Xiaomi Mi4 Review: Beautifully Crafted Tough Fella with a Best OS Inside!

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Xiaomi doesn’t only manufacture plastic body phones. Though it is from China, their devices are on par with what other well known manufacturers are producing. Xiaomi recently launched their previous flagship device Mi4 in India with the price which everyone thinks little higher than expected. We got our hands on with the device and today we bring you the unbiased Xiaomi Mi4 review!

Xiaomi-mi4-front-view

Without any more blah blah. Let’s quickly get on to what we want to say about Xiaomi Mi4!

A quick look at what is inside an out of Mi4,

5-inch HD IPS LCD display, 1920 x 1080p Full HD (441 ppi)

2.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor

Adreno 330 GPU

Super-slim Corning Glass with One Glass Solution (OGS) technology

3080 mAh Lithium-ion polymer battery, Quick Charge 2.0

3GB LPDDR3 RAM, 16GB eMMC 5.0 flash memory

13MP rear camera (f1.8) and 8MP front camera (80° wide-angle, f1.8)

MIUI 6 based on Android 4.4.4

HARDWARE – 4/5

Xiaomi Mi4 comes with a pretty strong hardware specification compared to others in the same segment. It is running on one of the most stable chipset from Qualcomm that is Snapdragon 801 Quad core processor. To bring out the extent of processing power, the device has got 3GB of LPDDR3 RAM, which backups the device and gives a flawless user experience.

Xiaomi-mi4-hardware

A full HD display on the front with thin bezels on the sides is such a bliss to look at. Will talk more about in the coming section. The device has got a 13MP camera on the rear and 8MP camera on the front. Both the cameras sport a fast f/1.8 lens.

On the storage front, Mi4 comes with an inbuilt 16GB memory without any external memory card slot. Only 12.17GB is available to the user. A bit let down for the price range in belong to and compared to other hardware specifications of the device. We were expecting a 64GB model for this price, but disappointed to see 16GB variant at this price.

Also, Mi4 Indian variant doesn’t come with LTE support though the Chinese version has it. Another reason to forcefully cut points, though it really doesn’t deserve to!

BUILD QUALITY / ERGONOMICS – 4.7/5

As per the title goes, Mi4 is almost near to take out-of-out points with respect to the build quality. For a first time Xiaomi has tried to do something different by moving from plastic to metallic finish. Trust me, they have done it beautifully. Mi4 is one of the best craftsmanship work seen smartphones.

Xiaomi-mi4-build-quality

Xiaomi Mi4 comes with a metallic finish in the corners of the device. It is made up of steel and looks premium to hold in hand. It has got metallic buttons, perfect cut in front of the speakers. Less bezels around the screen. It is a premium phone for sure!

However, the smooth metal edges and the glossy back panel make a bit slippery at times. Other than that, you will love you hold the device in hand every time and make others jealous! Also, due to a metallic finish, the device is a bit heavy when compared other 5-inch devices like Nexus 5 and Wammy One.

SOFTWARE / OPERATING SYSTEM – 4.2/5

For a first time, Indian users are going to witness an eye soothing operating system developed on top of Android. And for a first time, Xiaomi brigs MIUI 6 to India with Mi4. MIUI 6 shows a complete shift in terms of UI, animations and a lot more when compared to its previous version.

Xiaomi-mi4-miui

MIUI 6 carries a flatter design and developed on top of Android 4.4.4 aka Kitkat. Xiaomi has added all those beautiful features which we saw on Mi3 with MIUI 5 in this version as well. However, few of the handy shortcuts like swipe up on music app to open quick music player window are missing.

Also, MIUI 6 consumes 1.4GB of RAM, which is almost half of device RAM capacity. So the users will have to manage with the other half. This RAM consumption of MIUI OS is one of the negative points which company has to look into. We have seen same in its previous versions as well.

Additonally, Xiaomi has bundled Mi4 with SwiftKey and Fleksy along with Google Keyboard, to give you the option to choose your favorite keypad app. We will do a complete review on MIUI 6 in coming days. Have a look at MIUI 5 features for now. Almost all of them are present in the current version as well. However, few of the options inside setting are moved to sub category.

DISPLAY AND UI – 4.5/5

Xiaomi Mi4 has for a beautiful display. A 5 inch screen with a FULL HD with 441 pixels per inch is very bright and vibrant under the sun as well as in the dark. MIUI OS one such OS, which uses a great color combination. It doesn’t give pain to the eyes. At the same time, it keeps the richness of the UI intact.

Xiaomi-mi4-ui

User experience and user interface of the device is by far the best I’ve seen on any device. Though the UI is more or like rip off of Apple’s iOS, the user will need not have to spend more time understanding it.

