Xiaomi MI5, almost impossible to give more for this price

After almost two years without knowing of its high – end, the Chinese giant Xiaomi introduced a few weeks ago its new reference model, the Xiaomi Mi5. He did it with the now classic arguments of the company: great specs at a very competitive price but with consideration for a distribution fully focused on their native markets, mainly China.

The new Xiaomi Mi5, the version with overall ROM, and we tell you then what we thought the new smartphone Xiaomi tightening to the high end but every day has more and better competition right where for some years he has wanted to reign and manufacturers with a presence in the West start with an advantage.

Xiaomi MI5

Xiaomi Mi5, Technical Characteristics

Physical dimensions 144.55 x 69.20 x 7.25 mm, 129 grams
Screen 5.15 inch IPS
Resolution 1080p (428 dpi)
Processor Snapdragon 820 (1.8 Ghz) // Adreno 530
Memory 32 GB (no microSD slot)
Software version MIUI Android 6.0 7 out
Connectivity Cat12 LTE compatible with Europe, VoLTE, NFC, Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi ac, GPS
Cameras Principal 16 MP (f2.0) with 4 axis stabilization Video UHD // // High 4MP
Battery 3000 mAh (non-removable) Quick Charge 3.0
Extras Fingerprint reader / USB Charging C


On paper, except perhaps choosing a 1080p panel, the remaining components of this Xiaomi Mi5 could be perfectly on the newest high range of any manufacturer. Even he dared to load USB Type – C. In addition, all in a glass finish and with very collected, especially by weight dimensions.

Premieres Snapdragon 820 with a generous helping of RAM and 32 GB of internal, although the mole does not have microSD slot is there. As for the camera, there are two elements to highlight: the stabilization of four axes and using the Sony IMX298 sensor with sapphire protection.

Incredibly light and comfortable but slippery

If the previous E4 Xiaomi and looked dimensions of scandal, the Asian manufacturer has given, the C is with the new MI5 and has become an incredibly lightweight and comfortable hand terminal. You learn that you are carrying.

The Xiaomi Mi5 weighs only 129 grams. If that number does not tell you anything, the Galaxy S6 we found one of the lightest smartphones in our test (136 grams) overcome by this Chinese smartphone. In addition, all using materials such as glass, metal frames or a huge battery. If we add the thickness of 7.25 mm, the result is a smartphone 5 – inch screen that hand is a joy.

Touch is also quite nice for the use of glass in the back and curved metal frame on the back, making it much easier grip. However, that back is one of the improvements to be solved because it is only thanks to its narrow width that Xiaomi is not all the time on the floor.

The glass of the back does not give us no grip, or by texture or by frames chords, and just leave it on hand or inclined to see how continuously sliding surface. If we add a strong vibration, we suggest you take a long careful where you leave the terminal because a call can cause considerable displacement of the equipment if the surface is very smooth.

Where better to scratch the Xiaomi Mi5 is in hand, given its low height and width (Xiaomi very well overall with frames), and remains one of the terminals 5 inches easier to use with one hand.

The version we tested is basic with glass protection Gorilla Glass 4, and both sight and touch, the feeling is to be playing an ordinary plastic material. The downside is that I think that overall this is a robust and well – built terminal that can hold up well over time.

The design also must say that I think has little personality . Both front and rear curvature reminiscent of models from other brands. It is time, beyond the logo, we can associate Xiaomi its own design language. But it will be difficult if China wants to leave safely and maintain a more competitive price than rivals.

USB-C port and fingerprint reader as a novelty

In the frames are all connections offered by this Xiaomi Mi5. The port 3.5mm headphone is on the top left, accompanying an infrared port that fits into the idea of ecosystem Mi want to get their different products. There is TV Mi, so this port and the suite to control the TV (and other equipment) make much sense in this Mi5.

Slot include SIM cards is located on the upper left side frame, and we draw a tray using a tool, leaving access to a slot for two Nano sim. Both are operational but one of them is only for voice.

On the opposite side is the power button and volume control, both with the good tour and finish. However, I found that the situation on the volume button on the side does not help us to manage the volume up and down comfortably. A shame because MI5 can be handled very reliable way with one hand and had it been placed on the opposite side would have been much better.

