At the end of February 2017, the general public was presented with another novelty Xiaomi, rumors about which went to IT circles for more than a month. The new device was a smartphone Xiaomi Mi5C, based on a unique processor Surge S1.
This mobile medium-sized SoC, developed by the Chinese giant, released on 28 nm process technology and containing eight cores of Cortex-A53, divided into two clusters. The Surge S1 is positioned as a competitor to Qualcomm Snapdragon 430, Samsung Exynos 7580 and MediaTek MT6738T.
In the promo campaign, the manufacturer focuses on this feature of the smartphone, because the facts about low, compared with opponents, power consumption and higher performance, now and then disappear in the media. In addition, the manufacturer has made improvements in other areas.
Among other eye-catching features of Xiaomi Mi5c, it is worth noting the stylish design and premium materials of the case. The company also focused on distributing the novelty among the widest possible audience, so the screen diagonal was 5.15 inches – the size is known to be the most optimal for most average users.
At a democratic cost, the device claims to be one of the most attractive smartphones in the middle price segment. In view of this, in this review, we will try to find out whether a chip, created by Xiaomi, is able to fully compete with solutions from old-timers of this segment of mobile development, and also try to understand whether the device as a whole justifies it after watching commercials and reading press releases of expectation.
Xiaomi from the very beginning of their journey were known for their love for quality and design-friendly packaging, and the Mi5C’s exterior is by no means an exception.
The smartphone is delivered inside a snow-white box made of solid cardboard, which causes extremely pleasant tactile sensations. Appearance can be attributed to a minimalist style of design, as indicated by the absence of any images of content on the surface of the package. The front side has a prominent congreve embossing of the corporate logo located in the center, as well as a small silver sticker in the upper right corner. The latter tells us about the amount of internal and operational memory of this product.
The opposite side of the box has traditionally been the location of the full information about the device, which includes both the specification listing and unique codes, and a link to the official service, encrypted as a QR code. The right and left sides are equipped with only the inscription with the name of the model. The remaining parties are free from the placement of any information.
After removing the user’s cover meets the smartphone, in order to avoid getting defects during the logistics transportation, carefully placed in a special cardboard niche.
Behind the placement of the gadget is a cardboard insert with instruction for use, in which there was a place to place a paper clip.
Quality of manufacturing of components is executed at a decent level, which, incidentally, is traditional for the company. Foreign smells, as expected, are completely absent.
When you become acquainted with the delivery set, one of the drawbacks of the device is revealed: its orientation to the Chinese market, due to which the charger plug is not suitable for use in Russian realities, and, therefore, you will need to purchase an adapter. Or when buying a device from Russian vendors, as a rule, you will receive it as a gift.
Many of the resources on the network dubbed the hero of today’s review “the most beautiful device Xiaomi”, but is it possible to say so absolutely? The design of the gadget is really pleasant and causes genuine interest and a desire to take it in hand, it’s only necessary to open the box.
High-quality and expensive materials of the case also play into the hands of the offspring of the Chinese corporation. Among the positive aspects of the exterior is worth noting a matte black color, as a direct alternative to the already bored Space Gray. But still, there is no need to talk about “very-very” design.
Outwardly, the device resembles a certain mixture of Iphone 5 and 6 and, probably, is the limit of dreams for those who are still loyal to the actively aging products from Cupertino.
It is for this reason that the device is not perceived as something independent, therefore it can not be the most attractive among Xiaomi.
The case of the smartphone is all-metal, only the glass inserts on the back side stand out. Here, in the upper right corner, the main camera and LED flash are located.
In the lower half of the “back” you can see the logo “Mi” cut out in the case, supplemented with a glass insert. Tactically the texture of the metal repeats this in all the same Iphone 6.
On the front of the device, a front camera, a speaker and a bunch of sensors occupy a place above the screen.
Under the screen are control keys, among which are two sensory and one mechanical, made of ceramics.
The latest built-in fingerprint scanner, which during the test showed excellent results. Triggering occurs instantly, and recognition remains accurate even in the presence of moisture or dirt on the fingers.
The only nuance, for triggering, you need to press the button if the display is locked. Not very convenient, you need to get used to it.
On the left side there is a “rocker” volume control and a power button. Both can boast of a smooth stroke and a gentle click that ends with a barely perceptible click.
On the right side there is a slot for two Nano SIM cards.
Unfortunately, there is no hybridity, and there is no possibility of expanding memory.
The bottom of the smartphone has a recharging connector, a microphone and a multimedia speaker.
