[nextpage title=”User Interface” ]
There’s no doubt that flagship smartphones offer the best mobile experience that one can ask for. After all, they come with the fastest chipsets, lots of RAM and incredible cameras, among other things. However, top-tier smartphones also have hefty price tags, and not everyone is willing to spend upwards of Rs 50,000 on a smartphone.
But the good thing is that there are numerous smartphones that are every bit as flagship as one might expect, yet priced very competitively. And two such recently-launched flagship smartphones are the Nokia 8 and the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2.
Priced at Rs 36,999 and Rs 35,999 respectively, Nokia 8 and Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 offer a lot of good stuff, including everything from Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon 835 SoC and premium build quality. But which one of these two offers the best value-for-money?
We used both smartphones for over a week, and here’s what we think.
XIAOMI MI MIX 2 vs. NOKIA 8 PHYSICAL APPEARANCE
Both Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 and Nokia 8 are beautifully-crafted and have a premium in-hand feel. They have rounded edges and all buttons are placed on the right edge. Bottom edge of both handsets has the usual placement of USB Type-C port and speaker grille. That said, the 3.5mm audio jack is missing on the Mi Mix 2, although the phone does come with a USB Type-C to 3.5mm audio adapter. Both smartphones are a bit slippery, so we recommend putting on a case, whichever you go for.
Talking about the build quality, the Mi Mix 2’s back panel is entirely made of ceramic and the main reason why the phone weighs 185g. The shiny back panel looks mesmerizing and adds to the look of the handset. The fingerprint sensor, camera and flash module are all placed on the back panel. Coming to the front, it’s where the near-bezelless 5.99-inch display is, covering almost the entire front panel. There is a little bit of bezel below the display, and it’s where the front camera is located.
As for the Nokia 8, neither it has a bezel-less display nor a ceramic back panel. Instead, the phone has an all-aluminium construction and quite some bezels on the top and bottom of the display. Above the display lie the front facing camera, earpiece and a Nokia logo. Below the display is the fingerprint sensor, as well as the. Back and Menu capacitive keys. Fortunately, Nokia hasn’t ditched the 3.5mm audio jack.
Picking a winner in this regard is a bit hard, considering design is subjective and a matter of taste. However, we think that the Mi Mix 2 is slightly better due to its ceramic back panel, which doesn’t get easily scratched.
[nextpage title=”Display, Gaming” ]
XIAOMI MI MIX 2 vs. NOKIA 8 DISPLAY
Both Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 and Nokia 8 have IPS LCD display panels, but with different size, aspect ratio and resolution. The Mi Mix 2 has 5.99-inch display of 1080×2160 pixels resolution with 403ppi pixel density and 18:9 aspect ratio. It is protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass 4.
On the other hand, the Nokia 8 has a far better display than the Mi Mix 2. It’s a 5.3-inch panel with 1440×2560 pixels resolution and a regular 16:9 aspect ratio. The display is secured with a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 5. Apart from that, the display comes with a feature called ‘Glance,’ which we have already seen on several Lumia smartphones. It’s similar to the ‘Always-On display’ found on LG’s recent smartphones like G6 and V30. It lets users check missed calls, emails, battery percentage and more without waking up the phone.
Both smartphones’ displays are bright, colorful and smooth. Viewing angles on both are good, and the display makes watching high-resolution videos and playing graphics-rich games fun. Since the Mi Mix 2 has an 18:9 aspect ratio, more content is displayed. Unfortunately, not every content fits right now. One example is YouTube videos, which are displayed with pillarboxes.
Color reproduction on the Mi Mix 2 is very good, but not better than the Nokia 8. When you look closely at a video or photo, you can see the difference.
Under direct sunlight, both smartphones’ displays look reflective and brightness needs to be set at maximum for them to be visible.
When it comes to display, Nokia 8 definitely has the lead. Its higher-resolution display is more colorful, vibrant and brighter than the display on Xiaomi Mi Mix 2.
XIAOMI MI MIX 2 vs. NOKIA 8 USER INTERFACE and SOFTWARE
Now, this is where both smartphones are poles apart. While Nokia 8 runs near-stock Android 7.1, Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 runs Android 7.1.1 with custom MIUI 9.
