One year ago, the Xiaomi Mi 5 hit the market with a big bang. I managed to get my paws on a pre-production model and took it for a spin. I came away impressed. I expect this year's Mi 6 to be as good. Let's hope I get a chance to preview it soon... In the meantime, here's last year's news. You can also satisfy the Mi 6 itch by downloading the wallpapers.
I got news that a unit of the recently launched Mi5 was residing somewhere in sunny Singapore. Now that it has finally been announced, I was allowed to play with the pre-production beta unit. Apart from a beta serial number etched into the phone's body, this is as close to the real phone as you can get for now. Let's take a look at it.
After playing with it for a few minutes, I decided to take it outside for a quick photoshoot. Before you look at the photos, please read the disclaimer, in case I muddy Xiaomi's good name. I deliberately took photos of challenging situations. Low light, max digital zoom, etc. This is because I figured any half decent phone camera when used in sufficiently bright sunlight, would produce great photos. Plus, please note that this is a pre production beta set. It is not the actual Mi5 that you can buy tomorrow on 1 March 2016 (in China). :P Notice I never talk much about the user experience. Well, it's running MIUI 7, which I'm sure many here have experienced it. There's nothing different from the others. It's MIUI 7 afterall. I only had this test unit for a couple of hours. So it's not fair to comment on the user experience, coz it's probably blazing fast due to the fact that there's nothing running on it, other than the standard out of the box apps. But one thing I like about this phone's camera, it is the lack of shutter lag. It takes a photo instantly, from the time you tap on the shutter release. One thing I don't like however, is the 2 step fingerprint unlock. The fingerprint sensor is lightning fast. But, you have to wake the phone first, before the fingerprint sensor starts working. Not sure if I was doing it wrong or what... Anyway, back to the test photos.
Meeting room, low light test. The room lights were off and there was hardly any light filtering in via the main office.
Standing across the street, I decided to try a digital zoom shot.
This one is at full zoom. Really bad. But hey, what do you expect from digital zoom.
You can see how far away I'm from the summon aunty from the previous photo.
Side alley, again, not much light here.
Played with the sketch filter here. Can't say much. Just a common trick shot.
Another low light shot.
This one is low light plus digital zoom. Hmmm... It actually turned out better than I expected.
This shot is from the second floor overlooking the previous area. Shot through a glass panel and again with zoom on. You can see very obvious grainy texture. But not as bad as the first meeting room shot. When I get the chance again, I'll do some handheld night shots to really test out the 4 axis OIS. In the meantime, it's back to my trusty Mi 4C! Oh yeah, many asked me which version of Mi5 I was playing with. The answer is here. :)