Xiaomi Mi4 review – Stainless Steel frame, very good camera

Xiaomi Mi4 first flash sales will begin from 10th February 2015. This is the second Xiaomi phone in the ‘Mi’ series. The Mi4 is priced at Rs. 19,999. Read this full review to get an idea about this product.

Mi4 Box Pack
Inside you will find the Mi4, data cable, user guide, warranty info, SIM tray ejector pin and travel charger (5V/9V ~ fast charging). SAR value as mentioned on the box – 1.360 W/kg (MAX).

Design and Display
The Mi4 is a super phone – ‘ Phone of Steel’. It is using a high quality stainless steel frame and aluminium magnesium alloy mid frame that make it look unique and structurally strong. The frame is sandblasted to make it smoother. The chamfer edges give a shiny edge to the handset.

The rear side is white coloured, glossy finish with textures that are easily visible under different lighting conditions. Handset is comfortable to hold but with a stainless steel sides and a glossy back panel it gets a little slippery.

Xiaomi Mi4 box pack

Mi4 weight with built-in 3000 mAh battery is 150 grams and dimensions are 68.34 x 139.27 x 8.93 (mm). This is a single SIM (micro) handset with 3G support. Xiaomi faced technical issues implementing the 4G module that would work in India, and hence the Indian version is with 3G/2G support only. There is no micro SD card slot.

Xiaomi Mi4 review and unboxing

3.5mm audio jack and IR port are placed on the top side. On the left side you will find the single micro SIM tray. On the right side there is power and volume rocker . A micro USB port and speaker vent along with mic are placed at the bottom. There are dual mics for noise cancellation.

The touch screen is 5 inches using the Sharp / JDI display supporting FHD – 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution. Colour reproduction is very good. Touch is very smooth and responsive.

Xiaomi MI4 screen comes with Concor Corning glass that is different from corning gorilla glass. The Concor glass is shatter-proof but not fully scratch resistant. Check the video review. I got minor scratches on the screen. The screen is scratch resistant to some extent, but a little extra pressure could give away. The scratches are mild, not easily visible and would go unnoticed; you might want to check it under a good light source. It would be wise to use a screen guard if you are a careless user.

Xiaomi Mi4 5 inch FHD screen

There is LED notification, and you can also select the color. The LED light is placed just below the dedicated home button at the bottom. There are good number of sensors – Accelerometer, magnetic, gyro, light, proximity, barometer, temperature and step counter.

Memory and Storage
The Mi4 does not come with a micro SD card slot. There is 3GB RAM and 16GB internal storage. On the first boot you will get around 2GB free RAM and of the 16GB space you will get around 13GB user storage space.

OTG is supported. OTG works, there is USB connected notification but you will not get any alert, check notification area and it will be there. 16GB space is more than enough for many users, but yes for some it may not be enough. The handset can shoot 4K videos that will take up a lot of space (in case you want to shoot 4K videos). Since OTG works you can always transfer the files from the phone to pendrive and free up the phone space.

Xiaomi Mi4 stainless steel metal frame

MIUI 6 OS
The handset is running MIUI 6. MIUI OS gets even better with MIUI version 6. There are a lot of cool and smooth animation without compromising on the performance. The good part is that the same MIUI 6 will be rolled out on other devices, not just limited to Mi4.

Xiaomi Mi4 is running MIUI 6

MIUI 6 is more colourful with new flat icons. Overall it looks cool and feels premium. Check the video review.

Performance
The handset is using the qualcomm snapdragon 801 MSM8274AC quad core processor clocked at 2.5GHz with Adreno 330 GPU. Performance is very smooth. Handset heat up a bit with heavy usage but that’s normal. Avoid using performance mode unless necessary as that will heat up the handset much faster.

Benchmark

App Result
Quadrant 15094
Antutu 33588 (B) / 43935 (P)
Vellamo Metal (1553) Multi core (1574) Browser (3969)
Nenamark 2 60.1 fps
Multi Touch 10 point

Gaming
I played Ashpalt 8 and Real Racing 3 – both games played well. I am sure you guys are already aware of how powerful the snapdragon 801 processor is. There was some sensor calibration issues while playing the games, it was tilted a little on the right side. If you face such issues just dial *#*#64663#*#* then look for accelerometer, keep handset on flat surface and tap calibrate.

Camera and Entertainment
The Mi4 comes with 13MP Sony camera placed on the rear with LED flash and 8MP on the front. The rear camera is with a large f/1.8 aperture and can focus really fast in just about 0.3 seconds. The camera app is pretty good. When you tap to focus you will get a circle, once the subject is focused you will get the camera button within the focus circle, you can tap that to shoot. What’s more you can also rotate the circle to control the exposure and you can see it live on the screen.

Xiaomi Mi4 13MP camera with flash

There is re-focus mode – shoot first; focus later, it is a good option when there are multiple subjects at different distances. Rear camera can shoot 4K (3840 x 2160 pixels) videos. Flash is not that powerful.

The camera and the video quality is very good, check the sample images. You can also manually control the exposure if needed, instantly. Mi4 can play 4K videos.

Others
Sound (loudspeaker / incall ) is loud and clear. No issues with 3G, Wi-Fi, GPS (instant lock) and Bluetooth. There is IR on the top, you can use this phone like a remote to control TV, AC, DVD, etc.

Battery
There is a non-removable battery of 3000 mAh capacity.

Task Time Battery drop (%) (max temp)
Running Benchmark apps 25 minutes 9% (41)
Video playback with Wi-Fi on + full brightness 21 minutes 7% (40)
Asphalt 8 + Real Racing 3 Game Play 15 minutes 4% (40)
Full Wall Charge 2 hours 33 minutes 1% to 100%

The battery temperature was well below 42 degrees in balanced mode, if you are using the handset in performance mode the temperature can go over 45 degree depending on your usage.

You can expect battery backup of 4 to 6 hours with continuous moderate to heavy usage.

Verdict
Xiaomi Mi4 is a premium handset with a good price tag of Rs. 19,999. Now if you are comparing this with the Mi3 price wise, then the Mi4 is pricy. Mi4 is using the snapdragon 801 and cheaper than other 801 powered handsets available in the market. Like other 801 powered handsets the Mi4 does not support 4G, which is a big disappointment if you are planning to use 4G.

Overall it is a good handset with very good performance and camera. Price is on the higher side very close to the Oneplus one, Lenovo vibe X2 and Huawei honor 6 handsets – this will make it a bit difficult to decide.

Mi4 will be available on Flipkart for Rs. 19,999.

Image Gallery

Rear camera sample

Front camera sample

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