Nokia has barely done any customizations in its user interface, especially with icons. The smartphone further comes with several gestures and actions like ‘Press power button twice to open camera from any screen,’ ‘Flip over the phone to reject a call’ and ‘Pick up the phone to turn off ringer when the phone is getting an incoming call,. Thanks to minimal additions, the UI runs smooth, without any lags or stutters. Nokia 8 is slated to get Android 8.0 Oreo soon, and even Android P upgrade has been promised by the company.
Coming to the Mi Mix 2, MIUI is highly-customized Android skin. The Mi Mix 2 has been upgraded to the latest MIUI v9.0, which supports split-screen feature, among other things. Other key features include three-finger screenshot and scrolling screenshot.
It’s difficult to pick a winner in terms of UI. It totally depends upon you – whether you like the charm of pure Android with quicker updates, or the benefits offered by a custom skin.
XIAOMI MI MIX 2 vs. NOKIA 8 GAMING and PERFORMANCE
Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 and Nokia 8 are powered by Qualcomm’s top-end Snapdragon 835 SoC, packing an octa-core CPU and Adreno 540 GPU. Both smartphones come with different RAM and ROM capacities. Our test units were the 4GB RAM/64GB ROM variant of Nokia 8, and 6GB RAM/256GB ROM variant of Xiaomi Mi Mix 2.
Talking about benchmark scores, the results of both were impressive on Geekbench and 3D Mark. Even with slight variation in results, the performance is largely great. We encountered no lags during normal or heavy usage. There were no lags during multi-tasking and marathon usage, although Mi Mix 2 started heating up after 15 minutes of gaming. Nokia 8, on the other hand, didn’t start heating up until 25 minutes of continuous usage.
Apart from that, both smartphones handled heavy games like Modern Combat: Blackout, Mission Impossible Rogue Nation and Asphalt 8: Airborne with ease. Graphics rendering is remarkable, making the whole experience fun.
In this regard, both Nokia 8 and Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 come out on the top.
[nextpage title=”Camera” ]
XIAOMI MI MIX 2 vs. NOKIA 8 CAMERA (PRIMARY)
Nokia 8 has a dual camera system at the back, comprised of two 13MP lenses, along with laser and phase detection autofocus, and Carl Zeiss optics. Xiaomi Mi Mix 2, on the other hand, features a single 12MP rear camera with phase detection autofocus. Both smartphones’ rear cameras are complemented by optical image stabilization, f/2.0 aperture and dual-LED (two-tone) flash.
What’s disappointing in this section is Mi Mix 2 doesn’t have dual camera setup. Despite of being officially said as flagship level device, the handset lacks at camera. In this price segment, dual camera setup was expected. Anyway, let’s check out how its single camera performs.
Images captured in normal daylight conditions from both smartphones look amazing, and the difference is visible only after zooming in. Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 captures details well, but not better than Nokia 8. Same is the case of images captured in artificially-lit situations.
Talking about HDR (high dynamic range) images, Mi Mix 2 often fails to capture details of the lighter areas, whereas Nokia 8 does the job nicely. When zoomed in to 100%, HDR images of Nokia 8 appear to have better colour reproduction than those captured from the Mi Mix 2.
Coming to low-light photos, again the Mi Mix 2 fails to reproduce realistic colors and the photos seem to have some kind of whitish and yellowish layer on them. Nokia 8 does a far better job in this regard.
Nokia 8 captures enough details and produces colors much better than the Mi Mix 2. Though there’s still a bit of noise, Nokia 8’s results are still ahead of Mi Mix 2.
XIAOMI MI MIX 2 vs. NOKIA 8 CAMERA (SELFIES)
Nokia 8 has 13MP front-facing camera with phase detection autofocus, f/2.0 aperture and 4K video recording capability. On the other hand, Mi Mix 2 has a 5MP selfie shooter with f/2.0 aperture and Full-HD video capture feature.
Both smartphones produce satisfactory-looking selfies overall. But Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 whitens the images a little bit, whereas Nokia 8 goes with realistic colors. Having used both smartphones for an extended amount of time, we can affirm that Nokia 8 is definitely among the best selfie smartphones out there. Zooming the selfies to 100% shows nicely-captured details and accurate colours.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the case with Mi Mix 2. That’s not to say that the selfies are bad, but they are just not as good as those from Nokia 8.
