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Phones don’t get much bigger than the Xiaomi Mi Max

Smartphones with larger than 6-inch screens haven’t been very commonplace recently, but Chinese brand Xiaomi is changing this with the new Mi Max. Interestingly, the name was chosen by Mi fans after voting out alternatives such as Big, Plus, and Pro. It’s a phablet in the truest sense of the word, with a screen size in excess of 6 inches, making it larger than the Galaxy Note 5, and closer in size to small tablets like the Nexus 7. Here’s everything you need to know about it.

Updated on 06-30-2016 by Williams Pelegrin: Included pricing and availability information for India.

The screen measures a gigantic 6.44-inches, which matches massive phones we’ve seen before, such as the Sony Xperia Z Ultra, but this is the first time Xiaomi has released a smartphone with a screen this large. The company hasn’t revealed the resolution yet, which we take to mean it’s either 1080p or lower. If it was 2,560 x 1,440p, we expect Xiaomi to have made more of a fuss.

Related: Everything we think we know about Xiaomi’s first smartwatch

The firm isn’t staying quiet about phone’s dimensions, and although the screen is big, the phone is surprisingly compact. It measures 7.5mm thick and weighs 203 grams, and for some context, an iPhone 6S Plus with a 5.5-inch screen measures 7.3mm thick, and still tips the scales at just over 190 grams. Exactly how easy the phone will be to hold depends on its width, which is 173mm. That’s 20mm wider than a Galaxy Note 5, and 15mm wider than the iPhone 6S Plus. Make no mistake, this is still a phone you’ll struggle to slip into a pocket, at least if you still want to sit down without removing it.

Snapdragon power

The metal body has a fingerprint sensor on the rear, and the design looks clean and sleek in the pictures. Having spent time with the Xiaomi Mi 5 Pro earlier this year and being impressed with the build quality, materials, and style, we’d have expected nothing less. In the top rear corner is a 16-megapixel camera, and around the front is a 5-megapixel camera with an  85-degree field of view for group selfies.

Qualcomm has supplied the processor, which will be either the hexa-core Snapdragon 650 or the octa-core Snapdragon 652. Both processors are almost identical in every other respect, outside of the number of cores. There are three versions of the Mi Max. The basic model comes with 3GB RAM, 32GB of memory, and the Snapdragon 650, while the Snapdragon 652 is inside a 64GB version with 3GB RAM, and a 128GB model with 4GB RAM. There’s obviously plenty of room inside the Mi Max, because a large 4,580mAh battery has been squeezed into them all.

Related: Xiaomi’s foldable electric bike ideal for China’s crowded streets

Prices range from the equivalent of $230 to $300 in China, and other features include a dual SIM slot, 4G connectivity, and an infrared blaster. The phone will support the next version of Xiaomi’s own Android build, called MIUI 8, which includes a new power saving mode, video editing features, and security enhancements.

Starting July 13, the Mi Max will be available for purchase in India, with Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Paytm, and Xiaomi’s own website now taking registration sign-ups. When the phone goes on sale, there will be two variants — the base model with 3GB RAM, Snapdragon 650, and 32GB of storage will go for 15,000 rupees, or $222, while the model with 4GB RAM, Snapdragon 652, and 128GB of storage will go for 20,000 rupees, or $296. Xiaomi will hold a flash sale on its website for Indian residents on July 6.

Previous updates:

Updated on 05-10-2016 by Andy Boxall: Rewritten article with all the official announcements

Updated on 05-09-2016 by Andy Boxall: Added in more official teaser pictures and video