Xiaomi Mi 5 Review: A High End & Mid Range Phone

After releasing its Mi 4 flagship, Xiaomi kept its fans waiting for almost two years to unveil the next flagship, the Xiaomi Mi 5. The wait finally ended in Barcelona where Xiaomi introduced the Mi 5 flagship during Mobile World Congress 2016. The Mi 5 appeared during the MWC 2016 with no surprise as the devices itself and its various notable features have been discussed plenty of times since the first reports about its arrival. We will take a brief Xiaomi Mi 5 Review and try to find what is in the pack for us!

With most of its much-anticipated features on board the Xiaomi Mi 5 showed up at the MWC 2016 with eye-catching looks and much more for its maker to boast about. Launched besides some good names in the smartphone market like Samsung flagships the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge and LG G5, the Xiaomi Mi 5 carries most of the trending flagship features with company’s own trends and for low prices.

With an attractive design, achieved after a number of reshuffling in Mi 4 design elements, the Xiaomi Mi 5 comes with a 5.15-inch FHD IPS display, 16MP camera, powerful specs and software features. The Snapdragon 820 is trending in the newly announced flagships. The Xiaomi Mi 5 with Snapdragon 820 is going to compare with any of the recent flagships in terms of performance.

Besides these key areas, the Xiaomi Mi 5 is equipped with a number of other trending features including the updated Quick Charge 3.0 for fast charging and NFC connectivity for mobile payment. In this in-depth review, we will go through each of these areas to judge the Xiaomi Mi 5’s position in the rising flagship competition.


Xiaomi Mi 5 Design

Xiaomi Mi 5 is the stylish phone with premium looks

Xiaomi has expressed a good degree of adaptation for popular features to make its flagship a complete pack of style and features. Talking about the Xiaomi Mi 5 design, you can notice the same adaptation which Xiaomi has apparently borrowed from the successful flagships in the market. For instance, its camera on the upper back sets at the same position where we have iPhone 6 camera lens.

Another area of adaptation is the front bottom of Xiaomi Mi 5 where it has aspired Samsung’s Galaxy S6. The Mi 5 carries the elongated home button of Galaxy S6 with fingerprint scanner placed at the same position. Thus with these certain additions the Xiaomi Mi 5 features its own design concept with matching elements of both Apple and Samsung flagships.

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Apple and Samsung concept are popular and are in demand in the market but it is quite disappointing for Xiaomi fans that their favorite maker is copying high-end market leaders for basic elements on its flagships.  The rear panel of Xiaomi Mi 5 also carries some striking resemblances to the newly introduced Samsung Galaxy S7. The 3D glass or 3D ceramics penal on Xiaomi Mi 5 curves towards edges to bind elegantly to its metal frame.

Xiaomi however, has most of the design elements from its own concept with some key improvements. One good thing is the reduced body-to-screen ratio, which makes the Mi 5 much more impressive on the front face. The Mi 5 is also light weight, just 129g that makes it lightest flagship against Galaxy S7 and LG G5.



Xiaomi Mi 5 Display

The Xiaomi Mi 5 comes with the standard display size of popular flagships for impressive results. The 5.15-inch panel on Mi 5 looks nice with the improved body-to-screen ratio. Keeping the display size standard, Xiaomi has focused on its pixels count and colors for improved display results. The Full HD resolution and pixel density make its display results impressive.

For brighter display, the Xiaomi Mi 5 carries 600 nits of brightness with several other features that assist its display for the best results. We can expect a healthy brightness level with 600 nits as compared to the 900 nits on the recently announced LG G5.

To optimize the display results, Xiaomi has its own sunlit display feature. The feature optimizes the Mi 5 display to the best level according to the outdoor conditions. However, this feature with many other areas of Xiaomi Mi 5 is yet to be tested for the real-time performance. The overall firsthand experience with Xiaomi Mi 5 display shows appreciating results which would probably help the Mi 5 standing in the competition.


Xiaomi Mi 5 Interface and Software

The latest Android features are all there on the Mi 5 with Xiaomi’s custom users interface for additional feels. On the top, the Xiaomi Mi 5 comes out of the box with the Android 6.0 Marshmallow that gives it the latest Android features. The core features of Marshmallow including the Doze mode and open app permission system plays their part on the Xiaomi Mi 5. The Doze feature helps improving battery timing on your device with an intense control on battery juice consumption.

