J Max stops at around a day and a half. We are going to hand it to the Mi Max again here.

Winner: Xiaomi Mi Max

Conclusion: which is yours?

Both phones cost under Rs. 15,000, but the Force clearly is with the Mi Max in terms of sheer hardware and design. We can see some people opting for the J Max given its more tablet friendly applications and larger display, not to mention its easier availability (no flash sale headaches), but in terms of sheer quality, the Mi Max pretty much bosses the J Max on most fronts.

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