Xiaomi Mi 4 unboxing and initial impressions

We managed to get our hands on the Xiaomi Mi 4, which to remind you, hasn’t been released in India. Xiaomi is planning to sell the Mi 4 in India by the end of 2014, may be by December 2014. It might be priced somewhere around Rs 20,000 in India. We have been testing it since past one week and here are our initial impressions about the Xiaomi Mi 4.

Xiaomi Mi 4 Feature Image 1

 Box Contents

Xiaomi Mi 4 Box Package

Xiaomi Mi 4 Box Contents

  1. Xiaomi Mi 4 smartphone
  2. USB 2.0 to microUSB 2.0 cable
  3. AC wall charger adaptor

Design & Build Quality

Xiaomi Mi 4 Front

Xiaomi Mi 4 MicroUSB Port Loudspeaker

Xiaomi Mi 4 Power Volume Buttons

Xiaomi Mi 4 Back

  1. From the front, the Xiaomi Mi 4 looks quite similar to the Apple iPhone 5S due to its metal frame around the body with chiseled finish.
  2. Above the display, there is an earpiece, front-facing camera, proximity and ambient light sensors along with the Mi logo.
  3. Under the display, there are three backlit capacitive buttons which light up only when you press them or the screen.
  4. Right side of the device features power/lock/unlock button and volume rockers which is made using metal. They feel very tactile when pressed.
  5. Left side of the device features just the micro SIM card slot.
  6. The top of the device features an IR port and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
  7. The bottom of the device features loudspeaker, microphone and microUSB v2.0 port.
  8. It feels solid in the hands but the shiny and glossy back could’ve been a lot better.
  9. The camera lens can get scratched quite easily. Hopefully Xiaomi releases wooden, leather and marble backs as promised.

Display

Xiaomi Mi 4 Screen

  1. 5.0-inch IPS LCD display has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels with 441 ppi but it lacks Gorilla Glass protection.
  2. This display is slightly brighter than the display used in the Xiaomi Mi 3. It might even be slightly brighter than other flagship smartphones.
  3. The viewing angles, contrast and black levels are as good as any other high-end smartphone.
  4. There is a glove mode which you can turn on for using the device with gloves on but has a slight effect on the battery life.

Camera

Xiaomi Mi 4 Camera Sensor

  1. The 13MP primary rear-facing camera used in the Xiaomi Mi 4 uses a slight newer camera sensor from Sony (IMX214). There’s single LED flash, autofocus lens and f/1.8 aperture.
  2. It can record 4K (30fps) videos and slow-motion videos (720p at 120 fps).
  3. The camera UI looks a lot like iOS 7. There are three new camera settings; Audio, Skin Tone and HHT (Handheld Twilight).
  4. Panorama images come out in full resolution (28MP in landscape and 40.8MP in portrait), unlike OnePlus One which clicks low resolution panorama images.
  5. Image quality is excellent, though there is slight amount of over-sharpening. There is plenty of detail and the colour reproduction is as close as possible.
  6. Though, LG G3 and Galaxy S5 have better camera than the Mi 4 due to phase detection autofocus (also, the laser autofocus and OIS in LG G3). OnePlus One’s camera is only slightly better than the Mi 4’s camera.
  7. The 8MP front-facing camera is leagues ahead of the front-facing camera that was used in the Xiaomi Mi 3. The Mi 4 has a great front-facing camera.
  8. I would not comment on the video recording quality until I test it completely.
Camera Sample - OnePlus One vs Xiaomi Mi 4 - Indoor

Camera Sample – OnePlus One vs Xiaomi Mi 4 – Indoor

Performance

  1. The Xiaomi Mi 4 is powered by a 2.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor which consists of four Krait 400 CPU cores, Adreno 330 GPU and 3GB of RAM.
  2. Even with the latest hardware, it scored lower than its predecessor in the benchmarks (under the balanced mode).  This might be due to improper software optimisation in MIUI v6.0.
  3. Even in Vellamo (except Metal test) and GFXBench benchmarking apps, it scored lower than current flagship devices.
  4. When the benchmarks are done multiple times, the device heats up and the scores keep on reducing with time.
  5. In real-world performance it was really smooth and fluid. There were no stutters or hiccups in the UI.
  6. Around 1GB of the RAM is even when using multiple apps. In comparison, around 1.4GB is free in OnePlus One when running the same number of apps.