On the top – a headphone jack, an additional microphone and an infrared port. Just as on the upper and lower bases there are hardly noticeable conclusions for the antennas, indicated by thin plastic inserts.
The ergonomics of the device pleases, Mi5C comfortably lies in the hand due to the soapy shape of the case and slightly rough surface of the rear panel. Regardless of the owner’s leading hand, the fingers automatically fall on the physical controls.
In addition to the black coloring, the choice of potential buyers also provides pink and gold.
Xiaomi Mi5c is equipped with a display with a diagonal of 5.15 inches, which at FullHD resolution (1920×1080) displays the pixel density level at 427.75 ppi. As you know, this indicator is more than optimal for daily use and makes recognition of a single pixel practically impossible without extraneous means.
As the protection of the display is used a tempered 2.5D glass, on top of which there is an oleophobic coating, ensuring a smooth glide of the finger on the screen surface, as well as reducing the level of contamination with fingerprints during operation. The width of the side frames is 1.66 mm, which although it is not the best result among modern gadgets, but still causes extremely positive emotions.
The declared brightness of the display is 550 nits, so the maximum level of this indicator is able to provide comfortable reading from the screen even under direct sunlight. How true this statement will be, we will check up a bit later.
In fact, the display has wide viewing angles and almost no distortion of the image when viewing angles.
The displayed colors differ in brightness and saturation, but they remain within the reasonable range, not passing into the category of unnatural ones.
In order to avoid subjective judgment on the screen of the device, we conducted a test in the X-Rite ColorMunki Display.
Surprisingly, we get unusual results for the IPS type matrix. The display is very contrast, black color is literally perfect. Yes, according to our data, the maximum level of brightness does not correspond to the declared level, but it is quite close to it. In the sun, there may be problems when studying information from the display, although the anti-reflective coating is not bad. In the dark, the display will definitely not blind the eyes.
The color channels are relatively close to each other, but closer to the middle of the graph, the lines are seriously distanced from the reference line, which is not a good sign. However, let’s not forget that we are considering a device from the budget segment.
On the next chart, the violet channel and red fail the most, which can negatively affect the perception of colors and their saturation on the display. However, in life, the picture looks good.
The overestimation of the color temperature is within an adequate value, the graph is relatively stable, which is already quite good.
With respect to the RGB triangle, we observe a slight shift and a slight excess in almost all channels, which is more typical of AMOLED matrices. Also, due to this, the color values on the display just may seem oversaturated.
The points of the gray wedge are located in a heap and not far from delta boundaries, which will help to avoid serious appearance of parasitic shades on the display.
As already mentioned in the introduction, Xiaomi Mi5c is interesting in that it is based on Xiaomi’s own development – the Xiaomi Surge S1 processor. The chip is 64-bit and consists of eight Cortex-A53 cores, one half of which works with resource-intensive applications at a frequency of 2.26 GHz, the other is designed for simple tasks at 1.4 GHz. SoC is made on 28 nm technical process.
According to the representatives of the company, Surge S1 consumes less energy than the main competitors, and is able to boast of an improved voice transmission algorithm and reduced amount of noise when photographing by using two ISP-processors.
In addition, the new product was equipped with three gigabytes of RAM. This volume at the moment is sufficient for comfortable use of the smartphone.
Despite the laudatory odes, the Xiaomi processor is still inferior to Snapdragon 625 , both in terms of energy efficiency, and in terms of performance. At the last moment, it’s worth paying attention. On the one hand, the device easily copes with simple daily tasks in the form of clients of social networks or timekillers; On the other – really resource-intensive applications cause noticeable difficulties.
The test results of Xiaomi Mi5c in popular synthetic tests look like this:
It should be noted here that the device did not pass a number of tests correctly. Some of them ended with a reboot, including a stability test … and just a few minutes after the start. At the same time, the case became noticeably hot.
The MIUI shell is proprietary for all Xiaomi devices, built on the Android operating system version 6.0 Marshmallow.
The design, as well as the filling from the applications, is exactly the same here as in all other devices of the Chinese giant, which we examined earlier. It should be noted that the operation of the system is fairly stable, and braking is rare.
The company claims that Xiaomi Mi5c will be the first to receive the long-awaited update to the new version of the operating system, which was due out in March. In our case, the device works on a global firmware that out of the box supports the Russian language and Google services, so there are no problems with the translation of the system and the installation of popular applications.
Continuing, traditionally, checking the software part, we tested today’s review hero in AnTuTu Video Tester, to find out the level of “omnivor” of different video formats.
