Xiaomi has finally unveiled its next flagship phone at a press event this morning, and from the design alone, it would be easy to confuse the device with a Galaxy S7. The seamless glass front surface features a pill-shaped home button, a solid metal frame with sculpted edges, and even the glass back which curves towards the edges. But don’t let that copycat form factor put you off. With a starting price of around $306 USD (¥1999), this smartphone packs in an incredible array of high-end features…
At the launch event, Hugo Barra took the opportunity to mock Apple and Samsung’s protruding camera units. Despite measuring just 7.3mm thin, the Mi 5 packs in a 16MP sensor made by Sony with built-in 4-axis optical image stabilization. What that means in simple terms is that it can keep your photo stable and blur-free even if you shake the camera left and right, up and down, forward and back, or if you tilt it up or down. It’s pretty impressive. And from previous official leaks, we can see it takes pretty good shots. It shoots 4K video too. The front facing camera is 4MP.
What really gives this device its flagship chops is the processor inside. Depending on which model you go for, you’ll either get a Snapdragon 820 processor clocked at 1.8GHz or at 2.15GHz. Either way, you’re getting Qualcomm’s latest, most powerful processor. The same processor is found inside both the LG G5 and certain versions of the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. 3GB of RAM on the two standard models ensures you’ll have plenty of available memory for all your processing requirements.
On the front, Xiaomi opted for a full HD 5.15-inch display over QHD. At 1080 x 1920 it still boasts an impressive pixel density of 428ppi, which is plenty sharp enough for a smartphone, unless you plan on using it a lot for VR. Other features include Quick-Charge 3.0 support, a 3000mAh battery, NFC and support for LTE-A with speeds up to 600Mbps. It runs Android Marshmallow with Xiaomi’s MIUI skin on top.
As I’ve eluded to already, there are two standard models and one ‘Pro’ model. Between them, there are two significant differences. The Xiaomi Mi 5 Pro comes with a high-end ceramic back rather than glass (similar to the more expensive OnePlus X), and has 4GB RAM. The pricing model reflects the fact that the ceramic back panel is far more expensive than the glass, but is still very affordable for a device of this caliber.
The Xiaomi Mi 5 Pro with 4GB RAM, 128GB storage and ceramic back costs ¥2699 (approx $413 USD), while the standard 64GB model with 3GB RAM costs ¥2299 (approx $352 USD). As mentioned, the 32GB regular model with under-clocked 1.8GHz SD820 will set you back ¥1999 (approx $306 USD).
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