In this day and age, people have started to expect perfection in their smartphones, no matter the amount of money that they are spending. This is why the handset makers are making sure that they leave no scope to impress their existing audience and pull even more people to their new launches.
Talking of the Chinese mobile maker Xiaomi, it comes with two distinct lines of smartphones, one being the cheaper Redmi and the other being the flagship Mi. Xiaomi’s latest offering to the Indian market is the flagship Mi 5, which offers the specification of Samsung’s Galaxy S7 and Apple’s iPhone 6S, but at a half price.
The phone comes with a great screen, beautiful design, spectacular performance, super-fast fingerprint scanner, excellent camera with 4-axis optical image stabilisation and thankfully, a large battery.
Talking of the 5.15-inch screen, it has a resolution of 1080p, lesser than the top-class 2k, but a pixel density of 428ppi does the balance. The screen also offers high contrast, accurate colour, superb viewing angles and high brightness levels, thanks to extra backlight LEDs in the display. This is in fact why the unique screen size of 5.15 inches was required, to accommodate the extra brightness.
Coming to the back, it offers a curved glass meeting a curved frame, so much so that even the side buttons follow this slight angle. This makes the device comfortable to hold and pick up off a table. There is Gorilla Glass 4 on both front and back, which gives it a somewhat slippery feel.
Sporting a USB type C port, two machine drilled speaker grilles with one being a speaker and the other one hiding a microphone inside, a 3.5mm headphone jack on the top and an IR emitter, the device is very light, weighing just 129 grams.
Coming to the performance, it is the first device in India with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 and will most likely remain the most affordable phone with this SoC for a good time. It is paired with fast DDR4 RAM and UFS 2.0 storage, making it compatible with almost every app.
The camera is in a different league altogether, offering time lapse, slow motion, 4K recording, tilt shift, beautify and a full manual mode with exposure time of up to 32 seconds. One would be amazed with the 4-axis OIS, fast start up, zero shutter lag, fast focusing and ultra-fast shot-to-shot times.
Even though the overall quality lacks something when compared to iPhone 6S Plus and Galaxy S7, the end results are close and the fact that the devices being compared cost twice as much, this isn’t a bad bargain.
For the first time, Xiaomi has come up with a front fingerprint scanner and a good, fast one at that.
Globally, the Mi 5 comes with Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 standard, going from 0 to 80% charge in just about 30 minutes. However, in India, it can only give a Quick Charge 2.0 charger because of the Indian regulations. It’s a different point that a 3.0 charger can be easily bought from the market. Some other extra features include automatic call recording, one handed mode, screen off gestures, audio effects, Mi Mover, child mode, do not disturb, screen colour/contrast adjustment and a reading mode that comes with reduced glare and blue light.
Overall, the Mi 5 manages to bring something new and desirable for its users, while giving a tough fight to its competitors. The flash sales are on as of now, and as of now, only the white 3GB/32GB version has been launched.
This is not only how a flagship mobile should perform, but at just Rs 24999, Xiaomi has also put ahead a good example of how efficiently products should be priced in an intensely competitive market.