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Xiaomi Mi4S Review


Mobile Phones

Xiaomi Mi4S Review

Along with the release of Mi5, Xiaomi also announced the Mi4S for Chinese market and it is an upgrade to the Mi4C. The Xiaomi Mi4S comes with a 5 inch Full HD display (1920 X 1080p) resolution with IPS LCD panel similar to the Mi4C and it is also powered by the same Snapdragon 808 Hexa-Core processor coupled with 3GB of RAM.

The internal storage is at 64GB and comes with dual SIM card support. Here is the detailed review of the Mi4S.

Related Reading: Xiaomi Mi4S Unboxing

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Here is the video review of the device.

Design and Build:

One of the major changes to Mi4S, when compared to Mi4C, is in the design. Mi4S comes with a metal construction with a unibody design. The sides of the device are curved with chamfered edges which give a great feel to the device. The front panel has 5 inches Full HD display, front camera, sensors and the three capacitive buttons similar to Mi4C. The bottom panel houses the USB C Type port and speaker unit. On the right side, you have the power and volume keys while the left side houses the dual SIM card tray. The top panel has the 3.5 mm audio jack, IR blaster, and the secondary microphone.

The rear panel has the 13MP camera, dual LED flash, fingerprint scanner and the Mi Logo. It has a glass finishing with a pattern. It comes in three colors and we had the gold variant with us. The overall build quality looks great and gives a premium feel. At 7.8mm and 133gms, the device is an incredibly light weight for a metallic phone.

 

Display:

The Xiaomi Mi4S comes with a 5 inch full HD display (1920 X 1080p) and it retains the same display as that of Mi4C with 441PPI. The touch response on the display looks very smooth and so are the colors. The viewing angles are also great on the phone. It also comes with the sunlight display which was first announced with Mi4i.

But when you compare the display of Mi4S with Mi5, you might find that the Mi4S has a yellowish tint. We are not really why it is so, but having checked with other users, we can conclude it is not just our unit.

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Software:

Xiaomi Mi5 comes with Android 5.1.1 Lollipop with MIUI 7. While Mi5 comes with Marshmallow, it is quite disappointing that Xiaomi chose to ship with 5.1.1. If you have been using a Xiaomi device previously, you might be knowing that the company concentrates of MIUI version rather than the Android version.

The phone comes with custom launched with multiple home screens devoid of an app drawer. The notification center and quick toggles are also completely customized.

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If you have been using Xiaomi phones, the interface is quite familiar and there aren’t too many visual changes to the UI with MIUI 7. The phone comes with tons of options to customize, be it in the form of themes, icon packs, lock screen, boot animations, sounds and more. All of these can be downloaded from the Themes app.

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Mi5 also comes with Daily Lock Screens wherein you get different lock screen delivered every day.

The phone also comes with Child Mode which allows you to configure the phone when you are giving it to your children. There is also one handed mode if you want to make the display smaller. The phone also features the security app which comes with cleaner, virus scan, block list, data usage and more.

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Xiaomi has also added lots of useful apps like a recorder, Compass, torch and much more. Xiaomi’s attention to smaller details is simply amazing and the UI looks polished with no lags or crashes. Xiaomi has also included Mi Remote app and you can use it to control your TV or A/C using the IR blaster available on the device. While there is a lot to offer in terms of customization and looks, Xiaomi needs to look into the software aspect especially the notification center where you cannot expand the notifications.

 

Performance:

Xiaomi Mi4S is powered by the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 Hexa core processor coupled with 3GB of RAM. The device performance is pretty good in day to day usage and we never felt any lag or issues with performance. Multitasking also quite good on the phone and the amount of free RAM available was around 1.6GB which is pretty good.

While the overall performance was quite good, the gaming experience was not impressive especially when it has Snapdragon 808. The heating on the device was not very high, so you do not have to worry about that aspect.

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We tested the device with dual SIM card and 4G LTE. The call quality of the phone was very good and we never faced any issues with call drops. The speaker performance was very good and much better than what we experienced on flagship Mi5.

Xiaomi Mi4S comes with 64GB internal storage and there is no micro SD expansion slot. The phone has close to 54GB in the first boot. The phone also comes with USB C Type port for charging.

The phone comes with fingerprint scanner located on the rear panel and it was very quick to unlock the phone. The fingerprint scanner also allows you to lock apps and protect them.

Camera:

Xiaomi Mi4S comes with a 13MP rear camera with f/2.0, phase detection autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash and a 5MP front camera for selfies. The camera interface is typical MIUI 7 interface with all the features like HDR (auto), Panorama, manual mode among others.

You also got a handful of filters to choose from.The manual mode allows you to set the white balance, focus, exposure and ISO. Now, talking about the photo quality, the daylight shots have good clarity. The color quality was also quite good, although it was not as good as the Mi5. The HDR photos were also quite good. There is a great balance in photos and overall they look quite good. The close up photos also had good detailing with accurate colors.

The low light photos weren’t as impressive as the daylight shots. While the colors were quite good with artificial light, the sharpness was not very impressive. Considering that this is a mid-range phone, the overall quality looks good.

The front facing camera also works quite well for selfies with good color quality. Here are some of the samples taken with Mi4S.

 

Battery Life:

Xiaomi Mi4S comes with 3260mAh with fast charging. While the capacity of the battery is good, the battery performance was average. We did manage a maximum of 4 hours and 18 minutes screen on time with the battery, but most of the occasions we could get around 3-3.5 hours. The battery will last for a day with moderate usage. If the device had Android Marshmallow (with doze), the performance would have been much better.

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Verdict:

Is the Xiaomi Mi4S a worthy upgrade to Mi4C? Indeed, it is with a good metallic construction, fingerprint scanner, and overall good performance. But the bigger question is should  buy the Mi4S when you can get the Mi5 for a slight highly price? The Mi4S is a good all rounder performer offering 64GB storage, good design and build coupled with good performance and camera. If you are looking for a good mid-range phone on a tight budget, then Mi4S should satisfy your needs.

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Nirmal is a Technology Blogger and a Microsoft MVP in Windows. He can be contacted at nirmal@nirmaltv.com. You can find Nirmal on , and .

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