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Do you want an iPad Mini without the iPad Mini price? Then Xiaomi thinks they can win you over with the Xiaomi Mi Pad 2.

This little 8-inch, $280 tablet is essentially an iPad Mini clone. On the outside, the two are nearly indistinguishable, and on the inside, Xiaomi has tweaked Android Android Skins Explained: How Do Hardware Makers Change Stock Android? Android Skins Explained: How Do Hardware Makers Change Stock Android? Hardware makers like to take Android and morph it into something that is entirely their own, but is this a good or a bad thing? Take a look and compare these different Android skins. Read More so much that it basically looks like iOS.

Chinese knock-offs don’t have the best reputation, but can Xiaomi buck that trend? Let’s take a closer look – and at the end of this review, we’re giving ours away to one lucky reader!

Specifications

  • Price: $280 from Xiaomi Device ($200 for the 16GB model)
  • Dimensions: 200mm x 133mm x 7mm (7.87in x 5.24 x 0.28 in)
  • Weight: 322g (0.71lb)
  • Screen: 7.9″ IPS (2048px x 1536px) LCD display
  • Processor: 64-bit Quad-core 2.2Ghz Intel Atom x5-Z8500
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Storage: 64GB
  • Battery: 6,190mAh
  • Camera: 8MP rear-facing, 5MP front-facing
  • Operating System: Android 5.1 Lollipop with MIUI 7 overlay (Alternate version ships with Windows 10 instead)
  • Extras: USB Type-C and fast-charging

Hardware

mipad-1

The Mi Pad 2 really looks and feels every bit like an iPad Mini — and that includes the premium aspect. It’s made from aluminum and is nice and light. Physically, it feels like a lot more high-end than it’s price would lead you to believe.

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mipad-20

The power button and volume rocker are located along the upper right side, while you’ll find the headphone jack to the left side of the top. The left side is then completely bare, with the USB-Type C port occupying the bottom side of the device.

mipad-6

Three capacitive keys take up the lower bezel — Recents, Home, and Back — and the bezels along the side are quite thin, which, while visually appealing, does make the tablet a little difficult to hold with one hand.

Up top there’s a Mi logo above the screen to the left, the 5MP front-facing camera in the center, and an LED notification light to the right.

The back side just has a little Mi logo in the lower center, the 8MP rear-facing camera in the upper left, and two speakers along the very bottom.

Screen

mipad-4

Don’t worry about seeing pixels here. The better-than-HD resolution (2048px by 1536px) looks great on the 7.9″ display, and the IPS means that you get solid viewing angles. Brightness is pretty good, but by no means extraordinary. I’m impressed by the clarity given how cheap of a device this is.

Camera

mipad-3

Xiaomi managed to pack an 8MP camera onto the back of this tablet with a relatively low f/2.0 aperture, which makes for decent low-light shooting. The camera certainly won’t be winning any awards, but it’s average for a tablet — though there is no flash.

The front has a 5MP camera that can lead to some solid video calling and decent selfies. The camera’s interface is generally is pretty tweaked from stock Android but it has a very nice, clean look to it.

Speakers

mipad-5

Two tiny speakers flank the lower back of the Mi Pad 2, but they are shockingly loud. I was impressed by the sheer volume and the quality that it retained at full-blast. Obviously, audiophiles might be a bit disappointed, but for the average person, these speakers will deliver a great experience.

Software

lockscreen-mipad

This is Android, but… barely. Think Android modified as much as possible to resemble iOS, and then you’ll get a feel for what MIUI 7 is. Whether that’s a positive or a negative thing is up to you.

mipad-2

All your apps are right out and in the open — no app drawer in sight (though you could always download an alternative launcher). Swiping all the way to the left gives you a panel to keep widgets, if that’s your thing.

Unlike some other Chinese-made tablets, Xiaomi’s Mi Pad 2 doesn’t seem to have any built-in Chinese apps that you’ll need to hide away if you don’t speak Chinese. With the tablet set to English, you really only encounter English.

