Home Tech Comparison Xiaomi Mi Max 2 vs Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra Comparison + Review

Xiaomi Mi Max 2 vs Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra Comparison + Review


Both Sony and Xiaomi added phablets to their arsenal of mobile phones in 2017. While Sony has always been fond of large displays, we wondered how its very own Xperia XA1 Ultra would fare well with other phablets, such as Xiaomi’s Mi Max 2, which is also a powerful beast in its own right.


But which of the two phablets would emerge victorious if they were to be compared side-by-side? Let’s find out.


Both the Mi Max 2 and the XA1 Ultra sport 1920×1080 resolution IPS LCD displays, although the Mi Max 2 obviously has the bigger 6.4-inch display. Sony’s phablet, however, is no slouch in terms of size, considering it has a 6-inch display, which is considered larger than most phones in the market today, but is still relatively smaller than Xiaomi’s phablet.

Unlike most Android phones that are covered in Corning Gorilla Glass displays, the XA1 Ultra is covered in a 2.5D glass amidst a plastic body, which makes it less durable compared to the Mi Max 2 but feels smoother to swipe with.

In terms of weight, Sony’s latest phone weighs 188 grams, which gives it an edge over the Mi Max 2 since it’s 23-pounds lighter than Xiaomi’s enormous 211-gram phablet.

Despite being a large phablet, the Mi Max 2’s curved edges make it feel sleeker to use. Although the XA1 Ultra feels smaller, its plastic body makes it feel like it’s made out of a lower quality material, and its square shape makes the edges feel jagged, which also gives it a somewhat conservative, rigid design. Nevertheless, its clear glass makes the colors pop more than that the Mi Max 2’s, so I’d give this round to the XA1 Ultra.

Winner: Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra


The humongous Mi Max 2 is covered in a thin metallic unibody, with its cameras placed at the top half of the phone next to the earpiece, while three non-capacitive keys – namely the Back and the Overview button on each side of the small Home button in the center, are layered at the bottom half.

Meanwhile, the XA1 Ultra’s front camera is found on the top-left corner, with the LED flash at the top leftmost corner, and its flash at the top right side. Unlike the Mi Max 2, Sony’s non-capacitive buttons disappear along with the display when you switch the XA1 Ultra off or put it on standby mode, but otherwise, the placement of the buttons are identical to Xiaomi’s phablet.

Although the Mi Max 2 has really thin bezels, it doesn’t compare to the XA1 Ultra in a sense that its bezels can’t be seen. Its screen may not be curved in a similar manner to Samsung’s Edge series, but if you’re using the matte black version, it gives you the illusion that you’re viewing an “infinity screen” either way, which makes for a good viewing experience.

I find it disappointing, however, that the XA1 Ultra has no fingerprint scanner, which is a staple among most phones in the market today, but it does have a decent face recognition feature to compensate.

On the other hand, the Mi Max 2 has a physical fingerprint scanner on the sunken circular space behind the device – an uncommon location for a fingerprint scanner to unlock your phone, but it may work well for some people who are tired of unlocking their phones through their Home buttons.

Between the chunky XA1 Ultra and the sleeker Mi Max 2, I’d give Xiaomi this round.

Winner: Xiaomi Mi Max 2


Being a company that specializes in camera specs, Sony held nothing back when it came to improving much of its phone’s camera quality. With a whopping 23MP rear camera and a 16MP front camera, it’s no slouch in the photography department and it easily trumps the Mi Max 2’s 12MP rear camera and small 5MP front camera.

Both cameras also seem to respond well when used to take photos in low-lit conditions, though I noticed that the XA1 Ultra works better in Superior Auto mode for such conditions than Manual mode. Plus the Mi Max 2 seems to adjust to low-lit environments better than the XA1 Ultra.

Although the XA1 Ultra has better specs overall, I found that the Xiaomi phablet’s versatility in low-lit environments makes it a better performer between the two.

Winner: Xiaomi Mi Max 2


Although both devices run using Android-powered operating systems, the Mi Max 2 primarily comes with Xiaomi’s MIUI 8, which, with the Mix Max 2’s powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor, makes it a powerful device that doesn’t suffer from lags.

The XA1 Ultra, however, comes with Sony’s default Xperia UI, which runs under the strong Mediatek MT 6757 Helio P20 processor. It responds pretty well while multitasking and doesn’t suffer from lags that much as well, which makes browsing videos and playing mid-performance games feel great.

Various benchmarking tools also revealed the following results for both devices:

Sony Xperia A1 Ultra
Antutu – 64587
Geekbench – Single Core: 893; Multi Core: 3753
PCMark – 3884

Xiaomi Mi Max 2:
AnTuTu Benchmark v6.2.7 – 59477
Geekbench – Single-core: 882; Multi-core: 4305
PCMark – 4776

I find it a close match between both phablets, considering they both work well with their respective chipsets. But I’d have to give it to Sony for producing better benchmark results.

