No, it’s not the world’s first smartphone with 6GB RAM, and it doesn’t follow the Quad HD display trend either. But the highly anticipated, long overdue Xiaomi Mi 5 is pretty much as high-end as it could have been while keeping the price tag way lower than Samsung, LG and Sony’s newest flagships.
Let’s start with the retail cost aspect, as it was always up for contention. The cheapest Mi 5 configuration will go for 2,000 RMB in China, which converts to roughly $305. That one is the “Standard” edition, powered by an underclocked Snapdragon 820 processor, 3GB RAM and merely capable of housing 32GB data internally, with no microSD expansion support.
Meanwhile, 2,300 RMB or $350 shall apparently net you a 2.15GHz quad-core SD820 silicon, the same 3 gigs of memory, and 64GB storage space. Finally, the “Ceramic Exclusive” Mi 5 is slightly better-looking and has an even more premium feel than its siblings, setting you back the equivalent of $415 in a 4/128GB config.
Don’t get us wrong, all three of these models are stylish and robust, blending together materials like metal and glass. They’re also a measly 6.95mm slim, yet they pack decent 3,000 mAh batteries with QuickCharge 3.0 capabilities.
The physical home button underneath the 5.2-inch 1080p screen conceals a fingerprint scanner, and around the back, you get a super-advanced 16MP main camera with a Sony IMX298 sensor, PDAF and a fancy new optical image stabilization system.
The Xiaomi Mi 5 runs a lightly skinned version of Android 6.0 Marshmallow out the box, supports NFC and 4G LTE, and will be available in early March in gold, black, and white paint jobs. Looking forward to it? Hoping it’ll swing by European and American shores in addition to Asia? Stay tuned.