If we go to the bottom of the frame are the speaker, which is not stereo even though by design there are two areas (left actually only has holes), but that sounds good, though without fanfare. For sound two notes: on the box did not find these Mi5 headphones and comes without FM radio, we know that there are users who value particularly.

Between these two false stereo speakers is the charging port. Here Xiaomi itself has been brave and has placed a USB Type-C port fast charging. You know what desire directly reversibility but also you have to think of yourself with a pair of cables more because in one case only comes standard with the corresponding wall adapter, no microUSB adapter indeed.

In the design of the Xiaomi Mi5, I want to focus on two important points. On the one hand, we have the start button elongated horizontally and physical type. In it has located a fingerprint reader that is fast scanning and identifying our footprint, but this week of use with MI5 has not been many successes, at first, something they have to improve. The best of the fingerprint is enough to identify a pulse and is quite fast.

Flanking this start button have two touch buttons, one to go back and another to go to multitasking (which is shown as icons in a row, which wasted quite entire screen while it gives us easy access with one hand to go switching between applications as well as free RAM information we have, one of those details that we like MIUI). No sign of them except for one LED those lights when necessary in each.

Already in the back, you are the camera, which with dual LED flash and the logo of me is all we found on the rear glass. Although the quality of the camera I will speak later, there is a detail about it at the design level. The first is that it seems more serious, and is nothing but its situation on the edge too . It is literally around the corner and is easy to gather them up the terminal in landscape mode to take pictures and finger end up hindering the taking.

On the other hand, the protrusion of the camera does not exist, a good achievement of Xiaomi carries sapphire protection, so a priori, and although that part is very exposed, should not cause problems.

A bright screen with trick

The Xiaomi Mi5 not only is spectacular at first sight for its design (which is corroborated when we take it ) but also when we turn on the screen. Here we have an IPS panel 5.15 inch we could find perfectly in a terminal with twice the price.

Mi5 Xiaomi screen has good colors and angles of complete vision, and contrast is very correct. It does not reach the AMOLED but it is spectacular. The resolution has left Xiaomi in 1080p; a good choice given that offers a pixel density of 420 dpi, which guarantees perfect visibility in terms of sharpness.

Another very good thing Xiaomi screen Mi5 is its luster. Are more than 600 nits allowing a very good outdoor viewing even in direct light? In addition, the minimum brightness is excellent, and down in manual mode, the brightness is dark almost full. Automatic brightness is reliable and fast, but slightly lower than in manual mode.

A detail that draws attention Xiaomi screen Mi5 is that, at first, glance, seems to fail excellently dimensions. Almost if you look it is easy to appreciate a black frame around 1.5 mm and the entire panel, both the sides and the top and bottom. When the black background is not what we see on the screen, an artificial edge that is evident and blights the big screen something we have encountered in this Xiaomi Mi5.

The screen has at the rear, Gorilla Glass protection 4 and is laminated. In the strange case of the color of the screen does not convince you, there in the configuration possibility of changing profiles of temperature and saturation, but we were next default automatically.

Power and autonomy to highlight

Presented at the MWC 2016, Xiaomi Mi5 was the first terminals this year they have chosen the latest and most powerful Qualcomm processor inside. Along with 3GB of RAM, this Mi5 power is guaranteed with the use of Snapdragon 820 SoC with dual-core 1.8 GHz and Kyro to two 1.6 Ghz. Adreno GPU 530 as is.

Evolution does not focus on more cores and yes efficiency is very welcome. Although the model we tested is the basic, we can improve performance with 820 to 2.15 GHz in the 64GB model, and up to 4 GB in the exclusive version with 128 GB of internal memory and rear ceramic finish.

With the experience of last year in the Snapdragon 810, we have been very careful in testing MI5’s response when he was called for the utmost in benchmarks, using the camera or playing. In addition, while there is a logical warming, we can forget all problems of excessive heat because we have not noticed anything out of what is already found in other terminals when they are required the most.

On a day to day, we have not had any problems or delays fluency with MI5 under Mini 7. The response is immediate actions, multitasking works as it should and games there assured performance .

The standard internal memory is 32GB, choosing models 64 or 128 GB. However, in all cases, there is no microSD card slot, a small disappointment for the user. In the 32GB model and despite the high customization and applications preinstalled by Xiaomi, the space available for the user around 25 GB nothing on the computer.

