Xiaomi Mi 5s and Mi 5s Plus are the company’s new flagship phones launched nearly seven months after the original Mi 5 was showcased at MWC 2016. Mi 5s, Mi 5s Plus ditch the metal and glass design of the Mi 5 for an all metal body. The new phones also get the faster Snapdragon 821 processor clocked at 2.15Ghz, a new ultrasonic fingerprint scanner as well. Here’s a look at the top five new features of the Mi 5s and Mi 5s Plus:
Dual rear camera: Xiaomi has introduced a new dual rear camera setup on the Mi 5s Plus version of the phone. Previously Xiaomi has introduced dual rear cameras on the Redmi Pro phone.
With the Mi 5s Plus, the dual rear cameras are bang in the centre. Both cameras have a 13 MP image sensor from Sony, and while one shoots in colour, the other shoots in black and white. This has a similar set-up to what we’ve seen Huawei P9, Honor 8 series.
Xiaomi says the Mi 5s Plus is also the first smartphone from the company to shoot in RAW image format. With the Mi 5s Plus, the images from the two lenses are merged at a software level, and Xiaomi claims this gives clearer and richer images. The company says this is similar to HDR, but results in better saturated pictures.
In case of the Mi 5s, we’re seeing Xiaomi ditch the 16 megapixel camera with 4-axis stabilization in the previous phone for a new 12MP rear camera, which has the Sony IMX78 Sensor. The aperture is f/2.0 although Xiaomi is claiming a larger pixel size of 1.55 μm for brighter and more well-lit pictures.
The front camera remains the same 4-megapixel (Ultrapixel camera) as we saw on the original Mi 5.
New fingerprint sensor: Mi 5s has a button-free front design and there’s a new under-glass ultrasonic fingerprint sensing technology that the company is using. According to Xiaomi, the fingerprint sensor can unlock the phone in less than a second, and it recognises a 3D map of each user’s fingerprint through ultrasonic waves. This is what makes it possible to scan under materials such as glass, claims the company.
There’s no mechanical button as such and user just needs to place their finger on the glass and it will scan directly. However, the Mi 5s Plus has a fingerprint scanner on the back.
Processor, RAM: Xiaomi Mi 5s, Mi 5s Plus are powered by Snapdragon 821 processor which is clocked at 2.15Ghz and Xiaomi says the maximum speed is 2.3Ghz. Both phones are launching in two variants: 3GB RAM + 64GB and 4GB RAM+128GB storage for the Mi 5s, while Mi 5s Plus has 4GB RAM+64GB and 6GB RAM+128GB variant.
In India, only the 3GB RAM+32GB storage variant of the Mi 5 was launched. We’ll have to see if Xiaomi brings the higher end version of the Mi 5s series to India or not. With the new phones, the processor is the big upgrade, although it remains to be seen how these perform in reviews.
For Xiaomi the Mi 5 didn’t really prove to be a stellar hit, despite positive reviews. The phone was launched in India at Rs 24,999 and is now retailing at Rs 22,999. The Mi 5s, Mi 5s Plus make improvements on the camera, design and processor.
In our review, the Mi 5’s low-light performance in the camera was nothing exceptional, although with the new phones, Xiaomi is promising significant improvements. The design is the other major change with Xiaomi going for a more comfortable metal body, rather than the slippery glass.
Xiaomi has not confirmed if and when India will be getting these smartphones.