Android Tech News

Review: Xiaomi Mi 4

A while back I mentioned about the new Xiaomi Mi 4 that was being launched in SA. The launch of the phone in South Africa was a HUGE success, and really started gaining traction as a must have phone, given the price point.

As a gadget freak, I am always on the lookout for new and exciting gadgets, especially in the mobile sphere. So when I got the opportunity to give the Mi 4 a run, I jumped at the opportunity!! The Xiaomi brand in China is one of the fastest growing mobile brands, and has a huge community to support it. What I like most about Xiaomi is that they offer the ability to upgrade the phone MIUI OS, as well as being able to install a Windows 10 ROM on the phone!
The phone, which is priced at R3,799 in SA offers a variety of features:

  • 5″ IPS 1080p capacitive touchscreen
  • Android 4.4.3 KitKat with MIUI v.5, upgradable to MIUI v.6 (And Windows 10)
  • 2.5GHz quad-core Krait 400 CPU; 3GB of RAM; Adreno 330 GPU; Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset
  • 13MP camera, f/1.8 aperture, LED flash, 4K video capture, HDR video, 1080p@30fps, 720p@120fps
  • 8MP front-facing camera; 1080p video recording
  • 16/64 GB of built-in memory
  • Active noise cancellation with a dedicated microphone
  • 3,080mAh battery

So, I have been using the Mi 4 as my secondary device for a few weeks now, using it on the go for a few photos, social stuff and just general on the go use.
Even though the un-boxing was a little underwhelming, with just a phone, charger & USB cable in the box, once you turn the phone on, you start getting a sense of the Xiaomi brand and feel. The phone is pretty sturdy and made of a strong stainless steel frame, and has a distinctly similar look to the iPhone 5.

mi_4_5The screen display is amazing and offers a FULL HD experience, which does mean the battery life takes a bit of a knock. Having said that, using the phone as a secondary phone, I managed to get around 2 days out of the phone, with medium use. Not bad, considering what is under the hood.
The Sony Camera (at 13MP) also offers pretty clear images, as well as great video. This has to be the highlight of the phone, as it is not often we get to see such great camera hardware in these sorts of devices.

The performance on the device is pretty average, given the very basic CPU that’s behind the covers. Comparing it to other devices using the AnTuTu 4 benchmark app, the phone ranks in the middle of comparative phones in the same category.

The MIUI ROM that is pre installed comes with all the standard Google Apps offerings, and apart from 1 or 2 Xiaomi standard apps, the phone doesn’t feel like it comes with any “bloatware” that is often installed by Android phone distributors.

In a world where new smartphones are being released daily, it is difficult to match up to some of the best in the market. But given the price point on this device (R3,799) it’s a great device for an entry level user looking for a smartphone. The device is available at for purchase online on the MIA Africa Site, as well as on contract from MTN and at Dion Wired, Makro, Game & Incredible Connection.