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Xiaomi Mi 5 & Mi 5 Pro Hands-on & First Impressions

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Xiaomi today announced their much-anticipated device, the Mi 5 at MWC stage as well as in their homeland, China. With Xiaomi talking big games in sales figures since last year, all eyes have been to their latest device today. The Internet is buzzing with the talk of Mi 5. And we are here to give you exclusive scoop on how good or bad the new device is. Should you be upgrading to it or not, we answer all these questions in a bit.

The first thing that you need to know about is that there are two variants of the phone that are revealed today at the stage by Hugo Barra, the Global VP of Xiaomi. We are present at the launch event and had a quick go through with both models; Mi 5 and Mi 5 Pro. The first comes with a 3D glass back cover while the latter variant sports a 3D ceramic built back cover. What it means to use ceramic materials is that the device is highly resistant to crack and thereby making it quite the durable handset.

The company claims that it took them about two years to design this thing, and I would say those work inputs proved quite great as the device is a stunning piece of marvel. You can just feel the premium-ness, we especially liked the ceramic model, as it has a certain charm to it. Apart from the materials used in the back cover, most of the parts are similar between the two variants of the Mi 5.

Coming to the display, they both sport 5.15-inch 1080p display, as per rumours I was expecting to see a 2K display, but Xiaomi yet again blew us away with what they can do with a 1080p resolution screen. It touts 21 patents being done on the display alone, by that you can understand how much innovation company has done on this display. The brightness level on this display is at 600 nits, it may be reflective under sunlight, but the content is clearly visible. Expect heavy media viewing on this handset, when I use it as my daily driver. And what’s interesting is that despite its larger screen size and 3000mAh battery as well, its 14 grams light than iPhone 6S at 129 grams.

Under the hood is Snapdragon 820, which is all that Hugo Barra was talking about at the stage, and it indeed is the first device that’ll be going on sale first, thus making it the first smartphone to ship with the latest flagship chipset from Qualcomm. We had just a quick walk through with handset, can’t comment much on the performance right now, but Manu Kumar Jain (India Head) Sharing antutu score 142,084 of the Mi 5 is just insane. It just through every smartphone right out of the window, although, it’s not the only device sporting SD 820 processor, we are hoping to get Samsung Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, LG G5 and a couple few devices in a room to find out who has the fastest SD 820 performance. We will get to that when we have the review units. With a great combination of 3GB RAM/32GB Storage and 4GB RAM/128GB storage, we just think it’s quite brilliant, considering their respective pricing.

On the software front, it is the first Xiaomi device to ship Android Marshmallow out of the box. The MIUI 7 ROM is enhanced to quite an extent, and it was surprising to learn that there are more people working on the MIUI than the hardware stuff at Xiaomi. So, it really is an internet startup focused on creating fans via MIUI, rather than a hardware company. Talking about the camera package, it has a Sony Exmor IMX298 sensor on the rear, which is a 16MP module, we didn’t play much along with it, but the interface seemed quite familiar, falling in line with other Xiaomi handsets. The rear camera features include 4-Axis OIS, which is apparently the most advanced optical stabilization technique in the market right now. As well as it uses PDAF (Phase Detection Autofocus) for taking quicker snaps. At the event, it wasn’t a pleasing environment to test the camera. So, you can check out some camera samples shared by the brand at the stage.

Talking about the battery capacity, it has a 3000mAh battery, which is said to be enough to last a day and considering Xiaomi didn’t go for a 2K display, it might actually give a better battery life. Moreover, we also don’t know if the SD 820 is a power hogging processor or not, well Qualcomm claims it’s a power efficient processor, but we’ll wait before commenting on its battery life and performance as well.

The idea of having a fingerprint sensor on a smartphone is just a nice thought that Xiaomi had this year for the Mi 5. We really like the fingerprint sensor; it is concealed in the physical button, it quickly responded to touch. I’d say on par with most of the premium handsets with a biometric sensor. For a flagship device priced so well, I would say you can jump this wagon already. Though, it won’t be available anytime soon in the United States, or even in India for a fact. But if you do live in China or travelling there, then you’re in for a treat as the device starts its first sale in the country from March 1st.

This was our first impressions of the Xiaomi’s newly launched Mi 5 and Mi 5 Pro. Watch out for the video on same on our YouTube Channel. Stay Tuned in for more updates as we bring you more coverage from the MWC in Barcelona. We would really like some feedback about this device, are you excited about it? Let us know in the comments section below.

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