Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus Review, Budget Flagship

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The Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus can be regarded as a significant and long expected upgrade over the vanilla Mi 5 and even the Mi 5s, being a phablet rather than a smartphone, boasting its impressive 5.7 inches display and the full metal jacket chassis. But everybody knows that what’s under the hood turns the heads of geeks anywhere.

And here the good news keep on coming, because the Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus is flagship material by any metrics, running on Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 821 chipset and featuring a very promising state of the art dual camera setup for photography aficionados, which includes a monochrome sensor for low-light performance.

The front snapper is an ultrapixel camera, which is the ideal tool for selfie obsessed teens. The body of the Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus got bigger and better, also sturdier, and the hardware is now faster than ever. This baby is a significant improvement over the vanilla Mi 5, but let’s dig deeper into the specs and see what’s what, shall we?

Being a flagship breed, let’s begin with the main disadvantages or shortcomings: first, there’s no micro SD card and that’s hard to understand. Also, there’s no mentioning about any type of adequate screen protection, like Corning or whatever.

The battery is sealed and there’s no optical image stabilization nor bokeh effect.

The Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus features an unibody construction and it’s made of aluminum, with a flat and sturdy frame which circles perfectly the flat display. The back panel is built using brushed metal with a glossy finish, which is rather unusual. However, design wise,the Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus is a real looker, being manufactured with an almost obsessive attention to details and it fits nicely in hand, being also sufficiently grippy.

The display is a 5.7 incher, an IPS LCD variety of full HD resolution  with a 386 pixels per inch density which is more than enough, leaving the QSD 821 enough room to breathe in video intensive applications. I am talking about a high end chipset having to deal with a full HD resolution rather than a QHD (the mainstream for high end smartphones nowadays), which translates into less stress on the CPUs i.e. increased performance.

The display is great quality wise, it’s just prone to scratching easily so I’d suggest you to put a screen shield as soon as possible.

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The Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus is powered by a beefy 3800 mAh battery, which is quite enough even for a phablet, with the smartphone scoring absolutely great in endurance tests, offering 104 hours of endurance rating. The droid comes with all bells and whistles connectivity wise, including LTE Cat. 8, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC and even an USB Type C port.

The software is an Android Marshmallow with the MIUI 8.0 on top, which is one of the best customizations out there, being made especially for the Chinese market where Google services are banned thus Xiaomi had to refocus its ecosystem away from Alphabet’s services.

Considering that the Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus runs on the latest hardware available, i.e. the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 with 4 gigs of RAM, the performance level is  top notch, both in day to day tasks and gaming, thanks to the latest gen Adreno 530 GPU.

The smartphone is amazingly fast and it stays cool under heavy loads, delivering flagship grade performance . In the multimedia department, the Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus comes with 2 x 13 megapixels cameras on the back panel, with the monochrome sensor using a Bayer filter and Sony’s IMX258 sensor. The photo quality is excellent, with good contrast and rich detail while the Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus is capable of shooting 4K / ultra hd videos with ease at a rock solid 30 frames per second.

Let’s sum it up: the build quality is flagship grade, the grip is great due to the prominent metal frame, the display is awesome, battery life is best in class, the software is nice and clean, the hardware offers stellar performance, the camera is so so, right in the middle but the selfie snapper is one of the best out there. There aren’t many smartphone to match the Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus considering the price asked, making for a strong candidate in the droid arena.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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