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Mi 5

[Review&Unboxing] Xiaomi Mi5: All Hail the New KING of Flagships

2016-07-18 21:57:59
5337 2
Edited by mitch002 at 2016-07-19 07:27 AM

Xiaomi Mi5: All Hail the New KING of Flagships
by mitch002

After such a long wait, Xiaomi officially released its most awaited flagship of the year. The Mi5 took almost a year and a half in the making after its predecessor the Mi4 debuted August 2014. While Xiaomi said they were taking their time to improve the device, others said they have legal battles with giants like Samsung and Apple for design patents. Speaking of design, the Mi5 has that striking resemblance of the Samsung Galaxy S7 as well as the bottom looks somewhat like Apple’s Iphone 6s. But at MWC Congress, Hugo Barra says that it was an evolution from Mi Note Pro’s curved glass design.Please see the link below for our unboxing.

Black Version of Mi5

Xiaomi Mi 5 specs
·      Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor
·      3GB / 4GB of RAM
·      5.15-inch full HD IPS display, Corning Gorilla Glass 4 protection
·      Curved Glass Back for 32GB and 64GB variant, 128GB Variant comes in Ceramic Back
·      32GB /  64GB / 128GB of storage
·      16-megapixel rear camera, F/2.0 lens, OIS, Phase Detection AF, 4 Axis OIS
·      4-megapixel front camera with 2 micro-meter sized sensor
·      Dual SIM (nano sim size)
·      3G, LTE, VoLTE
·      Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, Fingerprint Scanner, Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0
·      3000mAh battery
·      Android Marshmallow, MIUI 7
·      USB-C port
·      White, Gold, Black (Pro Version will only be available in Black)

Whats in the Box

The Mi5 sports an aluminum metal frame with an elegantly back, the back case will come in two variants: a corning gorilla glass back which is packaged with the 32GB and 64GB variant, and the more luxurious ceramic back for the 128GB variant (many dubbed it as the Mi5 Pro).
Above the frame we have the Infrared port together with the 3.5mm jack and the noise cancellation mic.
On the right side we have the volume rocker and the power button. We are not sure about the breaking lines above thevolume up and below the power button if it is the antennae or it’s just a design patterned to the Iphone 6S.
On the left side we have the sim tray which supports 2 Nano sim cards and sadly it’s not the same as Mi4s and Redmi Note 3 Pro which sports a hybrid sim 2 slot for either a Micro SD card or a Nano Sim. There are those enthusiast who were able to fuse the Nano sim to the body of the Micro SD card and made sim 2 and expansion storage work at the same time, but there is a risk of stuck up upon ejecting the sim tray.
Below the frame we have the USB-C port which is standard for all future smartphones released by Xiaomi, and the loudspeaker is placed at the left and right of the charging port, again these holes are pretty similar to the Iphone 6S.
In the front we have the physical home button with fingerprint scanner together with the 5.15" display and the 4MP selfie camera. The homebutton has a special assistive touch, you just need to tap the home button lightly and it will go back to home screen.
The back sports a sapphire glass together with the 16MP 4-Axis OIS Sony IMX 298 Sensor Camera with dual LED flash. The overall feel on the Mi5 is very smooth and very thin like the Mi Note Pro, Xiaomi did a heck of a job in squeezing in all those goodies inside the Mi5. One noticeable thing is that the phone is so silky smooth to the point that it will tend to slide when the table is not even, take an extra precaution on that since you don’t want your phone ending up on the floor unnoticed.

Oftenly pitted against Samsung Galaxy S7, we take a look at the size and display of S7 and Mi5, we can clearly say that Mi5 is more than half the price of S7 but specs and quality wise, you get more out of your hard earned money. We can clearly see that the physical button is something copied from S7, no doubt about that. In terms of display S7 displays a little brighter than Mi5, in terms of weight Mi5 is lighter and a little more smaller than S7. Based on other reviewers, S7 camera is better than Mi5, we dont have a onhand unit to compare at the moment. Overall feel, we love the way Mi5 was build.


