Xiaomi’s phones are uncommon sightings inside the USA, but the company’s industry dominance in China and increasingly India (exactly where this Mi 5 goes on open sale tomorrow – 1 June) signifies a lot of additional men and women are starting to hear of Xiaomi. Not officially sold here, the only way you will get your hands on a single is via unofficial channels. GearBest supplied our Xiaomi Mi 5 for assessment. Also see: Best phones 2016.
Also see: Greatest Black Friday Phone Deals
The Mi 5 sits in the top of Xiaomi’s line-up, and is actually a worthy competitor to the iPhone 6s, LG G5 and Samsung Galaxy S7, but at half the cost. It lacks some features of these phones, for instance an always-on show, modular design, removable battery, microSD help and waterproofing, but in all other respects this can be a true next-generation smartphone with performance to match.
Three versions from the Mi 5 exist. A version with 3GB of RAM comes with either 32- or 64GB of RAM (we’ve reviewed the 32GB version here). There’s also a Pro edition having a ceramic physique, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, which has been shown to score in excess of 140K points in AnTuTu – that is faster than any telephone we’ve tested. Also read our full Xiaomi Mi6 critique
The entry option reviewed here is still crazy-fast, having a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor nestled under its gorgeous, brilliantly bright and virtually edge-to-edge 5.15in IPS screen. The Mi 5 is gorgeous, a mix of glass and metal with a style somewhere amongst the Galaxy S7 and iPhone 6s.
A 16Mp Sony IMX298 camera sits flush to the phone’s rear, and with four-axis optical image stabilisation and phase-detection autofocus the Xiaomi can take some amazing images and video.
Connectivity solutions are robust with dual-SIM 4G help, alongside an IR blaster, dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth four.2, USB-C in addition to a new fingerprint scanner hidden inside a physical Residence button. A 3000mAh battery, that is good for a day’s use, is insanely rapidly to charge with help for Qualcomm Swift Charge three.0. Also see: Best dual-SIM phones and dual-SIM buying guidance.
Setup for UK users is easier with this Mi 5 than any Xiaomi telephone we’ve tested previously. Though it runs MIUI 7, a customised version of Android Marshmallow, it takes actually moments to set up the Google Play shop from the preinstalled Mi app store and start employing the phone as you’d any other Android – albeit with no sign in the familiar Android app tray.
Let’s take a closer look in the Xiaomi Mi 5. See all smartphone critiques.
Xiaomi Mi 5
XIAOMI MI 5 Review: Cost AND UK AVAILABILITY – How much Would be the XIAOMI MI 5?
Our Xiaomi Mi 5 came from GearBest, which stocks all three versions with the Mi 5 in white, black and gold. We tested the white Mi 5 with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, which can be at present available for £263.75 (note that costs will fluctuate everyday at grey-market web-sites). Shipping to the UK is no cost, but note that you simply should really spend import duty on something you obtain from China, and you’ll be billed for this in case your parcel is stopped at Customs. We have been charged an more £40.73, which includes 20 % of your phone’s value around the paperwork plus a £10 disbursement charge.
(In our practical experience with DHL it’s going to send you the parcel before you get the duty bill. Do not be fooled into considering this means you have got away with it.)
Even together with the import duty on best, the Xiaomi Mi 5 presents superb worth for any flagship smartphone – specially offered that its rivals cost in excess of £500. The distinction with this phone is you won’t get it on contract in the UK, but whilst you could pay much more up front you’ll save big amounts of cash should you also switch your contract to a SIM-only deal.
And, on that subject, O2 shoppers and those of piggyback networks like GiffGaff should note that they are going to not obtain 4G on this phone. With no help for band 20 (800MHz), which can be O2’s only 4G band, essentially the most you will get is 3G. Buyers of other mobile operators needn’t be concerned, because 4G LTE bands 3 and 7 are supported. Also see: Ideal Android phones 2016.
Xiaomi Mi 5
XIAOMI MI 5 Review: Design and style & BUILD, SCREEN
Xiaomi’s Mi 5 feels awesome in the hand. In common with all the Samsung Galaxy S7 it has a Gorilla Glass four front and rear, with the left and right rear edges tapered to give a comfortable fit inside the hand. This phone is thinner and lighter, though, just 7.25mm and 129g.
While this rear panel can apparently be replaced really should you crack it, the insides are not user-accessible. The SIM (two Nano-SIMs when you like) is loaded via a slot tray in the phones best left edge, even though the 3000mAh built-in battery may be non-removable but it’s incredibly rapid to charge.
Unlike the Galaxy S7 there’s no camera bump at the rear, nor curved glass at the front: the Mi 5 is flat as a pancake, save for the ever so slightly raised Household button. That is the first time we’ve seen a fingerprint scanner built into a physical Property button on a Xiaomi phone, and it works very well – quickly to recognise your touch and unlock the device.
Either side sit back and recent buttons. These aren’t labelled, and you can switch them around to suit how you want to use the phone.
Xiaomi Mi 5
The screen bezels are practically non-existent, resulting in an extremely premium-looking style. There’s not a single rough edge around the chamfered metal chassis, and save for its non-waterproof physique we are seriously struggling to find fault with the style. The white model we tested even battles fingerprints incredibly successfully.
The screen is really a standout feature. When some of Xiaomi’s rivals are fitting Quad-HD panels with always-on tech, Xiaomi’s display is merely full-HD (1920×1080, 428ppi). You wouldn’t know it. It’s pin-sharp, brilliantly vibrant (600cd/m2), bursting with colours and has very great contrast. Pixel-level adaptive contrast and Sunlight Show makle it easily visible in all scenarios.
Either side with the bottom-mounted USB-C charging- and data-transfer port are speaker grilles, though there is just the one particular speaker on this phone. It’s usefully loud, though, and we found it to be of acceptable quality to get a phone speaker.
And in the other end: an IR blaster. Such an under-rated feature and, intriguingly, removed from Samsung’s latest Galaxy S-series flagship.