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Xiaomi Mi 4i Teardown by Hugo Barra, User FAQ Answered

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Mi4i Teardown

The Xiaomi Mi 4i is an incredible piece of engineering, and we can say that after watching the device being torn down. You cannot obviously sit down and compare this with phones like the ones made by Vertu. We are strictly talking of a mid-range phone that has been made very well, packed with so much internally, under that thin and compact chassis.

The Mi 4i Teardown Video

We were a part of an internal teardown meet by Xiaomi, where the Mi 4i’s unibody was no more a “unibody”, as we got to see how well the motherboard, battery, USB port and the speakers were packed under that slim body, and why Xiaomi went with the One-glass-solution, rather than the standard display and touch panel covered by a protective glass.

Check the Xiaomi Mi 4i hands-on to know our initial thoughts about the device.

Few things that you won’t find in the video, but which we asked and got answers from the Xiaomi team, specifically related to the device that were asked by our followers on social networks, are given below.

Q. What about the color options?

A. Only the white one will be sold for the first couple of weeks (i.e. at least, two flash sales). And only the White and Black units are going to have a good smooth matte finish, while the other ones like orange, pink and sky blue are glossy and will retain fingerprints, not good at looks as well.

Q. Why is there no MicroSD card slot in the Mi 4i?

A. The size of the SIM slots already take up a lot, and that’s what Xiaomi claims to be a reason why there is no MicroSD slot, though we’d have loved to see one as a Nano SIM slot doubling as a MicroSD one. There are some devices already doing that, and Xiaomi should try and do that in the next flagship, at least.

Q. I am left with no option anyway for storage. How much is the user-available storage?

A. Out of the 16GB ROM, about 10.91GB is what we see available after a reset, so you are getting no more than 11GB to use for the apps and media.

Q. Will we see a 64GB variant available anytime soon?

A. As of now, the company says they are looking at user’s feedback to learn whether there is a lot of interest for the larger storage variant, and then come up with the decision. It looks more like obvious that the Mi 4i will have a 64GB variant coming up later on, but not before a few flash sales of the 16GB one.

Q. Is the current MIUI the final look of Lollipop on Mi Devices?

A. Yes, by the looks of it. It is Android 5.0.2 on the Mi 4i, and sadly that looks no different from what the MIUI 6 on other devices look like. Of course there are some new features introduced but the interface by looks doesn’t change.

Q. Is MIUI upgradeable to MIUI7, under development by AOKP team and Xiaomi?

A. That was, seriously, an April Fools prank by both of them, and they are not working on anything like that, or the MiKangy as they had named it back when the news was announced. And it is too early to talk about the update to a future version, this being the first device with Lollipop OS.

Q. Does the Mi 4i have a Gorilla Glass 3 protection?

A. No, but this according to Xiaomi, isn’t less stronger than that. Two reasons, first is that the screen is made by Corning (who makes Gorilla Glass), and second, that it is OGS (one glass solution) where three units, i.e. display, touch panel and the screen protection which is made strong enough to match the rigidness and scratch resistance offered by Gorilla Glass 3. Although they were confident that it can resist some accidental falls, don’t expect us to do that to test the toughness.

Q. What is Visual IVR?

A. IVR is “interactive voice response”, but that is being made easier with the Visual IVR feature. It did look very handy because it saves time while you are calling a customer care number of particular service, for example, Cleartrip. You don’t really have to wait for the voice to speak out the entire sentences before entering the choice. There is a visual menu on the screen shown for you to select, and it fastens the process as the phone itself presses the appropriate number.

Q. Is the Sunlight display always turned on?

A. Yes, it doesn’t work with a manual setting. That’s the good thing about it. Although you have the Auto brightness setting available for pumping up the screen brightness whenever actually needed, the Sunlight display is turned ON without any user control. Whenever you get into a much brighter condition, i.e. sunlight, you will see the darker sections of the content shown getting brighter, while the already bright ones not changing. That’s how you might see it naturally.

Q. Heating issues with Snapdragon 615?

A. Too early to say about that, but the previous experiences with other smartphones having a Snapdragon 615 SoC have been bad – Yureka, Galaxy A7 and HTC Desire 820. All of them heated up quite a lot, but according to Xiaomi, it is the second gen. Snapdragon 615 that is said to tackle heat and not hurt the user experience.

Q. How can one call this a flagship?

A. Understandable that Xiaomi shouldn’t have called this a flagship, but they have several meanings for the same. They say, this is a flagship “first” for India, and nothing wrong in doing that. First to have the latest OS version, better battery backup, a 64-bit octa-core processor can make it look like a better one, though there are some compromises are also seen. Nevertheless, given the price, not many might like to call it a flagship. But, do we care about what company wants to call it?

Q. The battery is not user-replaceable?

A. No, just like the Mi4, you won’t see a removable back cover, and thus the battery cannot be removed by the user in Mi 4i. The SIM card slot is on the side of the phone.

Of course, there should be a lot of other questions for potential buyers of Mi 4i, and we’ll use the phone for a few days before coming up with the review to let you know whether the device is worth the price.

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