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The Xiaomi Mi 5 is going to be a very big deal: it’s the new flagship phone from one of China’s biggest manufacturers, and it’s designed to take on the smartphone titans - so Samsung and Apple in particular should be paying close attention. Here are seven reasons to buy the Xiaomi Mi 5 if you’re lucky enough to live in one of its launch countries.

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The design is hardly shockingly different, but it looks reassuringly expensive. / © ANDROIDPIT

1. It’s astonishingly cheap

When you convert the Chinese launch prices to US dollars it’s clear that the Mi 5 offers extraordinary value for money: the cheapest model has 32 GB of storage and a 3D glass rear panel, and weighs in at about $305. The Pro, which has 4 GB of RAM and a 3D ceramic back, is hardly more expensive at US$413. Unfortunately the only confirmed launch countries are India and China, so you’ll have to pay a little more to get your hands on one if you don’t live in or won’t be visiting either country. But even then, US$400 plus whatever the seller adds on top is still well below the price of most premium smartphones.

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"The creatures looked from Mi 5 to S7, and from S7 to Mi 5, and from Mi 5 to S7 again, but already it was impossible to say which was which." / © Samsung / Xiaomi

2. Its looks are totally derivative

That’s a good thing, because while the Mi 5 doesn’t look astonishing in its own right it looks like the significantly more expensive Samsung Galaxy S7. If you’re going to make phones that look like other phones, you might as well copy the expensive ones.

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The software is Marshmallow with extra sprinkles. Do you put sprinkles on marshmallows?  / © ANDROIDPIT

3. It’s got the right software

The Mi 5 ships with Android 6.0 Marshmallow, so all the performance and battery optimization Google’s done is available to you - but on top of that there’s Xiaomi’s own MIUI 7 interface, which ditches the app drawer for something more iOS-y. The app drawer’s days in Android proper seem to be numbered anyway, so perhaps Xiaomi is ahead of the curve here. The interface can also be customized, and ships with a choice of five default themes and the ability to customize the capacitive buttons.

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Hey, Xiaomi! What kind of processor's in the Mi 5? / © ANDROIDPIT

4. It’s fast and roomy

Unless Xiaomi has made a huge horse’s ass of the Mi 5’s internals, it should be plenty speedy: the cheapest model has 3 GB of RAM and a 2.1 GHz Snapdragon 820 processor, while the Pro model gets an extra gigabyte of RAM. Storage is generous too: the standard models get 32 GB or 64 GB, while the Pro gets 128 GB. The Qualcomm processor should deliver better performance than the outgoing 810, and shouldn’t suffer from the overheating problems that have plagued that processor on various Android handsets. The official line is that this Snapdragon is 200% faster than the 810.

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The screen punches above its weight, and it's particularly good in bright light. / © ANDROIDPIT

5. It’s got all the things

The Mi 5 has 4G+ for download speeds of up to 600 Mbps, and it has dual-SIM support and VoLTE support for better quality audio in voice calls. There’s a fingerprint sensor for faster, more secure unlocking, and the screen has Xiaomi’s Sunlit Display for better viewing in bright lighting conditions.

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The Mi 5 is a heavyweight device that isn't very heavy. Well done, everybody. / © ANDROIDPIT

6. Battery life should be brilliant

The 5.15 inch screen is big but not ridiculously so, and that coupled with Marshmallow’s battery optimization and a more energy efficient processor should mean pretty good battery life than previous Xiaomi devices. Oh, and there’s a 3,000 mAh battery in there, which is at the bigger end of the spectrum among normal sized smartphones. It charges quickly too thanks to Quick Charge 3.0 support. Expect 80 percent to 90 percent charge within just one hour of plugging your phone in.

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The Mi 5's image stabilization makes rival cameras' shots look awfully blurry. / © ANDROIDPIT

7. Photo quality should be superb

The Mi 5 has a 16 MP Sony camera - the IMX298, SKU fans - and it boasts Xiaomi’s own 4-axis optical image stabilization for pin-sharp photos. The front facing camera is no slouch either, with 4 MP and an f/2.0 aperture that’s capable of 80-degree wide angle selfies.

Overall, then, the Xiaomi Mi 5 sounds like it delivers an awful lot of bang for comparatively little bulk, although of course we’ll save our final verdict until we can poke and prod it in our labs. But right now it’s looking awfully impressive. What do you think? Does the Mi 5 sound like the sort of device worth visiting China or India to pick up? Let us know below.

12 comments

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  • Ok you convinced me. So where can I buy it?

    • This is the biggest problem. I am very fortuate as my company has a production unit in Beijing so I can buy one at Chinese price, ok I have to install the Google parts when I receive but that is not too hard. Xiaomi are trying to push the market share of apple and samsung down in the Asia area, which is massive and not really interested in markets outside this area. There are third party sellers but the price just rockets (I have brought the 64 gig version for £250 and minimum I have seen from third party is £350 and tax etc may have to be paid on top of that) and of course if something goes wrong then it a long process in return and repair. Best site for buying for me is xiaomidevice.com but I have only had cases etc from there but their after sales seem to be well in place. Buying Xiaomi works for me but there are considerations to be thought of first.

  • again the same mistake... the design is not like the S7's... infact it is the other way round.. the S7 looks like mi note pro...

  • Dsulam 9 months ago Link to comment

    Any recommendations where to buy it?

  • Xiaomi Mi 5 is a latest smart device I think...

  • An Droid 9 months ago Link to comment

    This is like buying a VW Passat, and then spending your life trying to convince your mates that it's as good as their 3-series BMW.

    • But I don't have money to a 3 series.And vw Passat worth its price too

    • I don't intent to try to convince my Apple friends that this is as good as their phones, its for them to convince themselves that the extra money they have spent on Apple or other high cost brand is worth it. Its getting tougher to change from one system to another as your purchases and storage for your prefered phone (system) grows. I have been android for a number of years and would be difficult and costly to change now, not impossible but difficult. Xiaomi are growing at a great rate in a very saturated market with phones, tablets and other goods. I believe due to the way it works for me that Xiaomi are worthy of my money and prove that the mark up on the cost to manufacture to selling price can and should be closer.

  • I would like to buy one

  • Convincing enough!

  • 18
    anshul 9 months ago Link to comment

    May be one day I will have one. Due to it's price it will give tough competition to it's rivals. One thing matters a lot is built quality both internal & external.

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