Xiaomi Mi 5 A Great smartphone with Low price Tag
wo days removed from the other big smartphone announcements at the Mobile World Congress was Xiaomi’s Mi 5, the company’s first truly global flagship smartphone.Presented in in-depth detail by company CEO Hugo Barra, the new phone continues Xiaomi’s tradition of offering flagship features at a ridiculously low price, far cheaper than similar offerings from Samsung and Apple.
The 5.15-inch Mi 5 comes in several variants, all of which have a Snapdragon 820 processor, a 16-megapixel camera, a 4-megapixel, “large pixel” selfie cam and a 3,000mAh battery. The Snapdragon 820 is of particular importance here — it’s Qualcomm’s latest and greatest, said to be offering a 100% performance increase at just 50% the power drain (compared to the Snapdragon 810 line).
And though the design of all the variants of the device share a similar design — a bit like a reverse Samsung S7 Edge, curved back and a flat front — the 32GB and the 64GB variants have a glass back, while the top-of-the-line model, the 128GB Mi 5 Pro has a ceramic back. The Mi 5 Pro also has 4GB of RAM, while the cheaper versions come with 3GB of memory.
Other highlights include the camera’s 4-axis optical image stabilization — best in the business, Barra says — NFC support, Quick Charge 3.0 technology (offering 20% faster charging than the last generation of the tech), and a front fingerprint sensor that doubles as the home button, very similar in size and shape to the ones in Samsung.
The phone weighs 129 grams, and the variant I’ve tried out — the 64GB, glass back one — felt really light in the hand. The phone has extremely thin bezels, and the display is very visible in direct light conditions, thanks to Xiaomi’s Sunlight Display tech, which adjusts contrast for each pixel in real time. Overall, while it still lags behind Samsung’s new offerings in terms of the "wow" factor, it definitely looks and feels like a premium phone.
Barra said the Mi 5 is “likely” to be the first Snapdragon 820 phone you can actually buy — it’ll be available March 1 in China, with other markets coming soon. For comparison, Samsung’s Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, which also have a Snapdragon 820 processor, will be available for pre-order on March 11.
Despite all the technicalities we’ve heard, the most important feature of Xiaomi phones is the price, and the company did not disappoint here. The cheapest, 32GB version with a 3D glass body will cost 1,999 yuan or about $305 (Barra mentioned a $262 figure, but that seems to be the price without VAT). The 64GB version will cost 2,299 yuan ($352), and the ceramic back variant, with 128GB of storage memory and 4GB of RAM, is 2,699 yuan ($413). For a sleekly designed phone powered by Snapdragon’s best processor, that sounds like a bargain, but we’ll wait until we hear actual U.S. prices before we give final verdict on that.
Originaly Published on Mashable