Xiaomi is the king when it comes to entry-level as well as mid-range smartphones in India. But they haven't had a serious contender in the flagship territory, (at least) until October 2017. Now, we have the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 - a beautiful smartphone which offers flagship grade specifications at a competitively low price.
Is Xiaomi's Mi Mix 2 the best smartphone to purchase in its segment? That would definitely depend on your requirements, Mi Mix 2 faces tough competition from the mighty Oneplus 5 and the Nokia 8.
With the OnePlus 5T launch right around the corner, comparing Mi Mix 2 against the OnePlus 5 might not seem interesting. But what's interesting would be a comparison of Mi Mix 2 and Nokia 8. I personally know a lot of people who were eagerly waiting for Nokia to launch a flagship Android device. They have finally come up with the Nokia 8 which as of now is the best smartphone from Nokia or rather HMD Global. Let's compare it with the Mi Mix 2.
Mi Mix 2 is one of the best-looking devices in the whole smartphone world. With the "real" bezel-less chassis, an aluminum alloy frame, ceramic back and 18k gold rim around the rear camera module, it definitely feels premium in hand.
Nokia 8 is not bad by any means. It is built from 6000 series aluminum and weighs considerably less than Mi Mix 2. It's just that Nokia 8 doesn't feel as premium as the Mi Mix 2 and it is as big as the latter despite having a 5.3-inch display due to the huge bezels present at the top and bottom. Nokia 8 has an IP54 rating (splashproof), while the Mi Mix 2 lacks anything of that sort.
Two color variants of Nokia 8 (Polished Blue and Polished Copper) have a glossy finish and the other two (Tempered Blue and Steel) have a matte finish on the back panel. The ones with glossy finish attract as many fingerprints and smudges as the Mi Mix 2.
Needless to say, Mi Mix 2 is superior in terms of design, but if you are a rough user, I'd advise you to stay away from it.
Nokia 8 features a 5.3-inch Quad HD (2560 x 1440) display with a pixel density of 554 ppi whereas the Mi Mix 2 has a 6-inch Full HD+ (2160 x 1080) display with 403 ppi. As far as protection is concerned, the Mi Mix 2 and Nokia 8 use Corning's Gorilla Glass 4 and 5 respectively.
Both of them employ IPS LCD technology but Nokia 8's display is noticeably sharper and offers better contrast. Mi Mix 2 takes advantage of the new 18:9 aspect ratio which the other one simply lacks.
Afterall it comes to personal preference. You can't go wrong with any of them, both displays have their own strengths and weaknesses.
Under the hood, Nokia 8 and Mi Mix 2 sport the latest and greatest from Qualcomm - the Snapdragon 835, coupled with 4GB and 6GB of RAM respectively. The additional 2GB RAM does help the Mi Mix 2 in extreme multitasking scenarios, apart from that both the handsets fly through apps and games with ease.
Note that the Mi Mix 2 comes with 128 GB internal storage which is not expandable whereas the Nokia 8 sports 64GB of storage that can be expanded via microSD using the hybrid SIM slot.
Nokia 8 runs on a pure version of Android 7.1.2 Nougat with an update to Android 8.0 Oreo right around the corner while Mi Mix 2 runs MIUI 8 based on Android Nougat which will be updated to MIUI 9 pretty soon.
Do you know the beta testing of the MIUI 9 in Mi Max 2? Read all about it here!
Software again is a matter of personal preference. Some people (like me) love the clean UI and optimisation offered by stock Android while some others think stock Android is a bit muted in terms of functionality. For them, MIUI is a great option. It has native theme support, features like dual apps, parallel space, ability to lock individual apps and a lot more.
Xiaomi is very aggressive in terms of MIUI updates and bug fixes (even the Redmi 2 gets MIUI 9). Nokia is also punctual in delivering the latest Android versions as well as monthly security patches. With regard to updates, both manufacturers perform a really good job.
Nokia 8 features a Zeiss branded dual camera setup consisting of a 13 MP Colour sensor and a 13 MP monochrome sensor with f/2.0 aperture. The front-facing camera is a 13 MP f/2.0 sensor.
Mi Mix 2 has a single 12 MP f/2.0 sensor at the rear along with a 5 MP f/2.0 front camera.
As far as rear cameras are concerned, both Nokia 8 and Mi Mix 2 perform really good in well-lit situations. Low light performance is also decent but not consistent. Both cameras feature OIS and can shoot video up to 4K 30fps. With the help of secondary sensor, Nokia 8 is capable of taking pictures in portrait mode whereas Mi Mix 2 has no such features.
While rear cameras on both devices perform very well in their price range, don't expect outputs similar to high-end flagships like iPhone 8 Plus or Samsung Galaxy Note 8.
Where the Nokia 8 excels is in terms of front camera. Not only it can shoot 4K video, the images coming out of that 13MP sensor is sharper and overall better compared to that from the Mi Mix 2. Also, the front-facing camera on the Mi Mix 2 is located on the bottom chin, so you have to do a little bit of maneuvering to get decent selfies.
Overall, considering both the front and back cameras, Nokia 8 has an edge over the Mi Mix 2. That being said, the camera app on Nokia 8 has some optimisation issues as of now, hope HMD Global will fix that soon.
If you can't live without a headphone jack, blindly avoid the Mi Mix 2, because it just doesn't have a 3.5mm headphone jack whereas the Nokia 8 does have one. Both devices have decent audio output from speakers. They are not comparable to a front firing stereo speaker system, but acceptable.
HMD Global employs OZO Audio on Nokia 8 which allows the device to record 360-degree audio and in fact, it works very well.
Nokia 8 comes with a 3090mAh battery and Mi Mix 2 sports a 3400mAh one. Both of them features Quick Charge 3.0 via USB Type-C.
Coming to the battery life, Nokia 8 and Mi Mix 2 can last an entire day on a moderate to high usage scenario. Mi Mix 2 might last a little more as it has a bigger 3400mAh battery and a lower resolution screen to push. But Nokia 8 with smaller screen size and stock Android won't be far away.
Miscellaneous and Price
Both handsets have very fast fingerprint scanners for added security. Mi Mix 2 has the fingerprint scanner positioned at its back, below the camera whereas on the Nokia 8, it is on the front, between the two capacitive navigation buttons.
On the connectivity front, both Nokia 8 and Mi Mix 2 has Dual SIM, 4G VoLTE, Dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0, A-GPS, GLONASS, and NFC. Both of them also feature all the sensors that you can expect from a flagship smartphone.
HMD Global has priced Nokia 8 at Rs.36,999 and the Mi Mix 2 comes Rs.1,000 cheaper at Rs.35,999. Both phones are available for purchase from online as well as offline stores.
Mi Mix 2 and Nokia 8 offer solid performance and immense value for money. You can choose any one of them according to your preferences and requirements, you wouldn't regret the purchase.
If Nokia 8 and Mi Mix 2 didn't manage to excite you, there are a number of other devices in the same price range like Honor 8 Pro, OnePlus 5, (upcoming Oneplus 5T) and LG G6 which again are really good smartphones in terms of performance as well as features.
What will you choose - Mi Mix 2 or Nokia 8? Or do you feel OnePlus 5 is still the best? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. Stay tuned to The Mr.Phone for comparisons and latest updates in the tech world.