Xiaomi’s new flagship phones keeps up the company’s reputation for offering top-tier specs at a mid-range price.
The Xiaomi Mi 5 smartphone has hardware that’s competitive with the latest Samsung, Sony, or LG models. But with a starting price of RMB 1999 (about $305), the Mi 5 will likely be about half the price of those phones.
If there’s a catch it’s that the Mi 5 will likely only be sold in certain regions… at least initially.
The Xiaomi Mi 5 will be available in China starting March 1st, and it should be available in India soon as well. The company also sells phones in a handful of other markets including Singapore and Brazil, although no Mi 5 launch dates have been announced for those regions yet.
Eventually Xiaomi hopes to enter the US market, but there’s no guarantee that’ll happen anytime soon.
Even if you’re not in a country that can use Xiaomi phones though, it’s worth keeping an eye on this company because it has a habit of showing that it’s possible to make affordable hardware with premium specs and design (even if that design often seems derivative… many Xiaomi phones have a distinctly Apple-like flavor, and the Mi 5 looks a lot like a Samsung Galaxy S7).
The new Mi 5 features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, a 5.2 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel display, a 3,000 mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 support, a USB Type-C connector, 4G LTE-A support with top download speeds of 600 Mbps, NFC, a fingerprint sensor, an IR port, and a 16MP Sony IMX298 rear camera with 4-axis optical image stabilization and 4MP front-facing camera.
Xiaomi will offer several configurations:
- 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage for RMB 1999 ($305)
- 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage for RMB 2299 ($350)
- 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage for RMB 2699 (410)
Note that while the models with 4GB of RAM have Snapdragon 820 chips clocked at 2.15 GHz, the 3GB/32GB model has a Snapdragon 820 processor clocked at 1.8 GHz.
Another difference between the models is that the high-end model with 128GB of storage has a ceramic back, while the cheaper models have glass panels on the back.