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Xiaomi 14 Review

Xiaomi’s flagship series has always been heavily anticipated due to its specs-heavy line-up, but with a more competitive price point. In recent years, though, that hasn’t been the case. Well, at least for the price-positioning part.

However, they’ve invested quite a lot in more ambitious endeavors, like their partnership with Leica in the past two years. This remains to be at the heart of the Xiaomi 14 series launch.

So, let me explain why this smartphone and its triple-Leica camera system deserve another look in this full review of the Xiaomi 14.

Design and Construction

From the outside, nothing much has changed since the Xiaomi 13. It would be a bit hard to spot the difference between the two unless you inspect a little closer. We also liked this Jade Green colorway of our review unit.

The Xiaomi 14 almost looks and feels very similar to its predecessor, the Xiaomi 13 — same width and height, but this time the former is slightly thicker (8.2mm vs. 7.89mm) and teeny bit heavier (193 grams vs. 189 grams).

We get the same glass-on-glass body with a solid metal frame — Gorilla Glass Victus at the front and 3D curved glass at the back (the Black variant uses Asahi Glass exclusively).

It also has IP68 rating for dust and water resistance of up to 1.5 meters and as long as 30 minutes. Just don’t take it to the pool or the beach for a dip because there’s no guarantee against chlorinated water or salt water.

Xiaomi is looking for a cleaner profile along the sides so you won’t see any ports on the top or left side. The power button and volume rocker are found on the right side, while the USB Type-C port, primary mic, SIM card slot and speaker grills are on the bottom end. The second speaker grill is neatly hidden along the edge of the glass display at the top middle corner so you won’t notice it unless you look closer.

The metal frame is more prominent, with the front looking more flat while the glass back panel has a slightly tapered edge. This all-glass exterior and polished metal frame made the device very prone to fingerprints and smudges.

From a design perspective, I have to admit that we liked the Xiaomi 13 better than this one, primarily because it was thinner and the way they made the camera deco. But that’s just me.

Side note: That brushed rubber TPU case that came with the Xiaomi 14 looks exactly the same as the ones from the POCO X6 series, M6 Pro and the Redmi Note 13 series.

Display, Audio and Biometrics

The Xiaomi 14 gets the same 6.36-inch display as its predecessor with LTPO AMOLED, 2670 x 1200 pixel resolution and 460ppi pixel density.

Refresh rates can be set to dynamic (1-120Hz) or you can customize it to either 60Hz or 120Hz. There is a Sunlight Mode where the display further adjust the brightness range under very bright environments.

Xiaomi claims a much thinner bezel at just 1.71mm at the chin due to highly advanced FIAA technology that integrates panel circuits within the display instead of below.

It’s got a vibrant screen, great contrast, vivid yet accurate colors and very bright display that is still vieawable in the outdoors even under direct sunlight. Peak brightness goes up to 3,000 nits and there’s also the Sunlight Mode that enhances outdoor viewability of the screen.

For biometrics, you can choose between face unlock or fingerprint unlock. The fingerprint sensor is placed slightly lower on the screen and takes some time to get used to when holding with one hand. You also have to press firmly on the screen so it can register the fingerprint.

The Xiaomi 14 also comes with stereo speakers that are found at the bottom end and the top corner along the edge of the display and the metal frame. The audio here is pretty loud, and even at full volume, the sound clarity is spot-on, crisp and well balance with support for Dolby Atmos. Just don’t expect good bass from this one although we can definitely say that over-all audio performance is pretty good for playing music, watching movies or playing games.

Xiaomi also claims a 4-mic array on the device only three of which we were able to figure out. This array allows for better noise-cancelation for when making calls or recording videos for vlogs.

Camera

Last year’s Xiaomi 13 had a triple camera system, two of which are Leica-tuned. This year’s Xiaomi 14 has a similar triple-camera system and all of them are Leica-tuned. All three combined, you get an equivalent Leica Vario-Summilux 1:1.6-2.2/14-75 ASPH.

The main shooter is a 50MP Light Fusion 900 image sensor with a 23mm f/1.6 Leica camera. This sensor is capable of high dynamic range of 13.5EV and a native 14-bit color depth. The large 1/1.31″ sensor size is complimented with a 7p lens, and capable of taking 2.4μm 4-in-1 Super Pixel.

The second shooter is a 50MP (32MP, effective) 75mm f/2.0 Leica floating telephoto camera that supports 1x, 2x and 3.2x zoom.

The third camera is a 50MP 14mm f/2.2 Leica ultra-wide camera that has a maximum 115° field-of-view.

