Xiaomi may yet to gain a stronghold in the US market, but the Chinese manufacturer has maintained a strong popularity in its home market, and is also getting an edge in markets such as India. Xiaomi has recently unleashed its newest premium flagship device at the just ended MWC 2016 and we got our hands on first impression of the device.

A few versions of the Xiaomi Mi5 are slated to be made available, but whats good to know is that they will all be equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processing power. The base models will include an affordable option worth US$305 which bundles an internal storage of 32GB, a 3D glass panel at the back but compared to the other two models with 2.15GHz clock speed, it features a lower speed clocked at 1.8GHz.

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The second model packs 64 GB of internal storage, a rear 3D glass panel and will cost US$352. Finally, the Pro version of Mi5, rather than boasting 3 GB of RAM like its two counterparts, will offer 4 GB of RAM, 128 GB of internal storage along with a 3D ceramic rear panel, all worth the price of US$413.

All the Mi5 models will haul along a massive battery with 3,000mAh capacity, which should offer an adequate battery life. On top of this, the device spots a USB Type-C port and it will also be able to take advantage of the efficient fast charging functionalities that come with Qualcomm’s QuickCharge 3.0.

In terms of the design language, the smartphone looks a lot similar to the previous Xiaomi handsets, featuring a glass and metal construction. At its rear it has Xiaomi’s 3D Glass which is mostly a fancy reference to the glass panel that wraps on the sides, resembling the one found on the Galaxy Note 5 and that seen on the latest Galaxy addition, the S7. Weighing 129g, the Mi5 flagship is lighter compared to the 157g Galaxy S7 and the 159g heavier LG G5. Its build is solid and makes for a good handling experience, thanks to its thin bezels pasted on the 5.15-inch display screen.

The Xiaomi Mi5 has a 5.15-inch LCD display with a Full HD resolution. These offer more than decent pixels per inch, with no noticeable blemishes on the display. The MIUI 7 interface embrace impressively brilliant colors. With a brightness of 600 nits, the device also offers a sunlit display mode that can optimize the display brightness for outdoor use.

This time round, Xiaomi introduced a fingerprint sensor into the mix, by installing it into the physical home button rather than placing it at the back, like in Redmi Note’s case.

The Mi5 comes with a camera offering of 16 MP IMX298 of Sony design, at the back. The main camera is backed by a phase detection auto focus, an f/2.0 aperture as well as Xiaomi’s 4-axis optical image stabilization, which means better images especially when capturing moving objects. At the front,

it complements a 4 MP camera with an f/ 2.0 aperture lens, and the capacity to take wide-angle selfies. In addition, the camera UI is very intuitive and easy to use.

In the software department, you find Xiaomi’s MIUI 7 based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. With the interface being a bit similar to what you’d find from other Chinese OEMs. The only difference is the absence of an app drawer, otherwise you get colorful square icons, Xiaomi’s integrated services and features like a Theme store that allows you to transform the look and feel of the interface to your liking.

Unfortunately, it was confirmed that the device would only be launched to the China and India markets.

Customers in China can expect to welcome the Mi5 smartphone on March 1 with the phone making its way to India markets shortly after. With such an affordable pricing, attached with the high-end specs, a powerful design, Xiaomi will be quite a contender as one of the best flagship for this year.

What are your thoughts on Xiaomi’s latest addition? Let us Know in the comments.

And as always, we end with an invite: don't be a stranger and join our community - be a part of the conversation where we help each other out, discuss the latest and greatest, and make the best of our tech.



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What's my model number?

There are several ways to locate your model number:

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On your device, go to Settings, then "About device" and scroll down to "Model number"
Option 2
Often times you can view the model number inside the device, by removing the battery
Option 3
Using Samsung's model/serial number location tool