A few hours with the Xiaomi Mi4

By Prasid Banerjee | Updated Feb 03 2015
Slide 1 - A few hours with the Xiaomi Mi4

Xiaomi finally launched its flagship Mi4 smartphone in India today. Even though the device comes six months after its original launch in China, Xiaomi's low prices makes it more relevant than a generation old phone should be. That said, the company's decision to price the 16GB variant of the Mi4 at Rs. 19,999 is questionable to say the least, especially because there is no word on when the 64GB variant will come to India. The Mi4 though has specifications that can rival all of last year's flagships and still costs about half of what most of them do, so there's definitely some interest in the phone. Moreover, the Mi4 introduced MiUI 6 in India as well. The new version of Xiaomi's much loved UI will be coming to the Mi3 in early February, while the Redmi Note 4G will get it a little later, followed by the Redmi 1S in late March.

Slide 2 - A few hours with the Xiaomi Mi4

Build..

The chamfered edges on the Mi4 is a nice touch and makes the device look quite premium, reminiscent in some ways of the iPhone 5S. The Mi4 though is biggest and still has its own design elements, which are both good and bad. While we quite like the compact build, the glossy back makes this phone slippery.

Video: Xiaomi Mi4 First Look

Slide 3 - A few hours with the Xiaomi Mi4

Camera

Since we first saw the Xiaomi Mi3, the first thing to do with any Xiaomi phone is to try the camera. The company has done well with its cameras till now and after spending a few hours with the Mi4, it seems to be following the tradition well. That said, there's a lot of testing left before a verdict can be passed.

Slide 4 - A few hours with the Xiaomi Mi4

Front Camera

It wouldn't be tough to guess that at least one reader here will want to know whether this phone is good for selfies and Xiaomi seems to have covered that aspect well. The 8MP front camera has taken some good shots for us till now and would be familiar to anyone who's seen the camera in the Redmi 1S in action.

Slide 5 - A few hours with the Xiaomi Mi4

MiUI 6

As mentioned above, MiUI 6 was also launched for the first time in India today. The simplest changes from MiUI 5 that you will notice is the flatter design for icons and the overall interface. Yes, it does feel a lot like iOS, but MiUI 6 definitely has its own personality as well.

Video: Hugo Barra explains MiUI 6

Slide 6 - A few hours with the Xiaomi Mi4

Task Manager and Settings

The task manager is the same as before, except it blurs the background completely. In addition, the notification panel allows swipe to the right, which brings you to the quick settings.

Slide 7 - A few hours with the Xiaomi Mi4

Camera App

The camera app in MiUI 6 is perhaps the biggest similarity that you will find with IOS. That said, the app allows a lot of control over the camera and is very simplistic as well. Also, the QR Code scanner that was earlier integrated into the Camera App has now been moved to a separate stand alone application.

Slide 8 - A few hours with the Xiaomi Mi4

Mi 4, OnePlus One Side by Side

Placing them next to each other, you can easily see how much bigger the OnePlus One is. That said, the OnePlus One also seems to be thinner than the Mi4, even though they have the same thickness on paper. The display on the Mi4 though looks better, thanks in no small part to MiUI 6's colourful and flat design.

Video: Xiaomi Mi4 vs OnePlus One

Slide 9 - A few hours with the Xiaomi Mi4

More to come..

We're left with only about 2GB of space out of the 13GB usable space on the phone, after installing 7 apps over and above what was pre-installed. This is accompanied by about 7.5GB of music. Needless to say, we miss the micro-SD card slot already. So, let's see if the overall performance and price can still justify buying this smartphone. The review will be up soon.

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