Xiaomi Mi 5 Review
With the introduction of the Xiaomi Mi5, the company has once again proven that they can pull off one big hit after another. As they continue to provide flagship devices at almost half the usual asking price of other global brands, it’s no wonder the company has attracted such a growing diehard fan base.
Xiaomi has been known to make really great phones at an affordable price. The first time they officially entered the Philippines, the Xiaomi Mi 3 sold really well that people were buying them and selling them for a higher price due to high demand.
There are three variants of the Mi 5 with slight differences in the hardware configuration. The base configuration has 3GB of RAM and 32GB internal storage, followed by a 3GB RAM and 64GB storage with a slightly faster Snapdragon 820 processor. The 3rd variant, labeled as the Mi 5 Pro, comes with 4GB of RAM and 128GB storage. What we got is the base configuration with 3GB/32GB combo that costs about Php15k as sold in China.
For the purpose of this review, we got the 3GB/32GB variant which we bought from Widget City (see listing here).
Design and Construction
The Mi 5 brings that same great design and solid hardware at an affordable price tag. The design was inspired from the bigger Mi Note that was released last year, only smaller with just 5.15-inch display. The glass front and back panel sandwiched in a metal frame design is very similar to the Samsung Galaxy S7 especially with the tapered back and over-all design construction.
It looks very nice, clean yet elegant. The slim body (just 7.24mm) and polished finish makes it very slippery on the hands. We’ve had several instances that the device slides off an uneven surface very easily due to that glossy finish at the back. One will definitely need to get at least a bumper case for this one, just to be on the safe side. As a consolation, the tapered back provides more surface grip when held on one hand.
The power button and volume controls are on the right side while the SIM card slot is on the left side. The SIM tray supports two nano SIM cards but there’s none available for a microSD card. That means you’re stuck with about 25GB of usable storage if you get the 32GB variant.
The 3.5mm audio port is up top along with the IR blaster which you can use as a universal remote control for your home appliances. The USB Type-C port is down below along with the loudspeaker. We’ve had reservations about USB Type-C since it was first introduced in a few smartphones (due to its rarity and expensive 3rd party cables) but we’re hoping it becomes a standard in all handsets.
Up front is the 5.15-inch display in full HD resolution and protected by Gorilla Glass 4. The 5MP camera is up top along with some sensors and the speakerphone. At the bottom corner is the Home button that also serves as a fingerprint scanner. It’s a bit slim and harder to reach when holding the handset with one hand but the sensor is pretty accurate and can accomodate up to 5 unique prints.
At the back is the 16-megapixel camera that uses a Sony IMX298 PDAF with 4-axis OIS as well as a dual-LED flash. The lens is recessed and flat on the surface but is flushed quite much on the top left corner that we sometimes accidentally cover with our fingers when taking photos. There’s no dust or water resistance (IP68 rating) but we’re not complaining.