Xiaomi made a splash at the Mobile World Congress this year amid reports that it will finally be selling its handsets to American and European territories. While there have been Mi phones seen in these regions, the Chinese company may have to secure several more rights in order to officially put their phones, tablets, and accessories on sale in these parts of the world.

Despite this apparent setback, Xiaomi nevertheless made its first MWC appearance with a new flagship: the Mi 5.

Notable in the Mi 5’s exterior is the ceramic back plate. Xiaomi chief Hugo Barra mentioned that while the unique back panel added to the phone’s production cost, it also added durability when the phone gets dropped. Another thing to note about the Mi 5 is the display size: 5.1 inches. In a time where flagship models are pushing the boundaries of phablet sizes, the Mi 5 takes things down a notch in terms of size. The phone outputs a full HD display at 1920 x 1080 resolution.

When it comes to the goodies inside, the Mi 5 has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chip paired with an Adreno 530 graphics card to handle the load. The company’s homebrew UI, MIUI 6 is overlaid on an Android Marshmallow OS. As with all phones Xiaomi, expect regular updates to MIUI as well as third-party developer tweaks to come out in the near future. The Mi 5 comes in 3GB and 4GB RAM variants, the latter dubbed as the Mi 5 Pro, which comes with 128GB of storage space while the former has 32GB and 64GB sub-flavors.

For imaging, the Mi 5 has a 16 megapixel Sony IMX298 sensor, f/2.0 aperture, phase-detection AF, 4-axis optical image stabilization, and pixel-to-pixel isolation. The 4-axis OIS comes in handy in low-light situations as well as taking photos while moving to prevent distortion and blurring. The front camera is a 4 megapixel shooter with a Qualcomm Spectra Image processor, the same one used in the Mi Note.

The Mi 5 will also feature quick charging capabilities, beautify functions for the camera software, and can support HD voice calls over LTE, with options to put in image overlays in real time. The phone comes in black, white, and gold variants, which will be available in China on March 1. Pricing for the Mi 5 start at 1,999 Yuan for the 32GB ROM 3GB RAM variant, while the high-end Mi Pro retails for 2,699 Yuan.

About The Author

Jason Dayrit
EIC, twenty8two.com

Jason has always been fascinated with tech, gadgets, and the internet. He's been tinkering with things without user manuals ever since he was a child, and likes talking to machines, especially cars. Sometimes, they talk back. His ultimate dream is to become the Internet's first bonafide supervillain.