Xiaomi Mi4

  • Overall Rating

  • Performance

  • Features

  • Price

Price: ₹ Rs. 19,999

Key Specs

    5-inch HD IPS LCD display, 1920 x 1080p Full HD (441 ppi), 2.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 3 GB RAM, 16 GB internal memory (non-expandable), 13MP rear camera (f1.8) and 8MP front camera (80° wide-angle, f1.8), MIUI 6 based on Android 4.4.4, 3080 mAh battery, Quick Charge 2.0

Pros: Good build quality, decent camera with intuitive UI, snappy performance, battery can last a day

Cons: No micro SD card slot & 12 GB is the actual storage space available, No 4G support

Bottomline: MI4 has almost every element of a high end flagship smartphone at a fair price point. A nice design, decent camera, amazing screen, swift performance and a good battery life. However it lacks in terms of storage and 4G connectivity.
If 3G works for you and you have limited storage requirements, go for this smartphone. Else wait for the 64GB version which comes with 4G connectivity.

Xiaomi disrupted the smartphone market with the launch of MI3. It was for the first time that a smartphone outshined the flagship models of biggies in terms of performance, and that too at the quarter of the price.

After that, the Chinese manufacturer gave a tough time to Indian manufacturers with its sub 10k smartphones; Redmi 1s and Redmi Note 4G. And now, the giant is back with its latest flagship, the MI4. Is it good, bad or the best? Let’s find out.

Yes it looks like an iPhone

mi4-vs-iphone-5s

So which one is Xiaomi’s?

The design team of Xiaomi has some serious Apple fans. At the very first glance, you can draw the similarities between Mi4 and iPhone 5/5S. But we found this resemblance positive as the design cues has been taken from one of the best designed products in the market.

Moreover, this resemblance is not just in the design, the material used in the construction is not at all cheap. The stainless steel frame (the result of laser cutting) looks premium and adds strength to the overall design.

The metal frame adds strength and looks quite premium

The metal frame adds strength and looks quite premium

The right side has the volume and power rockers which are of the same material and offers a very satisfactory tactile feedback.

The back panel does not have a metal or a matte finish. It is glossy; but unlike Samsung, Micromax and even Xiaomi’s Redmi 4G’s plastic, it does not feel cheap. On a closer look you can see a pattern which looks quite good.

MI4 also ticks all the boxes of ergonomics as despite a 5” display, the smartphone sits in your hands with an ease. You can comfortably operate it with one hand as the buttons are in the reach of thumb and the chamfered rounded edges does not cut your palm.

The stunning full HD display

The 5-inch display in between 2.63mm bezels with the full HD resolution (1,920×1,080 pixels) and 441 ppi is one of the best LCD panel we have seen in this price range. It is bright enough to easily consume content in bright sunlight.

One of the best 1080p LCD panel in the market

One of the best 1080p LCD panel in the market

You can read text, watch videos, images, etc. without any difficulty. In addition, it can be dimmed to be used conveniently in absolute darkness. The Colors are vibrant and very natural.

The detailed MIUI6

Xiaomi has improved the design and have put a lot of details in the latest version of MIUI. For instance; if you turn on the Airplane mode, you can see a nice animation of a plane leaving the circle. Likewise, the clock, compass, calender, multitasking, etc. have a very detailed design and subtle animations which adds value to the user experience.

MIUI 6 looks refreshing, apps have a detailed UI but it resembles a jailbreaked iOS

MIUI 6 looks refreshing, apps have a detailed UI but it resembles a jailbreaked iOS

But as we said earlier, Xiaomi has some serious Apple fan base because the UI is completely going iOS. You will feel that you are using a jailbreaked iPhone where you can place widgets on the home screens and play with other aspects of the interface.

But overall, the flatter approach in icons, widgets, notification center, etc. looks refreshing. And if you like to customize your phone, this is the best you can get with the powerful MIUI’s theme engine.

A decent camera phone

The 13MP rear camera has Sony’s IMX 214 sensor (f/1.8); which is capable of taking decent pictures with very good details and natural colors.

The camera UI is packed with lots of features and the best we have seen in a long time

The camera UI is packed with lots of features and the best we have seen in a long time

The live HDR mode lets you see the picture in HDR mode even before you take a shot. Then there is Refocus, which lets you focus a subject after taking a shot. You also got 12 live Instagram like filters to add a flavor to your pictures.

Moreover, the camera UI of Xiaomi Mi4 is the best we have seen in a long time. Besides this, there is Manual Mode, which lets you adjust exposure, ISO and shutter speed. If this is not enough for you, the camera also lets you shoot crisp 4K UHD videos.

The front 8MP BSI camera is also an impressive shooter. You can take amazing selfies and keep bugging your friends on Snapchat for long duration.

Performance

As expected, Xiaomi Mi4 is capable of every possible task in the world of smartphone computing. Play 3D games, watch full HD videos, run as many applications simultaneously; the phone’s 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor with 3 GB RAM can take up everything without working up a sweat. Call quality and speaker output are also good.

However, one thing can put a pause on all these things. Mi4 shows signs of heat while playing games, watching videos and on moderate usage of camera.

The 3080 mAh battery unit lasted for 7 hours 20 min in the video playback test and MI4 managed to survive 23 hours with calling, browsing, Whatsapp, Twitter, etc which is not bad.

Almost perfect

With all good things said, there are two disappointments. Even at a price point of 20K, MI 4 is not a 4G device.  We understand not many consumers are on 4G; but smartphone manufactures are offering 4G connectivity even under 10K. Oh yes, Xiaomi is also one of them. And the 4G version of Mi4 which comes with 64GB in-built storage is yet not available in the country.

The 4 GB is utilized by the OS and you are left with 12 gigabytes of actual storage. You also don’t have micro SD card option to expand the memory.Users who like to store anything and everything on their smartphone will feel restricted by the limited storage.

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