Xiaomi Mi5 Hands on and first impressions: 7 reasons why we think it will rule the mid-range segment

Xiaomi knows and understands that India is an important market for them, and hence is bringing its recently unveiled flagship smartphone dubbed the Mi5 to India in this month itself. At the Redmi Note 3 launch event in India, Xiaomi's VP Hugo Barra stressed that the company is pretty serious about their business in India, and doesn't take market in India lightly.

Barra opposed the reports and rumors on Xiaomi's ignorance towards its consumers in India and further announced that the company will launch the Mi5 in India as early as by the end of March, 2016, which is actually just in a month after the phone's global unveiling.

Xiaomi Mi5 was announced at the recently concluded Mobile World Congress held in Barcelona, Spain, where the product got much attention for its specs and features.

Xiaomi is well known for having left a strong impact in the market, every time it had come up with a powerful specs-heavy smartphone that fit in users' budget. The company has produced smartphones that broke specs-monotony, and set a standard for others to match up to. This time as well, Xiaomi seems to have hit the right chord by introducing top of the line specifications and features in its Mi5 smartphone.

The company, which is mainly present in emerging markets, sees itself taking on the likes Samsung Galaxy S7 and LG G5, among others, with its Xiaomi Mi5 smartphone.

Xiaomi Mi5 Hands on and first impressions

We got to check out the Xiaomi Mi5 smartphone at the launch event of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 in India, and here are 7 reasons why we feel it can disrupt the market in India:

Impressive Design:

Looks of a product make a difference in consumer's buying behavior, and Xiaomi understand this point. The Mi5 is the most gorgeous Xiaomi smartphone, and there is no second thought about it. The phone we tried donned a 3D glass back panel design, which looked impressive and felt smooth on hand. Sadly, the company did not display the ceramic/pro version of the phone.

Xiaomi Mi5 Hands on and first impressions

Anyway, the Mi5 has beveled sides that are curved half-way towards the back, which make it pretty comfortable on hand. Xiaomi uses metal and plastic to form the body of the phone that looks and feels good ergonomically and has a good form factor. The keys placed on the sides are easy to reach while using the phone single handedly.

Xiaomi Mi5 Hands on and first impressions

Overall, the phone looks impressive for a mid-ranger, and feels light on hand. It is due to the design of the phone that it feels like a smaller device on hand.

Bright and Crisp Display:

The front of the phone looks equally beautiful with an almost bezel-less design and a home key placed below the display. It features a 5.15-inch screen offering full HD (1920x1080 pixels resolution). The display is immersive, offers good visuals with a pixel density of 428ppi, reproduces colours brilliantly and is easy on eyes. The display on Mi5 has more backlight LEDs at 16 than on the other smartphones which have 12-14 LEDs, which result in better brightness at up to 600nits. This could be one reason why the display on the phone looked crisp and bright. Moreover, the company says that the display will be good t go even under direct sunlight.

Xiaomi Mi5 Hands on and first impressions

Powerful Hardware:

The Xiaomi Mi5 promises feature smooth performance due to Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820 chipset running inside. It is the same chipset that powers the Samsung Galaxy S7 and LG G5, and is touted to be the most powerful Qualcomm chipset ever. The processor is clocked at 1.8GHz in the 3GB variant and 2.15GHz in the Pro variant with 4GB RAM. The standard edition has 32GB or 64GB of internal storage, where as the Pro boasts a massive 128GB of in-built storage space.

Xiaomi Mi5 Hands on and first impressions

The Mi5 packs in a 3000mAH battery that is supported with Quick Charge 3.0 which should charge the phone faster. The battery of the phone seems sufficient for the 1080p display and should be able to manage to last a day of mixed use of the phone.

Camera Goodness:

The Mi5 adorns a 16MP rear facing snapper that comes with OIS, PDAF, 4K video recording, and dual tone dual LED. In the short time we had the phone, we found the camera to work quite well even in the ambient lighting conditions. Well, it won't be fair to give our opinion on the camera performance on the basis of our short rendezvous with the phone, but we do feel that it would perform well in the camera department.

Xiaomi Mi5 Hands on and first impressions

Software:

The phone comes with Android 6.0 Marshmallow with the company's custom MIUI 7 running atop it. The MIUI 7 brings a slew of new features and improvements, and is lighter than ever. The user interface seemed nice and smooth, and the phone worked fine during our short hands-on time with it.

Xiaomi Mi5 Hands on and first impressions

Fingerprint scanner:

Another key feature of the phone is that it features a fingerprint scanner that is integrated in the home button placed in between a pair of capacitive buttons on the front. We found the fingerprint scanner quite fast and responsive, and didn't face any issue while testing it. Rest can be said when we review the device.

Xiaomi Mi5 Hands on and first impressions

Connectivity options:

The Mi 5 houses a USB Type-C reversible port, which is still missing from most of the high end smartphones. Moreover, the phone features IR blaster to control home equipments like TV, air conditioner and more though it. Other connectivity options in the phone include Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, dual-band Wi-Fi, and dual-SIM support. Though, you may miss the presence of a microSD card on this phone.

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