While CEO Lei Jun may not want people to call Xiaomi as the ‘Apple of China’, its Mi 4 smartphone surely wants to. One glance at the Xiaomi Mi 4, and you will find that it is inspired by the iPhone 5/5S inside out. The Mi 4 is it’s first smartphone to cross the comfort price zone of under Rs 15,000. This indicates that Xiaomi is slowly looking forward to the capture the mid-range segment as it has already made its mark in the sub-Rs 10,000 market.
Xiaomi phones are made to sell. No doubt. But should you rush to buy this one? Especially after knowing that the 64GB variant is coming on February 24 at Rs 23,999.
Pictures: Check out the Xiaomi Mi 4
Xiaomi Mi 4 16GB
The Mi 4 is the first smartphone from Xiaomi which attracted criticisms from our readers. Until now, people found no reasons to complain (or not buy) a Xiaomi phone as it had always offered more than what competitors did. This is due to the fact that the Mi 4 is offering just 12GB (approx) of storage with no 4G support and NFC at Rs 19,999.
Keeping these aside, the Mi 4 is a beast of smartphone. As the smartphone was launched on a cold foggy morning in New Delhi in January, I loved using the Mi 4 with my woollen gloves on. For the record, you cannot do this with all smartphones. The Corning OGS Glass did a good job in keeping me warm and also allowed me to use the phone with wet hands.
The front of the device along with stainless steel frame will impress any buyer. However, the rear white glossy plastic panel will be equally disappointing. The Xiaomi Mi 4 may not stand apart look wise but the spec sheet along with MIUI 6 ensures that users have a superior overall experience.
Specs: 5-inch HD IPS display (Corning OGS Glass) | Android 4.4.4 KitKat operating system with MIUI 6 | 2.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 CPU | 3GB RAM | 16GB internal memory | 13MP rear camera (4K video recording) | 8M front camera | 3G, 2G connectivity| 3080 mAh battery
Price: Rs 19,999
The Mi 4 comes with version 6 of MIUI user interface. Though the icons share close resemblance with iOS, the UI offers tons of customisation, themes and aims to make life easy. MIUI 6 gives a refreshing new touch to Android KitKat and is heavily tweaked which is nowhere close to stock KitKat version. The It also comes with a Mi Remote app which allow users to operate appliances with Infrared LED. Don’t get too excited as you may or may not be lucky to use this with your TV. Xiaomi has also introduced Performance Mode and Balance Mode for better power management along with several other tweaks.
What about performance?
Overall performance will satisfy any user. The 2.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 CPU along with 3GB RAM will easily cater to multi-tasking, gaming and other daily usage. The 5-inch HD Full HD IPS display is at its best and it delivered good results in sunlight too.
The rear camera supports 4K video recording and comes with a Sony IMX214 stacked CMOS rear 6P lens, and f1.8 aperture. The front camera features a Sony IMX219 sensor 5P lens and offers f1.8 aperture and 80- degrees wide-angle. Overall, the camera is good and it will impress you. Another interesting thing is that the selfie camera keeps on guessing the age and sex of the subject, when face detection is switched on.While the sex, thankfully, remained constant, the age kept on changing with the angle. The camera is fast and offers an array live filters along with several manual controls.
While, we may want to forgive Xiaomi for lack of 4G and NFC for the time being, we would have loved it if it came with a microSD card slot.The 3080mAh battery will last the entire day on moderate to heavy usage. Also, the battery gets charged fast.
Should I buy it?
IF you can beat the rush on Flipkart then you might think about buying if you are ready to live with 12GB of storage and don’t care about 4G support. Or, you can wait till February 24 to buy the 64GB variant at Rs 23,999. Also, you might consider buying the OnePlus One which offers 64GB storage, 4G support and NFC at Rs 21,999. But the most frustrating experience for both Xiaomi and OnePlus is in buying their devices.
Feel free to share your views on the Xiaomi Mi 4 smartphone in the comment section below.