Reviews

Xiaomi Mi 5 Review : Powerful Device with Small Display

Mi5-Display

Xiaomi Mi 5

Rs 24,999
Xiaomi Mi 5
8.71428571429

Design

9/10

    Display

    8/10

      Hardware

      10/10

        UI

        9/10

          Camera

          9/10

            Sound

            9/10

              Price

              8/10

                Pros

                • - Design
                • - Camera
                • - Fingerprint Scanner
                • - Battery Life
                • - NFC
                • - IR
                • - Mi Protect

                Cons

                • - Small Display
                • - FHD Display
                • - Non-Removable Battery
                • - Non-expandable memory
                • - No FM Radio
                • - Price

                Xiaomi does not need a introduction, The Company is already flying High not only in Asian Market, but as well as in UAE and Brazil also. Though, In start I was never fascinated by Xiaomi Products as I was always under impression, It’s clone of Apple. But over the time, Xiaomi Products have changed the Smartphone Market Definition, and started a New Trend of Devices. If I have to define Xiaomi in One word, I can simply say ” Innovation ” , and for Products it will be ” Powerful specs at Reasonable Prices ”

                Xiaomi Mi 5 clearly stands out a True Winner in Terms of specs and Price. Though, In my Opinion, Only key missing points are Small Screen Size , FHD Display and Non-expandable memory. Though, We had a chance to look at Mi 5 during MWC, But there is lot of difference in using a Device for half an hour and for days.

                No two Doubts, First Impression of the Device was very positive, but even that time my major concern was Display Size and Resolution.

                Before, We go ahead, Let’s have a close look at the key specs :

                • 5.15″ FHD Ultra-Bright Display, Corning Gorilla Glass 4
                • 1080 * 1920, 428 ppi, 600 nits Brightness, 95 % NTSC Color Gamut
                • Snapdragon 820 Quad-core Kryo 1.8GHz Processor, Adreno 530
                • 3GB LPDDR4 Dual Channel RAM + 32GB UFS 2.0 Flash ( No expandable memory )
                •  16 MP Sony IMX298, f/2.0, Dual LED Dual Tone Flash, 1/2.8″ sensor size, 1.12 µm pixel size
                • 4-Axis OIS, DTI Image Enhancement, Sapphire Lens Cover, PDAF
                • Selfie : 4 MP, f/2.0, 1/3″ sensor size, 2µm pixel size, Selfie Countdown
                • Dual Nano Sim LTE, Supports VoLTE, NFC, IR, GPS, Finger Print Scanner
                • Non-removable 3000 mAh Fast Charge Battery
                • 129 g / 7.25 mm

                Retail Pack Contents

                • Xiaomi Mi 5 Device
                • Sim Tool
                • USB Type C 1.2 M Cable
                • Power Adapter ( 5V/2A, 9V/1.2A, 12V/1A )
                • User Guide
                • Warranty Card
                Mi5-Retail Box

                Mi5-Retail Box

                Design & Display

                Mi 5 is available in Black, White, Gold and Ceramic, For Physical Design, Mi 5 is a slim Device with 7.25 mm in thickness and weighs only 129 grams. Comparing with other Flagship Devices it’s much slimmer and lighter, specially as against S7’s 7.9 mm thickness and 152 grams. If we compare with the Older version, it’s far better than Mi4 which is 8.9 mm thick and 149 grams in weight.

                Mi 5 sports dual glass design, with Gorilla Glass 4 panel at the back (3D glass) and a flat panel at the front. The Xiaomi Mi 5 has one of the narrowest bezels I have ever seen and also a set of very comfy buttons. It’s beautiful, made of premium materials and a solid rival for the S7, design-wise.

                View angles are quite wide and the brightness achieved was 550 LUX, which is great. The Galaxy S7 achieves 716 LUX in the sun, so there’s the difference, but at least we beat the Sony Xperia Z5 and HTC One A9, plus Nexus 6P. Mi 5 has introduced some Screen settings which include Reading Mode, Night Display, Sunlight Display.

                To be honest, No complaints with the Device Design, Build quality and Display Brightness / Color saturation. The key missing point is Price of Smartphone vs Display Size and Resolution.

                As a matter of fact, To improve ppi, Xiaomi compromised on Screen Size, but never confessed. At this price Point, Xiaomi has to provide QHD Display / 5.5″ Screen Size, which in my opinion is a big negative point.

                When you get the World’s fastest processor with 3GB RAM, Users have the right to watch movies / play games on a Big High Resolution Screen. Though lot of Xiaomi fans dis-agree with me, but I am very much against Xiaomi for not providing proper Display.

