Let’s face it, no matter how many times Hugo Barra calls the Xiaomi Mi4i a “flagship” smartphone, it’s not. The Mi4i lacks the raw power and many advance features that are present in what we consider flagship phones, like the iPhone 6, and the Galaxy S6. But that doesn’t mean you should discount the Mi4i as just another cheap phone from China, because the Mi4i is not just another cheap phone from China.
Despite the competitive pricing, the engineers and designers at Xiaomi looked into every detail to ensure that the Mi4i delivers a performance and user experience that belies its bargain basement asking price, it probably is the most advanced smartphone you can get for under RM800 and here’s why.
The Mi4i has a compact body with a screen that’s 10% larger than the iPhone 6
At 138.1mm, the Mi4i is exactly the same height as the iPhone 6 but it has a screen that’s 10% larger than the iPhone and a 7% higher screen-to-body ratio. That means, you get more screen and less phone, as a result the phone is pleasant and easy to hold and operate with one hand. Even those with smaller hands and digits will find is easy to stretch their fingers to the edge of the Mi4i display without too much of a hassle.
The advanced 5-inch full HD 1080p, 441ppi, IPS display has a 178° wide-viewing angle and a colour range that’s better than the iPhone 6
The Mi4i has an advanced display developed by Sharp and JDI. Yes, it only pushes out 1080p but the engineers has optimised the software and the screen to produce a display that’s actually pretty good especially under direct sunlight thanks to what Xiaomi calls “Sunlight Display” technology that optimises the screen in any lighting condition allowing you to appreciate details and highlights whether you’re viewing images indoors or outdoors. During our hands-on session at the launch The technology works extremely well and is something users can really appreciate.
The fully laminated OGS (one glass solution) screen developed by Corning, is on par with many top-level smartphone displays in the market and you get a very respectable pixel density of 441ppi. In comparison, the iPhone 6 pushes 326ppi and the iPhone 6 Plus, 401ppi.
The display on the Mi4i is also capable of producing a wider range of colours compared to the iPhone 6. Specifically, the iPhone 6 has a NTSC 72% colour gamut while the display on the Mi4i has an NTSC 95% colour gamut. This means colours are brighter and reproduced to mimic reality more accurately.
The only issue we have with the Mi4i display is that it uses Corning Concore glass instead of the tougher and more resilient to breaking Corning Gorilla Glass. That doesn’t mean that Corning Concore glass is not strong. It is plenty strong and just as scratch resistant as Gorilla Glass but ultimately, when subjected to the same forces, Corning Concore will break before Gorilla Glass.
The 3120mAh battery in the Mi4i is one of the largest, most advanced batteries in its class
A smartphone is useless if you have to charge it all the time. Thankfully, the Mi4i has a 3120mAh battery and that is huge even for high-end flagship standards. Let’s do a quick comparison, the iPhone 6 has a 1810mAh battery, while the larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus has a 2915mAh battery. The Samsung Galaxy S6 has a 2550mAh battery while the Galaxy S6 edge has 2600mAh battery. Notice what those flagship devices have in common? All of them have smaller batteries compared to the Mi4i and they cost more than twice as much as the Chinese phone. Even against Xiaomi’s own Mi4, the Mi4i’s battery is 9% smaller in volume but with 12% higher battery density.
And it’s not just any large battery either, the Mi4i battery is developed by two of the world’s leading battery suppliers, Sony and Samsung, and it’s packed with tech. It’s the first battery in the world to feature 4.4V high-voltage technology with the highest energy density platform of 700Wh/L polymer cells.
So what does that all mean? You can expect almost two days (1.5 days) of actual run time on a single charge, and when you do need to charge, the Mi4i supports quick charging technology that support 5V 2A charging which is capable of charging an empty battery to 40% capacity in one hour and get up to full charge in three hours.
So there you have it, the top three features that I think, make the Mi4i most advanced smartphone for under RM800. Yes, the Mi4i can’t be considered a flagship smartphone but that’s not the appeal of the device the appeal of the Mi4i. The Mi4i is designed to deliver the best possible smartphone experience at a price, and in this respect the team at Xiaomi, who have been working on this project for over 18 months, have a winner with a device that offers decent performance with great value. Agree or disagree, share your thoughts in the comment section.