Update 31-03-2016: Xiaomi Mi5 is finally official in India for 24,999 INR, but unfortunately the company is bringing only the under-clocked lowest of the three Mi 5 variants to India.

Xiaomi is trying to make amends for a relatively dull 2015, and yesterday at Redmi Note 3 event, the company announced that it will be bringing in the Mi 5 in India next month itself to cheer exhausted Mi Fans. The latest flagship phone is quite stunning and combines the best of Xiaomi expertise. It was put on display yesterday, and we went hands-on.

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Also Read: Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 First Impression – Xiaomi’s Comeback In India?

Key Specifications And Features of Xiaomi Mi 5:

Model Xiaomi Mi5 (32GB) Xiaomi Mi5 (64GB) Xiaomi Mi5 (128GB) ceramic edition
Display 5.15 Inch, Full HD, 3D curved glass 5.15 Inch, Full HD, 3D curved glass 5.15 Inch, Full HD, 3D curved glass
Processor 1.8GHz Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor, Adreno 530 2.15 GHz Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor, Adreno 530 2.15 GHz Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor, Adreno 530
RAM 3GB 3GB 4GB
Internal Storage 32GB, UFS 2.0 type storage 64GB, UFS 2.0 type storage 128GB, UFS 2.0 type storage
Software Android Marshmallow based MIUI 7 Android Marshmallow based MIUI 7 Android Marshmallow based MIUI 7
Primary Camera 16MP sensor, dual LED Flash, PDAF, F2.0 aperture lens 16MP sensor, dual LED Flash, PDAF, F2.0 aperture lens 16MP sensor, dual LED Flash, PDAF, F2.0 aperture lens
Secondary Camera 4MP Front-Facing Camera, F2.0 aperture lens, 80 degree wide angle lens 4MP Front-Facing Camera, F2.0 aperture lens, 80 degree wide angle lens 4MP Front-Facing Camera, F2.0 aperture lens, 80 degree wide angle lens
Dimensions and Weight 144.55×69.2×7.25mm and 129 Grams 144.55×69.2×7.25mm and 129 Grams 144.55×69.2×7.25mm and 139 Grams
Battery 3000 mAh, fast charging 3000 mAh, fast charging 3000 mAh, Fast charging
Others Dual SIM, 4G LTE and VoLTE, Fingerprint sensor, NFC,  USB OTG, USB Type C Dual SIM, 4G LTE and VoLTE, Fingerprint sensor, NFC,  USB OTG, USB Type C Dual SIM, 4G LTE and VoLTE, Fingerprint sensor, NFC,  USB OTG, USB Type C
Price 1999 RBM (~21,000 INR) 2299 RBM (~24000 INR) 2699 RBM (~28,300 INR)

Design and Display

The Xiaomi Mi5 is one of the best designed Xiaomi handsets. The rear back glass folds on the edges (Xiaomi calls it 3D glass) and blends well with the side metal frame, machined to seamlessly align with the glass back. The design feels reminiscent of a certain Galaxy handset, but still Mi5 retains its distinctiveness when held in hands.

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We are happy that Xiaomi has restricted itself to a 5.15 inch display, for there have to be options for those who prefer compact smartphones. The Full HD resolution might not be as fancy as QHD or 4K panel in everyone’s book, but the display looks sharp and crisp in person. Battery advantages of sticking to lower resolution are added bonus.

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The biggest deviation is the presence of a physical home button, but obviously Xiaomi didn’t want to disturb that sexy glass back and this was the only room left to implement the fingerprint reader.

The fingerprint sensor was very fast in our initial testing. It acts as a capacitive key once the device is unlocked. You don’t have to press it again and again to reach home. To sum it up, the handset looks gorgeous, is wonderful to hold in hands and has a very compact footprint.The fingerprint sensor was very fast in our initial testing. It acts as a capacitive key once the device is unlocked. You don’t have to press it again and again to reach home. To sum it up, the handset looks gorgeous, is wonderful to hold in hands and has a very compact footprint.

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Also Read: LeEco Le 1s vs Xiaomi Redmi Note 3: Detailed Comparison

Camera

Camera hardware of Xiaomi Mi5 is very interesting. On the rear, there is Sony’s new IMX298 16MP sensor with Phase detection auto-focus. And on top of this sensor, Xiaomi has layered a 6-lens system with wide F/2.0 aperture.

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The highlight of the rear camera is its 4-axis optical image stabilization, which is one of its kind in smartphones. 4-axis adds transversal image stabilization besides compensating for latitudinal and longitudinal movements. If Xiaomi’s demonstration at the launch, is anything to go by, it works great. Xiaomi has also added plenty of software tricks and ‘modes’ to keep you engaged.

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On the front, you will wind a 4MP sensor with large 2micrometer size pixels and F/2.0 aperture lens. Larger pixel size allows front camera to perform better in low lighting, the eternal selfie-enemy. Oh, and yes, Xiaomi continues its fondness for beautify mode, which has been included for both the front and rear cameras.

Performance Expectations and Software

All Mi5 variants are running Snapdragon 820, but the low-end variant (32GB) is running a binned version clocked at 1.8GHz. Also, 4GB RAM is reserved only for the high-end ceramic variant (128GB), which might not make it to India anytime soon.

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Both the 32GB and 64GB Mi5 variants include 3GB RAM. In our limited time with the device, the performance felt smooth, but we are yet to test Snapdragon 820 powered handset in our personal space. On paper, everything looks good though.

The new Qualcomm chipset comes with QuickCharge 3.0 benefits. You can top-up the 3000 mAh battery by up to 83 percent in just 30 minutes.

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On software side of things, there is standard MIUI 7 ROM based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. In terms of aesthetics and features, this doesn’t deviate from what you might have already experienced in Mi4, Mi4i or any other Xiaomi handset.

Also Read: Should you buy the Honor 5X or LeEco Le 1s? – Comparison, What Matters, What Doesn’t

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Conclusion

The Xiaomi Mi5 is a great handset, especially for the price and if both trims of Snapdragon 820 turn out to be as good as is being touted, it will be a great challenger to smartphones selling between 20K and 25K price range in India (None of which is entirely convincing). It remains to be seen which all variant Xiaomi is planning to bring in India and at what price.

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