Xiaomi India caused much disappointment among its fans with its price of Rs 24,999 for the 3 GB RAM version of its Mi5 smartphone.
It is not releasing the 4 GB version in India, at least for now.
The first flash sale is on Apr 6.
The pricing indicates that it is no longer willing to suffer zero or ultra-thin margins simply to maintain a market share in India.
It priced the Redmi Note 3 at unexpectedly low prices, only to struggle with delivering the model later on.
The Mi5 is the third flagship phone to be launched by the company in India. The first — Mi3 — became the biggest hit in India’s smartphone history when it was unveiled in 2014.
However, it was followed by a highly disappointing Mi4 launch last year, which was panned due to its lack of 4G and high price. The phone was priced at Rs 19,999 in India, which was roughly what it was selling for in China at the time too.
If the company had decided to price the Mi5 at roughly the same levels as in China, the price would have been around 20,499.
Apart from its 16 MP camera and full-HD display, the Mi5 has the same specifications as any expensive flagship model from any brand in the world.
It comes with the latest Snapdragon 820 chipset that is almost twice as powerful as the Snapdragon 810 coupled with
4 GB 3 GB of DDR4 RAM in India.
The chipset is made on 14 nm process, which reducing the power consumption and also allows the clockspeed to cross 2 GHz on a sustained basis without heating up.
The DDR4 RAM — which is also found in the Yu Yutopia — is also twice as fast as DDR3 memory found in most phones, Xiaomi said.
The storage memory architecture is UFS 2.0, which is about 85% faster than eMMC flash storage card — the current standard.
The LTE standard is has been improved to Category 12, increasing the top speed to 600 Mbps. This allows for carrier aggregation of up to 3 spectrum blocks. Most LTE phones in the market today come with Cat 4 LTE which does not allow for carrier aggregation, and has a technical limitation of 150 Mbps download speed.
The Mi5 comes with a 5.2-inch display that the company says is extraordinarily vibrant. It has used special technology to increase the contrast and vibrancy, according to the company.
The brightness of the phone is 600 nits, which is about 70% more than most phones.
It said it took a conscious decision to stick to a full-HD display instead of going for a QHD display for practical benefits.
“We save a lot of battery.. we are designing phones for the way they work. The device has a great battery life with an awesome display,” the company said.
The display uses special sunlight detection technology that automatically enhances the colors when it senses outdoor conditions.
The Pro version is built with high-grade Zirconia ceramic material at the back. The material scores about 8 out of 10 in hardness, double the score of steel. “It feels natural to touch. If feels like marble, and will not crack easily,” the company has claimed.
The camera on the Xiaomi Mi5 has a more advanced optical image stabilization, which negates not just static shake, but also transverse movement, which results in better quality photos in high-zoom situations.
The company showed the 4D OIS in action by comparing the picture of a shaking Mi5 with an iPhone 6S.
The sensor is Sony IMX298 with 16 MP resolution and PDAF support and deep trench iteration. The model is one of the first to get the IMX298 sensor, Barra said.
The front camera is the same unit as that found in Mi Note – a 4 MP sensor with large pixels.
The biggest competitor for the Mi5 is going to be the upcoming LeEco Le 2Pro, which comes with the same chipset, 4 GB RAM, 64 GB of storage, a 21 MP camera and a 5.7-inch Quad-HD display. We expect a pricing of around Rs 26,000, but given Mi5’s price of 25,000, we won’t be surprised if LeEco slaps a tag of Rs 29,999 on the 2Pro. The model is expected to arrive late in April or early in May.
Another model that is on the horizon is OnePlus 3. However, given the company’s invite system, availability is likely only in late May or in June.