With Android Pie now available, it's time to take a look at how the beta has fared on Xiaomi's Mi Mix 2S and when customers can pick up a stable OTA. The Mix 2S is a refreshed variant of last year's Mi Mix 2 with a Snapdragon 845 chipset and wireless charging, and is one of the best Xiaomi devices available today.
The Android Pie beta on the Mi Mix 2S was highly interesting for a variety of reasons, as it got rid of MIUI in favor of pure Android. With the Android Pie beta program, Google wanted to expand availability to a wider audience, and that's where brands like Xiaomi come in. It's an elegant way for consumers to test new features and provide feedback, and for developers to build apps tailored for the latest version of Android. Here's what you need to know about the Mi Mix 2S and Android Pie.
MIUI makes way for pure Android...
The Mi A2 is the best showcase for what it would be like to run pure Android on a Xiaomi phone, and the Android Pie beta on the Mi Mix 2S follows in the same vein. The current beta build doesn't have any MIUI elements, and in its place, you get the Pixel Launcher.
Pure Android on a high-end Xiaomi phone is incredible.
Functionally, it is the exact same interface as the Android Pie build on the Pixels, and that's great. Xiaomi hasn't quite offered all the beta builds, but I haven't encountered major bugs even in the earlier builds, and these were ironed out.
But before you get too excited, know that the pure Android build is going to make way for Xiaomi's custom ROM in the coming months.
... But that will change once Android Pie hits
While it's great that there weren't any MIUI customizations during the Android Pie beta, that isn't set to last. Xiaomi has stated that it will deliver a full-fledged version of MIUI 10 based on Android Pie in the coming months, and the Chinese manufacturer is now conducting beta testing for the same.
Stable Android Pie will see the reintroduction of MIUI.
That was always going to be the case, as Xiaomi sees a lot of value in the host of features it offers with MIUI. There is a case to be made here, as the Android Pie beta gets rid of Xiaomi's camera interface and instead offers the Snapdragon Camera, which is sub-par, to say the least.
MIUI has slowly been on a path that sees the global ROM diverging from the Chinese build, and while we haven't seen a lot of new features in MIUI 10, this is the fastest Xiaomi has offered a platform update on one of its devices, and that was also one of the goals with the beta program.
Don't hold out for Pie on other Xiaomi phones
For now, Xiaomi hasn't detailed its Android Pie update timeline, and if history is any indication, it'll be awhile before we see the latest version of Android on Xiaomi's phones.
Over the years, the brand has prioritised its own MIUI updates, often offering new versions of MIUI to four-year-old devices. While the platform version itself doesn't change, Xiaomi adds its own set of security fixes and features into MIUI, making it a decent alternative to receiving the latest version of Android.
There's no mention of when the Android Pie-based MIUI 10 update will roll out to the Mix 2S, but we're looking at a possible timeframe of two months if previous betas are any indication.