Xiaomi Mi4i Review – Just If…

Xiaomi Mi4i Review
You might have heard of the saying “Not everybody get what they want”. That “just if…” above is exactly that. I don’t say this for many phones, but just if it had a slightly better chip-set than Snapdragon 615, let’s say Mediatek MT6752, this phone could have been ‘perfect’. Everything is already there, an extremely good build quality, very good camera, very good music quality, decent battery life, what more could you ask for for 13,000 Rupees? If you can, then your guests might love you.

Hardware/Design

Xiaomi Mi4i is the best phone you can buy right for 13,000 Rupees when it comes to hardware and design. Its build quality is second best to none. Its so good seriously, once you pick it up you wouldn’t want to put it down. You can feel the sturdiness of the phone while holding it and that sturdiness comes from its frame which is made of magnesium alloy.

It’s very slim, only 7.8 mm thick and weighs just 130 grams. So, slim ad light. Two most important design features in a phone. Its also very good for one had use because of slim and very narrow bezel design. It also has a notification LED.

Display

It comes with IPS LCD display of full HD resolution with very good viewing angles and colour reproduction. Although colours could be so good sometimes that it could look fake or made up. But you can set the colours and contrast of the screen according to your liking in the settings. Its display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass. The display is also very bright but if you turn the brightness slider all the way to maximum it could deplete your battery very fast.

Camera

Xiaomi Mi4i comes with 13MP main camera with dual tone LED flash and it is a very good camera. Don’t believe me? Just watch the samples below to see for yourself. Its takes almost crystal clear photos in good lighting condition. Although sometimes it could mess up the colour a little and make the over all photo too bright. In dark conditions it could lose a little detail but still for the price you can’t complain. Its shutter speed is very fast, it takes photos almost instantly. Its auto-focus is also very fast.

Its front camera is of 5MP with a wide angle lens for group selfies. And that also takes pretty life like features and it comes with its own “beautify” feature to make face look as fake as possible in a selfie. You can see more of the features in the review video below.

Both of the camera could shoot videos up-to 1080p and back camera could also shoot slow-motion video but only up-to HD resolution and without audio. It shoots videos in MP4 format which takes more storage but due to less compression the video looks very good. You can see a sample of it in the video below. You can also shoot photos and videos simultaneously.

Multimedia

This phone’s music quality is again second best to none in this price range, the only phones that comes close to this phones music quality in earphones are Sony phones. It also supports a number of audio and video formats all in its default player. You won’t need to download any player from Google Play store.

It also comes with equalizer and virtual sound settings. Which works pretty great, you can see more about its headphones settings in the video below. It can’t play 4K resolution video but that’s more of its chip-set’s problem not the phone’s, it can play 1080p videos just fine though.

OS/Storage/RAM

Xiaomi Mi4i runs on MiUi which is a heavily customized UI based on Adroid Lollipop version 5.0.2. It’s not the latest version of Android but it’s latest enough. It has some bugs though, it stutters at almost every step in the UI even while doing a simple task like browsing a web page. Now, i am not sure its of OS problem or the chip-set isn’t powerful enough to run the MiUi smoothly. I would say little bit of both. As they are both kind of new to each other.

There’s also another pretty weird bug, the ‘performance’ and ‘balanced’ mode in the phone has got reversed. Now, i don’t know if that’s just the case with my phone or its an issue in general. But when i was on performance mode phone was freezing a lot between browser tabs and also only scored around 26,000 points in Antutu and when i put the phone in balanced mode it suddenly scored more than 34,000 points. And then i turned performance mode on after sometime and it scored 34,000 points on it too. The score was never consistent though, i never got the same score two times, not even in the same range.

My guess would be the hot the phone get the bad it would perform in almost every task, so whenever it gets too hot i would suggest you to stop using it and let it cool off for sometime. I also think that new MiUi update that Xiaomi has pushed out for the new Mi4i has messed up the things a little in background. You can see more about the OS in the video below. MiUi is a very heavily customized UI, it’s not just a light skin or theme, it requires proper optimization or a chip-set with enough raw power for smooth operation.

Most people wouldn’t like this but it comes with only 16GB of memory out of which you’ll get around 12GB free to use with no micro SD slot, which is usually the case with Xiaomi phones. It comes with plenty of RAM though, 2GB. It hardly ever gets full to the neck. So you’ll be fine with RAM management, the problem is with the internal memory, you’d have to use it carefully. It does support USB OTG.

Performance

If you read the above paragraphs you’ll find nothing but praise for Xiaomi Mi4i but this is where it changes a little. And the problem here is Snapdragon 615. First let me tell you a little about the chip-set. Xiaomi said this is the second gen Snapdragon 615 and it comes with 4 Cortex A53 high performance cores clocked at 1.65GHz and 4 Cortex A53 processors clocked at 1.2GHz making a total of 8 cores 64-bit CPU. GPU is Adreno 405.

Now, Xiaomi said that this second generation chip-set doesn’t heat up. Not true, it still heat up just like the old Snapdragon 615 whose high performance cores were clocked at 1.5Ghz. Anyway, that’s it for hard specs. That heating issue also creates an obstacle in the performance of phone. You see when the CPU gets too hot, it throttles to lower the temperature of the phone and due to that, you will notice slowdowns/stutterig/lagging/freezing all of them together or either of them but you will face those issues when the phone will get too hot.

Now, coming back to performance like i said in the beginning everything in this phone is near to perfect except for its overall software performance, due to its ‘not-powerful-enough’ chip-set. Seriously this phone at this very same price would have been perfect if it had Mediatek MT6752 instead of this ‘hot headed’ Snapdragon 615. So, i would say its overall performance is not good.

Connectivity

Xiaomi Mi4i is a dual SIM 4G phone. It supports two micro SIM and its network reception is very good. It also comes features like dual band WiFi, Wifi direct, WiFi display, Bluetooth 4.0 and much more. It also comes with GPS and almost every sensor you could name in a phone.

Its call quality is good too both from mic and ear piece. It also comes with feature that Xiaomi Mi3 had too you could make both of its mic work as noise suppressing mics for clear audio on the call. All in all its a well connected phone.

Battery

Battery of this phone is of 3120mAh(typical) with minimum capacity of 3030mAh. Don’t get confused what that means is, the battery is actually of 3030 mAh and that 3120 is just an ‘enhanced’ number. You can except an all day talk-time easily on this phone on 2G.

On more moderate use expect around 10 hours. While gaming expect around 6 hours maximum in best case scenario. To give you an idea while gaming in a little more than half an hour, let’s say in 40 minutes the battery dropped from 100% to 86%.

Verdict

I still couldn’t get over that ‘just if…’ you know. If this phone’s performance was buttery smooth i would have recommended it to anyone, but in reality as good MiUi 6 looks it performs as bad on this phone. Its basically a buggy mess. Which Xiaomi will hopefully sort out through updates.

Although they still can’t do anything about that lack of actual raw processing power, no software update could fix that. But that’s just like my personal wish, to see this very same phone, i mean exactly the same just with Mediatek 6752 or some other equally powerful chip-set.

If you are not a performance freak like me, you’d probably buy this phone and never let it go, it’s that good. Especially its music and camera quality and then near perfect build quality and then that screen.

Except for gamers and people whom need more memory or external micro SD card slot, for Rs.13,000 i can totally recommend it to anyone that is looking for a precisely crafted piece of art. Just if… though, just if… Ah well the more i type about it, the more i will think about that “just if” so i am gonna stop now, but you can watch the review video below for more.

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