Xiaomi Mi 5: Great Specs, Awesome Display, Cheap, Too Bad You Can't Buy It

Xiaomi Mi 5: Great Specs, Awesome Display, Cheap. Too Bad You Can't Buy It

Xiaomi has a reputation for making good phones at incredible prices. That's never been more true than with the new Mi 5, a phone with specs to compete with the iPhone or Galaxy S7 — but for comparative peanuts. Too bad you probably won't be able to buy one.

Xiaomi's clearly put some effort into making the new Mi look good. It's got a premium feel, with metallic edges that are reminiscent of the Galaxy S6 Edge. Hardly surprising, given the company has a track record for borrowing design cues.

Xiaomi Mi 5: Great Specs, Awesome Display, Cheap. Too Bad You Can't Buy It

The body itself is made from a highly polished ceramic material, with a slightly curved back which makes it comfortable to hold. There's not a great deal in the way of bezel — you can reach most of the screen with your thumb — and it also feels very thin, partly because of the taper at the edge.

Xiaomi Mi 5: Great Specs, Awesome Display, Cheap. Too Bad You Can't Buy It

Under the hood there's a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, the same processor that's used in the new Galaxy S7 and LG G5. There's also 3GB of LPDDR4 RAM. It's hard to tell how the phone will perform in the wild after just playing with it for a few minutes, but based on what we saw there were no UI lags — the device was responsive the whole time.

And then there's the display. Oh, the display. It's awesome: 5.15 inches of beautiful full-HD IPS panel, one that looks easily as good as the one in the Galaxy S7.

On the back there's a 16 megapixel f2.0 camera, and at the front a 4 megapixel sensor with the same aperture. Again, it's hard to judge after just a few minutes, but the images it captured looked good — though probably not as good as the ones you'd capture with an iPhone 6s or a Galaxy S7. There's 4-axis OIS stabilisation in there too — the iPhone, as reference, uses just 3 axes — but some of the photos we took were still blurred if we moved the device a little more than usual.

Xiaomi Mi 5: Great Specs, Awesome Display, Cheap. Too Bad You Can't Buy It

Xiaomi sells its devices at close to cost, so this phone will go on sale in China for RMB2600 for the high-end model and RMB1999 for a more basic version. That's just $US350 ($486 in Australia) and $US260 ($361 in Australia) respectively — incredibly cheap for a phone that can compete with the iPhone or Galaxy S7.

Sadly, it probably won't come to the US or to Australia — not least because of the legal problems it would probably face for shamelessly ripping companies like Apple and Samsung. But you might be able to find one on eBay, if you're desperate for a slice of Mi.

Xiaomi Mi 5: Great Specs, Awesome Display, Cheap. Too Bad You Can't Buy It

Comments

    Do you have any evidence at all that it won't be on sale here? It doesn't look any more like an Apple or Samsung phone than 90% of the phones that are already on sale here.

    "But you might be able to find one on eBay, if you’re desperate for a slice of Mi."

    There will be plenty of retailers who will sell and ship to Australians

      With excellent warranty conditions, I'm sure!

        For that price you're gonna have to compromise on something Campbell - more often than not it's warranty and after sales support in general. I don't think it's a bad trade off either given the price and specs.

        compared to the warranty you get on eBay? You do you realize they would both be international re-sellers? I would trust a designated phone website selling the phone rather then some random chump on eBay

    I just bought a Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 from an online reseller and it cost me $230 delivered. It is close to the best phone I've ever had. I can see myself sticking with Xiaomi for a long time if it continues to perform this well.

    Been looking at this phone for a little while now in anticipation for the release. Looking at getting a friend who lives in Malaysia to source one for me and bring it back with him when he visits next. My only concern is the network bands it uses. I've heard mixed things on whirlpool and other sources about what it supports. Also need to wait for the 'global rom' release that's due for the Indian market I believe.

    U guys must note that it was mi note who first introduced 3d curved back after that it was introduced in Samsung Galaxy edge. U guys must check your facts first. X(

      Mi note did it first, sadly it didn't get enough attention as much as the mi5 that's why people thought it copied edge. Even if it was the first one that got released

    Your prices are incorrect. 2699 Yuan is not AU$486, it's actually $570.
    And 1999 Yuan is actually AU$421.

    And I heard that Xiaomi actually had the curved back before Samsung, not sure if it's true though.

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