Xiaomi Mi 5 unboxed, first impressions
Chinese smartphone vendor, Xiaomi, unveiled their latest flagship handset last February 24 and they started shipping them this week. We managed to grab one to review and check how this Php15k smartphone fares.
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.
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 heavy demand.
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 material design.
The power button and volume rocker are on the right side while the SIM tray is on the left side. While there is dual-SIM capability, there is no option to expand storage via microSD card so you’re stuck with about 25GB usable space when you pick up the base 32GB model.
The 3.5mm audio port is up top along with the IR blaster. The loudspeakers are found at the bottom with the USB Type C charging port. The Mi 5 came with a USB-C cable and charger but there’s no earphones (you’ll have to get the Mi Piston earphones separately).
At the back is the 16-megapixel rear camera which uses a Sony IMX298 sensor. Xiaomi did a good job that there’s no protrusion of the module from the glass surface, a design challenge that Samsung has yet to solve with the Galaxy S7.
The 5.15-inch display has a full HD resolution and 428ppi pixel density that looks gorgeous and very bright. The edge-to-edge glass display makes it seem that the Mi 5 is almost bezel-less along the sides. While other flagship handsets like the Galaxy S7 and LG G5 have much higher screen resolution (2560×1440 pixels), the 1080p screen resolution of the Mi 5 is still at par and even gave the handset an advantage by pulling higher scores in device benchmarks.
The Home button also comes with a fingerprint scanner. It’s a bit slim and harder to reach when holding the handset with one hand. The device supports superfast charging which translates to around 80 to 90% charge in just an hour for the 3,000mAh internal battery.
The Xiaomi Mi 5 runs on MiUI 7.2.5 which is basically a customized version of Android 6.0 Marshmallow. It is a simple UI but very nice and clean with tons of themes available in the App Store. There’s no Google Play pre-installed and the ones we managed to install seemed to crash very often that we’re still looking for a fix.
We’ll provide you with more hands-on details and a video review tomorrow so watch out for it.
Xiaomi Mi 5 specs:
5.15-inch full HD display @ 1920 x 1080 pixels, 428ppi
Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor
Adreno 530 GPU
3GB / 4GB LPDDR4 RAM
32GB, 64GB / 128GB UFS 2.0 internal storage
4G+ LTE Cat12, up to 600Mbps
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
GPS w/ A-GPS, GLONASS
16-megapixel Sony IMX298 PDAF rear camera w/ dual-LED flash, 4-axis OIS
4-megapixel front camera
3000mAh battery w/ Quick Charge 3.0
Android 6.0 Marshmallow w/ MIUI 7
144.54 x 69.20 x 7.24 mm
Black, White, Gold
The Xiaomi MI 5 is not yet officially released in the Philippines but you can grab an early unit from Widget City.
Price update as of December 8, 2016: Xiaomi Mi 5 is now at Php14,000 for the 32GB and Php16,000 for the 64GB variant (see listing here)