The Mi5 comes with a full HD,5.15-inch display coupled with a 2.5D curved glass and Corning Gorilla Glass 4 protection for maximum resistance against scratches. One of the top reason why Mi5 did not have a QHD (2K) display similar to the Mi Note Pro is because it drains the battery too fast as witnessed by those who have the later unit described. Plus having a 2K display on a mobile is a bit practically useless as everyone gears towards better battery performance for the phone and not much importance on the rendered display.

Putting Mi Note Pro side by side with Mi5 and played some movies, there is not really much difference in terms of the rendered video although Mi Note Pro’s display is a little more vivid than Mi5. But due to Mi5 incorporating more Backlit LED (a total of 16 LEDs), Mi5 will display the photo brighter under max brightness compared to the Mi Note Pro.The 600 nits luminance output doesn’t translate to faster battery drain, but instead more power efficient leading to more screen on time for your Mi5. One thing that captures our attention is the Sunlight Display Panel which makes the viewing under direct sunlight easy on the eyes, plus the minimum brightness ofthis unit is 0.7 nits which makes reading in low light or dark places cool for the eyes.
Snapdragon 820
During the MWC, there were several phones which debuted with the Snapdragon 820, and Mi5 is part of the bandwagon who unveiled Qualcomm’s latest powerful processor. There are 2 variants released by Mi5 for its processor, for the 32GB it is under-clocked at 1.8Ghz while it’s in full performance at 2.15Ghz for the 64GB and 128GB variants. This powerful processor combined with the power of Adreno 530 makes this phone one of the beast to look out for this 2016. We ran several test on this unit and we did not see any lags nor any slowdown on the opening of any apps in the Mi5. This SoC is already supporting the 64-bit architecture which means it can compute at a fast phase. So good graphics, good multitasking plus fast processing makes Snapdragon 820 on of the force to recognize. We tried playing NBA2k16 and all we can say is that it’s Awesome! We even made a video to compare the speed of both the 32GB variant and 64GB variant, check out our video below.


The Xiaomi Mi5 supports 7 different LTE bands as well as VoLTE, its easy to switch to LTE network inside the settings but once your do the second sim will be running on GSM connectivity only. You can freely choose which sim you want to use your LTE data, since this is a Dual LTE, Dual standby smartphone. Wireless connectivity via Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac is also smooth and it also supports Wi-Fi Direct. Wireless screen mirroring is also available via the Miracast protocol, tethering data is also working perfectly. Bluetooth 4.2,GPS, and GLONASS are all present, and one thing that has debuted in this unit is the NFC (Near Field Communication) which enables you to send data to a fellow NFC user with just tapping your phones together.

Here are the supported bandwidth by the Mi5:

FDD-LTE ( B1,B3,B7)
TD-LTE ( B38,B39,B40,B41)
TD-SCDMA ( B34,B39)
WCDMA ( B1,B2,B5,B8)
GSM ( B2,B3,B5,B8)


The Mi5 sports a pretty good speaker, loud and crisp. We have compared the output audio of Mi5 against the Mi Note Pro and we proved that the loudspeaker of the Mi5 rocks the music better than its predecessor. Mi5 supports a wide range of video format like MKV, MP4, M4V, AVI, XVID and more. I can even support 4k H265 videos in the process. While watching Blueray Ripped copy of Ip Man 3, we can conclude that Mi5 is brighter in terms of display, but Mi Note Pro is definitely better graphics as it is QHD and Mi5 sports only HD display.


The main focus of Xiaomi in Mi5 is primarily in its 16MP Sony IMX 298 sensor Camera. It’s no fluke that this camera is one of the top ones in the market, as this camera is often pitted against the Samsung Galaxy S7’s camera, we will focus more on the camera of Mi5. This 16 MP camera is equipped with a high definition sensor, with PDAF (Phase Detection AutoFocus, commonly present in DSLR cameras) and DTI (Deep Trench Technology) and the main focus is the all new feature which is the 4-AXIS OIS (Optical Image Stabilizer) This uses a high performance image processor which is the Qualcomm Spectra ISP which is capable of capturing high quality photo equaling the level of that of a DSLR camera. While we have taken several snaps with this camera while on the road using the Mi5 as a daily driver, we can note that the camera can focus fast plus it takes pretty good snaps under bright sunlight as well as low dimlight. Here are some of our photos that are not edited as well as a video clip comparing the video of Mi4s and Mi5 under full HD recording plus how to install the tempered glass on the Mi5 captured on another Mi5 Camera.

