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5 reasons to buy the Xiaomi Mi 5 Pro

AndroidPIT Xiaomi MI 5 PRO 15
© nextpit

The Xiaomi Mi 5 is a fantastic phone, and the best version of all is the Xiaomi Mi 5 Pro. If you’re in the market for a high-end handset then this is definitely one for your shortlist. Here are 5 reasons to buy the Xiaomi Mi 5 Pro.

AndroidPIT Xiaomi MI 5 PRO 8
Marshmallow, 4 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage? Oh yeah! / © ANDROIDPIT

1 It’s got serious specs appeal

The Xiaomi Mi 5 Pro hasn’t cut any corners when it comes to specifications. The processor is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 backed with 4 GB of on-board RAM, and internal storage space is a mighty 128 GB. It’s an absolute flying machine and specs-wise it’s at the very top of the Android charts.

The other specifications aren’t too shabby either. The battery is a robust 3,000 mAh; the display a 5.15-inch IPS delivering 1,920 x 1,280 pixels, and while the camera isn’t quite at the top of the class it’s still a perfectly decent 16 MP model with a 4 MP selfie shooter. Both use a Sony sensor, and the shots the Mi 5 Pro takes are far superior to, say, the iPhone 6S. It’s much better at focusing too.

AndroidPIT Xiaomi MI 5 PRO 9
The MIUI interface is simple to customize and pretty good looking too. / © ANDROIDPIT

2 You can customize it without having to root it

Like other 2016 flagships, the Xiaomi Mi 5 Pro runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow, but unlike others it has the MIUI interface on top. It’s fast, pleasant to use and offers a good selection of customization options that enable you to get the user interface just-so. The available themes for MIUI are generally very good, with nice use of color and a focus on minimalism rather than gaudiness. That fits well with the hardware design: no matter what you do, your Mi 5 Pro is going to be a classy-looking device.

AndroidPIT Xiaomi MI 5 PRO 4
The Mii 5 Pro is beautifully designed and engineered. / © ANDROIDPIT

3 It’s amazingly cheap for a high-end handset

Prices at the top end of Android phones tend to be pretty hefty, but the Xiaomi Mi 5 Pro doesn’t cost as much as you would expect: pre-orders are currently available for US$539. That’s still a big wad of cash, of course, but it’s a much smaller wad than you’ll need for similarly specified rivals such as Samsung’s Galaxy S7 Edge. The price of that is a whopping US$799, and it’ll be a while before we see much discounting on that one.

AndroidPIT Xiaomi MI 5 PRO 6
Similarly-specced rivals cost $200 more. / © ANDROIDPIT

4 It’s awfully pretty

The Mi 5 comes in a number of finishes, and, as you’d expect with the most expensive model, the Pro gets the most luxurious one: it boasts a 3D ceramic back with rounded edges. It gives the smartphone a unique look and feel, and while it tends to attract fingerprints it should prove to be more durable than most thanks to its scratch-resistant ceramic. The whole thing looks and feels more expensive than it actually is, and it’s always nice when that happens. It’s also superbly thin and light, and while the screen is fairly big, at 5.15 inches, it’s not so big that you need an extra hand to work it.

AndroidPIT Xiaomi MI 5 PRO 13
Justin Timberlake isn't the only one with a sexyback.  / © ANDROIDPIT

5 It stands out from the crowd

With the Xiaomi Mi 5 Pro you’re sailing solo in a sea of Samsungs. If you believe that your phone says something about you, then the Mi 5 Pro says something very different from other devices: it’s a phone you buy after careful consideration. It isn’t a knee-jerk purchase because it’s a new version of a thing you already own, or because it’s the one in all the adverts. And it’s also a sign that you’re ahead of the curve, because while Xiaomi isn’t currently a big deal in the West right now, it’s going to be.

As you’ve probably guessed, we’re very impressed by the Xiaomi Mi 5 Pro: it’s distinctive, boasts a great specification and has a reasonable price tag too. The camera isn’t quite as good as some rivals - it’s good, but the camera in the Galaxy S7 is great - but we’re starting to see why Xiaomi is being called “the Apple of China”. If it keeps making devices like this, it’s going to give other smartphone firms an awful lot of sleepless nights.

What do you think? Is Xiaomi the smartphone firm to watch, or do you think Samsung’s rule as the Android King is far from threatened? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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Gary Marshall

Gary Marshall
Freelance writer

Former lion tamer, Girls Aloud backing dancer and habitual liar Gary Marshall has been writing about technology since Google was two guys in a garage. He's written for many fine magazines, newspapers and websites, written a range of how-to-books and a novel, co-written a BBC documentary series and dishes out weekly tech advice on BBC Radio Scotland.