Plus, the Play Store is here! This means you have access to all the awesome apps Downloading Apps on Android: Everything You Need to Know Downloading Apps on Android: Everything You Need to Know Looking to download apps for your Android phone or tablet? This is everything you need to know about the official app store for Android: Google Play. Read More you would on any other Android device.

mipad-1

Pulling down the notification panel will blur out your screen a bit and present you with your list of notifications. One major difference is that your notifications won’t all appear on your lockscreen as they do in either Android or iOS. Swiping to the side reveals the Quick Settings panel (Xiaomi seems to have avoided doing anything Notification Center-like Stop Siri & Notification Center Giving Away Your iPhone Secrets Stop Siri & Notification Center Giving Away Your iPhone Secrets Leaving your iPhone on the table while you go to the bar is okay if it's locked, right? After all, your mates can't access information or post slanderous messages on Facebook... right? Read More ).

These buttons aren’t customizable but there is a music player widget, a brightness slider, a button to jump into the Settings app, and several tools like screenshot, WiFi, Bluetooth, rotation, etc. Two notable ones are the Read mode, which seems to turn the screen more red Get a Good Night's Sleep by Filtering Your Phone's Blue Light Get a Good Night's Sleep by Filtering Your Phone's Blue Light Your phone's screen is keeping you awake. Don't let it. These apps will help you rest well. Read More , and Buttons, which disables the capacitive keys so you can hold the tablet there (most likely for playing games).

mipad-3

Multitasking, which is done by tapping the Recents button to the left of the Home button, has also been redesigned to look more like it would on an iPad. Swipe horizontally through apps to switch between them, swipe up to clear them from memory, and swipe down to lock them into memory.

Even basic apps like the Clock have been completely redone, but they actually do like quite gorgeous. Some might even prefer this to the stock Android clock app or other alternatives 5 Social Alarm Apps to Help You Get out of Bed 5 Social Alarm Apps to Help You Get out of Bed If you really have a hard time waking up in the morning, tapping into your friend groups for extra alarm and reminder options might be just what you need. Read More .

mipad-4

Diving into the settings app, you can see that Xiaomi has opted for a two-panel approach, that works well on the 8″ screen. There’s not a whole lot of customization to be done here, but you can change the long-press actions for the capacitive keys, toggle the notification LED, access Child mode, control what apps start on bootup, activate double-tap to wake, and more.

One software feature that is noticeably missing, however, is device encryption. Google started automatically encrypting devices when they released 5.0 Lollipop, and on most devices it’s at least an option given that it’s a major privacy concern 8 Ways Upgrading to Android Lollipop Makes Your Phone More Secure 8 Ways Upgrading to Android Lollipop Makes Your Phone More Secure Our smartphones are full of sensitive information, so how can we keep ourselves safe? With Android Lollipop, which packs a big punch in the security arena, bringing in features that improve security across the board. Read More — but unfortunately, MIUI 7 just has no form of device encryption.

Basically, you’re getting the aesthetic of iOS with the functionality of Android, which honestly isn’t too bad of a deal.

Performance

Having been disappointed by cheap tablets like this in the past, I didn’t have high hopes for the Mi Pad 2, but I was pleasantly surprised. Animations were quick, touches were responsive, and multitasking was a breeze. In fact, if someone had handed me this tablet without a price tag, I never would’ve guess from the performance that it was a budget device.

That being said, it is hindered by some incompatibilities with apps. Major apps like Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat all worked fine, but certain games couldn’t even be downloaded — I would just be met with the dreaded “This app is not compatible with your device” message.

I really can’t recommend this as a gaming tablet. Basic games like Stack played well, but even the higher performance games that I could download (like Asphalt 8) lagged consistently. Performance within the interface was solid, but within games was very weak.

Battery Life

battery-mipad

The Mi Pad 2 is not battery life champion, but it’s not terrible. With the screen off, it consumes an extremely tiny amount of battery, which is useful for a tablet you leave around for extended periods of time. But when using it heavily, I got only 4 hours of screen time.

Your mileage may vary of course, but I found that using it moderately for messaging, watching YouTube, and browsing the web allowed me to get through the day just fine — but certainly no more than a day.