Photo Gallery
Under Good Lighting

Indoor with Good Lighting

Macro Shots

Low Light with Flash

Low Light w/o Flash

Low Light

Selfie Cam

Panoramic View

Battery, Temperature and Benchmark
While packing in 3000mAh inside a thin unibody is no easy task, the Mi5 has a pretty good battery life, but we are more impressed with the battery of Redmi Note 3 Pro which sports a 4000mAh battery and can last for more than a day in daily usage. The Mi5 now supports the Qualcomm Quickcharge 3.0 and it takes in 2.45Amperes based on our testing. We were able to charge from 9% to20% in 6 minutes out the box as that’s the only factory charge they gave us together with the unit. We were able to complete charging the phone in 1 hour and 20 minutes. We recorded a 9 hour 44 minute on the Mi5 32gb and 9 hour 35 minute on the Mi5 64GB under the PC Mark battery stress test.  

While using the phone, standby mode gives us a temperature of 31 Celsius, while hitting a 34 Celsius on normal usage like browsing and using messengers and it recorded 39.5 Celsius when we put the pedal on the metal for the processor at full throttle. The unit did feel a bit hot upon reaching and hour playing NBA2k16 but we are no strangers to heat as Mi Note Pro reaches 45 Celcius upon reaching 1 hour playing the same game. The cores reached a 42 Celsius when put to full throttle in our stress test.

We were already surprised with the benchmark of the Mi5 32GB 1.8Ghz hitting AnTuTu benchmark for 113,063 points. The Mi5 64GB 2.15Ghz scored even higher at 127,776 points to make us want to get the 128GB Variant with 4GB RAM, imagine its going to blow the score off the charts for sure.

The fingerprint scanner takes only 20 seconds estimated to setup and it is very responsive in unlocking the phone, but one thing for sure, the physical button makes the Mi5 looks like an alien unit since none of its predecessors has ever sported a button. But aside from that, the homebutton has an assistive touch that enable the user to light tap on the physical button to go back to home screen.

Test Results of the Mi5 32GB

Mi5 64GB Test Results

The Mi5 32GB has a 25GB storage availability out of the box

Meanwhile the 64GB has 56.5GB available space out of the box

NFC and Mi Mover

We tried running the Mi Mover from one Mi5 to another, it did not work. It can only receive at the moment maybe its part of the bug of the system. But after we tried sending files via NFC, we tried Mi Mover again, it worked seamlessly already.

Yes Yes we know your gonna ask that, the Mi5 is bootloader locked. Therefore you need to request unlock code from and you will receive the unlock code in a few days or so. Remember that only China Dev Rom has the power to unlock the bootloader at the moment.

Mi5, Cheap yet so Powerful
The Mi5 sure is a performer in its class of Snapdragon 820 releases, giving us a thumbs up in almost every category from the feel in the hands, on one hand texting, multitasking, camera, music thru loudspeaker plus the battery life.The unit sure is a must have for 2016 since it’s the Only Snapdragon 820 processor sold under 2000 RMB. If you are simply looking to have the best smartphone at a budget friendly price, Mi5 is surely your best bet.

Three SKUs for the Mi 5 will be available – the highest end version, dubbed the Mi 5 Pro that has 128GB of storage and 4GB of RAM will be RMB 2699 and a Glass white version at 2599RMB. The mid-range version, the 3GB/64GB version will be priced at RMB 2299 while the entry level version that has a slower 1.8GHz clockspeed, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage will be RMB 1999.

Disclaimer: Please don't send me any PM regarding any type of Sales related inquiries. I'm a Xiaomi enthusiast but not a seller of Mi Products. I'm just a hardcore Xiaomi Fan, one notch higher than many of you here. Also I'm a Tech Blogger in the Philippines and all my review devices are either bought by myself from Xiaomi or borrowed from someone for a short period of time.

2016-07-18 21:57:59
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2017-06-19 11:32:30

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ShrawanKick | from MI 5


really I would like to appreciate your patience to give such a beautiful article thanks for the information
2017-06-20 14:08:33
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