The Xiaomi Mi5 has WiFi connectivity as cat12 and LTE bands. In our case, we have not had problems with configuration, connectivity, or classical operators or with OMV.

If the Xiaomi Mi5 performance easily meets, it does even better with autonomy. Its battery is 3000 mAh, which together with an efficient processor and improved energy management of Android 6.0 has left us is not phablet smartphone with more autonomy than have tested and a reference to follow.

In the autonomy test, PC Mark has given us one of the highest scores we have seen in our laboratory over 11 hours. In real terms, we have translated in two days of autonomy with moderate use and easily over a day and a half even being very intensive user terminal. In addition, all this without using any energy management.

The huge 3000 mAh battery features quick charge courtesy of Qualcomm. In our test we have managed to achieve the first 25% charge in just 15 minutes, reached its maximum capacity in just over 90 minutes.

Miui 7: The opposite side of a clean Android

One of the peculiarities of terminals Xiaomi is its operating system. Yes, it is Android, but does not seem too. At least not compared to the version on which the Chinese giant builds a fork or version that juts to the bottom of the most used operating system in the world. Just the opposite that we are in the Nexus and Android clean.

In the Xiaomi MI5 opens Miui 7 out Android 6.0. Customization is very powerful and leaves much control in the hands of the user but to change profoundly alter Android. Menus, default applications, notifications or options, among others, are trademark (china) and this implies that we find an awful lot of many focused applications and native services in China, the native market of the company. In addition, we have encountered alerts to use different third – party applications with which Xiaomi has agreements.

The Xiaomi Mi5 we tested comes default with global ROM, which means we have two default languages: Chinese and English. It will take still some time until other languages have a place in the interface, but Xiaomi, as part of its business, is in the software and cloak on Android, he has put many difficulties in the latest version to install custom ROMs easily, and something yes you could in earlier versions. Now they take precedence absolutely global ROM, input that does not come with Google services or the Play Store installed , and neither leaves nor easily add directly.

In addition, many of the applications or parts of the interface still in Chinese, so it is not a smartphone that an average user will be able to use comfortably for now.

In Miui 7, we continue with the idea of simplicity, flat design and a lot of customization. Moreover, with the very frequent updates that are part of the DNA of the company and a value that appreciate his followers. Users who like ROMs and fiddling in vain to find options like, but whomever little-complicated life.

A promising camera

Xiaomi has never been cut when to boast camera. In this Xiaomi Mi5 has chosen one of the best sensors available in the market, the IMX298, a creation of Sony which features 16-megapixel resolution but also progress as interesting as the approach defection phase and technology to avoid light pollution between pixels nearby. However, the media has been the premiere of stabilization adds to the usual three axes, which in theory should help us get videos and most spectacular night shots where you can play with manual controls.

Processor with a beast, as we have seen, the camera Xiaomi MI5 develops very fast in all facets. It is fast opening, focusing and shooting, as well as recovering between shots despite 16 MP resolutions thanks to the quality of internal memory used by Xiaomi.

Taking pictures, we have met with good catches but slightly behind the best smartphones market. In scenes with good light detail that solves the processing seems to us less than we would expect from a resolution of 16 MP, and we see suffering in scenes with a lot of dynamic range, where it costs quite balance taken to avoid or very dark areas or burned . HDR mode only meets but correctly, although it will fascinate those who prefer a soft HDR and not over the top.

When they reach, the Xiaomi night scenes sensor boasts Mi5 but suffers from point light bulbs and processing has enough room for improvement. Here again, we note the excellent assembler that is the Asian manufacturer but contributes little to make the most of. A tip: between camera options there are three intended to personalize the results of the photographs varying the contrast, saturation, sharpness and even.

In video mode, with the possibility of recording 4K, we can take photos while recording, but that option is disabled by default and must go to the menu to have it. A detail that we liked is that we can pause the video recording at any time and continue later.

The video quality is worth when we recorded at maximum resolution, but we have not appreciated difference in normal shooting freehand regarding smartphones with three – axis stabilization and there are strange movements in all recordings we have done the test. In any case, video recording is not among the best in the segment, and suffers especially with the dynamic range, with much-burnt scenes and abrupt changes of exposure should also be able to control better Xiaomi.