Xiaomi recently launched the Mi5 and the Mi5 Pro amidst much fanfare, both the devices come fitted with high end hardware and retail at nearly half the price of flagships from other brands. The Mi5 has been redesigned and Xiaomi are done away with the overtly boxy look of the phone, now the Mi5 comes with chamfered edges and additional bodylines running across the device thus making it sleeker and appealing than its predecessor. At 7.3-mm thickness, the Mi5 is considerably thinner than its predecessor which was 8.9 mm.

Xiaomi has baked in some noteworthy features in the Mi5 and being one of the most waited for phones from Xiaomi, the Mi5 comes with an impressive spec list. Let’s deep dive into this.

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1. The Mighty Heart

At the heart of the Mi5 lies the Snapdragon 820, the flagship chipset from Qualcomm. Don’t get fooled by the quad-core as the Snapdragon 820 has been blazingly fast, all thanks to the in house Kyro CPU architecture that would literally bless the device with 2X performance and a sharp decrease (50%) in power consumption as opposed to the Snapdragon 810. The 4GB LPDDR4 RAM is also expected to render a 100% performance spike over its predecessor, although it’s just the Mi5 Pro that carries it. Together, they garner a whopping 142,084 points on Antutu.

2.First Xiaomi Device with a Physical Home Button

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While we do agree that fingerprint scanners have been around the block for some time and now, it is becoming kind of mandatory for even the mid-range phones to have one. Unlike most of the Android phones, Xiaomi Mi5 comes with a fingerprint sensor embedded in the front physical button, much like Samsung Galaxy phones and of course, the Apple iPhones. Personally, we prefer the fingerprint sensor on the front than on the back, so yay Xiaomi!

3.Universal Flash Storage 2.0

UFS 2.0 – This was one of the technologies which was exclusive to Samsung until a Korean counterpart called SK Hynix announced last year that they would be manufacturing the same. The UFS 2.0 Flash Storage is based on the SCSI architectural model with the read and write storage speeds 87% faster than the EMMC flash storage, the effect of which will also boost the overall performance of the phone since it would be needing to access the storage on real time basis for running the apps and operating system.

4. Sony IMX298 and a 2-Micron Sized Front Sensor

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Xiaomi Mi 5 comes fitted with a Sony IMX298 16-Megapixel camera sensor capable of 4K recording and the front camera is a 4-Megapixel sensor with 2 micron large pixel snapper. Sensor size has always been the deciding feature on the cameras and although the 2 micron is still less as compared with the DSLR cameras, it is still a winning feature for the smartphone, for the sake of context iPhone 6s camera comes with a 1.22 Micron sensor. But then, it’s not the first time we have seen this. HTC made this popular as the Ultrapixel camera on their One M8.

5. First Phone with 4-Axis Optical Image Stabilisation

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The 4-axis Optical Image Stabilisation is aimed at reducing the blur whilst capturing moving objects and the Mi 5 is one of the first phones to offer the same. The very fact that Mi 5 offers both rotational and transversal axis OIS will also help it capture objects in low light condition to minimum blur. The bottom line, say goodbye to shaky videos and images instead let the OIS do its job and help you capture stuff jitters free.

6. 3D Ceramic and Glass Body

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The Mi5 Pro comes with a 3D Ceramic body instead of the glass back in the other variants. This feature is purely aimed at creating enhanced aesthetics allowing users to experience a marble like finish without adding to the bulk of it. The Mi5 has also kept the weight at bay and at 129gms it must be a graceful thing to hold in your hands. That being said, the Glass back also looks elegant and it is one of the premium most design seen in a Xiaomi device.

7. Full Feature NFC and IR Blaster

Xiaomi Mi5 heralds with full feature NFC, something that would be garnering lots of importance especially after realizing its ability to allow the users to transact, use phones as plastic money and the very ability to seamlessly communicate with other devices. IR Blaster is yet another connectivity feature that is high on utility, it can be used in tandem with an app to control all your appliances.

8. VoLTE Support

The Mi 5 supports VoLTE also known as advanced LTE, it is this feature that that boasts of up to three times more voice and data capacity than 3G UMTS and also doesn’t depend on the less efficient circuit-switched voice network.

9. Qualcomm QuickCharge 3.0 and Type-C USB

Keeping at pace with the current trends, Xiaomi Mi5 comes packed with a 3000mAh battery pack which supports Qualcomm QuickCharge 3.0 and needs to be charged via the USB Type-C. The 3000mAh battery pack will be just enough to drive the phone throughout the day and we feel this is one of the reasons why Xiaomi didn’t go with the power guzzling QHD display.

10. The Price Juggernaut

Xiaomi has tasted success with its strategy, pack the phone to the brim with the latest top of the line hardware and price it half to the competition. While some might still argue that Samsung and other premium flagships have edge over the Mi 5 when it comes to user experience, it is still the partial truth. MIUI has evolved a long way and it is one of the finest overlays we have come across, although many would say it’s noway near the stock Android.

The affordability associated with the phone is something that makes the buyers chip in for the device and the fact that it shares most of its innards with say other premium flagships makes it a sweet deal. The $262 sticker price for the base variant and the $354 for the ceramic variant seems to be well justified for. If you want to bet your money on the Xiaomi Mi5 before the reviews pour in, we think there is very little that can go wrong.


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Senior Author

Mahit Huilgol is a Mechanical Engineering graduate and is a Technology and Automobile aficionado. He ditched the Corporate boardroom wars in the favor for technology battle ground. Also a foodie by heart and loves both the edible chips and the non-edible silicon chips.