Winner: Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra

Battery Power

In terms of battery power, we received the following results from our Manila Shaker Battery Rating:

• Xiaomi Mi Max 2 – 65 hours and 20 minutes
• Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra – 31 hours and 12 minutes

For a phablet that costs more than P20,000, the XA1 Ultra has a pretty short battery lifespan of just 31 hours and 12 minutes, mostly due to its 2700mAh non-removable battery. Conversely, the Mi Max 2 can last up to 65 hours and 20 minutes, thanks to its powerful 5300 mAh non-removable battery.

Winner: Xiaomi Mi Max 2


Although both phablets have relatively clear, loud audio, the audio in the XA1 Ultra clearly stands out the most. Although Sony phablet’s speakers come from the bottom half of the phone, I noticed that it produces great stereo-quality audio regardless, especially whenever you watch videos with it, and at maximum volume, it’s good enough for you to pick up calls in loud settings. Of course, being a Sony device, it comes as no surprise for them to shine in this department.

The Mi Max 2 is no slouch when it comes to producing audio, especially when it has powerful speakers that reverberate all over the phablet when you listen to it, which means picking up calls in the middle of a noisy crowd wouldn’t be a problem.

Although both phones are equipped with pretty good speakers, I’d give it to Sony for producing a phablet that shows off their niche.

Winner: Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra


The Mi Max 2 comes in either 64GB or 128GB worth of internal memory with 4GB worth of RAM, which is expandable up to 256GB through a microSD card. This gives it an upper hand over the XA1 Ultra, which comes in either 32GB or 64GB of internal memory with 4GB worth of RAM. Seeing as the Xperia XA1 Ultra’s memory cannot be expanded, I’d give it to the Mi Max 2 for giving you this option.

Winner: Xiaomi Mi Max 2


It’s a pretty close match between the phablets, considering they both have their own niches. Personally, I find that both devices would look good in some people who are after certain functions, like the Mi Max 2’s longevity or the XA1 Ultra’s processor, but I find it disappointing that Sony’s phone is overpriced when the Mi Max 2, while it may not have a great camera on paper, performs better at a lower price.

Nonetheless, with a 4-3 score, the Mi Max 2 emerged as the victor in this phablet comparison.

The Xiaomi Mi Max 2 and the Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra are available in local and online stores. The Mi Max 2 costs P15,500 while the XA1 Ultra can be bought at P21,990.

Xiaomi Mi Max 2 vs Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra Comparison, Full Specs, Philippines Pricing

SPECS, PH Price Xiaomi Mi Max 2 Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra
Display [1920×1080]
6.4-inch IPS LCD, 342ppi
6.0-inch IPS LCD Display, 367ppi
Size 174.1 x 88.7 x 7.6 mm, 211g weight 165 x 79 x 8.1 mm, 188 g
Design Metal unibody, Corning Gorilla Glass 3 aluminum frame, plastic body, 2.5D Glass
Colors Gold, Matte Black Rainbow White, Black, Gold, Pink
Chipset Qualcomm MSM8953 Snapdragon 625 Mediatek MT6757 Helio P20
Processor Octa-core 2.0 GHz Cortex-A53 4×2.3 GHz Cortex-A53 & 4×1.6 GHz Cortex-A53
Graphics Adreno 506 Mali-T880MP2
Memory 64/128GB, 4GB RAM, microSD up to 256GB 32/64GB internal, 4GB RAM
Main Camera 12 MP (1.25μm, f/2.2), two-tone flash, PDAF autofocus, HDR adjustment 23 MP, 1/2.3″ Exmor™ RS sensor, f/2.0, phase detection and laser autofocus, LED flash
Multimedia 2160p@30fps, 720p@120fps 1080p@30fps, stereo audio rec., HDR
Front camera 5 MP, f/2.0 16 MP, f/2.0, 23mm, 1/2.6″ sensor size, OIS, autofocus, LED flash, 1080p
Connectivity Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, Fingerprint Sensor, Hybrid Dual SIM (nano-SIM / micro-SIM, dual standby) GSM/HSPA/LTE
WiFi n, Bt 4.2, A2DP, aptX, LE, A-GPS
OS Android 7.1 Nougat, MIUI 8.0 Android 7.0 Nougat, Xperia UI
Battery Non-removable Li-Ion 5300 mAh battery Non-removable 2,700mAh Li-ion
Ports USB Type-C 1.0, 3.5mm headphone jack USB 2.0 Type-C 1.0, 3.5mm headphone jack
Official PH Price PHP 15,500 PhP 21,990
Availability date June 2017 July 14, 2017
Where to buy Official Xiaomi store, Online stores Sony Centres, Sony Mobile Stores, and authorized retailers
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