Xiaomi announced their flagship device, the Mi4 in India and it went on sale on February 10th for a price of Rs 19999. The phone comes with a 5-inch (1920 x 1080 pixels) IPS display with 441 PPI. The display is based one-glass solution (OGS) made by Sharp / JDI. The device is powered by a 2.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor with Adreno 330 GPU. The phone comes with 3GB RAM and has 16GB internal storage. It runs on MIUI version 6 on top of Android 4.4 (KitKat).
Xiaomi Mi 4 features a 13MP camera with backside illuminated 1/3″ Sony-Sensor with a LED flash unit. The front facing camera is 8MP and is useful for selfies and video calls. Here is the detailed review of the camera on the Xiaomi Mi4.
Lets first have a look at the interface of the device.
The MIUI 6 interface is pretty feature rich and offers settings like HDR, Panorama, scenes, focus mode, white balance, exposure and ISO manual settings, among others. The Face Detection and Image stabilization are also available in additional settings. You can swipe down for the filters and swipe up for the different modes.
You need some time to get used to the interface as there are multiple options for each modes.
Here are the photos taken in daylight.
As you can see from the photos taken in daylight, Xiaomi Mi4 camera has plenty of detail, color reproduction is accurate and the white balance is right most of the time. Although at times you might feel that the images are a bit oversaturated, the overall quality of the daylight shots are very good. Even if you zoom the photos, there isn’t much of noise or loss of clarity. Overall, the daylight shots have come pretty good.
Now, moving on to macro shots, here are some macro shots taken in daylight:
As you can see from the above photos, the macro captures have come really good and the detailing is very good. Again the colors look vivid and are closer to real colors. The focusing of macro shots were pretty fast and you can always touch on the display to focus it. We seldom had any issues with macro focusing. The macro shots also adds a bokeh effect which is pretty good.
The camera also has the Refocus option where in you can change the focus of macro shots after you have taken the photo. The refocus works well if the two objects are less than 1 meter from lens. The refocus works pretty well when we tested, but not really perfect.
Low Light Photos:
While the daylight and macro shots were impressive, one area where the camera was disappointing was the low light abilities. Mi4 really doesn’t handle low lighting situations well and the noise levels are higher and colors become very muted and this is clearly evident in the photos. Under well lit conditions, the photos have decent clarity but again not up to the quality of a flagship. The macro shots were noisy and weren’t of great quality.
Low Light (with flash):
Unlike the Mi3 which comes with dual LED flash, the Mi4 has a single one and this is yet another disappointing aspect in the camera. The flash was not accurate and added an yellowish tint to the photos and the colors looked washed out.
The video recorder has the same interface as that of the photos and the Xiaomi Mi 4 is capable or recording 2160p@30fps and 1080p@30 fps videos. The details in the video are very pretty good and the colors and contrast are great too. The phone can also record videos in slow motion (available only for HD videos), fast motion and HDR recording (even in 4k).
Here is a sample video 4K video taken from the camera.
Front Camera (8MP):
The device sports a 8MP camera for selfies and it also features facial recognition for auto-focus and it can guess the age of the faces in the viewfinder. It is a wide angle camera which means you can add in a lot of people in the selfie. The front camera performs pretty well with decent quality for the selfie shots. Video calls should able be a great experience on the device.
Xiaomi Mi4 definitely has a great capable camera which can take beautiful photos in the daylight and it is the low light where the camera struggles a bit. The video quality is also good and there is the option to take 4k (2160p) videos which is an added feature in the sub Rs 20000 price point. Although it might not be the best camera out there on a smartphone, it definitely is class leading in this segment of affordable flagships. If you are looking for a great camera experience in the sub 20k price point, the Mi4 camera offers a lot and worth the buy.