Xiaomi MIX Fold 2 review: Gunning for the Galaxy Z Fold 4

The MIX Fold 2 combines a gorgeous design with high-quality AMOLED screens, but it is only available in China.

Xiaomi MIX Fold 2 review
(Image: © Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

Android Central Verdict

With the MIX Fold 2, Xiaomi has proven that it can deliver a foldable that holds its own against the best that Samsung has to offer. The large 6.56-inch cover screen combined with the thin design make the phone better to hold and use than the Z Fold 4, and the inner screen is larger at 8.02 inches. Both screens are among the best you'll find on any foldable today, and the MIX Fold 2 features the latest Qualcomm silicon, delivering incredible power in daily use. You also get flagship-tier cameras that take fabulous photos, and all-day battery life with 67W wired charging. The downside is that the MIX Fold 2 is limited to China, and it misses out on a few foldable-based software features.

Pros

  • +

    Svelte design is easier to hold and use than Z Fold 4

  • +

    Outstanding internal hardware

  • +

    Excellent cameras

  • +

    Vibrant AMOLED screens with 120Hz refresh

  • +

    Fast 67W wired charging

Cons

  • -

    Misses out on Android 12L

  • -

    No Play Store out of the box

  • -

    No IP68 dust and water resistance

  • -

    No wireless charging

  • -

    Not available outside China

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Xiaomi usually does a good job bringing its phones to global markets, but that hasn't been the case with recent flagships. The Xiaomi 12S Ultra is a fantastic device and the 1-inch camera module takes outstanding photos, but you can't buy it outside China. In the same vein, the first-gen MIX Fold was limited to Xiaomi's home market. Xiaomi is following the same strategy with the second-gen MIX Fold 2, and that's a letdown considering the advances the brand made in key areas.

For one thing, the MIX Fold 2 is the thinnest foldable around, and that is no small feat considering it has a foldout screen just like the Galaxy Z Fold 4. The design has been overhauled as well, with the MIX Fold 2 featuring a metal chassis with a similar aesthetic as the Xiaomi 12 Pro. But the highlight is the foldout screen; at 8.02 inches, it is the largest you'll find on a foldable phone today, and Xiaomi is offering 120Hz refresh and Dolby Vision this time around. Like the 12S Ultra, the MIX Fold 2 has Leica-tuned cameras that take stunning photos on par with the best Android phones

Xiaomi has undercut Samsung for nearly a decade now, and that's true for the MIX Fold 2 as well. The foldable starts off at the equivalent of $1,245 in China, and that's considerably less than what Samsung charges for the Z Fold 4. I used the MIX Fold 2 alongside the Z Fold 4, and here's why I think Xiaomi is finally ready to take on Samsung in this category.

Xiaomi MIX Fold 2: Price and availability

Xiaomi MIX Fold 2 review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

Xiaomi unveiled the MIX Fold 2 at a launch event in Beijing, China on August 11. The phone is limited to China and will not be releasing outside the country; as such, you won't find Google Mobile Services or the Play Store installed out of the box. 

In China, the MIX Fold 2 is sold in three variants: a model with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage for RMB 8,999 ($1,245), a version with 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage for RMB 9,999 ($1,385), and a high-end model with 12GB of RAM and 1TB of storage for RMB 11,999 ($1,660).

Xiaomi MIX Fold 2: Design

Xiaomi MIX Fold 2 review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

Xiaomi overhauled the design with the MIX Fold 2, bringing the device in line with its Xiaomi 12 portfolio. The result is that the foldable phone looks gorgeous, and it feels premium in-hand. One of the key differentiators for the MIX Fold 2 is the svelte profile; with a thickness of just 5.4mm when unfolded and 11.2mm with the inner screen folded, the device is significantly thinner than the Galaxy Z Fold 4.

Thanks to a sleek design and large cover screen, the MIX Fold 2 is the best-looking foldable today.

That fact is evident when using both foldables next to one another; the MIX Fold 2 just feels better to hold and use, and what I particularly like is that the hinge closes fully flat. This is down to a hinge that has a smaller bending radius and thinner screen modules, allowing Xiaomi to decrease the size and weight, leading to a thinner overall device. The hinge also has a smoother articulation than the Galaxy Z Fold 4, and after using the MIX Fold 2 for over a month, I haven't run into any issues with reliability.

The one issue with the thinner hinge is that it doesn't allow the screen to stay half-folded, unlike the Z Fold 4. With Samsung's foldable, you can fold the screen at any angle and it will stay in that position, but the MIX Fold 2 only works with a few angles; stretch it beyond 90 degrees and the hinge fully closes to unfurl the foldout screen.

That said, the thinner design makes the MIX Fold 2 significantly easier to hold and use, and although it comes in at just 1g lighter than the Z Fold 4, it doesn't feel as bulky. A big part of the usability is down to the large cover screen; at 6.56 inches, it is on par with standard phones and doesn't feel narrow at all — unlike Samsung's foldable.

The rest of the design is suitably premium; the MIX Fold 2 features an aluminum mid-frame with a glass back, and the matte finish at the back prevents smudges. Like the Xiaomi 12 series, you'll find a large camera housing at the back, with the island protruding out of the chassis. But because of the rectangular design, it doesn't create any wobble when using the phone on a flat surface. The camera island sees a large ring around the 50MP main camera, and two smaller cutouts for the auxiliary modules.