Check out some of the sample photos we took using the Xiaomi 14:

The phone can shoot up to 8K @ 24fps and or record in Dolby Vision up to 4K at 60fps. Here are some sample 4K @ 60fps video clips taken using the Xiaomi 14:

Right off the bat, we noticed some great improvements in the camera quality. Fast focusing, great low-light quality shots, great dynamic range and very smooth 4k videos. You can see all of that in the sample photos and videos we showed earlier.

There are still many features that came with the camera including the two photographic styles — Leica Authentic (left photos) and Leica Vibrant Look (right photo).

If there was something that felt underwhelming, we’d say it’s the 3.2x optical zoom.

The selfie shooter is a 32MP in-display camera with f/2.0 aperture and 89.6° field-of-view. You can adjust the framing to 1x or get a wider shot at 0.8x.

OS, Apps and UI

This is the first flagship device to run Xiaomi’s newest HyperOS system (the POCO X6 Pro is the first one we tried).

From the get-go, HyperOS isn’t that much different compared to MIUI 14. Even if you are a long-time Xiaomi user, you will have to inspect much closer in order to see any improvements or aesthetic difference.

Just to be more specific, we had to take our Redmi Note 13 Pro+ out and placed it side-by-side the Xiaomi 14 in order to differentiate the UI and other features.

In the Home screen, the icons have been changed a bit — less colors (Themes and Music icons), more depth (Photos, Security and Settings icon) and the icons are rounder.

Also, you will notice some icons have been re-designed like the Photos and Camera.

When you pull down the drop-down menu, there’s a lot of changes here as well. Xiaomi Smart Devices is now replaced with Google Home, they added a music playback widget, and icons no longer have any text labels which is a bummer.

Also, you no longer need to scroll right to get to see the other shortcuts because in HyperOS, it’s an infinite scroll down when you add more items in the shortcut menu.

A few more changes we noticed include the Weather app which has been re-designed to be more reflective of the actual weather conditions, the Tools app folder has been renamed System Apps folder and all the app icons have been redesigned in there as well.

Xiaomi claims some AI enhancement integrated into the device but so far the only thing we noticed is the AI Image Engine in the Display settings.

Perhaps, and most importantly, HyperOS did not have any pre-installed 3rd-party games or Chinese apps that we used to see with MIUI before so that’s a big relief.

Side Note: Xiaomi forgot to change the default file naming of screenshots so the one we took with HyperOS still has a file name with MIUI mentioned.

Performance and Benchmarks

Powering the Xiaomi 14 is the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset. This is comprised of a single-core, high performance Cortex X4 running at a maximum clock speed of 3.3GHz, another triple-core Cortex A720 @ 3.15GHz, a dual-core Cortex A720 @ 2.96GHz, and finally a power-efficient dual-core Cortex A520 @ 2.26GHz.

This is paired with an Adreno 750 GPU, 12GB of LPDDR5x memory and up to 512GB of UFS 4.0 storage. Our review unit comes in the 12GB+512GB combo. This configuration is very common among flagship devices and we expect performance to be top-notch across all aspects of the device.

During the testing of this device, we downloaded the entire suite of benchmark tools along with several heavy games (Diablo Immortal, Genshin Impact, Mobile Legends, Asphalt 9) that we used for gameplays. Then, we ran the benchmarks right after and during this time, the phone’s battery temperature rose to 50.8 Celcius while the CPU temperature went as high as 59.8 Celsius. Suffice it to say, the device was pretty hot to hold and this resulted in an initial Antutu Benchmark score of just 1,782,494.

We let the device cool down to around 40 Celsius, cleared up the RAM and ran the test again. This is where we got the highest score of 1,944,899 in Antutu.

Antutu Benchmark v10: 1,944,899
Antutu Storage: 4,070 MB/s (Read), 3,121 MB/s (Write), 1,511/1244 MB/s (Random)
GeekBench v6 CPU: 2,149 (Single core), 6,501 (Multi-core)
GeekBench v6 GPU: 13,817 (OpenCL), 16,358 (Vulkan)
PCMark Work 3.0: 15,181

These scores are significantly better than the ones we got from the Xiaomi 13 running a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset.

TestsXiaomi 14Xiaomi 13%age Increase
Antutu Benchmark v101,944,8991,257,95254.6%
PCMark Work 3.015,18114,6213.8%
Geekbench 6 Single-Core2,1491,38954.7%
Geekbench 6 Multi-Core6,5015,06628.3%

All these latest hardware combo makes the Xiaomi 14 perform very well, load up a couple dozen apps and not even choke thanks to the 12GB RAM and the additional 6GB of extended RAM.

However, from casual daily experience, you would not really feel nor see the difference in terms of performance. Well, at least, we saw how power-efficient the Xiaomi 14 compared to the Xiaomi 13 based on the battery tests we conducted.