One upside is that the Mi Pad 2 supports the new USB Type-C What Is USB Type-C? What Is USB Type-C? Ah, the USB plug. It is as ubiquitous now as it is notorious for never being able to be plugged in right the first time. Read More , which is reversible and supports fast charging (which did in fact charge the device in well under 2 hours). Sure, it won’t work with your old micro-USB plugs, but it is future proof.

Should You Buy It?

The Xiaomi Mi Pad 2 does a lot right for its price. The $280 version that we reviewed offers solid performance, a good screen, great speakers, and a whopping 64GB of storage. On the other hand, Apple’s 64GB iPad mini goes for about $500.

You’re obviously making some concessions here. You won’t be able to use iMessage Does Apple Use Green Bubbles to Make You Hate Android Users? Does Apple Use Green Bubbles to Make You Hate Android Users? Blue bubbles and green bubbles might seem like a small distinction, but to thousands of Twitter users they aren't. Let's look at this phenomenon. Read More or unlock the device with your fingerprint — and gaming performance is a lot more limited — but if you can get by without those things, you could save a good chunk of change by going with the Mi Pad 2.

Our verdict of the Xiaomi Mi Pad 2:
If you just want a nice, small tablet for browsing the web, watching videos, and using social apps — and you’re okay with an Apple-inspired design, go for it. However, if you’re looking for a gaming tablet or something with that more resembles an actual Android experience, look elsewhere.
710

Xiaomi Mi Pad 2 Giveaway

  1. Cliff
    July 27, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    They're awful.
    You'd be better off getting a large size phablet for less money.
    A phablet can use more apps,make calls,messages etc. This heap of junk can be locked to China,keyboard locked to Vietnam and can't use Google Play.
    You're better off getting a second hand Apple pad off the web.

  2. Mayur Nath
    May 23, 2016 at 6:03 am

    who has won?

    • dheeraj
      May 24, 2016 at 6:17 am

      probably not an indian & will never be

  3. john
    May 17, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    A friend has one of their phones and it works great. ty!

  4. orekoyat
    May 14, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    If it's as good as the Mini, Xiaomi have a winner - but with tablet sales declining...? Would like to have one nonetheless

  5. Laurie Bolduc-Cadieux
    May 14, 2016 at 1:56 am

    Sounds like an awesome tablet. Thanks for the review and chance to win.

  6. tabphanatic
    May 14, 2016 at 12:17 am

    Great review :)

  7. tabphanatic
    May 14, 2016 at 12:16 am

    I hope I win this, I want to start a review youtube channel.

  8. Kamisha
    May 12, 2016 at 3:42 pm

    After watching the review, I entered the giveaway contest
    Thank You for the giveaway!!! :)

  9. Vlatko
    May 11, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    Nice! :)

  10. Ashish Khandelwal
    May 11, 2016 at 1:02 am

    Nice gadget in the best price. I am an Indian Tech Blogger and would want to review it for Indian customers.

    • Riley J. Dennis
      May 11, 2016 at 7:17 am

      yeah it is nice, though we can't help you with getting a review copy, sorry!

  11. Brad
    May 10, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    Looks great for the price!

    • Riley J. Dennis
      May 11, 2016 at 7:18 am

      i'd say so!

  12. Rick Gold
    May 10, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    I like the looks of it, and feel that it is a good apple knock off! Would like to win this and review it for our local tech market.

    • Riley J. Dennis
      May 11, 2016 at 7:18 am

      definitely solid as far as knockoffs go

  13. MfK
    May 10, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    i like xiaomi mi pad 2....am using now two devices by xiaomi - Redmi 1s and Redmi note 3 they are awesome

    • Riley J. Dennis
      May 11, 2016 at 7:18 am

      ooohhhh i have heard good things about those two devices

  14. Lynn Fairchild
    May 10, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    This actually looks great for general use and I'd love to win it!

    • Riley J. Dennis
      May 11, 2016 at 7:18 am

      totally, good luck!

  15. Musa Simiyu
    May 10, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    This is a fantastic budget tablet. Thank you MUO for the chance to win it.

    • Riley J. Dennis
      May 11, 2016 at 7:18 am

      for sure, no problem!

