Xiaomi has launched its flagship phone for 2016, at an event in MWC Barcelona Hugo Barra, VP Xiaomi showcased the new Mi 5. With Mi 5 Xiaomi has done some nice design and specification improvements and the company is aiming for bigger market share with its latest offering.
Xiaomi Mi 5 comes with 5.15” IPS LCD screen with 1920 x 1080p resolution and 498ppi pixel density. The phone has minimum bezels on the side of the screen which looks nice and gives the phone a distinct look. With the new phone, Xiaomi is taking up the fight with bigger boys of the mobile tech industry. Mi 5 is powered by Snapdragon 820 with an Adreno 530 GPU similar to the one used in latest flagships from Samsung and LG. The phone will come running with Android 6.0 Marshmallow with MIUI 7.0 on top of the OS.
Xiaomi’s latest offering will come in three variants ; first one comes with 32GB internal memory and 3GB RAM, second one is with 64GB and 3GB RAM and the third one Mi 5 Pro comes with 128GB and 4GB RAM. The 32GB version will come with Dual-core 1.8 GHz Kryo & dual-core 1.6 GHz Kryo processor while the 64GB and 128GB versions will have Dual-core 2.15 GHz Kryo & dual-core 1.6 GHz Kryo processors.
Like Samsung did with Galaxy S6, Xiaomi has employed UFS 2.0 internal memory which is 80% faster than eMMC 5.0. But unlike Samsung which brought back microSD card support with its Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge Xiaomi has done away with that.
The 32GB and 64GB versions will come with 3D glass back and will be available in three colors black, white and gold. For the 128GB version Xiaomi has gone premium with zirconia ceramic. The ceramic material employed by Xiaomi is more durable and it resists abrasion better than glass used in current generation smartphones. With its better qualities ceramic is also costly a 75% cost increase so the ceramic version on the back is used only in Mi 5 Pro.
Mi 5 has a 16MP camera with f/2.0 aperture on the back which uses Sony IMAX 298 sensor, phase detection auto focus and deep trench isolation technology. The camera on the back is protected by sapphire glass and has dual tone LED flash. Xiaomi has employed an impressive 4-axis OIS in Mi 5 which gives better image capturing and reducing the blur. On video side Mi 5 supports 2160p recording at 30fps along with 1080p@30fps & 720p@120fps video recording. Xiaomi has done a great job of making the whole camera tucked inside the body, the camera module is flush with the body and there is no camera hump like iPhone or Galaxy. On the front Mi 5 pack a 4MP camera with f/2.0 aperture, 2µm pixel size and video 1080p@30fps.
Mi 5 is the first phone from the Chinese manufacturer to have a physical ‘Home’ button which also houses a fingerprint scanner. On the left of the home button is the multitasking button and on the right is the back key both of which are capacitive keys. Xiaomi also showcased how Mi 5 utilizes the top and bottom space of the screen in better way than Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy flagship phones.
The phone measures 144.6 x 69.2 x 7.3 mm and weighs in at 129g even the heavier ceramic version weighs in at 139g considering all the top end specifications and a 3000mAh battery put into the phone. Mi 5 supports Quick Charge 3.0 which allows for fast battery charging 83% in just 30 minutes. Also Xiaomi has brought NFC support in Mi 5 for card payments.
Mi 5 will be available first in China from March 1 and later will come to India, global availability is not known as of now but the phone may come to other markets as well. Now comes the pricing of Mi 5, Xiaomi has always been on the competitive side with its pricing of the phone and the trend continues with Mi 5 as well. The standard version of 32GB is priced at 1999 Yuan($306) which comes down to approximately INR 21,000, 64GB version is priced at 2299 Yuan($351) approximately INR 24,000, the Mi 5 which does have extra memory and ceramic back comes with a price tag of 2699 Yuan($413) or around INR 28,000. With such pricing, top end specs and an inspiring design could give other flagships a run for their money.
If the camera of Mi 5 hold its ground as publicized this could be the next upgrade I do from my ageing iPhone 5 as with its the top end specs competing Galaxy S7 and LG G5 and mid range pricing Mi 5 could be the next big thing in the mobile world.