Xiaomi Mi5 Is Amazing, Both in Specs and Price

Xiaomi surprised everyone with the announcement of its Mi5 today at the MWC. This is Xiaomi’s first global stage announcement and it appears that they’ve nailed it.

The Xiaomi Mi5 not only looks amazing, but it is built amazing as well. The handset is a powerhouse when it comes to raw specifications and yet maintains an elegant outlook.

On the Inside

The Xiaomi Mi5 is equipped with a 5.15-inch display that has a resolution of 1080p which is lit by 16-LED giving a very ultra-bright result (most smartphones generally do not have more than 12 LEDs). Although the resolution may not seem so impressive now, but at 5.15 inches, a 1080p display has more than enough pixels to look sharp. Xiaomi has also fit the Mi5 with an upgraded Sunlight Display technology which ensures contrast adjustment on an individual pixel level resulting in deeper blacks and vivid colours.

The Mi5 has a lot of firsts (for Xiaomi) and a major one among them is the presence of a physical home button which houses the fingerprint reader. At the heart of the Mi5 is the 64-bit quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset featuring Qualcomm’s custom Kryo cores for ripping apart benchmarks and soaring through speed tests. Depending on the variants, the Mi5 will be offered in either 3GB RAM or 4GB RAM configurations. The RAM is of the LPDDR4 type ensuring blazing fast response times. The internal storage will also vary depend on the variants, more on that later.

The Mi5 features a 3,000 mAh battery with support for Quick Charge 3.0. While the battery may look smaller compared to the yet to be launched Redmi Note 3, Xiaomi will definitely make optimizations ot ensure that the Mi5 makes it through an entire day.

The Mi5 is advanced in almost every way, it features 3x Carrier aggregation which on paper should allow it to attain CAT 12 LTE speeds of up to 600 mb/s. To further sweeten the deal, the Mi5 also features VoLTE and smart NFC features like card virtualization and write mode.

XIaomi Mi 5 1

The 4 axis OIS camera

MWC 2016 has already witnessed a major camera innovation from Oppo in the form of the Oppo SmartSensor, but it was showcased as a prototype that is yet to be seen in any actual device. The 4 axis OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) from Xiaomi on the other hand is already available on the Mi5 and will reach the hands of the masses once the devices start shipping.

The camera on the Mi5 is a 16MP unit with a fixed aperture of f/2.0. The sensor is a Sony IMX 298 which is equipped with Phase detection autofocus (the equivalent of focus pixels from Apple) and deep trench isolation technology. Xiaomi managed to fit the entire camera unit including the 4 axis OIS into a package that’s as thin as 7.25mm, with no discernible camera bump, which is just amazing.

It should be obvious by now that the flagship grade 16MP camera and the mighty Snapdragon 820 would result in a video resolution of 4k at 30fps, which, although is starting to become more prevalent among the flagships, is still a definite positive and something the fans wouldn’t want to miss out on. The front camera is a 4MP Ultra-Pixel that’s taken straight from the Mi Note.

The variants and their pricing

Xiaomi announced that there will be three variants of the Mi5;

  • The 32GB edition which will feature 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. Interestingly, the processor is also under-clocked to a maximum frequency of 1.8 GHz. This model will feature a 3D glass back panel. This model will be available for as less as $306.
  • The 64GB variant will also 3GB of RAM, but the processor is clocked at a maximum of 2.15 GHz. It has 64Gb of internal memory and comes with a 3D glass back similar to the base variant. This model is priced at around $352.
  • The 128 GB variant is called as the Mi5 Pro which features 4GB of RAM, 128GB of internal storage, a processor that’s clocked as high as 2.15 GHz and a 3D ceramic back. The Mi5 Pro will cost around $413 which is a reasonable price to ask for a phone that goes head to head with almost every other flagship phone of the 2016.

Our thoughts

Looking at the inside and outside of the Xiaomi Mi5, it would be an understatement to say that we are impressed. The Mi5 gave us a sense of feeling that Xiaomi made the right move by postponing an intermediate flagship in between the Snapdragon 801 equipped Mi4 and the Mi5, instead of jumping the bandwagon and releasing a Snapdragon 810 equipped handset.

The Xiaomi Mi5 will be available in 3 colours: Black, white and gold. The handset resembles the Galaxy S6, but it also draws inspiration from the iPhone 5s, two well-designed phones. The end result is an amazing handset that takes the positives of both the worlds and blends them into one.

All that saved time and effort have been channelized into the making of the Mi5, and in our opinion, it is absolutely worth it.