Xiaomi Mi5 was launched today in India after a week long tease. The latest smartphone from Xiaomi is already getting a lot of attention from the press as well as the fans. After emerging in India as one of the hottest new companies with the Mi3 a couple of years ago, Xiaomi has faced some challenges in the high end segment. The Xiaomi Mi5 is priced at INR 24,999 for the entry level 32 GB / 3 GB RAM version.
The Mi4 was not as big a hit as the company would have liked, but the Xiaomi Mi5 is already being touted as a serious competition against the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S7. Considering that the Redmi Note 3 has been a massive success in all the flash sales held so far, Xiaomi has generated a lot of interest in the Mi5 too. However, how is the phone like in real life? We were at the Xiaomi Mi5 India launch event to find this out.
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Xiaomi Mi5 Photo Gallery
The Xiaomi Mi5 looks stunning. Coming from the Mi3 a couple of years ago, Xiaomi has improved its designs by leaps and bounds. We have seen continuous progress in the company’s designs with the Mi4, Mi4i and most recently, the Redmi Note 3.
With extremely thin bezels on the sides, the Xiaomi Mi5 is a lot easier to hold than many other phones. The top and the bottom a slightly bigger than usual when it comes to bezels, but Xiaomi has worked around it with some smart designing. The front is quite minimalistic – with the 5.15 inch screen being almost edge-to-edge, there isn’t much going on on the sides.
Above the display, you will find the ear piece, front camera and the ambient light sensor. Below the display, the navigation buttons take up the space. The home button is a physical button, while the Recents and Back buttons are capacitive. Xiaomi has done this because the Home button also doubles up as a fingerprint sensor.
Coming to the backside, it is even more minimalist than the front. The only things you will find on the back are the camera, LED flash and the Mi logo. It’s empty otherwise, and thanks to the glass back, it looks beautiful.
The sides of the Xiaomi Mi5 are curved, allowed the front and the back sides to blend beautifully. A metal frame runs around the sides, allowing the phone to receive signals properly. At the same time, it also adds to the premium looks of the phone.
The right side of the Xiaomi Mi5 has the volume rocker and the power button.
The left side is bare, though.
The top of the phone houses the headphone jack and the second ear piece for noise cancellation.
The bottom of the phone houses the USB Type C port and the loudspeakers.
The Xiaomi Mi5 comes with Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box. On top of Android, Xiaomi uses its own custom skin called MIUI. The Xiaomi Mi5 comes with MIUI 7 which is the latest version. It is a heavily customized skin. Xiaomi has made it truly unique with its own extensive set of modifications and feature additions.
We have to say that MIUI 7 is one of the best looking custom skins out there. It looks very pleasing aesthetically. While it hides Material Design in almost its entirety, Xiaomi has made sure that it is worth it. It also runs extremely smooth, so you don’t have to worry about the performance.
Price & Availability
The Xiaomi Mi5 will be sold via flash sales. The flash sales will be held on the company’s own website Mi.com (and on their Mi Store app). Additionally, Flipkart or Amazon will also be selling the phones in India.
Comparison & Competition
The Xiaomi Mi5 comes with some of the best specs out there. It comes with a 5.5 inch Full HD display and runs on Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, the current flagship SoC from Qualcomm. With 3 GB or 4 GB RAM, ultra fast internal storage up to 128 GB, microSD card support, fingerprint sensor and Quick Charge 3.0, Xiaomi is targeting other flagships like the Samsung Galaxy S7 and the LG G5.
The Indian market is a very price sensitive one. With the Xiaomi Mi5 starting at INR 24,999, companies like Samsung and LG are going to face a lot of competition from Xiaomi.
Xiaomi is hitting back stronger than ever with the Mi5. While the last year has been a little dull for the company in the higher end segments, the Xiaomi Mi5 is going to be a runaway success. The only thing that can hold the Mi5 back is the flash sales and the general availability of the phone itself. If Xiaomi can manage the availability well enough, we have the 2016 winner here.