Review Xiaomi Mi 9 vs Mi Mix 3

4828443745223475208_1.pngIt’s been a long time that I didn’t write any article on the website, too busy to work on other stuff.

Anyway today we will talk about the Xiaomi Mi 9 vs Mi Mix 3 from the same company, face to face in the most neutral way.

In terms of features they are pretty close to each other, they remain smartphone remember that run the same ecosystem that for me has been struggling to offer decent performance but we are not here to talk about Android but about two smartphone in a every day usage, both being half price of a high end from Samsung and Apple and to be honest offer way more latitude and room in terms of usage and performance.

Here’s a pictures of both phone, one with the small notch aka the mi 9 and the other have a hiding feature front camera that became visible when you slide off, to be honest it should be a design to adopt to take advantage of a full display and in terms of camera privacy feature.

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As you can see, same size in terms of design, the similarity stop here.

The mi9 is equipped of the last Snapdragon SoC aka the 855 while the Mi Mix3 is equipped of the previous generation 845 that has been an excellent SoC for every type of usage, the mi9 also come with a 3 rear camera equipped of a Sony sensor IMX586 48MP one more info https://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/News/Press/201807/18-060E/index.html, in comparison the Mi Mix3 is equipped of a IMX363 12MP.

Also the 855 is the first SoC to support 8K and 4K 120fps playback, also (4K 120 capture is possible if sensor support but Sony one can only go up to 4K 90fps) which can be interesting in the future, unfortunately Xiaomi hasn’t offered those features nor really take advantage of the 855.

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In terms of gaming performance by using mostly using Vulkan api instead of OpenGL, you can clearly see that the Adreno 640 is around 30% faster than the Adreno 630, there is also more Vulkan/OpenGL Extensions supported on it.

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For the fun of it, I’m sharing also the Antutu and GeekBench Benchmark which are subjective in my opinion when it come to final result.

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The most interesting change of the Snapdragon is the fabrication process of the 855 that is 7nm while the 10nm but there is an issue here, while the fabrication process should give you more room in terms of better performance per watts, giving you more battery life and running less hot, here is weirdly not the case. Let’s pause and we back soon to this.

Here the result under 3Dmark, a good alternative benchmark that show the difference in terms of performance between both Snapdragon SoC 855 (mi9) vs 845 (mix3). You can clearly see the cap between those two.

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For the gaming part, we know that the Snapdragon 855 inside the mi9 is a extremely good SoC, same goes for the multitasking and media part, above any Snapdragon 845, you can even include the Kirin980 from Huawei or the last Exynos from Samsung, Apple SoC A12/A12X being on another level with a proper dedicated ecosystem can’t be compared to Snapdragon running on a deficient ecosystem where it relay on basically zero control over the system workload. Understand by this, Android will never be as good as iOS, as the memory management is chaotic but that is another story.

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Now to the question is the mi9 have better performance than the mix3 or other competitors.

Here’s my answer.

mi9 may be better in a way while being worst in another way depending the usage you do with, while testing in every possible way the mi9, something pay my attention, the mi9 reached temperature higher than the mix3 and use more battery, which doesn’t make sense as it is a new fabrication process 7nm that should show an advantage in this type of situation, deeper into my testing, found that Xiaomi is using badly the SoC, first MIUI is totally not ready for the Snapdragon 855 and then you will face many issues while using the mi9, plenty bugs and stuttering, this is not normal due to the fact that the Snapdragon 855 is much more capable and more advanced than the Snapdragon 845.

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One of the reason may be Xiaomi rushed the hardware release while not getting ready the software part on time, Android Pie is definitely using badly the SoC in general, need to wait Android Q ? memory management as repeated is chaotic.

Before we end the article, everything about the mi9 in terms of hardware is better than the mix3 but it is not wisely use and the design is better on the mix3 when it come to front camera position and usage in general with a more stable MIUI.

Concerning the quality of the picture and video made with the mi9, you can clearly see that it is day and night between the mi9 and the mix3, mix3 is good but the mi9 is definitely better when it come to dynamic range, depth, etc that because the new Spectra  380 on the Snapdragon 855 + 48MP sensor (check zoom on temperature picture building) help a lot but like mentioned before, the hardware is not wisely use and software doesn’t follow at all, which make you rethink the purpose of the mi9 as a replacement or being compared to the mix3.

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In the end, my recommendation is vaguely helpful, since the mi9 doesn’t come with a strong software to take advantage of the hardware, also realise that there is way too much weird stuff going on it, first it record phone call by itself, never seen this before, it turn on the geo localisation despite disabling then it send message in double or simply in later moment, those things didn’t happen while using the mix3.

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Everything was done in mi9 to test deeply the functionality, features, last stable MIUI version 10.2.17.0.

Conclusion :

Wanted the mi9 to be a smartphone that can be use in every situation, even decided to shoot a short film with but too much bugs make me stop at some point, honestly don’t know what to think but will contact Xiaomi whether those issues can be fixed or going to be fixed asap for the good of all.

Yes we can say at the moment, the mix3 is a better choice until Xiaomi decide to take seriously in consideration the problem of their MIUI layer and Android Pie being the ecosystem of the mi9, making it difficult to recommend it.