Xiaomi Mi Pad 2 Review

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Xiaomi introduced the Mi Pad 2 tablet device at an event in China in November last year along with the Redmi Note 3. It is the successor of last year’s Mi Pad with better build and updated specifications. The tablet went on sale in China from November 27th, and we managed to get one from China as well. Checkout our detailed review of the new Mi Pad 2.

Unboxing

We recently unboxed the Chinese variant of Xiaomi Mi Pad 2. Check out the box contents and unboxing video below.

Box Contents

  • Xiaomi Mi Pad 2 tablet
  • 2-pin Charger (5V-2A)
  • USB Type-C to Type-A cable

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Hardware, Build and Design

The Mi Pad 2 boasts of a very similar design as the Apple’s iPad mini with metal build and rounded edges, of course there isn’t any apple logo at the rear or the physical home button below the display at front. To describe the design of Mi Pad 2, one can easily confuse it to be an iPad mini for Android.

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It has a sleek aluminium back and packs a 7.9-inch display upfront in the compact form factor, which is only 6.95mm thick and is 1.5mm slimmer than the original Mi Pad. Also, it is very lightweight with 322 grams which again is lighter than the Mi Pad by 38 grams. The aluminium back has matte finish, so it doesn’t attract smudges and also it doesn’t slip off your hands.

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Above display sits the front 5-megapixel camera in center with ambient light sensor. The ‘Mi’ logo is on the left corner and LED notification light is on the right.

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Below the display sits three capacitive-touch navigation keys (Recents/ Menu, Home and back) and these are backlit. You can also increase or decrease the light duration for these keys (up to 20 seconds) or can keep it always on or off as well.

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The back has primary 8-megapixel camera without flash on top left corner. The Mi branding is right above the two speakers grills located on the back bottom.

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Other than that the volume rocker and power key is on the right edge. The 3.5mm audio jack is on the top edge (left corner) and USB Type-C charging / data port at the bottom edge (in center).

Inside, the processor has been replaced by a 2.24 GHz quad-core 64-bit Intel Atom X5-Z8500 processor with Intel HD Graphics instead of the NVIDIA Tegra K1 SoC seen on Mi Pad. It is backed up by a 2GB LPDDR3 RAM and comes in 16GB or 64GB storage variants without an expansion slot, and we have got the 16GB version with us.

Display, Performance and Gaming

Upfront, the Mi Pad 2 packs a 7.9-inch IPS LCD display with resolution of 2048 × 1536 pixels, which is same as the Mi Pad, but has a better 71.8% screen-to-body ratio instead of 69.8%.

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The display is very sharp and impressive. It has great viewing angles with excellent brightness as well as contrast levels – which mean you will not have problems under direct sunlight on full brightness. The ambient light sensor works great as well. Touch response and accuracy is flawless too. Xiaomi has also integrated a lot of display settings at the software level, so you can adjust the color tone (Warm, Standard and Cool) or the saturation (Brilliant and Standard) etc. There’s also a ‘Reading mode’ that reduces background glare.

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Coming to the performance of Mi Pad 2, it is quite satisfactory. We had no issues with multi-tasking or gaming. Heavy games like Asphalt and Mortal Combat ran smooth and graphics rendering was flawless. Also, if you wish to give this tablet to kids then there is a ‘Child mode’ – in which you can enable/ disable certain apps from the settings.

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Just to tell you what’s inside in the new Mi Pad 2 tablet then it is powered by a 2.24GHz quad-core 64-bit Intel Atom X5-Z8500 SoC coupled with 2GB of LPDDR3 RAM and Intel HD Graphics. It runs Android 5.1 Lollipop-based MIUI 7 out-of-the-box.

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Since we reviewed the 16GB variant of Mi Pad 2, it out-of-the-box offers about 12.21GB of user available space with minimal bloatware on top. But we will still recommend a 64GB variant for you, since there is no microSD card expansion. But additionally it has USB OTG support.

Benchmarks

Xiaomi Mi Pad 2 AnTuTu 5

Xiaomi Mi Pad 2 Geekbench 3 Single-Core

Xiaomi Mi Pad 2 Geekbench 3 Multi-Core

Xiaomi Mi Pad 2 Basemark OS 2

Audio, Video and Cameras

One thing that is must in a tablet device is to have good speakers, and Mi Pad 2 certainly gets it right. The two speakers provide loud output while watching videos or gaming. It supports a wide range of popular video formats such as MKV, MP4, M4V, AVI, XVID and more. It can also play 4K H265 videos. It has FM radio too.

Coming to the camera of Mi Pad 2, the rear 8-megapixel camera mostly captures average images in broad daylight. While It reproduces almost natural colours, we still we felt that the detailing wasn’t sharp and it had issues with auto white balance sometimes. Also, the images captured in low light lacks the quality and there is no LED flash to capture in non-lighting conditions.

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On the front, you get a secondary 5-megapixel camera with f/2.0 aperture and 75-degree wide-angle lens, which to our liking performs quite well under most conditions than the primary camera and can capture 720p videos as well, which is decent for a secondary camera. So if you are looking to do video calling from this tablet, there shouldn’t be any problem. The only drawback here would be its lack of GSM capabilities, so you will have to rely on Wi-Fi.

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Overall coming to think of it, the tablets aren’t mostly expected to do great in camera department. So we were not majorly disappointed with the performance of these two cameras considering that the price is great, but still feel that Xiaomi could have done a little better here.

Check camera samples below (Click the image for the full resolution sample).

Camera Samples

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Battery Life

The Xiaomi Mi Pad 2 packs a 6010mAh (Typ: 6190mAh) non-removable battery, which in comparison to the first generation of Mi Pad is a slight reduction in size of about 700mAh. Although company promises about 12.5 hours backup on multimedia, we found that it could easily go through about 8 to 9 hours that included social networking, games and watching videos.

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So, overall the battery life is pretty good for a tablet device. The additional advantage here is that the tablet supports fast charging which in our test got charged full (0 to 100) in 90 minutes maximum.

Conclusion

Overall, the Mi Pad 2 tablet is a great value for money device. It’s got great build with high-end display and a premium design at reasonable price, though looks have been borrowed from iPad mini. Apart from being a smooth performer, it has a big battery and fast charging support with future proof USB Type-C. One thing we wish that Xiaomi had included in this is a SIM card slot, even if there was no voice calling support, at least it would have helped for internet on-the-go. At a price of 999 Chinese Yuan ( approximately Rs. 10,000 / $150) for the 16GB version or 1299 Yuan ( approximately Rs. 13,000 / $200) for the 64GB version, the Mi Pad 2 in our opinion is the best Android tablet around. We would highly recommend you to get a 64GB model instead. To remind you, the same Mi Pad 2 also comes with Windows 10 Mobile OS in a 64GB storage variant at the same price as of the Android version.

Pros

  • Build and Design
  • Display
  • Performance
  • Loud and clear speaker output
  • Double tap wake up
  • Fast charging

Cons

  • No SIM card slot for 4G/3G capabilities and voice calling
  • No microSD card expansion
  • No Camera flash
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Author: Hitesh Arora

From making Gadget and Auto videos for TV and online media, this guy landed up in Tech Writing. He has his heart at the right place when it comes to finding deals online. You will always find him suggesting people which device to buy. Hitesh calls himself a TV buff, who loves cooking, eating, dancing, and sleeping. You can follow him on Twitter @hitesharoraa