> Mobile Review>Probably the Best Phone of 2016--Xiaomi Mi5

Probably the Best Phone of 2016--Xiaomi Mi5

By Avery Pacheco, 12/08/2016, updated on 21/01/2022

After almost two years, this long-awaited flagship has finally showed up. With fast performance and glamorous appearance, the Mi 5 is a true competitor to the likes of the S7, G5 and iPhone 6s at surprisingly haft the price! Xiaomi Mi 5 is probably the best phone of the year. It must be a good choice if you’re planning to get a new phone. Here's the full review of the Mi 5. Why not take a look?

Mi 5 is Probably the Best Phone of the Year

Release Date and Price

Xiaomi Mi 5 was first announced in February this year, and finally brought to us in April at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain. Even before its public unveiling in Spain, the company co-founder Lei Jun showcased it for media in Beijing.

The Mi 5 doesn't just come in one flavor. Though three variants all resemble on another, the differences lies mainly in the hardware specs. Check out the table below for the key differences.

Xiaomi Mi 5 (32GB)

Xiaomi Mi 5 (64GB)

Xiaomi Mi 5 Pro (128GB)



quad-core Qualcomm

Snapdragon 820 processor

2.15GHz + 1.6GHz

quad-core Qualcomm

Snapdragon 820 processor

2.15GHz + 1.6GHz

quad-core Qualcomm

Snapdragon 820 processor





Rear material

3D Glass

3D Glass



1,999 yuan

($305, £220 or AU$425)

2,299 yuan

(355, £245 or AU$470)

2,299 yuan

(355, £245 or AU$470)

Price and availability are different in different countries.

While the Xiaomi Mi5 is available in the UK through some retailers, it's never going to be sold on a carrier.


The Mi 5 has great all-round design which is reminiscent of the Galaxy S7. It is such a charming handset with a curved backing, a glass or ceramic finish and a premium feel with the thickness of 7.3mm and weight of 129g. The rounded rear makes it comfortable to hold without worrying about losing your grip. The phone is slightly smaller than the S7, but with a slightly larger 5.15-inch full-HD display. It fits snugly in your pocket.

With the Mi 5, Xiaomi has included previously introduced design elements like the 3D glass from the Mi Note in addition to newly introduced aspects like the physical home button. Each model is available in either white, black, or gold.

The Mi 5's build quality makes it feel solid in the hand, and tactile feedback from the power and volume buttons as well as features like flush camera optics are immediately noticeable and appreciated. The craftsmanship is what sets the Xiaomi Mi 5 apart from much of the competition within the same price range.

Xiaomi Mi5 Review Design


The display screen is a desirable feature. While some of Xiaomi's rivals are fitting Quad-HD panels with always-on tech, Xiaomi's display is merely full-HD (1920x1080, 428ppi).

The display is a 5.15-inch full HD LCD unit. Thanks to a LED backlight redesign over its predecessor, the maximum brightness can be increased to 600 cd/m². It also comes with pixel-level adaptive contrast, meaning you have serious control over display brightness.t regulates brightness so that white areas are less bright than dark ones.

It's pin-sharp, brilliantly bright (600cd/m2), bursting with colors and has very good contrast, as it still offers the kind of ultra-vivid colors you'd see on the Galaxy S7. Pixel-level adaptive contrast and Sunlight Display make it easily visible in all scenarios.

Xiaomi Mi5 Review Display


The Xiaomi Mi5 runs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, which is considered the fastest smartphone processor of 2016 and is also used in other flagship devices, such as the LG G5 or the US version of the Samsung Galaxy S7.

Mi 5 is capable of faster performance than we've ever seen from a smartphone. With a slightly lower-clocked Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor running at 1.85GHz and a smaller complement of RAM (3GB versus 4GB in the Mi 5 Pro), this Xiaomi Mi 5 might not be as fast as the Pro, but it's still surprisingly fast.

Though we did perceive that the Mi 5 turned fairly warm under test, this is really usual for a metal-bodied flagship. By the way, it doesn't appear to affect the performance.

The Mi 5's 16-megapixel camera didn't let me down. I was impressed with the phone's lowlight performance, though it's not as good as the Samsung Galaxy S7. The rear camera takes beautifully bright pictures in good lighting, though colors can be a tad too saturated at times.

Xiaomi Mi 5 relies on UFS 2.0. This flash memory technology operates at up to 450 MB/s, so any app is able to be loaded in no time.

The Xiaomi Mi 5's battery gets a maximum capacity of 3,000 mAh, which is enough to last all day long. It moreover can be remarkably fast to juice up. An-hour-charge allows a whole day's use.

Xiaomi Mi5 Review Performance

Technical Specs

Here we glean and organize the specs of Mi 5 in the table below. You can have a quick look at how the specifications are.

Xiao Mi 5 Technical Specifications


Available. Released 2016, April


144.6 x 69.2 x 7.3 mm (5.69 x 2.72 x 0.29 in)


129 g / 139 g (4.90 oz.)


Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)

Display Type

IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors


5.15 inches (~73.1% screen-to-body ratio)


1080 x 1920 pixels (~428 ppi pixel density)


Android OS, v6.0 (Marshmallow)


Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 820


Quad-core (2x1.8 GHz Kryo & 2x1.36 GHz Kryo) - Standard edition

Quad-core (2x2.15 GHz Kryo & 2x1.6 GHz Kryo) - other editions


Adreno 530

Internal Memory

128 GB, 4 GB RAM - Pro edition

32/64 GB, 3 GB RAM - other editions


Fingerprint, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer


Non-removable Li-Po 3000 mAh battery


Black, White, Gold, Ceramic

Mi 5 is a phone that offers the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, 3GB (or 4GB in the high-end model) of RAM and 32GB, 64GB or 128GB of storage with a decent camera, solid battery life and stunning design. It is undeniably a phone of surprise and praise. Also, its price is definitely the biggest bonus. There are so few compromises here that it's hard to believe how cheap the Xiaomi Mi5 is.