  16. mfrizki99
    May 10, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    i wish i win this :D

    • Riley J. Dennis
      May 11, 2016 at 7:18 am

      good luck then :D

  17. Shyam K T
    May 10, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    Great ! will be really happy to try my first Xiaomi product

    • Riley J. Dennis
      May 11, 2016 at 7:19 am

      yayyyyy good luck to you then !

  18. Don P.
    May 10, 2016 at 11:48 am

    Some products do get better over time and wine.
    Don P

    • Riley J. Dennis
      May 11, 2016 at 7:19 am

      uhhh I mean most teach devices get worse over time just cause everything else gets better so quickly :P

  19. Prabhath Kaushalya
    May 10, 2016 at 10:51 am

    Great Giveaway

    • Riley J. Dennis
      May 11, 2016 at 7:19 am

      thanks!

  20. Chetan Belle
    May 10, 2016 at 8:02 am

    What’s facebook bonus entries?

    • Riley J. Dennis
      May 11, 2016 at 7:20 am

      not sure what you mean, in the widget there is a method of getting more entries through Facebook but it's explained in the widget

  21. James Hunter
    May 10, 2016 at 1:40 am

    Interesting.............will it get an update to Marshmallow?

    • Riley J. Dennis
      May 11, 2016 at 7:20 am

      who knows! but imma go with: probably not, unfortunately.

  22. pmshah
    May 10, 2016 at 1:37 am

    Your inexperience with Xiami products shows. Most of what you describe as its behaviour is how Xiami products of a year ago also behave. You fail to mention anything about the default applications included. You most probably will hardly need any additional app that would either cost you or bug you with ads. I am not a gamer at all so can't comment on that aspect but one has quite a few issues with application ( games too are apps) incompatibility depending on the Android version and the hardware. BTW MiPad 1 sells here for half the price you quote for MiPad 2. It will go on sale here tomorrow and most probably be at a much lower price point. One thing I really like about my Xiami devices is that unlike Nexus and Samsung products even with UI and app updates they do not slow down to a crawl. In fact after more than a year's use I don't see any lag in response.

    • Riley J. Dennis
      May 11, 2016 at 7:24 am

      regardless of if it's how Xiaomi products a year ago also behave, it's also how the MiPad 2 was behaving now? like that doesn't change anything? I never said you'll need "additional apps that cost you or bug you with ads". like, it has access to the play store with tons of free apps. and yes it has incompatibilities, i did say that. and cool, buy a mipad 1 then if you want, this is a review of the mipad 2. and Nexus devices stay much quicker and cleaner than Xiaomi devices (though can't always say the same for Samsung devices).

  23. David Karjalahti
    May 10, 2016 at 12:58 am

    Nice

    • Riley J. Dennis
      May 11, 2016 at 7:24 am

      indeed, thanks!

  24. Monica Sykes
    May 10, 2016 at 12:47 am

    I hope to winner for school or my little girl

    • Riley J. Dennis
      May 11, 2016 at 7:24 am

      ah cool, good luck then!

  25. l_mckeon
    May 9, 2016 at 10:55 pm

    The hardware looks excellent but why is the OS still stuck on Android 5.1, and what's with their software overlay that means you can't run ordinary Android games?

    • Riley J. Dennis
      May 11, 2016 at 7:25 am

      yeah Android's weird like that, with new devices launching on older OSes cause Xiaomi hasn't had the time to update everything yet. and yeah the game incompatibilities is quite annoying.

  26. Yann
    May 9, 2016 at 10:40 pm

    USB Type-C is a big selling point, thanks. Just wish the hardware was a bit stronger so I could emulate PlayStation 1 on it haha. Guess I gotta wait a bit more for a reasonably priced USB-C tablet with strong hardware.

    • Riley J. Dennis
      May 11, 2016 at 7:25 am

      yeah same, no worries, hope one comes out soon for you!

  27. Aditya Bhatt
    May 9, 2016 at 6:28 pm

    Affordable and a beauty!

    • Riley J. Dennis
      May 11, 2016 at 7:25 am

      true and true!

