As expected, Xiaomi’s much anticipated Mi5 has been launched at the Mobile World Congress and it has also become the latest flagship to have got its own physical home button layered with a fingerprint sensor. Yup, that is — once again — pretty much iPhone-ish, no matter how much Xiaomi moves to run away from that image.
Moving on, the Mi5, Xiaomi’s latest upgrade to the Mi4 and an attempt to get back those surging sales it witnessed during early days, is powered by Qualcomm’s latest offering, the Snapdragon820 processor. It has 4GB of RAM, backed up by 128GB of on-board flash storage. While most of it is pretty normal, the SD 820 beast could prove to be a major advantage — one which only the S7 and S7 Edge posses. The 820 is more powerful, snappier and pretty much comparable in terms of processing power to Apple’s A9.
Interestingly, such is the importance of SD 820 on the Mi5, that the entire event was cosponsored by Qualcomm with a special 10 minutes dedicated to explaining the processor in the beginning.
The mi5 comes in three different models — and each of them is different from the other on the specification front. One of them for example, is the fingerprint sensor, which comes only on the Pro version and not on the other two. The Mi5 Pro will cost 2,699 RMB (Chinese yuan), or roughly $354, after excluding Chinese taxes. There is an entry-level version that sports only 32GB of storage and is made from 3D glass, which comes in at 1,999 RMB, or roughly $262. There is also a mid-level incarnation with 64GB of storage.
The Pro one also features other interesting features like the USB-type C charging port. It has a 16MP rear-facing camera, NFC, quick-charge 3.0, and supports 600Mbps 4G+. The device is 7.25 mm thick, wighs 129 grams and sports a 5.15-inch screen.
As for the design, it could quite easily be called a mixture of both — Samsung’s Galaxy series and the iPhone. The near bezel-less left and right corners give you an iPhone-ish feel while the way this physical home button has been designed, gives you the feel of a Samsung.
The device is powered by Xiaomi’s MIUI 7, and is expected to roll-out in China, followed by India. However there continues to be no information on a western launch, which is again interesting considering that the launch happened in MWC, Barcelona and not the usual Chinese launch.