Xiaomi Mi 4 - Screenshot - AnTuTu Benchmark

Xiaomi Mi 4 - Screenshot - GFX Bench & Vellamo

Xiaomi Mi 4 - Screenshot - Vellamo Metal & Multi Core

Software & UI

  1. The Mi 4 features a newer MIUI v6.0 user interface which is based upon Android 4.4.4 KitKat. This update will also be pushed to Mi 3, Redmi 1S and Redmi Note in a few months.
  2. The UI is a lot flatter and sharper now. The notifications area and quick setting toggles look very attractive now.
  3. Xiaomi still hasn’t removed the rounded square container around the app icons. It makes the 3rd-party app icons look bad.
  4. I couldn’t even get the Google Now launcher running on this device. Hopefully Xiaomi gets this thing sorted before releasing it in India.
  5. There are a lot of theming options from Xiaomi’s theme store. Other apps include a barcode scanner, voice assistant (which works only in Chinese as of now) and Xiaomi Remote control (works with MiTV and MiBox).

Xiaomi Mi 4 - Screenshot - Home Screen & Quick Setting Widgets

Xiaomi Mi 4 - Screenshot - Folder & Multitasking

Xiaomi Mi 4 - Screenshot - Dialer & Calendar

Xiaomi Mi 4 - Screenshot - Weather & File Manager

Battery Life

  1. The 3080 mAh battery is non-removable, just like the Xiaomi Mi 3.
  2. It gets charged within 2 hours with the supplied charger.
  3. After a full charge, the device lasts around 24 day with a screen-on time of around 4.5 to 5 hours depending on the usage scenario.

Conclusion

The Xiaomi Mi 4 is a very good upgrade from the Xiaomi Mi 3, especially in things like battery life, design, video recording abilities and the UI. There’s not much upgrade in terms of still image quality, loudspeaker and performance.

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21 Comments on "Xiaomi Mi 4 unboxing and initial impressions"

 

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[…] has launched the Mi 4 in India today for a price of Rs 19,999. The major highlight of the device is that it will run on […]

Joy
September 15, 2014 5:36 pm 5:36 PM

MIUI resembles with ios 7, above screenshot says that. It’s like copy of ios7.

Jagannath
September 22, 2014 4:54 pm 4:54 PM

+1

Abhishek
September 15, 2014 2:08 pm 2:08 PM
Do not buy or promote phones made in Mainland China at any cost!! All your money goes towards strengthening China’s economy, its armed forces, its infrastructure etc. Would you some day start buying Made in Pakistan stuff if they start manufacturing and selling at a cheap price? Surely no, then why buy Made in China? China is the last country you want your hard earned money to end up in. They are on a spree to destroy the budding local mobile phone industry of India. They are pouring big money into India, sponsoring big sports tournaments, investing in online sites… Read more »
Waris
August 19, 2015 8:04 am 8:04 AM

Mere pyare bhai,jab aisa hi hai to Government of India ko Chinese mobile ban kr dena chahiye.log china se to kharodne jate nahi hai.is se Indian economy ko benifit hai tabhi to Bharat Sarkar ne unhe phone bechne ki ejazat di hai.Xiaomi Bharat me apna R&D cebtre srart kar chuka hai,to kya is se India ko benifit nhi hai.ab woh zamana nahi raha ke bas baniya ki dukan khol kr baoth gaye,global busness ho gaya hai.Bharat bhi apne bahot sare products china ko bechta hai

Rahul
September 16, 2014 3:07 am 3:07 AM

Lolwa! 😉

Var
September 15, 2014 8:15 pm 8:15 PM

Its people like you with that mentality that India was in the position it was/is today post.

Inferiority complex galore and most of all grossly ignorant of facts. Like for example that almost everything today is Made in China, including that electronic device that you typed this Mess-of-an-comment of yours. Hypocrisy.

Tushar
September 15, 2014 3:02 pm 3:02 PM
So you think Indian brands like Micromax or karbonn manufacturer A2Z items in India? Booming chinese ecomony, lol. Lets take this handset for reference, for every unit made in China flipkart is earning and providing wakes to Indians for their IT team, the courier people, the plastic/box/paper required for packaging which are all manufacturer of India and providing income to local ecomony. If you are so concerned about local ecomony, then please push local manufacturer to provide quality goods. Do you think that the MRI machine which we use is made in India? We should stop using that as well,… Read more »
Rama
September 15, 2014 2:44 pm 2:44 PM
*Why are you mindlessly mixing patriotism with tech. While making reviews place of manufacture is the last thing the reviewer looks at and if one discriminates a certain product just because its made in a particular country then he/she is by no means a true tech author. Trust me if Telecom Talk any day starts discriminating products just because they are made in China or Africa or America I will stop visiting the website. Its not the people’s fault if they go for cheaper products made in China rather if you want us to prefer Indian made smartphones(which btw there… Read more »
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