Xiaomi Mi 4i Review
The Mi 4i is Xiaomi’s latest flagship smartphone that features a 5-inch FHD display, Snapdragon 615 octa-core CPU, dual-SIM with dual LTE connectivity, and Android Lollipop. It was launched in the country last month for under Php10K. With lots of competitive Android smartphones under the same price bracket, can Xiaomi’s flagship come out on top? Find out by reading our Xiaomi Mi 4i review.
Design and Construction
When it comes to design and build, the Mi 4i is a looker. It has a 5-inch full HD display on the front mounted with full-laminated Corning Concore glass for protection. Situated above the Mi 4i’s screen is the 5 megapixel front camera , earpiece, and the light sensor. Found below are three illuminated capacitive buttons for navigation.
Looking at the left side you will see the SIM card tray which can accommodate two Micro SIMs. Both SIM slots can support 4G LTE connectivity.
On the right side are the buttons for volume and power / lock. These buttons are made of plastic with metallic finish but are firm and provide good tactile feedback.
Located right up top is the headset jack while down at the bottom is the microUSB port with support for USB OTG and the microphone.
Flip the Mi 4i on its back and you will see the 13 megapixel camera with f/2.0 aperture, dual-tone flash, and the secondary microphone. Further down is the Mi logo and the speaker grille.
On hand, the Mi 4i is comfortable due to its slim profile (7.8mm) and light weight (130g). The polycarbonate unibody has a high-quality feel to it similar to an iPhone 5c but instead of glossy it features a matte finish which feels nice as well.
Display and Multimedia
The Mi 4i sports a 5-inch IPS screen with full HD resolution or 441ppi. It uses One Glass Solution (OGS), full lamination technology and protected by Corning’s Concore Glass. The result is a display that is crisp, vibrant, with accurate colors and great viewing angles.
Aside from the mentioned features above, the Mi 4i also has what Xiaomi calls the Sunlight Display. According to the company it uses “hardware-level algorithms to adjust contrast for each pixel in real time, dramatically improving readability in sunlight.” In other words, the display can retain its quality even under the harshness of the sun.
That being said, the Mi 4i is a good multimedia device that is good for watching movies and viewing photos. As for audio, the speaker that is located on the lower rear is capable of producing decent sound quality with sufficient loudness.
OS, UI, and Apps
Running the Mi 4i’s software department is MIUI 6.6.6 Stable that is based on Android 5.0.2 Lollipop. The UI is clean, straight-forward and easy to navigate. The icons, on the other hand, are flat and colorful but doesn’t look toyish.
The Mi 4i comes with a number of pre-loaded apps but mostly are from Google like Chrome, Gmail, Maps, Play Music, Play Movies, etc. There’s WPS Office as well for productivity and two choices of keyboard apps – SwiftKey Keyboard and Google Keyboard.
Perhaps the bigget weakness of the Mi 4i is the internal storage. At 16GB with only 12.77GB of usable storage with no microSD card slot, it’s not exactly going to hold much especially if you’re heavy on videos, music and photos. On the bright side, there’s support for USB OTG flash drives which you will have to buy for yourself.
The Mi 4i is equipped 13 megapixel camera with Sony or Samsung-made sensors and a maximum aperture of f/2.0. Images captured by the camera fall in average to good quality.
Details are good, great HDR quality, and it has relatively fast auto-focus. On the negative side, there are times when the Mi 4i uses a slower shutter speed even when there’s sufficient lighting, this results to images that are slightly blurred. As for colors, there are times when images come out bland and not as punchy as we expect them to be.
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The Mi 4i’s camera also comes with a number of features which are handy for every day shooting – Manual mode, Panorama, Timer, Hand-held Twilight, HDR and Beautify. There’s also the Refocus feature which allows you to capture a photo and adjust your focus afterwards. However, it only works well in ideal scenarios like in bright conditions and there are distinct subjects in the background.
As for its video recording prowess, the Mi 4i can shoot videos at 1080p resolution at 30fps in MP4 format. It can also record in Time-lapse mode, Slow motion, and HDR. Quality-wise, it’s sharp and has good dynamic range. Take a look at the sample below:
Performance and Benchmarks
Powered by a 1.7GHz 2nd-gen Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 octa-core 64-bit CPU, Adreno 405 GPU, and 2GB LPDDR3 RAM, the Mi 4i is snappy and can handle light to heavy tasks well. Apps launch fast and even the benchmark apps we have to run seem to finish quickly. As for gaming, we’re glad to say that the Mi 4i is a solid performer as graphic intensive games run smoothly.
Below are the benchmark scores in Performance mode:
* AnTuTu – 40,160
* Quadrant Standard – 25,566
* Vellamo – 2,588 (Chrome Browser), 1,045 (Metal), 1,428 (Multicore)
* 3D Mark Ice Storm Unlimited – 7,924
* Temp while playing games – 41-C
Another great feature of the Mi 4i is its support for Dual-SIM, Dual-LTE connectivity. Meaning you can use two LTE-enabled SIM cards from two different networks on the Mi 4i. As for call quality, we didn’t encounter any problems as everything is loud and clear.
At 3,120mAh, the Mi 4i carries a larger battery compared to its predecessors, the Mi 4 (3,080mAh) and Mi 3 (3,000mAh). Partner that with the benefits of Android Lollipop’s Project Volta, the Mi 4i packs a good battery life that can last a mid to heavy user a whole day. We ran PC Mark’s battery bench and we got a result of 8 hours and 51 minutes. This puts the Mi 4i in 6th place of our list of Android Smartphones Ranked by Battery Life.
The Xiaomi Mi 4i is an Android flagship that offers a lot without breaking the consumers bank. It’s a got a great display, good performance, above average camera, dual-LTE connectivity, and a beefy battery. Although it features a plastic body, it is solid, attractive, and very well-made. The only disadvantage we see here is the lack of support for microSD cards. As a device good for multimedia consumption, 16GB is not enough. On the bright side, the Mi 4i doesn’t ask a lot when it comes to its price. At Php9,799, this makes the Mi 4i one of the best value smartphones in the market right now.
The Xiaomi Mi 4i is available at Lazada and authorized Xiaomi retailers nationwide. See Lazada’s listing here.
Xiaomi Mi 4i specs:
5-inch Full HD Sharp / JDI IPS display 441ppi
Full-laminated Corning Concore Glass, OGS, Sunlight Display
1.7GHz 2nd-gen Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 octa-core 64-bit CPU
Adreno 405 GPU
2GB LPDDR3 RAM
16GB internal storage
13MP Sony/Samsung, 2nd-gen stacked CMOS sensor, f/2.0 aperture, two-tone flash
5MP front camera, f/1.8 aperture, 80-degree wide-angle
Dual-SIM, Dual LTE, 3G, 2G Standby (micro)
WiFi 802.11 ac, MU-MIMO
Android 5.0 Lollipop w/ MIUI 6
138.1 x 69.6 x 7.8 mm
What we liked:
* Great build
* Attractive design
* Great display
* Good performance
* Good battery life
* Dual-LTE support
* Android Lollipop out of the box
* Affordable price
What we didn’t like:
* No microSD card support
* Limited 16GB internal storage