Presenting the Mi4i: Innovation Made Compact

Hugo Barra and the Mi4i

It’s official: the Mi4i is here.

Xiaomi has been known to produce mobile devices that combine the best of its partners — Sharp, Sony, Panasonic, and Qualcomm, among others — and it seems that this concept of a cheap flagship phone that has respectable specs underneath a plastic shell may just work.

Mi4i

The Mi4i. Image courtesy of en.miui.com.

The first thing that may surprise you about the Mi4i is its price. It’s tagged at only Rs12,999, which is approximately Php9,085 — leagues apart from what you may consider as a flagship device. Then you see its specs, and you know that there are very few phones out there that’s at par with the Mi 4i with that kind of price tag.

Display

The Mi4i has a 5-inch fully-laminated OGS screen. Borrowing technology from Sharp/JDI, it sports a full HD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 at 441PPI and an IPS 178-degree wide-viewing angle.

The Mi4i is also armed with Sunlight Display, a very nifty feature that adjusts the brightness of your screen depending on your environment. If you’re walking under direct sunlight, the screen would automatically increase its brightness enough for you to see it, and again normalize once you come under shade. It’s so nifty, it actually makes the device 30% more battery efficient.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rycp1kAXlA8

Performance

The Mi4i will be the very first Xiaomi phone to carry Android 5.0 Lollipop skinned with MIUI 6, so that pretty much a delight to fans who have been waiting for the candy update.

VP for Xiaomi Global Hugo Barra explains the 2nd Generation Snapdraon 615 chipset. Screenshot taken from the Mi Livestream.

VP for Xiaomi Global Hugo Barra explains the 2nd Generation Snapdraon 615 chipset. Screenshot taken from the Mi Livestream.

This device won’t let you down in the speed department either, as it’s powered by a 2nd Generation 8-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 chipset with a 64-bit architecture clocking at 1.7GHz. It’s backed by 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal memory. The only downside is that it doesn’t support additional space via microSD.

Camera

Sony-Samsung Camera

Screenshot taken from the Mi Livestream.

Xiaomi has taken great lengths to ensure that the Mi4i’s cameras perform well beyond what’s expected of them. The discreet, flat-to-surface design of its rear camera belies its attributes: a 13MP, f/2.0 aperture Sony/Samsung snapper boasting of two-tone flash that uses two LEDs (cool white and yellow) in order to make photos look more natural. It also features a torch which you can flick on and use in low-light environments.

Hugo Barra taking a group selfie with the Mi4i's rear camera. Screenshot courtesy of Mi.

Mr. Barra taking a group selfie with the Mi4i’s rear camera. Screenshot taken from the Mi Livestream.

The Mi4i’s 5MP front camera is not to be taken lightly either. It has an 80-degree wide-angle lens and an aperture of f/1.8. It also comes with a “beautify” smart software that manages to differentiate itself from the rest, as it uses facial analysis, and cross-references your face with other faces from different ages, races, and genders, before giving your selfie a proper make-over. Yes, a lot of science has definitely gone into it.

Connectivity

Screenshot taken from the Mi Livestream.

Screenshot taken from the Mi Livestream.

As with every Mi Phone, the Mi4i has dual microSIM support. The good news is that both SIM cards can run on 4G, something that is not available on any phone at its price bracket. Of course, it has the usual connectivity features: Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS/Glonass, and Wi-Fi direct. It also features USB On-The-Go, which we honestly think more phones should have.

Check out the summary of the Mi4i’s specs below:

Mi4i Specifications

Display: 5-inch screen, 1920 x 1080 resolution, 441ppi with Sunlight Display
OS: MIUI 6 over Android 5.0 Lollipop
Processor: 2nd Gen Snapdragon 615 octa-core 64-bit processor, 1.7GHz
RAM: 2GB
Internal Memory: 16GB
Camera/s: 13M Sony/Samsung rear camera with f/2.0 aperture and two-tone flash; 5MP front camera with 80-degree wide-angle lens and an aperture of f/1.8
SIM: 4G dual SIM, dual standy-by
Connectivity: 4G/LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS/Glonass, Wi-Fi direct, USB OTG
Battery: 3,120mAh battery
Price: Rs12,999, approximately Php9,085

The Mi4i will ship to the Philippines soon enough, although we’re still waiting for Xiaomi to give us their schedule. “We’re finalizing the launch date for the Mi4i,” the company said in a statement given by a representative. “We will definitely keep you posted once we have updates on the new device.”

So, what do you think about Xiaomi’s newest flagship phone?

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