How does Xiaomi, the 'Apple of China,' match up against Apple? Xiaomi could be poised to take a bite out Apple in the smartphone market with the release of the Mi 5. But for now, we'll take a preliminary look to see how they match up. Should Apple be worried? We think so. Find out why in our Xiaomi Mi 5 vs iPhone 6S comparison.
Xiaomi Mi 5 vs iPhone 6S comparison: design
With past Xiaomi devices, there was uproar over the design being too derivative of iPhones, which I always considered to be unwarranted. There is nothing for iPhone diehards to complain about with the Mi 5. The design of the device looks far different to the iPhone 6S. Put simply, the Mi 5's design is more stylish.
The Mi 5 has a sleek, clean design and the body is ergonomic with a comfortable feel. Its metal frame and glass panels meet seamlessly and achieve a creative balance that you can admire.
The design of the Mi 5 is different from the iPhone 6S. If anything, the Mi 5's is better
The iPhone 6S is no doubt an attractive phone, but it has a bulky feel. Apple went too far in curving the edges and corners. Xiaomi decided to make the Mi 5 more edgy and this gives it a better look and feel.
The Mi 5 is one of the lightest flagship phones on the market at just 129 g. That's a whole 14 g lighter than the iPhone 6S. The lower weight contributes to the superiority of the Mi 5 feel.
The Mi 5 camera sits inside of the frame and that makes it easy to set down flat on surfaces. The iPhone 6S has a camera that sticks out of the back of the phone; a design flaw that takes away from its functionality and aesthetic quality.
The home button and fingerprint scanner of the Mi 5 is oval and fits with the overall design of the phone. The round home button on the iPhone 6S may fit with the overall rounded build of the phone but is bulky and unnecessarily large.
The only design area where the iPhone 6S outshines the Xiaomi Mi 5 is the interface. The Mi 5's icons don't have any depth and look cartoonish while the 6S's have more of a shaded look and seem more three-dimensional.
Xiaomi Mi 5 vs iPhone 6S comparison: display
The Xiaomi Mi 5 comes with a crisp and bright 5.15-inch 1080p (427 ppi) HD LCD display. The screen takes up around 73 percent of the phone's front. It features a sunlight display feature that optimizes the display in bright outdoor conditions.
The iPhone 6S's display does not match up against the Mi 5's at all. The LCD screen is 750 x 1,337 pixels (326 ppi), far lower than the Mi 5. The screen is smaller, 4.7 inches, and takes up only 66 percent of the front of the body.
Xiaomi Mi 5 vs iPhone 6S comparison: camera
We already discussed how the camera design of the Mi 5 is superior. The Mi 5 camera is housed inside of the device and allows it to lie flat on a surface while the iPhone 6S camera sticks out of the body. But it doesn't stop with the design; the entire camera system on the Mi 5 is better than on the iPhone 6S.
The Mi 5 houses a Sony-designed 16 MP IMX 298 main camera. The iPhone 6S, on the other hand, comes with a 12 MP main camera. The Xiaomi Mi 5's camera system comes with a 4-axis camera system that makes focusing so much better than the iPhone 6S.
Xiaomi Mi 5 vs iPhone 6S comparison: battery
The Mi 5's battery is about twice the size of the iPhone 6S battery. The Xiaomi Mi 5 has a non-removable 3,000 mAh battery and the iPhone 6S has a 1,715-mAh battery. The 3000 mAh battery seems to be a 2016 Android flagship standard.
This complete superiority cannot be overlooked. It underlines the problems Apple has with battery life and how Android is making better and longer lasting devices in general. Something else that is noteworthy is with the Mi 5 you get greater battery capacity but still have a lighter device than the iPhone 6S.
Xiaomi Mi 5 vs iPhone 6S comparison: software
The Xiaomi Mi 5 came running Android 6.0 Marshmallow right out of the box. The newest version of Android OS is a small step up from Lollipop, but it does have one new interesting feature: Doze. Doze increases the standard battery performance of the device, something smartphones on Lollipop struggle with.
The iPhone 6S comes with iOS 9, a small upgrade from iOS 8. iOS 9 has a simplistic, minimalist and accessible feel, but if you want something with more customization possibilities Marshmallow is obviously the better choice.
Xiaomi Mi 5 vs iPhone 6S comparison: performance
The Xiaomi Mi 5 comes with the powerful Snapdragon 820 processor running at 2.1 GHz. This is backed up by 3 GB of RAM and 32 or 64 GB of internal storage (depending on the model). The performance of the device is fast and reliable with only a few bugs.
The Apple A9 processor runs at 1.84 GHz, a lower speed than the Mi 5. It's also supported by only 2 GB of RAM, 1 GB less than the Mi 5. While the iPhone 6S comes with a choice of 16, 64 or 128 GB internal memory, the Xiaomi Mi 5 Pro (a small upgrade in terms of price) also has 128 GB of memory.
Xiaomi Mi 5 vs iPhone 6S comparison: price and conclusion
The most affordable version of the Xiaomi Mi 5 (32 GB) can be purchased for around $499. The iPhone 6S currently runs for about $649. That's pretty obnoxious when you consider we are comparing apples to apples here.
The incredible price disparity underlines a big problem for Apple. The Xiaomi Mi 5 beats the iPhone 6S on almost all fronts. An argument could be made that a higher Mi 5 price would be justified, comparatively.
Xiaomi's availability issues in the US have hindered its prospects of capturing an easy market opening. When Xiaomi does get its smartphones onto the US market, we could well see a sea-change happen, with customers flocking to its superior, and significantly cheaper, phones.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments.