Xiaomi Mi 5 is the Best Chinese Smartphone

Xiaomi Mi 5

You’ve never seen a Chinese smartphone with this much polish before. The Xiaomi Mi 5 is hands down the best Chinese smartphone I’ve ever used.

Design and Display

So the Mi 5 has a beautiful, premium design. It feels really good in your hand. It feels like something way more expensive. It has a fantastic aluminum and glass design. It’s about $305 which is half the cost of an iPhone or a Galaxy S7, which is ridiculously insane.  The screen is a 5.1 inch display. It’s a full HD display, so not quite as sharp as the Samsung Galaxy S7, but it’s still pretty damn good. And it’s really really bright.  Below the screen there’s a fingerprint sensor. It works pretty quickly. You just press down on it and the screen will unlock. And in my tests, it’s actually faster than the iPhone 6S.

Xiaomi Mi 5


The phone’s really fast. It’s got the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 Processor. Performance has been really fantastic. You can play 3D games with it, and it won’t overheat. You can run multiple apps and the performance doesn’t lag at all. So really no qualms with the performance.

Xiaomi Mi 5


The Xiaomi Mi 5 runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow but it’s also got Xiaomi’s custom skin, which is called MIUI 7 – it’s their latest version. And as you can see, it actually looks a lot like iOS. And that’s no surprise, considering the phone is inspired by the iPhone. On the bottom of the phone is the brand new USB Type-C port. It’s reversible, so you can flip it in any orientation.

Xiaomi Mi 5


On the front of the phone is a 4 MP camera and it’s pretty decent. The goofiest feature on the front facing camera is this kind of age detector. And it tells you how old you are, or tries to guess how old you are and also tells you whether you’re a male or female. So right now it says I am 26 and I’m a male. So, a little bit younger than I actually am. On the back, you’ve got a 16MP camera with dual LED flash and four-axis optical image stabilization. Pictures look pretty good. They’re a little bit saturated. But they don’t look too bad. They’re not as good as the iPhone’s or the Galaxy S7’s, but not bad for a $300 phone I can’t say I’ve ever liked a Chinese phone as much as the Mi 5.

It’s just too bad you can’t buy one in the U.S. And even if you could, it won’t work on LTE. But if it is available in your region, yes. Buy it. It’s got it all. For more budget smartphone click here. 

1.  Raises the bar for cheap phones in a big way

2.  Zero worries about performance or battery life

3.  Software additions are smart and helpful

1.  Some fit and finish concerns

2. Image quality is a step below the best

3. Not available in the US or Europe

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