Mi 5 is Xiaomi’s prettiest, most powerful smartphone yet


The Mi 5 lineup. Photo: Xiaomi

Xiaomi’s much-anticipated Mi 5 smartphone is here, and it’s a gigantic improvements over its predecessors.

Sporting a curvy ceramic body packed with cutting-edge specifications, like a Snapdragon 820 processor and 4GB of RAM, it is the Chinese startup’s prettiest and powerful handset to date. And no, it’s not another iPhone clone.

Like previous Mi smartphones, this one aims to combine high-end design and premium internals with a price tag that makes it more affordable than rival flagships. But the Mi 5 is closer to being an iPhone or Galaxy killer than any of its predecessors have been.

It starts with the new design, which is made out of “3D ceramic” that curves around at the back, like the new Galaxy S7 and S7 edge. The Mi 5 also has a metal frame, a physical home button with a built-in fingerprint scanner — a first for a Xiaomi device — and a 5.15-inch Full HD display.

The Mi 5 looks a lot like a Galaxy S7 from the back. Photo: Xiaomi

The Mi 5 looks a lot like a Galaxy S7 from the back. Photo: Xiaomi

Underneath all that, there’s a Snapdragon 820 processor — the same chip in the Galaxy S7 and the LG G5 — 4GB of RAM, up to 128GB of storage, a 16-megapixel camera with 4-axis optical image stabilization (a world first), and Quick Charge 3.0 technology.

The Mi 5 also ships with Xiaomi’s latest MIUI 7 software, and if you don’t like the white ceramic model, black and gold options made out of glass will also be available. That’s if you live in China, of course; there are no plans to launch the Mi 5 in the West just yet.

That doesn’t mean you won’t be able to pick one up on Amazon or eBay in the U.S. and Europe later on, though. The device will make its debut on March 1, with the 128GB model priced at 2,699 yuan ($413/£297).