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Xiaomi Mi 5 vs Xiaomi Mi 4: 2016's Flagship is IMMENSE

Know Your Mobile logo Know Your Mobile 25-02-2016 Michael Grothaus
Xiaomi Mi 5 vs Xiaomi Mi 4: 2016's Flagship is IMMENSE© Xiaomi Mi 5 vs Xiaomi Mi 4: 2016's Flagship is IMMENSE

It’s been a long 18 months since Chinese smartphone powerhouse Xiaomi has released an update to its Mi 4 flagship, but that wait is finally over. At Mobile World Congress the week the company unveiled the Mi 5. While it doesn’t pack in some of the high-end features of other flagship smartphones unveiled this week, the Mi 5 is quite an update over the Mi 4—especially in the design department.

The Mi 5 also comes in a few versions: the standard and the Pro. But how do those compare against the older Mi 4—just how much better are they? Let’s take a look!

Xiaomi Mi 5 vs Xiaomi Mi 4: RAM, CPU, and Storage

Here’s the specs for the Xiaomi Mi 4:

Display: 5.0-inch display with 1920x1080 resolution at 441ppiDimensions: 139.2mm x 68.5 mm x 8.9 mmWeight: 149 gramsStorage: 16 or 64GBMemory: 2 or 3 GB RAMProcessor: Qualcomm MSM8974AC Snapdragon 801Front camera: 8 MPRear camera: 13 MP photos. ƒ/1.8 apertureBattery: 3080 mAhColors: Black or White

And here’s the specs for the Xiaomi Mi 5:

Display: 5.2-inch display with 1920x1080 resolution at 428 ppiDimensions: 144.5mm x 62.9 mm x 7.2 mmWeight: 139 gramsStorage: 32, 64, or 128 GBMemory: 3 or 4 GB RAMProcessors: Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 820Front camera: 4 MPRear camera: 16 MP, f/2.0 apertureBattery life: 3000 mAhColors: Black, White, or Gold

The Mi 5 gets a not insignificant memory upgrade over the Mi 4. The older Mi 4 came with either 2GB or 3GB of RAM, depending on the model. The new Mi 5 ads an extra gigabyte to each: you’ll now get 3GB in the standard edition and 4GB in the Pro.

Storage has also gotten a boost. The Mi 4 came in 32GB and 64GB options. The Mi 5 still offers those, but if you buy the Pro edition you’ll be able to grab a 128GB size as well.

As for processors the Mi 4 features a relatively weak Snapdragon 801 chipset. The new Mi 5, however, packs in a top-end Snapdragon 820 CPU. The 820 leaves the 801 in the dust.

Xiaomi Mi 5 vs Xiaomi Mi 4: Design & Build

Where you can really see the difference between the Mi models is in the design and build departments. The old Mi 4 had a plastic body. That’s been completely ditched for the Mi 5, which now looks like a premium handset thanks to its metal band that wraps around the frame. As for the material of the main body the standard edition Mi 5 features a glass back panel while the Pro edition has a ceramic body.

Despite the new materials, the Mi 5 actually comes in 10 grams lighter than the Mi 4. The Mi 5 is also significantly thinner than the Mi 4 at 7.2mm versus the Mi 4’s 8.9mm thickness. Both phones come in black or white, but the Mi 5 also has a gold option.

Xiaomi Mi 5 vs Xiaomi Mi 4: Display and Battery

As for displays, the Mi 5 gets a slightly larger display at 5.2-inches. That compares to the Mi 4’s 5.0-inch display. The disappointing thing is the Mi 5 is still stuck at the same 1920x1080 resolution that the Mi 4’s display has. Because of that, and because the screen is a bit larger, it means the Mi 5 display actually has a lower ppi at 428 versus the Mi 4’s 441 ppi.

The Mi 5 also has a smaller battery pack inside. It features a 3000mAh battery versus the Mi 4’s 3080 mAh battery. However, the difference isn’t that big and chances are the Mi 5’s battery will last just as long or longer than the Mi 4 due to more energy efficient components.

Xiaomi Mi 5 vs Xiaomi Mi 4: Cameras

What’s interesting is the Mi 4 has a much better front camera than the Mi 5: 8MP versus the Mi 5’s 4MP. We’re a little confused as to why the downgrade too. However, the four megapixels the Mi 5 lost in front gets added to its rear camera, now coming in at 16MP virus the Mi 4’s 12MP rear sensor. Both shoot video up to 2160p at 30fps.

Xiaomi Mi 5 vs Xiaomi Mi 4: Verdict

Despite the front camera downgrade and the slightly smaller battery, the Mi 5 is the clear winner over the Mi 4. It’s got a much faster processor, more RAM, and has a higher top-level storage option. It’s body and design have also received a much welcome—and sexier—glass or ceramic upgrade over the old plastic Mi 4. There’s no question about it, between these two models the Mi 5 is the one to get. 

Photos: Pictures from the Mobile World Congress 2016

Mobile World Congress 2016

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