December 4, 2016
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The Xiaomi Mi 5 Review

The Xiaomi Mi 5 is a beautiful smartphone that doesn’t hurt your wallet, but how does it compare to other brands?

Almost everyone has a smartphone these days but trying to keep up with the latest trends in smartphone technology is a luxury. You will most likely spend a couple thousands of Dirhams to get that dream smartphone you’ve been pining for.

This doesn’t have to be the case, though. The Xiaomi Mi 5 offers the perfect alternative to an expensive smartphone purchase. With its sleek design and features that match even the top contenders in today’s smartphone market, the Xiaomi Mi 5 provides a good deal for any buyer on a limited budget.

Design

In terms of design and material, the Xiaomi Mi 5 comes in two variants. Apart from the Gorilla Glass 4 screen, the basic unit has a “3D Glass” back with 3GB of RAM, and 32GB (Standard) and 64GB (Prime) internal storage variants. The Pro model has a ceramic back with 128GB internal storage and 4GB RAM. In both versions, the back has tapered edges on both sides, but not the top and bottom edge, for a more comfortable grip. The smoothness of the material they used (glass and ceramic) and the tapered edges combine to make for a slippery phone, though.

The device is slightly smaller than Samsung’s S7, but it has a larger display and can still fit in your pocket. The Xiaomi Mi5 sports an almost all-screen front, like a proto-Xiaomi Mi Mix. It basically got ride of the bezel on both sides except the top (for the speaker and camera) and the bottom (for the home button). The screen is bright and sharp so you’ll have no trouble reading or browsing even when you’re outdoors.

Xiaomi-Mi5-2

Performance

The Xiaomi Mi 5 runs on Android OS, v6.0 (Marshmallow) but can be upgraded to Nougat eventually. It has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset and an Adreno 530 GPU. It’s really fast so you don’t have to worry about gaming or multi-tasking because it can sure take the load of multiple complex processes.

The basic or standard model has a Quad-core 2×1.8 GHz Kryo & 2×1.36 GHz Kryo CPU while the Prime and Pro edition have the Quad-core 2×2.15 GHz Kryo & 2×1.6 GHz Kryo CPU.

The Mi 5’s LTE performance is also superb. It can maintain a signal even if you’re in the lower levels of any building. The phone is responsive and its fingerprint scanner (at the bottom) may be one of the fastest and most accurate out there. Although some other phones beat it in the audio department, its speakers give off sound of an acceptable, satisfying quality. The sound quality, of course will be affected by its placement or how you’re using it at the time as the speakers are located at the bottom of the phone. Put it in a bowl though, and it will be great.

Xiaomi-Mi5-3

Special Features

The Mi 5 upped the ante in the photo department with a 16-megapixel camera. Now, 13 megapixels is already high in the market so 16 is pretty high res. Unfortunately, the camera doesn’t do well in low light. If you really want to take great pictures with its camera, you have to choose well-lit subjects and settings to get the most of the 16MP camera, but anything less than the optimal lighting will lack color sharpness.

Conclusion

The Xiaomi Mi 5 is like a Xiaomi Mi Mix Lite, with a screen that tries to push its limit to the side bezels but not top and bottom. It has an amazing display, a hi-res camera (though it doesn’t do well in low light), and a processing performance that performs very well under pressure, though its speaker system leaves much to be desired. Looking past the phone’s shortcomings, the Xiaomi Mi 5 with all its features for such a low price overcomes its flaws with flying colors.

Specifications list

  • Dimensions: 144.55×69.2×7.25 mm
  • Weight: 129 g
  • 1.8 GHz Quad Core Snapdragon 820 Processor
  • 3GB RAM With 32GB ROM
  • 5.15 Inch FHD Full Lamination Display
  • Dual Sim
  • 16 MP Rear Camera With Dual Tone LED Flash And PDAF
  • 4 MP Front Camera
  • 4G VoLTE/WiFi/NFC/Bluetooth
  • Infrared Sensor
  • 3000 MAh Battery
Design
4 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
Features
3.5 out of 5
Essentials
4 out of 5
Overall

The Xiaomi Mi 5 succeeds as a cheap smartphone with extremely fast processing and highly responsive screen control, scoring high on performance and essentials (though the camera and audio still have their flaws). It has a cool sharp design for eliminating as much bezel space on the sides though it doesn't have that wow factor. In terms of special features, it doesn't have anything innovative or really unique. This phone is pretty much on the safe side but can be held in high regard for having the right balance of cheap and high performance.

4.13

Good
4.13 out of 5