Xiaomi announced their latest flagship device, the Mi4 in India couple of weeks back. The Mi4 was announced officially last July in China and 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). On the imaging front, it has a 13MP rear camera with flash and a 8MP front-facing camera. Here is the detailed review of the device.
Related Reading: Xiaomi Mi4 Unboxing and First Impressions
Here is the video review of the device.
Design and Build:
Unlike the Mi3, which came with poly carbonate material, Xiaomi has employed a metallic frame with the Mi 4. It is made of stainless steel frame which has chamfered edges giving it an elegant and premium feel. The flat metallic frame is sand-blasted so as to provide it with a matte finish, but the chamfered edges are glossy in appearance. The rear panel although not removable, comes with a glossy plastic finish which may not be everyone’s liking. But the plastic quality is good and has an engraved pattern.
The volume and power buttons are on the right side while the 3.5mm audio jack and IR blaster sits on the top panel. The micro USB charging slot and the speaker is located at the bottom.
The front panel has the 5 inch Full HD display and has slim bezels on the sides and is shorter than the Mi3 even though both have 5 inch displays. On the top you have the 8MP front camera, sensors, Mi logo and the earpiece speaker. Below the display is the three capacitive touch buttons which are backlit. The LED indicator light is just below the home button.
On the rear panel, there is the 13MP camera with LED flash (single) and the Mi logo. At 149gms and 8.5mm thick, the phone is neither slim not light weight like the Mi3. But overall, the design and build quality of the phone is impressive.
Xiaomi Mi 4 features a 5-inch full HD IPS LCD display and it has a pixel density of 441ppi. The display is made extra tough with Corning Gorilla Glass OGS. The display is sharp and vivid and looks great. The brightness levels are also good and the sunlight readability looks decent. The viewing angles of the display is again good. The default font size may seem tiny for some people, but this can be easily adjusted in the settings.
The touch response is very good and it was precise. Watching movies should be a great experience on the 1080p display. Overall, we were pretty happy with the display offered on the device.
Software and Performance:
Xiaomi Mi4 runs MIUI6 on top of Android 4.4.4 KitKat. Similar to MIUI v5, the latest version 6 also offers a plethora of options to customize and get a great experience from the device. You can virtually customize every bit of the software and it is one of the most feature rich ROMs for an Android.
The notification center has a beautiful implementation with almost all quick toggles featured and you can also customize it. You can skin the UI with hundreds of free themes available from the theme store. MIUI has custom lock screen and also the home screen. Unlike stock Android, there is no app drawer instead it features multiple home screens.
Xiaomi has also added lots of useful apps like FM radio, recorder, Compass, torch and much more. Xiaomi’s attention to smaller details is simply amazing and the UI looks very much polished with no lags or crashes. The device also comes pre-loaded with all the Google apps along with WPS office, a beautiful File manager, weather, calendar and a notes app.
The phone also features a Security app which includes Cleaner, Data usage, Blocklist, battery, Virus Scan and also permissions.
The phone runs on Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 SoC which has a 2.5GHz quad-core processor along with an Adreno 330 GPU. There is 3GB RAM along with 16GB storage space. The biggest disappointment of the device is that there is no micro SD expansion slot and out of the 16GB, only a little above 12GB is available to user. If you need more storage, we suggest you to wait for the 64GB version coming soon. The performance of the device was lag free and it was extremely responsive even if you are running too many apps in the background.
The device has good reception and the call quality was also good. The phone also offers recording calls, which is not offered in most of the phones. The speaker volume and performance was also good. The phone also comes with Mi Cloud, which is the cloud storage from the company and you can upload files there.
The gaming performance of the device was also great and we tested highly graphic rich games and experienced no lag. Watch: Xiaomi Mi4 Gaming Review
Overall, we would say this is one of the best ROMs we have tested on Android. With the amount of features and customizations it offers, it will take a long time for you to get all the features tested.
Xiaomi Mi 4 features a 13MP camera with backside illuminated 1/3″ Sony-made sensor and 1.12µm pixel size and has f/1.8 aperture. There is a LED flash for shooting in low light. 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.
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. The daylight macro captures have come really good and the detailing is very good. Again the colors look vivid and are closer to real colors.
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.
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).
For more detailed camera review, check this post. Here are some selected samples from the camera.
The Mi4 comes with a 3080mAh battery which is almost the same capacity found on the Mi3. We tested the battery performance by running a host of background apps from social sites like Twitter, Facebook, Viber, WhatsApp, Instagram and more along with Mailbox and Gmail apps syncing two email accounts. The phone was connected to both 3G and Wi-Fi. With this settings we managed to get around 1.5 days with the battery which is really good performance. Even if you are a heavy phone user, you will still get a day of usage.
The battery performance on the device is really good and you wouldn’t have too much to complain here.
Should I get the Xiaomi Mi4? Well, that’s a tough choice. Priced at Rs 19999, the device is good value for money considering the specs. But having said that lack of 4G LTE and just 16GB storage with no microSD card are deal breaker for many. And if you can spend Rs 2000 extra, you can pick OnePlus One with 64GB storage. There might be many users who are not comfortable use a 5.5 inch device and the Mi4 is a compact device. There is also Lenovo Vibe X2 at Rs 19999 which is also a good choice. If you are ok with 16GB storage, we can definitely suggest Mi4 as the best option below Rs 20000 in India. If you want more storage, you can wait for the 64GB version coming soon.
With excellent build quality, software, great camera and good battery life, the Mi4 is an all round device and you might not have too much to complain about.