Xiaomi Launches the Mi 5 — All You Need to Know

Xiaomi Launches the Mi 5 — All You Need to Know

Xiaomi, one of the more controversial OEM’s around but someone we still respect for making cheap, affordable and still great hardware, put down its own horse in the flagship race with the launch of the Mi 5 at MWC 2016.

Xiaomi’s previous flagships have all been value for money devices, promising some top of the line specs at prices that the general public is more comfortable in parting with. The Mi 5 not only follows along this trend, but goes one step ahead and improves on it.

Starting off with the display, the Mi 5 packs in a 5.15″ FHD LCD display which Xiaomi claims is bright at 600 nits and consumes less power thanks to the 16 LED light backlight technology. Talking about the design, the Mi 5 sports a glass and metal build for the most part, with the top variant going for a ceramic back instead of glass. The backs also have a subtle curve near the edges, which reminds us of the same on the Samsung Galaxy Note 5. The front of the device, albeit painted to give the device a no-side-bezel look, sports minimal bezels on the sides, and a thin capsule-shaped fingerprint scanner and home button on the front.

Mi 5_Image 1

On the inside, the device bears true flagship like specs. Powering the entire setup is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820. There are three variants of the device varying slightly with regards the processor clock speed, RAM and internal storage. The base version, the Mi 5 32GB is clocked at 1.8GHz and bears 3GB of LPDDR4 RAM and 32GB UFS 2.0 Flash Storage. The Mi 5 64GB is clocked at 2.15GHz, and bears 3GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. The top variant, called the Mi 5 Pro and which bears the ceramic back, is clocked at 2.15GHz and bears 4GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. There is no micro sd card support on the device, so it is good to see Xiaomi do away with the 16GB variant and start the base variant at 32GB.

Mi 5_Image 2

Mi 5 CameraThe device packs in a 3000 mAh non-removable battery and comes with Quick Charge 3.0 support along with a USB Type C port. Even with a decently sized battery, the Mi 5 just weighs 129 g (for comparison, the Samsung Galaxy S7 weighs 152 g). The Mi 5 also boasts of full NFC functionality for both reading and writing. Unfortunately, there was no mention of other features like wireless charging or water resistance, so we to assume that these are absent on the device.

Xiaomi spent some time talking about the camera on the Mi 5. The rear camera packs in a new 16MP Sony IMX298 sensor with PDAF and Deep Trench Isolation technology, which is a pixel-to-pixel technology for cleaner color separation, which should help prevent light bleed during image capture. The device also boasts of being the first commercial device to sport 4-axis OIS (now with transversal stabilization), which helps it tremendously in eliminating shakes during captures. Here’s a video demonstrating the new OIS in the Mi 5 when compared to Apple iPhone 6S (no OIS) and the iPhone 6S Plus (traditional 2-axis OIS):

Even the front camera has seen improvements from Xiaomi. Now there’s a 4MP UltraPixel camera with large pixels for improved low light capabilities.

The Xiaomi Mi 5 will come with MIUI 7, which is on top of Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The device will receive weekly updates to MIUI, but this is not to be confused for Android version updates as these tend to reach the device slower owing to the heavy modifications needed for MIUI.

The Mi 5 will be available in three colors: black, white and gold. The Mi 5 32GB will cost CNY 1,999 ($306, ), the Mi 5 64GB will cost CNY 2,299 ($352) while the Mi 5 Pro will cost CNY 2,699 ($413). The device will go on sale on March 1st via Mi.com for consumers in China, with other markets scheduled after it. There is no confirmed date for arrival of the device globally, but since this is the first time Xiaomi has launched a device on a global platform like the Mobile World Congress, there is a good chance that the phone will reach other markets as well. But this is likely to happen later rather than sooner.

Mi 5

There is little to hate about the actual hardware of the Xiaomi Mi 5. The device is a very strong contender in the affordable flagship category, which will force the competition to rethink their strategy when they try to go head-to-head with this one. We hope the device becomes available soon on the global scale.

What are your thoughts on the Xiaomi Mi 5? Do you look forward to its availability in your region? Let us know in the comments below!

Check Out XDA’s Mi 5 Forum >>

About author

Aamir Siddiqui
Aamir Siddiqui

I am a tech journalist with XDA since 2015, while being a qualified business-litigation lawyer with experience in the field. A low-end smartphone purchase in 2011 brought me to the forums, and it's been a journey filled with custom ROMs ever since. When not fully dipped in smartphone news, I love traveling to places just to capture pictures of the sun setting. You can reach out to me at [email protected]