First of all, let me tell you that i am not a fanboy of Xiaomi or any company. But what i am a fan of is value. I have been reading a lot about this phone on the internet and almost everywhere i read about it, i found one thing common, a lot of people are calling it overpriced. How can anyone call this phone overpriced is beyond me. But why you can’t is what i am going to tell you.
This post is going to be long and include a lot of explanation, so hang tight. Okay then, here we go.
Let me ask you a question, how many phones with Snapdragon 820 chip-set currently do you think are launched(as in readily available in the market for consumers to buy) in this world from known companies?
Lets count, Samsung Galaxy S7, Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, LG G5 just three, are we missing something? oh yes, …Xiaomi Mi5.
Now count how many phones with Snapdragon 820 are readily available in India to buy?
Lets count Samsung… oh wait, the couple of Galaxy S7 phones that are launched in India comes with Exynos or Xynos(if you consider ‘e’ as silent and it sounds better like that, anyway) not with Snapdragon 820.
So how many phones are we left with Snapdragon 820 in India? ZERO! That’s right.
But wait that’s not entirely correct because come this 6th of April Xiaomi Mi5 is going to change that. It is going to become to first ever phone launched in India with Snapdragon 820. That is a tremendous value in itself.
Now, why i am telling you this? i am telling you this because Snapdragon 820 is a big deal. Unlike before when Qualcomm betted on wrong processors and advertised them like they were the best in the world. This time they and other companies are under estimating them.
Again, allow me to explain. You see, just two processors from Qualcomm this year are enough to beat the entire lineup of processors from Mediatek, Samsung and one more competitor HiSilicon(Huawei).
Let me take you back to last year, when even low end processors like Mediatek 6752 were able to beat Snapdragon 615. What was the problem back then? You see both of them had same CPU(Cortex A53 in 4+4 clusters) but it was the GPU that made the difference. Mali T760 was way more powerful than Adreno 405 inside Snapdragon 615.
Same goes for the flagship processors like Snapdragon 810 and Mediatek 6795 there weren’t that much difference in practical performance between both of them, and also almost all processors suffered from heating issues last year.
Fast forward to 2016. First phone Xiaomi launched in India Redmi Note 3, came with Snapdragon 650.
You know i underestimated this year’s lineup of Snapdragon chip-sets myself. But then Sony Xperia X happened. Now, you might wonder what does that phone has to do with anything here?
You see, when i read about Xperia X during MWC i saw the processor part and saw that it comes with Snapdragon 650, and i was like ‘Sony has gone mad why would anyone launch a flagship phone with a renamed Snapdragon 618 which isn’t even that powerful than 615’.
How wrong was i… just like Qualcomm, they also realized that Snapdragon 618 is nothing like 615, so they gave it a new number. Which is still not correct i believe, it should be called Snapdragon 815 or something.
I also found out that it comes with completely new two cores known as Cortex A72 about which i knew a little at that time. Then i searched and found its leaked benchmark scores, turns out it was beating last years flagship processors easily. That’s when the bell inside my head rang. And that’s when i realized ‘oh teriiiiiiiii’. This is big.
You see, Sony knew the value of Snapdragon 650(and it is still probably going to over-price it xD) and Xiaomi just gave it away, Snapdragon 650 does not belong anywhere close to 10,000 Rupees. It belongs in 20,000 Rupees range. But nobody complained then and said ‘hey Xiaomi you have underpriced a phone’.
With Xiaomi Mi5, Xiaomi is reaping what it sowed, i guess. ‘Aur bigaado aadatein baccho ki Xiaomi, acchhe phone saste mein deke, ab bhugto’.
Why i am telling you about Snadragon 650 while i should be telling you about Snadragon 820 and Xiaomi Mi5. It’s because Snapdragon 650 is also a big deal and they are both extremely similar.
First see these screen shots of pre-launch Snapdragon 820 and Redmi Note 3(Snapdragon 650) antutu score.