Besides the usual Android Marshmallow feel you will get Xiaomi’s custom touch with MIUI 7 interface. The custom Xiaomi interface brings some nice concepts that are much popular among the Chinese brands. For instance, the new interface has no app drawer and you will have the downloaded apps right on the home screen where you can group the apps according to your preferences. Its home screen management of apps without drawer works like Apple iOS.

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Xiaomi has focussed on its own software and the results are evident on the MIUI 7, which got some nice improvements over the years. On the Xiaomi Mi 5, we have the upgraded MIUI 7 interface with five different themes, nice customization options, and new effects.

xiaomi mi 5 4

Xiaomi Mi 5 Performance

Among the rumors, which surfaced hundreds of times before the official unveiling of the Xiaomi Mi 5, the powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 has been on the top. Finally, as per the speculations, we got the Xiaomi Mi 5 at the MWC 2016 with the Snapdragon 820 under the hood. The updated Qualcomm chipset makes it powerful enough to stand among flagships for a smooth performance.

The Snapdragon 820 chipset with 2.1 GHz processing power comes with different RAM and storage options. You can have the Xiaomi Mi 5 with 3GB RAM while the Mi 5 Pro Model will provide you 4GB RAM. While for storage options you can purchase the Xiaomi Mi 5 with 32GB or 64GB internal storage while the Pro model is available with 128GB.

Besides the powerful performance, the new Snapdragon 820 is also set to solve the fatal overheating issue of preceding Snapdragon 810, once for all. There have been serious issues reported over the last year regarding overheating of the devices running the Snapdragon 810 chipset. In addition, the new Snapdragon 820 version of the chipset is less energy consuming than the preceding version.

Though the real performance of the Xiaomi Mi 5 will prove later when the device will go out to the public but until now in brief hand on, the performance of the Xiaomi Mi 5 has been appreciating.  With Adreno 530 GPU it handles heavy graphics for fine multimedia and gaming experience. Current flagship devices are all fighting for the best gaming experience. Xiaomi Mi 5 also stands in the line with its powerful specs.


Xiaomi Mi 5 Camera

As we mentioned in the introduction, the Mi 5 camera is among the key areas besides the display, design, and specs where Xiaomi has planned to compete with other flagships. The Xiaomi Mi 5 is equipped with Sony made IMX298 camera on its rear face. It carries a 16-megapixel camera, which is shortened than none of the rival flagships in pixel count. Besides the pixel count, the Xiaomi Mi 5 comes with a 4-axis optical image stabilization for sharper images.

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For selfies, Xiaomi has put a 4-megapixel camera on the front face of the Mi 5 which some nice features to assist you for nice shots.  Its front camera comes with a f/2.0 aperture lens, which is capable of capturing 80-degree wide-angle selfies. The wide-angle selfies are getting more common with recent flagships, so the Xiaomi Mi 5.  The rest of supportive features are put on Mi 5’s camera interface which is easy to use and also carries some nice options in the menu.


Xiaomi Mi 5 Battery 

Finally getting to the battery, we can find a 3,000mAh to power the Xiaomi Mi 5 for a heavy performance of a good flagship. The 3,000mAh battery with advanced power saving modes Xiaomi Mi 5 can go for a good length of time without asking for recharge. As we mentioned, the Marshmallow Doze mode and battery friendly Snapdragon 820 chipset further improve the battery timing on the Xiaomi Mi 5.

Like other popular flagships, the Xiaomi Mi 5 is also equipped with the latest Quick Charge 3.0 for fast charging. The upgraded version of Qualcomm Quick Charge gives the Mi 5 20 percent faster-charging capacity than the Quick Charge 2.0. It can recharge the Xiaomi Mi 5 battery to 90 percent in just one hour.



The arrival of Xiaomi Mi 5 marked the end of two-year long wait following the launch of Mi 4 flagship. As expected, with heavy features, powerful specs, and stylish design Xiaomi Mi5 seems to be a device worth waiting. With impressive display, Snapdragon 820 chipset, good RAM and storage options and equally powerful camera the Mi 5 have all the potentials to entertain its aspiring users.

Xiaomi has targeted a larger market with its Mi 5 flagship to extends its scope of smartphone beyond selected markets. The Mi 5 seems to be equipped enough to stand with the Samsung and LG flagships and help the company to set up its bases in the high-end markets. Yet we are to test the Xiaomi Mi 5 for its performance in real time but considering the impressive specs on paper it will probably be nothing short of expectations.

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