- Best value for money flagship
- Great camera
- Great design and build
- Fast Fingerprint scanner
- 1080p Display
- MIUI can be a resource hog.
The Xiaomi Mi5 is the much awaited successor to the popular Mi4. The Mi4 was the complete package, a proper flagship at the price of a midranger and that is what made it the icon it is today and Mi5 does the same. It can simply be called the most affordable flagship, and it truly is a flagship capable of competing with the best in the market. Everything in the phone has improved a better faster CPU, better camera and a fingerprint scanner.
Design and Build:
The Mi4 had a solid build quality, and the Mi5 doesn’t stray away from that. It has a glass and metal body which feels premium and good in the hands. One difference on the front side is the change in the capacitive keys, the home button got replaced by a physical button while the other two remain the same. The physical key was included because it contains the fingerprint sensor, but the shape of the button is rather unpleasant. The curved glass back means the device is rather easy to hold and it’s rather light at under 130 grams.
The camera on the Mi4 was among the best a smartphone had during its time, since then much better cameras have come out. The Mi5 comes with a 16 MP rear camera and a 4 MP front camera. The front camera on paper seems to be huge downgrade from the 8 MP selfie shooter present on the Mi4, but the ?” with 2 um pixel size means the photos are great and have a lot of detail even in low light. The rear camera also seems to sacrificed some of its low light prowess by replacing the f/1.8 sensor with a f/2.0 one, but the performance of the camera in general is much better as it has phase detection autofocus and OIS to help night photography too. The PDAF on the rear camera means the focusing speed is really fast. Like the Mi4, the Mi5 has a great camera.
The MI5 has a 5.15 inch 1080p IPS LCD display, which is great though the lack of a 2K display may get some people wondering. Nevertheless the 428 pixel density means the display is sharp. The IPS LCD panel on Xiaomi phones have always been great to look at, and the MI5 isn't different, the screen is bright, has great natural colors and also great viewing angles. The sunlight adaptive display means, reading while out in the sun won’t be much of a hassle either.
The Mi5 is powered by the top of the line Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor and aided by the Adreno 530 GPU. The phone comes with 3 gigs of RAM and internal storage options of 32 and 64 GB. As with the Mi4, there is no option for expansion as the SD card slot is given a miss. The SD 820 is the top chip in an Android device right now, and it runs blazing fast, making the phone run super slick. The 3 gig of RAM means, multitasking will be a breeze as well on Android M. The SD 820 has eliminated the much maligned heating issue of the SD 810 which is great.
The phone runs on MIUI 7, based on the latest Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) which is great. If you don’t know MIUI, it’s a heavily themed version of Android that is reminiscent of iPhone’s iOS. There’s no app drawer and all the icons are cluttered on the home screen(s). If you’re a fan of customizable OS then you’d love MIUI, else it’s as it’s a rather heavy OS needing quite a bit of RAM to run, but 3 gigs is plenty and Android M means the phone runs super smooth.
The Mi5 has a slightly smaller battery than the Mi4, from 3080 mAh to 3000 mAh, but the battery life is about the same. The phone has USB Type-C port for charging and it supports quick charging as well, can charge up to about 80% in 30 minutes. The lack of 2K display means that the display isn’t so taxing on the battery and it helps attain great battery life. MIUI also has great standby, which means getting the phone to red zone in a day will be quite a task for you. The phone will easily last a moderate user a day, and light users up to 2 days on a single charge.
The Mi5 is the most affordable proper flagship one can get, don’t be in doubt about the price tag, because it truly takes the fight right up to market’s top flagships which cost 2 or 3 times the cost of this phone. The phone has great cameras on both sides which do well even in low light.