                Hardware, UI and Performance

                I don’t think I had any issues in judging the performance of Mi 5. No lag, very fast, good in Multi-Tasking and the main point, No over heating. Xiaomi Mi 5 has been rated as the fastest Device of Q1 2016. When we take Benchmarks in consideration, Mi 5 is placed first in a lot of the tests, including AnTuTu 6, with 135k points, plus 3DMark UL with 29.936 points, In some of the tests the performance was below the Galaxy S7 like GeekBench 3, AnTuTu 5.x and BaseMark X, as well as Quadrant.

                But seeing the cost factor as compared tp Galaxy S7, I think this is very much acceptable. The major worry of all users in Snapdragon 820 is always, whether the Smartphone will heat up or no. The maximum temperature after playing 15 minutes of the game Riptide GP2 was 35.9 degrees Celsius and after the GFXBench test we got to 38.5 degrees Celsius.

                Xiaomi Mi 5 runs MIUI 7.2, based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow and it’s a very simple custom ROM, with no app drawer. Multitasking is offered as a small list of apps and if you pinch the screen, you get minimal widgets and an iOS-style feel.

                Transitions can also be chosen and the dropdown bit includes the notifications and music player, plus Quick Settings and a brightness slider. The lock screen shows a camera shortcut and daily lock screens, that look very artistic.

                In setting, you get options for Themes, text size, Do Not Disturb, Child Mode, One Hand Mode and Buttons. The fingerprint scanner on board of the Mi 5 is ultra fast, but it has a 12 step setup, that feels a bit long. As usual, we counted the preinstalled apps and got up to 30, so there’s no big bloatware here. The only ones worth mentioning are Security, with a cleaner and block list, Mi Remote for infrared control, Compass, Notes, Weather and CM Security. The UI may feel too simple for most users.

                The web browser on board is fast, minimalistic and gets good scores in benchmarks. The virtual keyboard is stock and well spaced and on the connectivity front, there’s a dual SIM setup, with 4G LTE connectivity, VoLTE and nano SIM card slots. We’ve got WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac dual band here, MIMO, NFC, Bluetooth 4.2, infrared, GPS and Glonass.

                The calls are loud and clear and we’ve got good signal here. The speedtest WiFi test showed us 21 Mbps in download and 24 Mbps in upload, which is just OK.

                Camera

                At the back there’s a 16 megapixel shooter, with 4 axis OIS, a 6 piece lens, F/2.0 aperture and sapphire glass lens. A two tone flash also made the cut, as well as Phase Detection Auto-focus and a Sony IMX 298 sensor.

                Upfront selfies are being taken using a 4 Ultrapixel shooter, with 2 micron pixels and F/2.0 aperture. An 80 degree wide angles lens was included. The camera app starts up fast, we get fast focus, fluid zoom and fast picture taking. The camera UI is very simply and with a swipe down you can access the filters, while a swipe up brings forth the modes (Audio, Beautify, Fish Eye, Timer, Straighten, Tilt Shift, Panorama, Manual and HHT).

                Manual has a few sub options, like ISO, exposure, focus and white balance. I found it very strange that there are no resolution settings here, but we do have a special way of detecting the age and gender of the subject. Contrast, saturation, sharpness and auto exposure are also available. Video can be caught with options like audio focus, slow motion, time lapse, 4K and continuous auto-focus on tap.

                Maximum zoom makes the details fade out a bit, while colors are realistic.

                Tilt shift creates a partial blur and looks pretty nice, highlighting the non blurry area. Selfies were great, totally surpassing the quality of the Huawei P9 and Galaxy S7 for example.

                The slow mo clip looks OK and the low light video capture brought a pretty low brightness, especially when compared to the Galaxy S7 and this felt like weak filming during the night. Still, the overall feel was that the Xiaomi Mi 5 films better than the Lenovo Vibe X3 and Huawei Honor 7, but it’s certainly not on par with the Galaxy S7.

                 

                 Battery

                The battery on this handset is a 3000 mAh Li-Po unit, with Quick Charge 3.0 support and we achieved 12 hours and 5 minutes of video playback here, which is great. We surpassed the Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6 Edge+, but scored below the Galaxy S7 (13 hours and 41 minutes).

                In PCMark we scored 7 hours and 42 minutes, which is good and it’s also 20 minutes below the Galaxy S7. The achievement is that it scores above the S6 and S6 Edge, plus the Nexus 6P. Charging takes 1 hour and 22 minutes, which is the best performance for the USB Type C devices we’ve tested so far.

                Settings include a seriess of Profiles for battery, like Default, Marathon or Sleep. You can also add a custom profile and tweak it, with options for GPS sync, WiFi and Bluetooth for example. You can also set the start and end period of the power saving features.

                Mi5-battery

                Mi Protect

                The damage to the phone caused by:

                1. Falling
                2. Extrusion
                3. Collision
                4. Liquid

                The following conditions are met:

                1. Phone is covered under protection.
                2. Request is raised within the specified period of time.
                3. OneAssist team verifies the claim requirement is genuine and covered under explained scenarios.

                 

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                Rakesh Bhatia

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