  28. Steve Schuler
    May 9, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    Looks nice.

    • Riley J. Dennis
      May 11, 2016 at 7:26 am

      definitely, i'd have to agree with that

  29. Mariana
    May 9, 2016 at 7:50 am

    Thanks for the review and for the giveaway.

    • Riley J. Dennis
      May 11, 2016 at 7:26 am

      no problem! thanks for the comment

  30. taj jones
    May 9, 2016 at 5:54 am

    aaaaahhh i cant wait this is going to be awesome well not for the people that lose witch i already know im not going to win i done this a brunch of time and i never win i geuss its just bad luck

    • taj jones
      May 9, 2016 at 5:55 am

      auto correct

    • Daniel Lamb
      May 9, 2016 at 3:18 pm

      what is the facebook bonus entry my friend?

    • Riley J. Dennis
      May 11, 2016 at 7:26 am

      hey well good luck anyway!

  31. Chetan Belle
    May 9, 2016 at 5:32 am

    What's facebook bonus entries?

    • Riley J. Dennis
      May 11, 2016 at 7:26 am

      not sure what your question is but it's explained in the entry widget if you try using the FB option

  32. Solin TEM
    May 9, 2016 at 1:20 am

    I'm in
    The first time

    • Riley J. Dennis
      May 11, 2016 at 7:26 am

      goooood luck!

  33. Monica Sykes
    May 8, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    Hi hope to winner

    • Riley J. Dennis
      May 11, 2016 at 7:27 am

      i hope you do as well!

  34. Timo
    May 7, 2016 at 6:13 pm

    Im here as a xiaomi fan. Cellphones, tablets, power Banks or cctv camera. Im used to that its a hood product

    • Riley J. Dennis
      May 11, 2016 at 7:27 am

      lol cool! glad you like the xiaomi devices

  35. Ratko
    May 7, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    My good friend would really appreciate one.

    • Riley J. Dennis
      May 11, 2016 at 7:27 am

      well i hope you can win it then!

  36. Prakash
    May 7, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    Thanks.. will keep wondering how will I get this give away :)

    • Riley J. Dennis
      May 11, 2016 at 7:27 am

      well if you've already entered, then good luck winning!

  37. Merlin McClung
    May 7, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    Thanks Entered!!!

    • Riley J. Dennis
      May 11, 2016 at 7:27 am

      yay! good luck!!

  38. Shane
    May 7, 2016 at 9:35 am

    I'm in...

    • Riley J. Dennis
      May 11, 2016 at 7:27 am

      sweet, good luck!

  39. Josiah
    May 7, 2016 at 8:56 am

    Thanks Entered

    • Riley J. Dennis
      May 11, 2016 at 7:28 am

      awesome, good luck!

  40. Edmond
    May 7, 2016 at 8:18 am

    OMG, jumping Jupiter. Pick me, pick me! Your next winner!!! Show me the money!!! It would be a dream come true and means more to me than anyone else to win. Starving artist here desperately needs the tablet to work and eat. Winner, winnner. Chicken dinner. A life changing experience. Top of my bucket list. Thank you for the awesomeness, the contest, and generosity. Dear Santa: I’ve been nice. My X-Mas wish this year is to win this contest. :)

  41. Pamela
    May 7, 2016 at 5:26 am

    We've needed an affordable ipad mini clone. The ipad line's exorbitant price excludes many of us from ever owning what are some amazing devices. These folks seem to have done a great job of satisfying that need.

    I can't really see a down side to this tablet. I don't know if it's new to the market, but I imagine they'll do so well.

    Thanks for the great review, and thanks for sponsoring the giveaway!

  42. destinystar
    May 6, 2016 at 10:32 pm

    how do I obtain the facebook entries?

  43. AK
    May 6, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    This tablet is giving bang for the price it cost. I read many reviews of mipad2 but this the most satisfying and detailed review. But don't have enough buck to buy it. Hoping to win it from "makeuseof.com" and I also subscribed to this site for future newsletter and offer.
    Thanks for the great reviews.

  44. j0hnny
    May 6, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    I own the first variant of mi-pad
    The second variant i.e. mi-pad2 is yet not available in India
    Well if i could win the mi-pad2
    I'll be more than happy
    :D

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