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MWC 2016: Mi 5 is the most powerful Xiaomi phone yet

The company says the phone will be available in three variants, with unique finishes, different processor configurations and storage capacity

Xiaomi Mi 5<br />
Xiaomi Mi 5

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has taken the veil off its next smartphone, the Mi 5 at the Mobile World Congress (MWC 2016) in Barcelona. The phone is a major leap in terms of specifications, because all of Xiaomi’s recent phones were powered by mid-range processors, while the 2.15GHz Snapdragon 820 octa-core processor powering the Mi 5 is Qualcomm’s most powerful chip for mobile devices yet. This makes the Mi 5 one of the first smartphones to run on it. The other three devices based on the same chip are the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S7, the Sony Xperia X Performance and LG G5, all of which were showcased over the past few days.

Despite the popularity of big screen phones, Xiaomi hasn’t gone for a big screen in the Mi 5. At 5.15-inches, the display is slightly bigger than its predecessor, the Mi 4, which had a 5-inch screen. Also, the screen resolution is 1920x1080 pixels, and whether that is acceptable or not will depend on the pricing at which it roll out finally.

The processor has been paired with 4GB RAM, which is among the highest in smartphones. The phone is powered by a 3,000mAh battery and features a front facing finger print sensor for additional security. It will run Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) with the MIUI 7 interface running over it. For camera enthusiasts, it has a 16-megapixel camera, the sensor for which is made by Sony. The camera can record 4K videos and supports four-axis optical image stabilisation.

The Mi 5 will be available in three variants. The more expensive Mi 5 Pro, which comes with a ceramic back panel and has 128GB of internal storage, will be available at Chinese Yuan RMB 2,999 ( 32,000 approximately), the same ceramic material used by OnePlus in its X smartphone. The glass version of Mi 5 offers 64GB storage and will cost RMB 2,299 ( 25,000 approximately). The third variant of the Mi 5 will also have a glass back but runs an under-clocked (1.8GHz version of Snapdragon 820) and has only 32GB of storage. It will cost RMB 1,999 ( 21,000 approximately). All three variants will be available in black, white and gold colour. But we aren’t sure which of these variants will come to India.

Though Xiaomi is better known for its budget smartphones, some of its phones, especially the Mi 3 and Mi 4 had the looks and configuration of many high-end flagships. Availability of devices for consumers to buy is something Xiaomi seriously needs to improve, because the limited-number flash sales end up disappointing more potential buyers. Also, important to note that some of its devices in Mi series (Mi 3 and Mi 4) were launched in India almost an year after being rolled out in China and some other Asian markets.

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