Having seen other Xiaomi phones till date, the benchmark results on the Xiaomi Mi4 didn't really surprise us. That said, it is interesting to see how the balanced and performance modes offered by MiUI differ on the device. We've also spent some time with the device, allowing us to give a slightly better outlook on the camera and overall performance. So, here goes nothing.
Video: Xiaomi Mi4 First Look
The balanced and performance modes offered by MiUI have always been quite intriguing. It is interesting to see how Xiaomi allows the user to change the CPU clock speed based on what they are doing. Here's a representation of the same, on the left is a screenshot of the clock speeds in Balanced mode, while on the right is a screenshot of the same on Performance mode.
The modes affect the battery quite a bit. On the balanced mode, the phone went from 100% battery to 65% after about 5 hours of above average usage, while it dropped to 25% quite soon after putting it on Performance mode and gaming on it.
Also read: A few hours with the Xiaomi Mi4
The difference in performance between the two modes is pretty big, as AnTuTu shows quite clearly. In essence, the phone drops its performance to just enough for your regular tasks, while also allowing for satisfactory gaming performance when on balanced mode.
The two modes obviously also make a difference in the graphics performance. The difference again is considerable, which is not bad, because you wouldn't need the really high-end performance unless you have the apps to go with it.
Two benchmarks just didn't cut it, so we went ahead and tested the two modes on another regular benchmark. As you can see, the difference is evident.
While the OnePlus One and Huawei Honor 6 are both the top competitors for this device, the Moto X (2nd Gen) is from the higher-end flagships. The Mi4 of course performs well when compared to flagships like these. It's achilles heel is in the fact that it has only 16GB of internal storage, with no option to expand the memory. We're already left with only 1ish GB of space on the device.
While the camera is definitely not bad, we've talked about how we liked the Xiaomi Mi3's camera before. That said, the Mi4 doesn't seem to match up to that one, although a lot of testing is yet to be done before we can actually confirm that.
MiUI Camera App
One thing that stood out for us in MiUI 6 was the option to change the exposure levels while taking a picture. The image taken here is on auto, without tinkering with the exposure setting. Notice the colours, then switch to the next image to see how effective the exposure control is.
Also read: MiUI 5 review
After tinkering with the exposure control..
The exposure control shows up on the focus ring itself. Once the focus is fixed, you can simply rotate the meter and the phone shows you the change in the image in real time. A lot can be done with this option.
Of course, the app doesn't quite have as many options as the Lumia Camera, but it's still pretty good.
Not all was hunky dory. The phone crashed for the first time when we were setting it up, with a few more crashes in the one day that we've spent with it. This could be because of multiple reasons, which we'll confirm once we're done reviewing it.
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