The latest flagship from Xiaomi, the Mi 4 was announced on July 22nd in China, the same day as the Mi 3 went on sale in India. The phone isn’t expected to be released outside of China anytime soon, but we managed to get a brief hands on with the device, thanks to Xiaomi’s Hugo Barra, who was here in India over the weekend. There are just a handful (genuine) hands on videos of the Xiaomi Mi 4 on YouTube, and hardly any in English. So here you go.
On first look, Xiaomi Mi 4 is pretty, and has a striking resemblance to the iPhone, thanks to the new metallic chamfered edges on the sides. But the similarity ends there. The phone continues to have a plastic black, this time even more obvious than the Mi 3. Unfortunately, the back seems to be a fingerprint magnet, not something we were looking forward to. It’s a weird choice from Xiaomi to give a premium steel frame on side and sort of cheap plastic on the rear.
The Xiaomi Mi 4 definitely feels better to hold in hands, thanks to the smaller bezels on top and bottom. The device continues to be a 5-inch Full HD affair, but those slimmed down bezels along with slightly curved back, makes it a delight to hold in hands. Technically, the phone is 3 grams heavier than the Mi 3, but honestly we couldn’t feel that during our hands on.
Xiaomi Mi 4 vs Mi 3
Specs-wise, the Xiaomi Mi 4 is an incremental upgrade from the Mi 3. It now comes with a 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor and 3GB of RAM. It continues to have a 5-inch 1080p display, but the screen looks more polished to our naked eyes. The rear camera is again 13 MegaPixels, but now comes with f/1.8 sensor. Xiaomi has also added some software tweaks like Magic Focus, so the results are seemingly better. Front facing camera has got a major upgrade and is now an 8 MegaPixel Sony CMOS sensor with Auto-focus.
The device we had our hands on was still running the MIUI v5 on top of Android 4.4.3 KitKat. The latest version, MIUI v6 is expected to be released on August 16th, and we did manage to get a peek into how it looks and some of the basic features. Xiaomi requested us not to talk about it in public, so we shall only say that v6 looks better and has some added animations at many places. There were some default MIUI features missing, but we aren’t sure if that’s gonna be the case with the final build of MIUI v6.
So overall, as per our initial impressions, we can say that, if you own a Xiaomi Mi 3, you won’t miss much by not upgrading to the Xiaomi Mi 4, which is more like the Mi 3s! Of course, this is just based on a few hours of hands on, so wait for the full review of Xiaomi Mi 4.