Xiaomi launched the Mi 5 at MWC last month, and today it has finally launched the flagship smartphone in India. The Xiaomi Mi 5 is set to go on sale from April 6 in India, on mi.com, followed by other e-commerce sites. In the meantime the first set of reviews have surfaced online. There’s a lot riding on the Mi 5 as Xiaomi has launched a flagship smartphone after a gap of more than a year. We have rounded up some of the reviews, and here’s what they have to say about the new Xiaomi Mi 5. Also Read - Xiaomi Mi Mix 4 could launch as a high-end phone with tons of exciting featuresAlso Read - Xiaomi confirms Mi 11 Lite colour variants in India: Here are the options available
First lets quickly take a look at the Mi 5’s specifications and features. Xiaomi has only launched the 32GB variant in India, which features a 3D glass back, and 1.8GHz Snapdragon 820 chipset paired with 3GB of RAM. The rest of the specifications remain the same.
It features a 5.15-inch 1080p display, 16-megapixel rear camera with 4K video recording capabilities, four-axis OIS technology, PDAF, and dual-tone LED flash, and a 4-megapixel selfie camera. There’s also a 3,000mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 support, fingerprint scanner embedded into the home button, and connectivity options like dual-SIM card slots, 4G LTE support, Wi-Fi, IR Blaster, USB Type-C port and NFC. On the software front, it runs on Android Marshmallow wrapped under MIUI 7.
Xiaomi has opted for a 3D glass body for its standard variants, and a ceramic body for the 128GB variant, which is likely to be a limited release. On paper, the Mi 5 is slimmer and thinner than say the Samsung flagship smartphones. While the design is getting positive remarks from the reviewers, the overall fit and finish seems to be just below the expected mark.
“Playing with it, and handling it for a week, we must admit we are falling in love. The Mi 5 is one of the best looking smartphones to date, with exceptional looks and design,” the GSMArena team writes. “The Xiaomi Mi 5 has the best grip among all other dual-glass smartphones we’ve met – snapping pictures, browsing, talking – there was not a single moment we feared we may drop it.”
The Verge’s Vlad Savov though writes about how he was able to pry open the rear panel, even though it is not supposed to be. “It’s not a feature Xiaomi advertises because the back is not supposed to be removable though the good news might be that you can easily reattach it, like any plastic cover. Let s just say there s room for improvement in Xiaomi s quality assurance department.”
Both sets of reviews say that the white color variant is the better of the two, since the black color variant is prone to smudges and dust.
The Mi 5 is among the first set of smartphones to be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 chipset. And let’s just say that the performance will be the least of the worries. Performance is silky smooth, and the Snapdragon 820 processor is said to be much better than the previous-gen Snapdragon 810 processor in most aspects.
“The 820 processor […] makes the Mi 5 capable of playing any game or taking on any processing task with ease. For my purposes, the most important part of that is simply the phone s responsiveness, which is generally fast and hard to criticize,” Savov writes.
“The new Snapdragon 820 chip lives up to the expectations and delivers stellar performance without depleting the battery in a flash. What’s even better – the S820 is much cooler than its predecessor and won’t give you headaches on games or benchmarks,” the GSMArena team writes.
On the photography front, the Mi 5 is equipped with a 16-megapixel rear camera with Sony IMX298 sensor and 4K video recording capabilities. It also features PDAF, 4-axis OIS and dual-tone LED flash. Up front, there is a 4-megapixel selfie camera with 2-micron pixels for better selfies. While on paper, the Mi 5’s cameras seem quite capable, Savov doesn’t feel the same way.
“It s supposed to be a “true flagship camera,” but it rather left me underwhelmed. Having experienced the glories of LG s V10, Apple s iPhone 6S Plus, Google s Nexus 6P, and Samsung s Note 5, I just can t look at the pictures the Mi 5 takes and be impressed,” he writes.
The Mi 5 is capable of recording 4K videos, and thanks to 4-axis OIS, the videos are quite stable and look good. “The amount of resolved detail in the videos is high, but not the best we’ve seen. The colors are accurate, the contrast is high, while the dynamic range is a slightly above the average,” GSMArena writes. Recording videos in 1080p though is not as great, and the team noticed issues with focusing and lack of detail.
Underneath is a 3,000mAh battery with Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 support. Adding the efficiency of the Snapdragon 820 chipset, and Doze mode on Android Marshmallow, the Mi 5 has a stellar battery life.
“From the start of a busy day until late in the evening, I m consuming roughly a third of the Mi 5 s battery, and it takes me as much as 22 hours to go through half of it. One day s use is easy, and two days aren t out of the question with some judicious power management,” Savov writes.
LTE connectivity is great on the Mi 5, and one of the reasons is Qualcomm’s X12 modem. “I don t think I ve seen better LTE performance from any phone I ve tested yet. Voice calls were another highlight, with my brother asking me if I m reviewing a new phone because I sounded better than usual,” Savov writes.
The overall verdict is largely positive, and reviewers agree that the Mi 5 is by far the best smartphone Xiaomi has made till date. It may have a few missing features like waterproofing or microSD card slot, but the Mi 5 has a lot that more than makes up for it.
“Xiaomi made it easy for us. The Mi 5 is one of the most beautiful, most powerful, and most capable smartphones to date and there is little to dwell on it. If the Mi 5 is available in your geographic region, our recommendation is to grab one right away,” GSMArena concludes.
“At a time when HTC has cynically fallen in line with other iPhone copycat makers, it s heartening to see others like Xiaomi putting the strength of their convictions behind their latest devices. I ve used almost every smartphone introduced over the past six years and the Mi 5 still feels fresh and distinct in its own particular way,” Savov concludes.