This formula of Xiaomi was liked by the Indian customer. To date, the brand is the fifth largest smartphone vendor in India and the largest overseas market for the company.
The company has priced its latest product Xiaomi Mi 4i at Rs 12,999. As far as the price is concerned, it is around the range of Mi 3. But does this smartphone have everything that will maintain Xiaomi’s image of presenting a superhit mobile in the market in the coming times. Let’s know.
design and display
The unibody design of Xiaomi Mi 4i gives a solid look to this smartphone. It is made of good quality polycarbonate which is rarely seen in phones in this price range. At first glance, the Mi 4i looks a lot like the iPhone 5c, especially because of the multi color option. By the way, the Mi 4i looks and feels like many high-end Lumia devices.
The Mi 4i will be available in multiple colors in the times to come, but at launch this phone will be available in White color (16 GB). The white color may leave many customers disappointed as it is more prone to soiling in the Indian environment.
In terms of layout of the buttons and ports, the Xiaomi Mi 4i follows the standard format. The power button is on the right edge and the volume button just below it. The 3.5mm audio jack is on the top of the phone and the micro USB port is on the bottom. The noise canceling microphone is located on the back of the phone. The same part also houses the rear camera with dual tone LED flash. The dual micro-SIM tray is on the left side of the phone.
The Mi 4i has a 5-inch (truly 4.95-inch) Full HD screen, but it doesn’t feel too big to hold the phone. Either we are used to big smartphones or the display-to-body ratio of the Mi 4i is so good that it doesn’t feel awkward in the hands. The company claims that it has taken help from the Corning brand for the screen and the screen in the smartphone gives protection similar to Gorilla Glass 3.
Color reproduction and viewing angles are excellent. The display is bright enough to see text and on-screen elements in sunlight. Xiaomi has said that the Mi 4i has a sunlight display.
Actually, the job of Sunlight Display is that whenever you are outdoors, it works to brighten up the blurry part of a photo so that you can see all the details well. Although the company is exaggerating this function a bit, you will not be able to sense the change happening on the screen with open eyes. Well, this too is a compliment in a way. Xiaomi also says that the sunlight display has little effect on the phone’s battery.
After using the phone, it can definitely be said that the display of Xiaomi Mi 4i is the best in this range and probably also the most feature of this product.
software and performance
Android 5.0.2 in Xiaomi Mi 4i. With latest MIUI 6 firmware. The problem is that MIUI uses a lot of RAM. The good thing is that the Mi 4i has 2GB of RAM, of which a little less than half is available for applications. You can see the recent apps through the leftmost button on the phone and the screen also keeps getting information about how much RAM is available for the apps at that time. A button with a sign (‘X’) appears on the screen that lets you close apps. By the way, there is not much problem in opening and closing multiple apps at once on Mi 4i. In this case, you will not need much (‘X’) and should also avoid using it.
We believe that memory management should be left to the operating system itself. Because repeatedly closing apps without meaning can slow down your phone, especially when you want to use that app again.
You can also lock an app in the Recent app view by sliding the app icon down. That is, this app will not close even if you use the X button. And this action will persist even after rebooting the phone.
However, MIUI also has some drawbacks. Due to many animations, the phone takes more time to respond. To use the Settings app, you have to start over from its home page again and again. That is, this app forgets the action and position of your previous visit. Some third-party apps get blocked frequently on Xiaomi devices, which is also lacking in phones from other brands. But this happened more on this phone than on others.
There was an occasion when the phone was not able to complete the data send and receive action on the 3G network. Even after restarting the phone twice, it did not work. But after turning off the 3G data option for the third time and restarting it, the problem got fixed. On several other occasions, the e-mail app had trouble responding to touch input. At first we thought that the problem might be related to the touchscreen, but after researching it was found that this problem was coming only in the Mail app which was very disappointing.
Xiaomi had also informed about the Visual IVR specification while launching the product. Actually, the company will prepare a menu of IVR numbers used by companies like Indian Railways, Vodafone and Cleartrip after studying the data of users. Meaning the next time you make a call to Indian Railways, a message of 1 for English and 2 for Hindi will already appear on the screen. That is, you will not have to listen to the entire message to state your choice. You can choose an option just by tapping on the screen. We were eagerly waiting for this feature but it is still in the testing stage which will come first to Mi 4i and then to other Xiaomi phones via software update in the coming times. Let us tell you that this is not an app, Xiaomi has not partnered with any company for this, but is preparing to give you this facility through user behavior.
There was not much difference in the performance of the phone. Apart from the Mi 3, the Mi 4i performed better than the Mi 4 in synthetic benchmarks, which was a bit shocking. The smartphone did get a little hot while playing games and during the battery loop test, but the situation was not alarming.
The Mi 4i packs 16GB of internal storage, out of which 10.68GB is available for applications and user data. The only disappointing thing is that this phone does not have a slot for a micro SD card. Although there is talk of launching 64 GB variant soon, although no official information about when this will happen is currently available. Support for USB OTG is available on the Mi 4i, which means that any USB drive and other devices can be connected to the phone via the micro USB port.
Xiaomi claims that support for 6 Indian languages is available on MIUI. This is good news for customers who use Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada and Bengali. By the way, we also saw the option of Marathi in the settings menu.
We didn’t encounter any issues during phone calls with the Xiaomi Mi 4i, the phone supports 4G on both SIM cards, however this could not be tested due to the lack of 4G network in our area. The loudspeaker performance was good, whether it was a call, watching a movie or listening to a song.
Camera and Battery Life
Xiaomi Mi 4i has a 13-megapixel rear camera that captures better photos in good light. Whereas in medium or low light conditions, the quality of the photo is not visible. Performance is good in HDR mode.
The dual-tone LED flash works well, giving light to every area of the subject while taking photos. Videos shot by the rear camera are better than average. However, the lack in terms of color reproduction remains in this feature as well. The in-built mic works well in audio recording.
The story of the front camera or selfie camera is also the same, when the light is good then the photo quality is excellent. But the result was poor on more occasions in low light. Mi 4i has a beautification feature through which you can make your picture more beautiful. That is, there are acne and there is a stain on the face, through this app everything will disappear. If you believe in natural photos, then you can also turn off this feature.
The Xiaomi Mi 4i packs a 3000mAh battery and the company claims that it is built for at least one and a half days of usage. However, after using the phone, we found that it ran well for one day but the battery life was very less till the next morning. This performance was found during normal to heavy use. Two push e-mail accounts were active on the phone. During this, social media was also used for some time. 20 minutes of phone calling and a few minutes of gaming. The display was kept on auto brightness and the phone was connected to a 3G data connection throughout the day. Apart from this, we had also paired our phone with Mi Band via Bluetooth.
Smartphones with Snapdragon 615 have poor battery results. In view of this, Xiaomi has done a good job by giving a bigger battery and its performance result has to be considered good.
Xiaomi has once again won with the Mi 4i. The price of this phone is almost half that of a smartphone built on a powerful platform like Snapdragon 615, but in terms of performance, the Mi 4i gave good results in every department. In this price range, the Mi 4i should get the nod for its great screen and good build quality.
On the other hand, MIUI also has some drawbacks. Camera performance could have been better. If you’re eyeing the standard Android UI, expandable memory, and are willing to compromise on the camera, then trust the Moto G (Gen 2). Others register yourself for the next flash sale of Xiaomi Mi 4i.