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Xiaomi Mi 5 First Impression and Initial Review


Xiaomi Mi 5



















                  • - Design
                  • - Processor
                  • - Memory Variants
                  • - Camera Features
                  • - Battery
                  • - MIUI
                  • - Price


                  • - Expandable Memory
                  • - Display Size
                  • - Display Resolution
                  • - Non-Removable Battery


                  The latest flagship from Xiaomi, Mi 5 was launched by Hugo Barra at MWC 2016 and was debuted in 3 Versions. The key differentiations in Three versions is Clock speed, RAM and ROM. The most affordable model costs 1,999 CNY (about US$305) and brings 3GB RAM coupled with 32 GB of internal storage and a 3D glass rear panel, but has a lower clock speed than the other two models, 1.8 GHz instead of 2.15 GHz.

                  The little higher version got 64 GB of internal storage and a 3D glass rear panel, and is priced at 2,299 CNY (US$352).

                  Finally, The Pro version, which is powered by 4GB of RAM with 128GB Internal Memory , compared with the 3GB of the other two versions, and a 3D ceramic back, all for a price of 2,699 CNY (US$413).

                  The Device is set to launch in China and India. What Hugo Barra has to say about Golbal Markets “Mi 5 is not launching outside of our core markets but we are starting to keep our eyes open.”

                  Design and Build Quality

                  Design is one of the key component of Xiaomi Mi 5. The basic concept was to keep camera on Top left side, introduce finger print scanner at Home Button. To be honest, These two features make it a fusion of iPhone 6 and Galaxy S6 ( reminds me of Meizu up-to an extent ), but let me remind you, Xiaomi is known as Apple of China. So, you should not be worried about this part.

                  What Xiaomi did well is to reduce Thickness and weight, kept it well below 7.5 mm and 130 g ( Actual thickness is 7.3 mm ). The metal frame merges seamlessly onto the glass back on the edges.

                  On the front here is the slim home button which also functions as a fingerprint scanner. The soft buttons have a backlight which is good. The left hand edge has the nano SIM card slot and the right had side has the volume rocker and power/standby button. There’s a USB Type C port at the base surrounded by two speaker grilles.

                  The key features of Design are : 3D Glass panel at Back, Ceramic Back ( Only Pro version ), Metal Frame, Elegant Curves, Light Weight and Slim


                  This is disappointing part for me. May be one of the key reason is, I am not habitual of using Smartphones below 5.5″, and for last couple of  years, using High Resolution Displays. for me 5.15″ Display is very odd now ( reminds of Display of LG G2, Nexus 5x ).

                  But more than Pixels, the impressive part is the Display Brightness, where Mi 5 is a clear winner. Mi 5 boosts 600 Nits of brightness, as against 900 Nits of LG G5. Another key feature is Sunlit Display ( which dynamically readjust the brightness on pixels ). The new display utilizes 16 LEDs on backlighting, allegedly four more than most of the present-day flagships, and Xiaomi claims it will provide more even backlighting at up to 600 nits of brightness.

                  The viewing angles are very impressive as well, hardly any color shift or contrast loss when looking the Mi 5’s display at an angle.

                  Processor / RAM / Storage / Connectivity

                  All three Versions of Xiaomi Mi 5 runs on Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 and Adreno 530, the major difference comes in clock Speed, RAM and ROM.

                  Basic Version : 3GB RAM + 32GB ROM clocked at ( 2 * 1.8 Ghz + 2 * 1.6 GHz )

                  Mid Version : 3GB RAM + 64GB ROM clocked at  ( 2 * 2.15 Ghz + 2 * 1.6 GHz )

                  Pro Version : LPDDR4 4GB RAM + 128GB ROM clocked at ( 2 * 2.15 Ghz + 2 * 1.6 GHz )

                  In terms of connectivity, all the Mi5 variants will be supporting 4G+ or LTE Advanced with support for VoLTE as well. It takes in two nano SIM cards. There’s Wi-fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS with AGPS, NFC which supports read/write as well as card emulation for quicker pass through using just your handset and more.  Xiaomi has for the first time used a home button on its devices and this home button also works as a finger print scanner.

                  MIUI 7.0

                  The Mi 5 comes with Xiaomi’s MIUI 7 interface. What differentiates this from other interfaces is, like on many other Chinese brands, the absence of the app drawer. Any apps you download will appear on the home screen, where they can be grouped into folders, similar to how iOS functions.

                  The Mi 5 runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow, and all the main functions are present such as Doze mode and granular app permissions.



                  For Camera, I will use words of Xiaomi ” First camera featuring Deep Trench Isolation which prevents light leak between pixels.” Mi 5 uses 16 MP Sony IMX 298 Camera with PDAF, OIS and DTI.

                  Now-a-days every Camera uses OIS, So what’s so special in Mi 5 ?? Right, but there is much more in Mi 5. Mi 5 offers 4-Axis OIS, first in Industry. 4 – Axis OIS compensates for camera shakes along the longitudinal, latitudinal planes, rolling shake and stutter caused due to shooting while walking / hand shake / or while moving hand.

                  I have always been fan of Xiaomi Camera. No two doubts, it works far better, faster than it’s close Rivals and some of the flag ship Models.


                  Mi 5 is powered by a 3000 mAh battery. The beauty of Battery is Qualcomm Fast Charge 3.0, As it’s Uni-body Design, The battery is NOn-Removable. It takes only 1 hour ( 60 minutes ) for a full charge.

                  What Xiaomi claims for 10 minute charge – Full screen brightness on 4G Network :

                  • Video Playback 2.6 hours
                  • GPS Navigation 27 hours
                  • Wechat 4.4 hours
                  • Reading 4.5 hours

                  Conclusion and Early Verdict 

                  Xiaomi has made sure that Mi 5 has no points left as Flagship Model. Though, Some may think of Display, Why Xiaomi gave FHD Display !! , but In my opinion, seeing the Brightness, FHD Display should not be an issue. Yes, at some point, what may impact users is Display Size of 5.15″, here I am also slightly negative. But to give clarity and higher ppi, Xiaomi compromised slightly on Size. It offers 428 ppi as against 403 ppi offered by 5.5″ Display.

                  The major point to notice is ” Mi 5 has not let down it’s fans”. Snapdragon 820, 4-Axis OIS, Fast charge, NFC, Finger Print Scanner and above all, the most wonderful MIUI 7.0, and the price point, makes it a desirable Smartphone.

                  What you think about Xiaomi Mi 5, Do let us know in comments.

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                  About the author

                  Rakesh Bhatia

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