As we can see, everything is not bad. Yes, it’s difficult to cope with heavy formats with a smartphone, but it’s decided by installing an external player with software decoding.
There were no problems with YouTube, in our case it was not preinstalled, but installation does not take five minutes. The application runs in normal mode, all settings are available, the video is played in high quality without delays.
The smartphone preinstalled a standard software sound enhancement to optimize the sound in various headphones. In general, the sound leaves a pleasant impression and can boast of sufficient for a smartphone depth and purity. The volume of volume is present, although not outstanding.
The sound quality of the multimedia speaker will not let you miss the call, but more of it, in fact, is not required. To listen to music, Xiaomi has more suitable devices.
Conversational dynamics without any claims copes with the task set before it, passing the voice of the interlocutor clean and without extraneous distortions. The same can be said about a spoken microphone. There is a noise reduction function.
For some unknown reasons, and most likely because of the features of the new chipset, RightMark Audio Analyzer program refused to see and test today’s review hero. Although the cable was connected correctly and was displayed on the device itself, as connected.
The device supports GSM 900/1800/1900, 3G, 4G LTE, LTE-A Cat. 6, VoLTE. Among the possible ranges of LTE are 1900, 2300, 2500, 2600 MHz. According to some information, support for Russian communication ranges will be disabled programmatically, but it is possible to turn it on, the speed of reception and transmission of the signal must comply with the standards.
In our case, everything is alright and works well. There are no problems with the connection.
Applications for communication are already familiar to us and convenient to use, some complaints remain only to the fact that the search for contacts is organized is not very convenient and you need to get used to it.
In the case of using Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, the signal reception quality is at a high level. The location of the geolocation occurs with the help of GPS / GLONASS / BeiDou satellites and remains accurate both near high-rise buildings and in open terrain.
Internal Storage is 64 GB, with expandable memory is not provided. The user has 57 GB.
The speed of the file system is good, which is confirmed by a test in AndroBench.
To connect your smartphone to your computer using the protocols MTP and PTP. Connecting external devices are using the OTG interface. Staffing is provided a simple, but nice and convenient file manager.
Battery capacity in all 2860 mAh, which leaves no hope for record levels of autonomy. And the information about the processor increased energy efficiency, as mentioned in the campaign, in fact, have not been confirmed. Phone is quickly depleted even without running demanding applications.
To fully charge the standard battery charger require no more than one and a half hours. But to achieve a 50 percent charge you must only thirty minutes.
Audited autonomy in the application AnTuTu Tester:
Self-discharge rate is three to four percent per day. Built-in energy saving system allows a slightly better battery life.
As a main camera module is used by 13.0 megapixels, the size of each individual pixel which is equal to 1.25 μm. Autofocus. The front camera is equipped with a 8.0 megapixel module in the wide viewing angle, which is useful when selfie.
The application interface is standard for MIUI firmware and features intuitive comprehension and ease of use. The user is given a choice of settings from the camera through which you can get more interesting results than when shooting on the machine.
Focusing is fast and usually unmistakable.
Now take a look at some examples of shooting under real operation of the smartphone.
The novelty is not allocated a special quality of the images, it is easy to see in the above examples. However, the camera Xiaomi Mi5S standard for most middle segment devices and easily satisfy the needs of many users.
The front camera is the best choice for fans selfie.
Videographers are not lagging behind the level that is specified by the photographer and encouraged good quality.
Competition between the models of medium-price segment is the strongest since the smartphone manufacturers are focused precisely on this class.
First on our list is Xiaomi Mi5 – the progenitor of the review of the hero. At a slightly higher value (at some points it is significantly lower than sales) the user receives flagship processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 and more capacious battery.
But in this case you have to sacrifice the quality of internal memory, front camera and volume, provided that expand it using memory cards will not work.
The next opponent is Meizu MX6 in the modification with 4 GB of RAM and 32 GB of ROM. It will attract the attention of those who want a smartphone with a larger diagonal display, enclosed in a case of adequate size.
In addition to the screen with a diagonal of 5.5 inches, among other advantages, we note the battery at 3 060 mAh, the main photomodule at 12.0 megapixels, the powerful MediaTek Helio X20 processor and the proprietary shell that attracts many users.
As a result of testing, Xiaomi Mi5C model causes positive emotions, but, unfortunately, does not justify all expectations. The smartphone can please the user with a decent camera, excellent sound in headphones and a good design.
The only “but” is that the processor, on which the manufacturer focuses attention, is not yet ready to form a full-fledged competition to recognized industry leaders.