Nokia 8 has a special camera-centric feature that we believe gives it an edge over the competition. The smartphone lets you record and live-stream (simultaneously) videos to Facebook and YouTube Live directly from the camera interface. Another interesting bit is that both front and rear cameras can be used to capture ‘bothies,’ which are composed from two images (one captured from the rear camera(s) and one from the front camera) joined together.
It’s clear that Nokia 8 takes the lead in the imaging department. It has an exceptionally good camera setup, which produces great-looking photos in nearly all conditions. On the other hand, the Mi Mix 2 just manages (comparatively) average photos.
[nextpage title=”Battery, Fingerprint and Conclusion” ]
XIAOMI MI MIX 2 vs. NOKIA 8 BATTERY
Battery life is perhaps the most important aspect when it comes to deciding which smartphone to get. Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 and Nokia 8 are backed by 3,400mAh and 3,090mAh Li-ion batteries respectively, and both have Quick Charge 3.0 support.
During our testing, Mi Mix 2 took 1 hour and 20 minutes to charge the battery from 15% to 100%, while Nokia 8 took a little less than 2 hours.
As for general usage, both smartphones easily lasted us a day on a single charge during normal usage. During marathon usage, battery consumption was similar too. Our heavy test usage involved social media browsing, gameplay, music and video playback, using instant messaging apps and clicking a few pictures. Under this pattern, two hours of continuous usage sipped 63% and 57% battery life on Nokia 8 and Mi Mix 2, respectively. With equal usage, both smartphones are equally impressive.
However, we believe that Nokia 8 needs to be commended, since in our testing, it managed a performance as good as Mi Mix 2 despite having a higher-resolution display and smaller battery size.
XIAOMI MI MIX 2 vs. NOKIA 8 SOUND QUALITY
Both Nokia 8 and Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 have mono speaker located at the bottom edge. While Mi Mix 2 comes with no special audio enhancements, Nokia 8 utilizes Nokia’s OZO spatial audio capture.
Music playback on both smartphones proved to be a great experience, but Nokia 8 clearly has the edge. When playing the same music or videos on both devices simultaneously, one can notice the difference. While the Mi Mix 2’s audio output is a bit louder, Nokia 8 offers a rather softer audio output.
Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 doesn’t come with bundled earphones, but Nokia 8 does. It’s good to have bundled earphones, but they are barely passable. We’d suggest buying a good pair of earphones or headphones.
All said, the winner is Nokia 8 here.
XIAOMI MI MIX 2 vs. NOKIA 8 FINGERPRINT SENSOR
Both Nokia 8 and Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 have 360-degree input supporting fingerprint sensors. While Nokia 8 has a front-mounted fingerprint sensor, Xiaomi Mi Mix 2’s fingerprint sensor is located at the back. We found the fingerprint sensors on both smartphones to be quite good during our usage, in terms of accuracy. However, Mi Mix 2’s fingerprint sensor proved to be a bit faster than that of Nokia 8.
XIAOMI MI MIX 2 vs. NOKIA 8 CONCLUSION
Both Nokia 8 and Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 are the finest creations of their respective manufacturers, whether it’s design, build quality, performance, or any other aspect. With its bezel-less display and ceramic back panel, the Mi Mix 2 instantly catches one’s attention. On the other hand, Nokia 8 has an industrial-looking slim body made of series-6000 aluminium, which is also splash proof.
The smartphones have top-notch hardware and remarkable overall performance, but unfortunately, Mi Mix 2 lacks a bit in the camera department.
So which one you should go for? Well, the only major difference between the two phones is camera performance. So if you’re not a camera lover, Mi Mix 2 is definitely worth it. But if you love taking pictures, Nokia 8 will be a much better choice in our opinion.
We’d also suggest Nokia 8 over Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 due to the latter’s ceramic back panel, which does look good, but is also susceptible to heavy damage after only a single fall.
Which one among the Nokia 8 and the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 do you like better? Do let us know in the comments below!