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Xiaomi Mi 4i Hands-on, Initial Impressions

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Xiaomi Mi 4i Hands-on

Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 didn’t fare well for me. The few devices we used recently, i.e. Yu Yureka, Galaxy A7 as well as the HTC Desire 820 were good on performance but heated up a lot. Xiaomi’s new smartphone in the mid range category, the Mi 4i comes with the second gen. Snapdragon 615, and the company claims that the heating is not to that extent with this. That can be concluded only after we use the device for a few days, but to cut short and talk about my initial views on the Mi 4i, it is a mix of Mi4, iPhone 5c and still, good in all the ways.

The Xiaomi Mi 4i gave the similar thoughts that I had when using the Redmi 2 after having the Redmi 1s after a considerable amount of time. Compact, sleek and very much comfortable in the hand. Amazing how Xiaomi has been able to pack in, a 4.95-inch device in this size of a phone, and while we’re not too excited to see everything compared with the iPhone 6 at the event, the size does deserve the talking as the Mi 4i has the same height as the iPhone 6, which has a smaller 4.7-inch screen.

On the design side, I have thoughts on both ways. As good it is for the size, it disappoints by restricting the access to battery, and also by not having a MicroSD card slot, though they say it was due to space constrains. How different it would have been if Xiaomi had managed to have a nano-SIM slot, which could work as a MicroSD slot as well? but here, it’s a double MicroSIM slots in a single tray. What’s good? the camera doesn’t pop out, there are slimmer bezels, and the notification LED moves to the top, just beside the front-facing camera. The A6000 and A7000 were having the MicroUSB port on the top, odd location and less preferred, but the Mi 4i has that in the bottom.

Not just when that was being presented, but while the demos were being shown, I loved how the Sunlight display works. The bright areas in the content stayed the same, but only the dark ones were lit to make the content look like what it would have been to naked eyes. Will be interesting to see in the coming days if that actually has a practical use, and whether it saves power as claimed by the company.

Just to note, we aren’t seeing a Gorilla Glass 3 layer or any additional protection, but the glass provider “Corning” has made a OGS (One-glass-solution) display that is as strong as the Gorilla Glass 3, thus you won’t need to have a screen guard, the display resists them very well.

There was so less talked about the Android version, but more about the MIUI and its improvements, and that is so right because you won’t even notice that the Mi 4i runs Android 5.0.2 Lollipop OS, because the MIUI6 makes it look like the other Xiaomi phones. About 11GB of storage is available for the user, and no MicroSD card is a disappointment, seriously. Though, if you are still okay with it, the device supports USB OTG.

The 13-megapixel rear camera comes with the Two-tone flash for natural brightening of pictures taken in dark conditions, and what is more interesting, is the F/1.8 aperture stop for the 5-megapixel selfie camera. The UI isn’t much different, as we see the beautification and the age guessing algorithm on the screen, but the quality of pictures seem to have got improved, at least for the light conditions we checked it on – bright natural light. The focusing isn’t really swift in pace, but captures are taken and stored in almost no time, keeping the app ready for the next capture.

A high-density battery is packed in, with a big capacity of 3120 mAh, and although it doesn’t look that quick, Xiaomi says it supports quick charge (0-40% in an hour) and a full charge in three hours.

Whatever the improvements, the major question would be whether the Mi 4i is a better buy than the Mi4, given how the latter is powered by Snapdragon 801 processor, and has recently got a price drop to Rs. 18,000. Though, the Snapdragon 615 was always good with the performance, having a problem with the devices getting heated up quickly, and the octa-core processor with better clocking speeds than its first gen. one, is expected to do even better.

Anyway, the Mi 4i is totally an interesting device, and I’d be looking at what I am not impressed with, when there is a lot of “good” factors for this to sell, before coming up with the review. For the colors, only the Black and white have the matte finish, and white will be initially available. Won’t suggest anyone to go with the other color options, given how glossy and a fingerprint attraction they are.

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