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Xiaomi Mi 5 Review: An Otherwise Great Phone That Falls Short on Performance

Read on to know the good and the bad in the Xiaomi Mi 5.

Ankit Tuteja | News18.com@tutejankit

Updated:June 2, 2016, 5:17 PM IST
Xiaomi Mi 5 Review: An Otherwise Great Phone That Falls Short on Performance
The Flipkart Assured Xiaomi Mi 5 exchange offer is providing discounts of up to Rs 17,600. (Image: News18.com)
It’s better to hold on to your verdict when a product starts to behave erratic in a couple of weeks of its use. And precisely, that’s why we decided to use the Xiaomi Mi 5 for a period longer than our usual review cycle.

Now having used the phone exhaustively, here we are with our final take on the Mi 5 that happens to be Xiaomi’s flagship phone. Read on to know what made us extend our review cycle, the good and the bad in the phone, and more importantly, our last word on it.

I am pretty impressed by the Mi 5’s design - more so, because of its appropriate size, comfortable hold and the light weight. What further add to the phone’s grip are curved edges at the back and rounded corners. Ergonomically designed, the phone is neatly-tailored and easily rests in your palm.

Talking about the look and feel, the phone has a glass back which seamlessly merges into the metal frame around it. While some of my colleagues found the glass back to be slippery, I personally didn’t. When it comes to the hold, there are very few phones in the market that offer a grip as great as the Mi 5’s. While I like the design language of the phone, I wish the company had placed the fingerprint sensor at the back instead of the front.


The 5.15-inch display has thin bezels, which leads to a relatively larger viewing area. The display on the phone is rich - in terms of colour reproduction and sharpness. Also, it has an excellent contrast ratio. With the company’s proprietary Sunlight Display technology embedded, it becomes easier to read on the display even under sunlight. A combination of the right size and great display led to a smooth navigation experience.

Not only the display, the cameras on the phone also go on to make it a top-of-the-line device. The 16 megapixel rear camera on the Mi 5 left me impressed in almost every environment. It not only takes bright images, but also captures details. The rear camera is also capable of shooting videos in 4K. Here are a few images taken with the Mi 5 that can hint at the camera quality.

(We have not applied any effects or photo filters on them, to reproduce them as close as possible to their original quality. The photos have only been cropped to fit the page width.)





Also, the 4 megapixel front camera on the phone is great for taking selfies. Not only in bright-light conditions, the front shooter on the phone surprised me with its quality in low-light areas as well. On some occasions in low-light environments, it produced results better than the iPhone 6's front camera.

Everything was going fine with the phone until I found it to be lagging after two weeks of use. And that is when I decided to use the Mi 5 for a period longer than usual. The idea was to ascertain the phone’s performance in long run. And since then the phone has not been as smooth as it was in the first two weeks. It slows down when you multitask and freezes intermittently. Despite that the phone is powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset coupled with 3 GB of RAM, it disappoints on the performance front.

While the call reception quality remained good through the review period, there were frequent signal drops. The network switching to “no network” was a common occurrence throughout the time I used the phone.

The dual-SIM (4G) Mi 5 runs Android Marshmallow-based MIUI. I like Xiaomi’s MIUI interface, but I believe the company needs to reduce the amount of bloatware.

Another thing that I don’t like in the Mi 5 is its speaker. It produces clear audio results, but it’s not loud. It is difficult to listen to the audio that it emits even in a reasonably quiet environment.


Despite a slim design, it comes with a 3000 mAh battery that easily lasted for a day. With Quick Charge 3.0 enabled, I could get around 60 per cent of juice in less than half an hour.

Xiaomi, in India, currently sells only the 32 GB variant of the Mi 5. Priced at Rs 24,999, the phone managed to impress me on the design and camera fronts, but it fell flat on the performance front.

Display5.15-inch Full HD
Cameras16 MP rear and 4 MP front
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 820
OSMIUI based on Android Marshmallow
Internal memory32 GB
Expandable StorageNo
Battery3000 mAh with Quick Charge 3.0
Network4G (dual-SIM)
ColoursBlack, White, Gold
PriceRs 24,999
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