Connectivity and Battery Life

As usual, Xiaomi 14 comes with a plethora of connectivity options. There’s dual nano-SIM with 5G support, NFC, Bluetooth 5.4 and WiFi 7 compatibility. SIM configuration can either be SIM1 + SIM2 or SIM1 + eSIM.

When we originally unboxed the device, we were looking for the infrared port at the top end but could not find it, thinking Xiaomi might have removed it in this version.

Surprisingly, the IR blaster is actually still there, inconspicuously hidden within the camera deco. This is why when you start the Remote app and pair it with your appliance, a few additional steps are required during the pairing phase.

With an internal battery capacity of 4,610mAh, the Xiaomi 14 can handle any tasks you need for the entire day and still has a few hours left for the next day. Of course, you’d be charging it using the 90W HyperCharge in just 31 minutes or with the 50W wireless charger for only 46 minutes.

In our PCMark Work 3.0 Battery test, the device scored 15 hours and 24 minutes at 50% brightness, zero volume and in airplane mode. That’s significantly better compared to the results we got with the Xiaomi 13 (13 hours, 0 minutes) and the Xiaomi 12 (11 hours, 41 minutes) under the same scenarios.

Using our own Video Loop Test, the phone lasted 29 hours and 10 minutes playing a full HD 1080p video at 50% brightness, zero volume and in airplane mode.

As for gaming, we played a couple ranked games in Mobile Legends that lasted a total of 38 minutes with 10% of battery drained at 50% brightness, 50% volume using WiFi connection. That translates to about 6 hours and 20 minutes of total game time in a single full charge.

In terms of charging, we still get the same old 90W HyperCharge wired charging and 50W HyperCharge wireless charging. Xiaomi did not mention this anywhere in the announcement or official materials, but the Xiaomi 14 also supports reverse wireless charging. The reverse wireless charging can be useful if you have two phones and one badly needed a quick charge or this is also useful for smart watches or earbuds that support Qi wireless charging.

They’ve included a Xiaomi Surge P2 charging chipset and Xiaomi Surge G1 battery management chipset, allowing the device to charge from zero to 100% in just 31 minutes (46 minutes with wireless charging).

Conclusion

Xiaomi seemed to focus on two important aspects with the Xiaomi 14 — first is the performance and second is the camera. That we know for sure. Whether that’s enough reason to jump on an upgrade is debatable.

However, like many other flagships released in the past year, the upgrades might seem incremental to others. Here’s what we know for a fact — the Xiaomi 14 is still a beast of a phone. It checks out everything you’d ever look for in a flagship smartphone. Top-notch performance, nice design, great display, impressive set of cameras and an improved battery.

Folks who would want a powerful smartphone in a compact form factor should definitely make the Xiaomi 14 among their top choices for a new flagship smartphone this 2024.

What we liked about it
* Impressive performance
* Super bright display
* Great camera quality
* Nice, beautiful design in compact size
* Improved battery life

What we did not like:
* Thicker and heavier than predecessor
* HyperOS feels underwhelming

Xiaomi 14 specs:
6.36-inch 1.5K LTPO AMOLED E6 panel @ 2670×1200 pixels, 460ppi
Pro HDR Display, Dolby Vision, HDR10+, HLG, 1-120Hz refresh rate , 3000 nits (peak brightness)
Corning Gorilla Glass Victus
Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset
1x Cortex X4 3.3GHz, 3x Cortex A720 3.15GHz, 2x Cortex A720 2.96GHz, 2x Cortex A520 2.26GHz
Adreno 750 GPU
12GB LPDDR5x RAM
256GB, 512GB UFS 4.0
Leica Vario-Summilux 1:1.6-2.2/14-75 ASPH
50MP Light Fusion 900 image sensor, 23mm f/1.6 Leica main camera
50MP/32MP (total/effective) 75mm f/2.0 Leica floating telephoto camera
50MP 14mm f/2.2 Leica ultra-wide camera
4K@60fps, 8K@24fps
32MP in-display selfie camera
5G, dual nano-SIM
WiFi-7
Bluetooth 5.4
NFC
GPS (Beidou, Galileo, GLONASS, QZSS, and AGNSS)
IR blaster
IP68 Rated
USB 3.2 Gen1 5Gbps port
Xiaomi HyperOS 1.0 (based on Android 14)
4,610 Li-Po battery, 90W HyperCHarge wired charging, 50W HyperCharge wireless
White, Black, Jade Green, Snow Mountain Pink
152.8mm x 71.5mm x 8.2mm [dimensions]
193 grams [weight]

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Avatar for Abe Olandres

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech with over 20 years of experience in the technology industry. He is one of the pioneers of blogging in the country and considered by many as the Father of Tech Blogging in the Philippines. He is also a technology consultant, a tech columnist with several national publications, resource speaker and mentor/advisor to several start-up companies.

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