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Xiaomi Mi5s Pros and Cons Before you click "Buy"

Xiaomi keeps pushing the boundaries when it comes to launching new and attractive smartphones. Today we're going to tackle one of its most recent forays into the mid range segment; the Xiaomi Mi 5s. While not as visually stunning as the recently revealed Xiaomi Mi Mix, the Xiaomi Mi5s delivers a solid performance with updated internals and a very competitive price point that will make it irresistible to many consumers.

Today we seek to explore everything there is to know about this handset as we set out to list the pros and cons of the Xiaomi Mi5s, on sale at iGoGo for just 325€. Wanna tag along for the ride?

Xiaomi Mi5s Pros and Cons you can't miss

Cons of the Xiaomi Mi5s

It's a relatively discreet phone

Not every phone can be a trend setter, some are simply a natural evolution to previous handsets. Such is the case of the Mi5s which doesn't provide much in terms of innovation from an aesthetic stand-point but delivers a nice and proven design.

That said, there is a significant difference when it comes down to the fingerprint sensor which, much like the iPhone 7, doesn't make use of a dedicated button per-se but instead offers a system whereby you simply place pressure on top of the button and that is enough for it to scan your fingerprint. 

Other than that, the overall design doesn't depart much from the Xiaomi Mi5 released a few months back with a 3D display and a 5.15 inch diagonal for a more balanced ergonomics.

It's got a USB type C port

Some might point this out to be a pro but since the USB Type C technology still hasn't gone mainstream I'm gonna tag it as a disadvantage to the Mi5s. Why would I do that? Well because in the event of you losing or breaking your charger you'll have a much harder time finding a USB Type C charger than you would have of finding a microUSB charger. 

Also, chances are you've got quite a few microUSB chargers hanging around your house while the same can't be said of USB type C chargers (for most users at least). That said, there are quite a few upsides to using a USB Type C port instead of a standard microUSB port so defining this as a pro or a con will depend on the eye of the beholder.

It's got an "OK" set of cameras

The cameras on the Xiaomi Mi5s aren't bad but they certainly aren't revolutionary by any standard. Sure, you can capture 4K video with the rear end 12 mpx shooter, but other than that, the front end camera has a 4 megapixel resolution which seems a tad short considering most mid range phones pack a solid 5-8 megapixel front camera.

That said, it's important to note that the camera resolution is only one part of the overall equation and therefore should be taken for what it is and not much more than that. In that sense, you'll find cameras with an 8 megapixel sensor that take much better pics than models with 13 megapixels. 

Case and point, the iPhone 6 which 2 years later still delivers excellent quality pictures when compared to modern mid range phones with 13-16 megapixel shooters.

The non-removable battery strikes again!

Once more we're treated to a phone that has a non-removable battery. Honestly, I'm quite sick of this. I get that in terms of design and building a unibody phone the removable battery had to die out but the removable battery was a huge plus, especially when smartphones still haven't reached a point where battery life is no longer an issue. 

The Xiaomi Mi5s packs a 3100 mAh battery that's ok for a day of usage but isn't really recommended for much more than that. Here, having a removable battery would've been pretty good, that way when you're running low on juice all you'd have to do is swap the batteries and that would be that.

Pros of the Xiaomi Mi5s

A beautiful display on top of an excellent design

As some would say; "if it ain't broke...". Truth is, while the Mi5s has the same design as the Mi5, it's actually a very attractive design and therefore that's not much of issue and would actually be considered a pro of the Xiaomi Mi5s for many users.

We love the 5.15 inch Full HD LCD display with 600 nits of brightness and that slight curvature on the edges which delivers a more ergonomic experience. The overall design quickly reminds us of the Galaxy Note Edge but we can hardly call that a disadvantage. 

The unibody design feels sturdy and comfortable to handle, and the fact that they removed the bezels on the sides means you get more screen real-estate while actually handling a phone that occupies less space in your hand than many 5 inch phones.

Snapdragon to the rescue...

While most "asian phones" pack a MediaTek processor, one of the Mi5s's biggest pros is that it comes packed with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 CPU. This is a quad core processor that operates on two distinctive speeds of 2.15GHz when pressed with more demanding tasks and 1.6GHz when working on lighters tasks. 

It's easy to get caught up in how many cores a processor has and the overall speeds that these processors handle and in that sense MediaTek might seem like the better choice. However, in practical terms and real-world usage, Snapdragon processors have proven to be much more efficient and reliable which is why you'll hardly find any MediaTek processor on any phone priced over the 300 dollar mark.

No shortage of RAM and storage

It's important to point out that this smartphone comes in two versions; one with 3GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, and another one with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. In either case, you're pretty much covered on all fronts. For obvious reasons we would recommend you get the higher-end version but the truth is you're more than likely to be ok with either.

That said, if you're looking for a future-proof handset and don't wanna splurge on a new phone in a couple of years then we'd recommend spending a bit more and getting the 4GB variant. Not only because you can't update the storage but also because 4GB of RAM will be critical if you wanna maintain a fluid running phone in 2-3 years as apps get more and more demanding in terms of resources.

Great connectivity options

While most Chinese smartphones actually do the bare minimum in terms of connectivity (huge disadvantage from where I'm standing), the Xiaomi Mi5s is a smartphone that has its eyes set on world domination. That's something that you can quickly appreciate when you consider that this phone comes with an NFC antenna, something very unusual in these kinds of phones.

What's more, another big pro many users neglect is that you've also got the latest WiFi a/b/g/n/ac standard which can deliver download speeds up to three times faster than the standard b/g/n network and you've also got your 4G support that delivers download speeds of up to 150 mbps on compatible networks.

A killer price point

Finally, perhaps the most important pro of the Xiaomi Mi5S is it's price point. Priced at roughly 325 euros over at iGoGo, the Xiaomi Mi5s delivers a strong bang for your buck.

While many phones of more "consolidated brands" would charge you an easy 450-500 euros for this set of specs, Xiaomi was smart enough to provide a competitive price point on top of an attractive design with killer hardware. All in all, this price is hard to beat when it comes down to finding a phone with this set of specs from a reputable company such as Xiaomi. 

Closing statements; Do the pros outweigh the cons?

It's impossible to look at the pros and cons of the Xiaomi Mi5s and not consider how affordable this phone truly is. That said, this is a handset that would be a great purchase no matter what the price was. Sure, it's not a revolutionary design in this day and age but that doesn't mean it's not an attractive design. 

Couple that with a very powerful CPU and a great combo of RAM + Storage and you've got yourself a great phone that will be your best friend for years to come. Long story short; if you've got 300 bucks and wanna get the best bang for your buck with a high end phone at a competitive price then this is your best bet at doing that.