Xiaomi MI 4 Review, Dragon’s Breath

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A few months ago, I’ve written a review about one of the best smartphones released by the Chinese from Xiaomi, the MI 3. Today, I’m going to be giving some attention to its successor, the Xiaomi Mi 4, a proper flagship that offers some proper features, such as a 5-inch IPS LCD display of 441 ppi, a Snapdragon 801 chipset, 3 GB of RAM, a 13 MP primary camera and an 8 MP front facing one, a hefty 3,080 mAh battery and more. Sounds promising, doesn’t it? Well, it does promise to deliver a great user experience, so check it out in the following review.

The Xiaomi Mi 4 comes in its retail box accompanied only by a charger and a microUSB cable. Depending on the place you buy it from, the package might come with some more useful thingies.

Let’s check out its design. The Mi 4 measures 139.2 x 68.5 x 8.9 mm and has a weight of 149 grams. For a device which carries a 5 inches screen, it’s reasonably compact and will feel comfortable in the hand if you’re already used to handling smartphones. Its design is nice and simple and consists in a rectangular body which is surrounded by an elegant metallic frame and has a slick plastic cover on its back. Even though the rear surface looks and feels nice, it can get quite smudgy and slippery, so you should be a little careful about these things. If you don’t settle with the original back cover, you can always change it, as Xiaomi released a bunch of other models for its customers to choose from. The handset looks and feels premium and solid, just as it should.

The Mi 4 holds on its frontal side a 5 inches IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen that has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 and a pixel density of 441 ppi. Unfortunaley, it lacks the protection which you usually find on flagships (Gorilla Glass, for example), but you might get a screen protector in the retail package, if the provider is generous enough. The screen delivers a beautiful image quality which brings pleasure to your eyes through its punchy colors, good contrast and very wide viewing angles. The handset is also nice to look at on the outside, having a great sunlight legibility.

In terms of user interface, the Xiaomi Mi 4 relies on Android v4.4.3 KitKat, which has been heavily customized with the Chinese’ MIUI v5.0 platform. If you’re not an Android stranger, you’ll feel right at home when using the Mi 4, otherwise, you’ll adapt in a short amount of time, as the interface is simple to use and pretty intuitive, even for the unexperienced user. You can have an unlimited number of homescreens and customize them, add effects, change the theme, add widgets, create folders and more. The App drawer isn’t here, so your installed applications are displayed on the homescreens and are uninstalled when you remove them from there. Your notifications are held, naturally, in the notification area, which holds a spot for accessing quick toggles. The Google services probably won’t be on board, and if that is the case, have no worries, as you can easily get them from the store. Google Now is also available and if you’re a Chinese speaker, you’ll also have the Xiaomi Voice Assistant at your service.
At the hardware department, the Xiaomi Mi 4 features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset, having a quad core 2.5 GHz Krait CPU, Adreno 330 GPU, 3 GB of RAM and comes in two versions, with 16 or 64 GB of internal storage, which can’t be expanded with a microSD card. The handset delivers a flawless user experience due to being an excellent performer.

When it comes to connectivity, the Xiaomi Mi 4 holds support for quad-band GSM, GPRS, EDGE and 3G, LTE, dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac with DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct and Hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP, microUSB 2.0 with USB-On-the-go and also has an infra-red port for enabling you to use the handset as a remote control.

For capturing photos, the Mi 4 holds on board a 13 MP snapper which takes pictures with a maximum resolution of 4128 x 3096 pixels and has a LED flash for assisting in low light conditions. The camera application is rich in features and holds support for HDR, panorama, manual settings for adjusting the ISO, white balance, exposure and more. The photos delivered offer a great image quality, with beautiful colors and a high amount of resolved detail.
The video camera is also very good and produces some fine 4K videos @30 fps.
For making video calls or taking “selfies”, you have an 8 MP front-facing camera.

The Xiaomi Mi 4 is well equipped and offers a rich package of useful features, such as two solid media players for audio and video playback, a GPS receiver with A-GPS and GLONASS support, Google Maps and Navigation for finding your way in the unknown, an FM Radio, a capable MIUI browser and more.

The Xiaomi Mi 4 holds inside a 3,080 mAh battery and will run for almost three days under a moderate usage.

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