Notice something? if you look carefully you’ll notice that there’s only roughly 10% performance difference between Snapdragon 650 and Snapdragon 820. You know, how do you get just 10% difference in power between two chip-sets without any proper software optimizaton? Simple, give them different GPUs and slightly higher clock-rate.
You know in what other two chip-sets there was roughly 10% difference? Mediatek 6752 and Snapdragon 615, only because of their GPUs. Snapdragon 820 is also only 10% more powerful than Snapdragon 650 only because of its GPU. According to this score or screenshot at least. And yet 650 is considered as a low end or mid-range chip-set.
Now that was pre launch score by the way. The retail Snapdragon 820 inside Xiaomi Mi5 actually scores more than 1,20,000. I don’t know what Qualcomm did but they optimized the hell out of it. And now it scores almost double than Snapdragon 650.
We know that 820 has four specifically designed kryo cores inside while 650 has standard two Cortex A72 and four Cortex A53 inside. A Kryo core is not exactly like Cortex A72 but it is extremely similar in performance. Pre launch Snapdragon 820 scores also demonstrates that.
So just to keep it simple, i am going to say that Snapdragon 820 actually has four renamed Cortex A72 cores inside with two cores clocked around 2GHz while the other two lower than 1.6GHz to preserve power.
Finally, after all that nerd talk. Questions must be rising in your head. Like, why is that important, why should you care, what does that have to with Xiaomi Mi5’s price?
You see, Xiaomi always launches an affordable phone with flagship specs and processor every year. But they do it very late. By the time when the processor is about to become obsolete or old in a month or two. And there are a lot of phones available in the market with the same chip-set.
And here is the million dollar answer you were waiting for. If you buy Xiaomi Mi5 right now. It’s not going to become underpowered or obsolete in a month or two, know why? Because Snapdragon 820. It has already beaten rest of the flagships chip-sets in performance and it’s proven both practically and through benchmarks.
Hell, even i can confirm it because i have used a phone with a gem called Snapdragon 650 which like i said and showed before is extremely similar to Snapdragon 820.
Here are the Antutu rankings of some top ranking chip-sets
Exynos 8890 can’t beat it, that’s the processor inside Samsung Galaxy S7 series phones and mind you it is an octa core chip-set that means it is powerful but also it will generate much more heat while Snapdragon 820 is a quad-core chip-set. That just proves that more cores does not mean more power. Optimization does.
Just like that, Mediatek X10, P10 and P20 all three of these chip-sets couldn’t beat Snapdragon 650. As far as flagship processor goes, Mediatek X20 also has two Cortex A72 prcoessors and 8 separate Cortex A53 processors, it could probably come close to Snapdragon 820 but i don’t think it will be able to beat it and also because of so many cores it will run very hot and use more battery power.
I have always liked Mediatek chip-sets. But this year, Mediatek is screwed. Unless they launch a mid range or low-end chip-set with Cortex A72 processor.
And, unless any of those companies decides to make and launch a new processor in the middle of the year, no phone is going to beat Xiaomi Mi5 or any phone with Snapdragon 820. Making your phone future proof as in it is not going to get old in terms of performance for at least a year. Till Snapdragon 830 launches or till the new iPhone launches if you care about cross competition.
You are getting that kind of flagship value for just 25,000 Rupees. And if you still think that it is overpriced. You have serious issues my friend.
Now ‘i don’t like phone’s colour, it doesn’t have hybrid sim slot, no memory expansion slot’ blah blah blah, these are all personal preferences. If you don’t wanna buy it because its back is ugly and all those other reasons then that’s your own choice or opinion. Doesn’t mean the phone is overpriced.
You have got to make some sacrifices to get that kind of flagship performance, you know. The processor inside this phone alone is worth more than 20,000 Rupees. You actually should be glad that you are getting this processor so early in the year at such an affordable price.
That’s all i wanted to say. If you don’t agree with what i typed or written or said then you are most welcome to raise a point or any other concern in the comments below.