Xiaomi Mi 5 is the new flagship from the Chinese start-up and it was launched at a special event in Beijing, as well as a press announcement at the Mobile World Congress (MWC 2016) in Barcelona.
The new flagship goes on sale in China on March 1, and while the company has promised an India launch for the device, we’ll have to wait and see when that happens.
For starters, Mi 5 will come in 3 variants: the most expensive one (Mi 5 Pro) comes with 4GB RAM and 128 GB space and is priced at Yuan 2699 in China (around Rs 28,000 when converted); then are two versions: one with 3 GB RAM and 32GB space at Yuan 1999 (around Rs 20,000) and one with 3GB RAM and 64GB space at Yuan 2299 (Rs 24,000).
Here’s a closer look at the new Xiaomi Mi 5:
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Design, Screen: Xiaomi Mi 5 comes in black, gold and white colour variants, and while that doesn’t sound like anything new, the company has gone for a different design for this phone. Mi 5 comes with a metal and glass design with 3D Glass, while Mi 5 Pro has a 3D ceramic body.
The Chinese company says it has used high-grade zirconia ceramic body for Mi 5 Pro, which is hard to crack. Hugo Barra revealed during the launch presentation that ceramic is 75 percent more expensive than high-grade glass, hence the price difference with the Pro build.
Mi 5 weighs 129 g and is 7.25 mm thick, and Xiaomi compared the device to Apple iPhone 6s and Samsung Galaxy S6 in terms of design. Xiaomi also says, that the Mi 5’s camera doesn’t stick out like with other devices.
Mi 5 has a 5.15-inch screen, and it also features a fingerprint scanner on the front. Xiaomi has kept the screen resolution at full HD, rather than going for a 2K display, as some rumours claimed. Xiaomi claims that Mi 5 features a very vibrant display with 600-nit brightness, and is also 17 per cent more power efficient.
The company, which has an ongoing legal battle in India over patent infringement, claims it filed over 21 patents on display tech alone for this phone.
Processor, Performance: This is one area where Xiaomi’s Hugo Barra spent quite some time, explaining how the Mi 5 outdoes a lot of its rivals. It runs the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor (clocked at 1.3 Ghz in the starting model and 1.5 Ghz in the other two). Xiaomi was keen to let the media know that the smartphone has Antutu score of over 140,000.
Benchmark scores aside (given that these are not the final word on performance), Xiaomi says the Mi 5’s 820 processor offers 200 per cent better performance compared to the 810, and is 50 per cent better at power consumption. Xiaomi’s VP referred to Mi 5 as being ‘insanely fast.’
The new Mi 5 is also VoLTE compatible, and supports 4G+. The company claims that Mi 5 takes 30 seconds to download a 1080p movie. Of course, that’s really dependent on your Internet connectivity being top-notch. Mi 5 is also the first Xiaomi phone with UFS 2.0 for storage.
During the launch, Xiaomi stressed a fair bit on speed and the performance, and we’ll have to wait and see if the Mi 5 lives up to the claims.
Camera: This is another area where Xiaomi claims to have done some significant innovation, and improvement. Mi 5 has a 16MP rear camera with 4-axis OIS, and the front camera is 4 megapixels with a wide-angle lens.
Xiaomi went all technical on this part of the presentation, and claims that the new 4-axis OIS will be better for long shots, as well for low light and moving objects. Hugo Barra called it a “technology breakthrough,” during the MWC launch event.
Mi 5 has a Sony IMX298 sensor, PDAF and DTI for pixel to pixel isolation, which prevents colour-bleeding. Based on the sample shots that Barra, and co-founder Lei Bin have shared, results from the Mi 5 have impressed so far.
Battery, Other features: Xiaomi Mi 5 has a 3000mAh battery, and yes it supports NFC as well. The smartphone also supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2.0, which can charge the phone up to 90 per cent in just one hour, and is able to give two and a half hours of talktime after charging for just 5 minutes. Xiaomi Mi 5 runs Android 6 with MIUI 7 on top.
The big question
For most Indian fans of Xiaomi, the big question is when will the device launch here. Xiaomi had indicated an interaction with Indianexpress.com that it was working to bring its latest smartphones to India, and that the Mi 5 was definitely on the list.
Right now with the pricing, the Mi 5 looks like it could be a possible competitor to the OnePlus 2, Moto X Play range. Hopefully Xiaomi won’t delay the India launch of this one for too long.