CAMERA – 4.5/5

Xiaomi Mi4 has got a best in class cameras on both front and the rear. The 13MP camera on the back is capable of shooting 4208*3120px picture with f/1.8 aperture. The front or popular for selfies, 8MP can shoot 2448*3264px resolution image with the same f/1.8 aperture.

Xiaomi-mi4-camera

Xiaomi has redone the camera app and made it extremely minimal in appearance. There is a central white colored shutter button. To the left of which there is a gallery button and video record button on the right. Swiping from the right will bring up the 12 filters and swiping from the left brings up features such as HDR, Refocus, Panorama, burst shooting mode and so on.

Images shoot under the daylight is wonderful and very clear without any noise. But under the low light conditions, you will get to see lots of noise in the image. The live filter mode lets you see your image before clicking. HDR mode is awesome as always. Images taken with Panorama mode takes little bit extra time in attaching the images for a perfection.

Coming to a video front, Xiaomi Mi4 is capable of shooting 4K videos. Once can shoot a better quality video with 4K and Full HD resolution with this device. The front 8MP camera can shoot a Full HD videos which are a plus for video calls where one can see a best view of yours.

Image Samples:

Daylight:

Xiaomi-mi4-camera-daylight

Low-light:

Xiaomi-mi4-camera-lowlight

HDR:

Xiaomi-mi4-camera-HDR

Live Filter Mode:

Xiaomi-mi4-camera-filters

CALL CLARITY – 4.5/5

The call clarity of the Mi4 is very good. The caller and callee can hear the voice clearly on the both the ends. We never faced any call drops during our usage. Even the loud speaker was pretty good at emitting clear voice. The microphone is capable of reducing surrounding noise and keep the conversation pleasant.

SOUND CLARITY – 4.5/5

The audio output was quite good. I didn’t face any issue while watching a video on speaker in my living room. As the speaker is placed towards the downward section, users will have to get adjusted to audio output from one side. It gets pretty loud and sounds adequately crisp too. Even if you keep the device on a flat surface you will be able to clear output from the loudspeaker.

BATTERY – 4.2/5

This beast has got a 3,080mAh battery to keep it run throughout a day while switching between WiFi and 3G network. We got a very decent battery backup on this device on different types of usage starting from minimal to heavy usage while playing games.

Minimal usage: 36 hours

Medium Usage: 20hours

Heavy Usage: 14hours

One can never crib out the battery backup as the MIUI OS handles the background applications very well when not in use. It simply doesn’t allow them to suck the battery. It also comes with a power saving mode where you can set at what battery level to start it.

PERFORMANCE AND BENCHMARKS – 4.2/5

Xiaomi Mi4 in India is always compared with OnePlus One as both of them carries a similar hardware. So the performance of Mi4 plays a vital role in win hearts over OnePlus One. This is what the end user would love hear from those who have used the device.

So we did put the Xiaomi Mi4 under heavy performance test and noted down the benchmark scores. I should tell you frankly that the hardware combination of this device played a huge role in getting good results in our benchmark tests. The Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor backed with 3GB of RAM is more than capable of handling anything you throw at this device.

Antutu Benchmark Score: 44574

Xiaomi-mi4-antutu-score

Quadrant Score: 15821

Xiaomi-mi4-quadrant-score

Vellamo Benchmark Score: Bowser – 2385; Multi-core – 1365; Metal – 1331

Xiaomi-mi4-vellamo-score

Verdict

Everybody has one obvious question in their mind. Should I buy this device or go for other devices like OnePlus One which gives me more storage for some additional bucks. Trust me, I did feel disappointed when I saw the pricing of Mi4 during launch.

For Rs. 19,999 for the 16GB variant without LTE may look bit costlier when compared to other devices. That when compared to OnePlus One with similar specifications with 64GB inbuilt memory by paying Rs. 2000 extra. But trust me, for the features, build quality, buttery smooth MIUI OS, image quality shot from both front and rear cameras, it is a worthy and value-for-money device.

Also, for those who were disappointed (like me) with no news about 64GB variant and mere 12GB user memory of 16GB variant, Xiaomi has a good news for you. The company is also bringing 64GB Mi4 device in India for Rs. 23,999 and the sales will for the same will begin from February 24.

According to the company claims, Flipkart has already received more than 2,50,000 registrations for the first sale of Mi4 16GB variant in India. Looks like Indians are less worried about the internal storage and want to have a beautifully crafted and tough fella in their hands!

Product Gallery

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”2″ gal_title=”Xiaomi Mi4 Gallery”]

Vinay

Author

Vinay

Avid blogger, crazy about gadgets and mobiles especially about Android powered devices! Tech is all you get out of me! You can follow him on Facebook and on Twitter. To get in touch, simply drop a mail

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