Xiaomi launched its new flagship smartphone, the MI 4i that comes with a competitive price at a grand event on Wednesday. Talking about the name of the phone, Xiaomi V.P. Hugo Barra said the smartphone is a budget edition of MI 4 for India.
Sporting a 5-inch 1080p display, 3120 mAh battery, Snapdragon 615 2nd generation octa-core processor and running on Android L operating system, the MI 4i will go on sale in India for Rs. 12,999. Registration for MI 4i on Flipkart has already began and the first flash sale will begin 30 April, 2015.
Around 1500 Xiaomi fans packed the Mi 4 release event which was attended by Hugo Barra, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun, and President Bin Lin. We were lucky to have a hands on of the device and here is our first impression.
Build & Design
The MI 4i is a unibody designed smartphone with polycarbonate back with a lustrous finish. The rear cover has a translucent finish and feels nice in hand. The front of the device has been shared by the display along with the much required touch capacitive button. The volume rocker and power/sleep button sits at the left edge and the dual micro SIM slot at the left.
The upper half of the rear space has been occupied by the rear camera and the dual tone flash and the speaker grille shares the bottom with MI logo.
MI 4i boasts a 5-inch display with a resolution of 1080x1920pixels at 445ppi pixels density. Display looks nice with crisp texts and colorful images when used. Xiaomi has introduced a feature into the phone to make it readable enough in every lighting environment. Sunlight display technology controls the display brightness according to the brightness sourced by the front ambient sensor hence it brightens the display under bright light and dims it in the dark. We tried the feature in our hands on session and find it quite effective.
The MI 4i packs a Snapdragon 615 second generation SoC which packs an octa-core processor aptly backed by 2GB of LPDDR3 RAM and 16GB of in-built memory. The specification sounds good enough for the price and we believe it can give justice to most of the graphic heavy games, including multi-tasking between apps or browsing through multiple rush. Due to limited time we haven't been able to play any games or run any benchmarks. So we request you to stay tuned for that till we get the device for review.
OS & Interface
Running on Android 5.0 Lollipop overlaid by the MIUI interface, the MI 4i skips the app drawer and retains the same UI design like other Xiaomi devices. The notification screen is also the same we experienced in Kitkat based MIUI 6 devices but the stock camera app adds a few new useful features, controls and filters to make the snapping experience much better.
The device packs a 13MP rear camera sensor with f/2.0 aperture. The camera app looks neat and offers fast autofocus with decent subject tracking. It also can focus the subject from a close distance hence can snap macro like images in good lighting conditions.
The 5MP front camera is also nice and offers a selfie timer and much-required image beautification capability.
At Rs.12,999, the Xiaomi MI 4i will compete with much higher priced devices like MI4, ASUS ZENFONE 2 lower end variants, Huawei Honor 4X, Redmi Note 4G and YU Yureka. Unlike earlier Xiaomi devices, the MI 4i will be available through Flipkart along with MI India store, Amazon, Snapdeal and Mobile Store.
For the price, MI 4i offers a killer price-to-specification ratio, amazing camera, decent built and most importantly the latest Android operating system. We believe the MI 4i will repeat the ground breaking success Xiaomi MI3 and Redmi 1S made.