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  • X. Hdez, Mar 15, 2016 Link to comment

    I think you in AndroidPit are being too fanatics with MI5. Ok it is a great phone but the price stills high. You need to compare with the S7 not with the S7 edge. For example I can get now the S7 for $600 already with my local provider. It's only $60 more and you getting a better camera, better display, better battery as the initials reviews of both devices are showing, and you don't have to be with all the compromises of importing a Chinese phone like the missing LTE bands, no customer service in your country, no unlockable bootloader, worst update support and more. Please don't be so fanatics and put everything over the table.

    When the MI5 gets less than $400 will be a good choice.

  • storm Mar 14, 2016 Link to comment

    Is the boot loader unlocked or easily unlockable?
    Does it support TWRP?
    Does it only allow the flashing of a ROM signed by Xiaomi?

    If it doesn't do these things, then it is not a phone you actually own. It is a phone you paid for xiaomi to control and determine its functions and future.

    I believe in actually owning what I buy. Please include such considerations in the future as they are becoming the key features that determine what devices I will even consider buying.

  • Math Brisk Mar 14, 2016 Link to comment

    At the initially announced chinese price in yuan converted to CAD (I'm Canadian), it was a stunning value. At the current price + shipping (539+30) with extremely high chances of getting hit with a random and possibly high amount in custom brokerage fees the value is much less appealing. This almost translates into 800$ CAD in a best case scenario vs 900$ CAD for the S7 which can be subsidized over 2 years, with free gear VR.

    Moreover, it is not available, doesn't have a projected released date and looking at the extremely scarce availability of the current Mi5 32 gb it won't be online for people outside of China until at least June if not longer. Add to that the absence of any form of warranty, the absence of crucial LTE Bands (Europe, Can, US), the less than perfect Miui (I'm no fan of Touchwiz either), the unproven camera, no water dust proofing, no SD card expension (compensated by the very generous build in storage), lower resolution screen LCD vs amoled, unproven battery life (looks promising) well.. the deal isn't so hot anymore.

    If you can wait another 4 months and don't mind the above than it might be a good 100$ saving... but I fail to see how. Drop the price to equiv 650$ CAD (480$ US All in) and unlock to LTE frequencies it becomes a much more appealing option...

    • Samuel Odaniels Mar 16, 2016 Link to comment

      The 32GB amd 64GB versions are avilable on aliexpress , gizshop and some other stores
      It's not scarce at all
      It's the 128GB version that i haven't yet seen

  • Francesco V. Mar 13, 2016 Link to comment

    A comparison with the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is not fair if speaking of price. The reason being, the Edge is a 5.5 smartphone with a much nicer look. The S7 (non-Edge) is of a more comparable size and look than the Xiaomi Mi 5 Pro.

    What's more, this phone has not the the AMOLED display, nor the impermeability certification, nor the camera, nor the battery,..., of the S7 Edge. And if you consider all those features, or the ones on the S7, you'd maybe think twice when comparing pears with apples...

    Of course this Xiaomi phone looks nice and clean, it's fast and (let's assume) also reliable, but... What's new inside it? Why prefer it to other new flagships from Huawei, Samsung, Motorola (Lenovo) or even HTC (R.I.P.)? Nothing new under the hood, and the price is lower but still quite high for having an IPS panel, not having front facing speakers, etc.

    • Abhyuday Mar 14, 2016 Link to comment

      Dude, what have we ever seen from Samsung that's new? There's absolutely no innovation from Samsung with the s7. At least lg has done something different with its dual cameras and magic slot. And Xiaomi isn't really known for its innovation anyway, it's made a name by offering great specs at low prices. I, for one, am not prepared to pay $250 more for an amoled panel, or a slightly better camera. If it's camera is better than that of the iPhone 6s, it's good enough for me.

      • Francesco V. Mar 14, 2016 Link to comment

        You're probably right. Xiaomi made a name by offering great specs at low prices, ok, but I just wanted to point out that specs-wise the S7 and S7 Edge are superior and that if someone cares about specs (and really have the budget for it) then the Samsung flagship is a better product.

        You also ask what was ever new from Samsung... For me, the fact that they raised the bar and tried to compete with Apple in their territory was quite a new thing in the Android panorama. But if you speak about tech, then I would ask someone more geek than me :-)

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