Yesterday saw the announcement of the eagerly anticipated 2016 flagship Xiaomi Mi 5 at the ongoing Mobile World Congress holding at Barcelona.
The Mi 5 isn’t your conventional device, but a thorough flagship offering, and the first time Xiaomi would be making a global stage handset announcement. With the device being the first of such global announcement, we could expect similar announcements in future seeing the huge interests shown to the Chinese OEM.
The physical properties (look and feel) of the Xiaomi Mi 5 are all high-end and speak ‘flagship’ loads. The design on the Mi 5 is trendy yet curved much like the fan favorite Xiaomi Mi Note which truly inspires the Mi 5 flagship, and thus resonates the design on the exterior.
On the round up, the screen display on Xiaomi’s flagship Mi 5 measures about 5.15″ IPS with a resolution of 1080p. The display features such additions as ultra-bright 16-LED backlighting (as opposed to 12LEDs), an upgraded Sunlight Display technology as well. There’s also promises of contrast adjustment on a per-pixel level. Just below the screen is the usual physical home button but this time which doubles as a fingerprint reader. This new addition is actually a first for Xiaomi.
Measurements on the Mi 5 are pretty moderate with total measurements of 69.20 x 144.55 x 7.25mm, which indicates the flagship Mi 5 is a bit thicker than it’s look-alike Mi Note. However, the Mi 5 is surprisingly light, weighing just about 129g even with weight of the 3000mAh battery included.
The regular Mi 5 flagship will have a 3D glass back, while there’s a higher end version called Xiaomi Mi5 Pro which will come with a ceramic back option.
If you are not too thrilled with the physical properties, get ready for some mega dose of treat, as VP Hugo Barra, who led the presentation himself, stated that the main treat of the Mi 5 hides under the hood.
A recurring theme during the presentation was speed. The phone is allegedly fast on a whole different level. In part, this is thanks to Qualcomm’s top of the line Snapdragon 820 SoC. This is backed up by 3GB or 4GB of fast LPDDR4 RAM for a snappy Android experience. Interestingly enough, the entry level 32GB one has a clock speed of 1.8 GHz and 3GB of RAM, the 64GB has the same amount of memory and a processor speed of 2.15GHz. The Pro simply adds another gig of RAM. Storage has also received a major upgrade with a focus on speed. Instead of using eMMC, the Xiaomi Mi 5 can be picked up with up to 128GB of UFS 2.0 memory, which promises significant increases of 80% and more over eMMC 5.0 (think what Samsung did with the Galaxy S6). The Snapdragon 820 chip also supports Quick Charge 3.0.
There is also a significant increase in network connectivity. Thanks to technologies like 3x Carrier aggregation, the onboard 4G+ or 4G Advanced is capable of theoretical Cat.12 LTE speeds of up to 600 Mbps. VoLTE is also included. NFC is now also smarter with card virtualization and write mode.
The camera setup on the Xiaomi Mi5 is also very impressive at 16MP with an aperture of f/2.0 and 4-axis optical image stabilization, which is a brand new technology as well. The sensor itself is the Sony IMX 298, which comes with phase detection auto focus and deep trench isolation technology. It is a worthy shooter for a 2016 flagship, and interestingly enough, Xiaomi has managed to fully tuck it inside the body, so there is no camera bump. Naturally, in combination with the powerful Snapdragon 820 chip, it can record 4K video as well. On the front, we have a 4MP UltraPixel camera – lifted from the Mi Note.
The Xiaomi Mi 5 is still running on the company’s famous and quite popular MIUI 7 OS, which is based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS.
Pricing of the Xiaomi Mi 5 starts at just $306 (CNY 2000). Being the lowest of the price lineup, you get some pretty cool deal including Snapdragon 820 chipset, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. If however you want a better memory space allocated to you, you would have to cough out $352 (CNY 2300), which would get you a whooping 64GB of internal storage. If you are not cut out for the regular Mi 5 and prefer the ceramic back version, then the Xiaomi Mi 5 Pro with a 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage could be your choice, but you would need to add about 100USD from the regular. Price of the Mi 5 Pro is about $413 (CNY 2700).
As it is currently, Chinese residents interested in any of the device could start placing orders, as pre-orders for the Xiaomi Mi 5 versions are currently open in China. The release date for the device is scheduled to be March 1.