Xiaomi Mi4 Review
In this article, we get up close and personal with the latest offering from the Chinese smart phone manufacturer Xiaomi. The Mi4 was released a few weeks back amid much fanfare and is available in India exclusively on Flipkart, their online retail partner.
Branded by many as the “Chinese iPhone”, Mi4 was released in a market already flooded with self proclaimed “flagship killers” such as the OnePlus One and Huawei Honor 6. Xiaomi’s reputation of dishing out devices with beastly specs at pauper prices precedes the release of the Mi4. Does the Mi4 live up to the moolah surrounding it, and above all, is it worth the effort of the flash sales one has to endure to get it? Read on and find out.
The Mi4 borrows sheepishly from the iPhone when it comes to design. Everything from the stainless steel chassis that runs along the phone to the centrally located home button on the bottom panel shouts “iPhone 5s”.
Still, plagiarism aside, Mi4 has a premium feel to it that is missing in most Android phones. Thealmost edge-to-edge 5 inch Full HD IPS display (1920 X 1080 pixels) is stunning, vibrant with rich colors, and holds its own even in bright sunlight. Xiaomi claims to have a color gamut accuracy of 84 percent, 17 notches above the iPhone 5s.
At 8.99 mm thick, it is lithe and fits easily in the hand. We had no glitches in typing with one hand or accessing that power or volume rockers that adorn the side panel. The Mi4 has a removable back cover (though the 3,080 mAh battery is not accessible), allowing you to customize it with shells of your choice.
Thanks to the snappy quad-core 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 chipset and 3GB of RAM to boot, Mi4 is a savagely fleet-footed device, with no lags while multitasking whatsoever. On our benchmark tests, the Mi4 returned glowing results. The Mi4 clocked in a score of 43,615 on AnTuTu Benchmark and 24,038 on Quadrant Standard – obliterating the likes of the Galaxy S5 and Nexus 5.
3DMark’s Ice Storm Unlimited test — a test designed to gauge a phone’s graphic potential-delivered a coveted result of 19,595.
Gaming on the Mi4 is fantastic. Graphic intensive 3D titles like COD: Black Ops Zombies are a pure joy on this phone.
Our only complaint in this department is the non-expandable onboard memory of 16 GB. Although a 64 GB variant is available in Chinese markets, its release in India is clouded with uncertainty.
The Mi4 comes loaded with all the usual connectivity options, such as Bluetooth 4.0, dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, GPS and DLNA support, but it lacks an NFC chip which was present in the previous generation Mi3. It boasts of an IR blaster with which you can control your home appliances.
Though Xiaomi advertises the Mi4 as 4G ready, it is only available on the China Mobile network (TDD-LTE), which unfortunately does not work in most other countries that use the FDD-LTE standard. An FDD-LTE model is due sometime later this year.
The aesthetically polished MIUI v5, Xiaomi’s home-brewed UI is unveiled in this phone. Backed by excellent hardware, the experience is nimble and buttery-smooth. In this aspect too, the Mi4 borrows heavily from Apple, the icon tray and visual animations exuding a distinct iOS-isk feel, but the MIUI has enough personality to pull it off.
Mi4 is yet another feather in Xiamoi’s ever expanding hat of top-notch Android phones. Priced at Rs. 19,999, it is definitely an excellent bang for the buck. Although it faces fierce competition from the Oneplus One, Huawei Honor 6 and Lenovo Vibe X2, the Mi4 cements Xiaomi’s position as one of the leading phone manufacturers in the world today.