Xiaomi, the leading smartphone brand in China and fifth-largest in the world, today unveiled its latest flagship device, the Mi 5. And as fans have come to expect from the Mi line, this year’s iteration stays true to the charm of its predecessors, pushing the limits of performance in a mobile form factor without asking for a lot in return. This year also marks the debut of the Pro version of the top-shelf Mi series.
High specs at a reasonable price: it’s the simple formula for Xiaomi’s Chinese dominance, and the company hopes it will remain successful in western markets where Apple and Samsung have had a chokehold on higher-end products. And while that may be the case, there could be a small wrench in Xiaomi’s rapid overseas expansion: the Mi 5 bears striking similarities to another upcoming flagship, albeit from a smartphone lineup that many Americans and Europeans have come to love and adore.
We’re referring to the Samsung Galaxy S7, in case you’re wondering — and yes, we’re aware that last year’s Mi Note Pro might have inspired Samsung’s previous designs. However, Xiaomi didn’t have to return the compliment, if you know what we mean.
The Mi 5 inevitably will draw comparisons to the Galaxy S7, and the resulting comments may not be as favorable as what the Chinese upstart has been getting from its fans for years. It doesn’t help that Samsung’s next signature phone is all but sure to cross international borders first. The Mi 5, meanwhile, will be available in its native China starting March 1st; global markets, including India, will have to wait longer.
To its merit, Xiaomi did a fine job of aping the Galaxy S7, unapologetic as it might be. A contoured back that makes the Samsung effort appear thinner than it actually is and allows for a comfortable feel in the hand is present here, as is an oblong fingerprint scanner-slash-home button on the face of the device, which Xiaomi argues is the optimal placement of fingerprint-sensing hardware on a phone (surely Samsung would agree).
There’s no protruding bump around the rear camera, either. The 5.15-inch 1080p display doesn’t scream top-of-the-charts, but the edge-to-edge design of the front is hard to improve upon. Lastly, the Mi 5’s mostly plastic body seems pieced together nicely.
Specs-wise, the Mi 5, particularly Pro variant, is a beast of a phone, rocking a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor with as much as 4GB of RAM and 128GB of flash memory (for the higher-end model). The base configuration with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage should suit most users well, but spending extra dough on the Mi 5 Pro seems like a wiser choice given the relatively small price difference between models.
Which brings us to the price: an impressively low 1,999 yuan (roughly $300) for the base version and 2,600 yuan ($400) for the 128GB Pro model with a ceramic back. So hey, maybe at those price points, no one would care where the Mi 5 came from, which company built it, or what it resembles most closely.
[irp posts=”4798" name=”Xiaomi Mi 5s and 5s Plus set to challenge iPhone 7 and 7 Plus”]
LG G5 Hands-On
LG puts the fun back in function with the announcement of its latest flagship smartphone at Mobile World Congress, the LG G5. It has everything a 2016 flagship is expected to have: Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM, Quick Charge 3.0 that promises 83% of battery after 30 minutes of charging, a fingerprint scanner, quad HD display, USB Type C, Android Marshmallow, and great cameras.
Sony Xperia X Hands-On
In a surprise announcement at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Sony said goodbye to its top of the line Xperia Z smartphone, unveiling in its place a trio of new smartphones collectively referred to as Xperia X.
Specs-wise the new Xperia X line isn’t going to be the most high end smartphone release of 2016 but Sony’s left just enough for the phones to be desirable. (more…)
Sony Xperia’s Reality
It’s been a full month since the biggest tech coverage of my life to date. Having finished Legal Management in college, and then eventually making a career in Creatives, never did I think I’d be in Spain, as a journalist, covering one of the world’s biggest tech events.
Xiaomi Mi 9 SE Review: For those who like it small
A pocketable flagship-like phone
ASUS ROG Zephyrus S (GX701) review
Refinement of a modern classic
OPPO A5s Review: Is it really any different?
Bang for the buck, at a cost of key features
OPPO Reno and Reno 10x Zoom: Price and availability in the Philippines
The GadgetMatch team goes for ARCC 2019
Facebook will launch a cryptocurrency called Libra in 2020
Dr. Mario World is coming to Android and iOS in a few weeks
Huawei dealers offer ‘Special Warranty Program’ that promises 100% refund
Best Budget Smartphones in the Philippines below P10,000
Best Midrange Smartphones in the Philippines from P10,000 to P20,000
Best Midrange Smartphones from $200 to $400
Best Upper-Midrange Smartphones in the Philippines from P20,000 to P30,000
Best Premium Smartphones in the Philippines above P30,000
Deals6 days ago
Pocophone F1’s cheaper price makes it an even better flagship-specced phone
Apps2 weeks ago
Google: Cutting off Huawei is an even bigger threat
India1 week ago
Samsung Galaxy M40 is a budget phone with triple rear cameras
Computers1 week ago
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure: Dell embraces a circular economy
News2 weeks ago
Huawei and Apple make the strongest phones, research says
India2 weeks ago
Nokia 2.2 is the most affordable Android One phone you can grab
News5 days ago
Some Huawei phones are showing unwanted ads on lock screens
Automotive1 week ago
Michelin’s new tires are airless