Xiaomi is a leading mobile phone manufacturer in China and is progressively ramping up to join the US market. While for many in the west, Xiaomi products may sound alien, the China-based phone maker has become a leading mobile phone distributor on its targetted markets in China and India. The company now ranks in the top five smartphone manufacturers in the world and competes against giants like Apple and Samsung in the markets where it operates.
Xiaomi gained enormous global popularity for distributing smartphones that pack the latest mobile technology for the value. Xiaomi phones are empowered by the top-notch specifications, feature futuristic designs, are often leading new mobile technology trends, and are offered for a low price.
Last year, Xiaomi introduced the bezel-less Mi Mix concept phone with 91.3% of the front panel being a touchscreen display and this year released the sub-$500 Mi 6 phone powered by Snapdragon 835. The company is favoring consumers not only by offering hi-end devices for a budget but also by forcing its competitors to follow their path, in case you are considering to buy Xiaomi phones or just interested in the brand, there are the Mi phones you need to know about.
Xiaomi Mi 6
Released April 2017: The Mi 6 is one of the most trending phones of the moment and will continue to be for a long time. It brought significant upgrades when compared with last year’s Mi 5, is the only sub-$500 Qualcomm Snapdragon 830 smartphone and the first Xiaomi phone without a headphone jack.
The design is highlighted by a dual camera setup on the rear, removal of the headphone jack for a splash proof resistance and housing of a larger battery of 3,350 mAh – adding 15% more power than its predecessor. Both sides of the Xiaomi flagship are made of glass material sandwiched by a stainless steel frame. On the front sides a 5.15-inch LCD display with FHD resolution and on the back a glass body design with curved edges and rounded corners – the front glass is made of Corning Gorilla Glass 5 while the back panel has Gorilla Glass 4.
The hardware featured on the Mi 6 phone is made of the best of what current technology has to offer. Coming in the form of latest Snapdragon 835 chipset with 6gigs of RAM and 128GB of storage, a duo of a 12MP phase detection autofocus wide-angle lens and a 12MP telephoto camera rank it as one of the best photography phones. An 8MP front shooter makes up its selfie features.
Two SIM cards, Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, and USB Type-C highlight the connectivity supports. The handset comes in various of colors, including a premium ceramic edition. Although it currently is being offered only in China for the price of $420, you can still buy Xiaomi Mi 6 in the US via AliExpress.See Xiaomi Mi 6 at AliExpress
Xiaomi Mi Mix
Released October 2016: Xiaomi’s most innovative smartphone is undoubtedly the Mi Mix. It features a 6.4-inch FHD LCD display with a resolution of 1080 x 2040 pixels, but as the touchscreen display makes 91.3% of the front panel, Xiaomi Mix is not larger than a 5.7-inch phone.
A phone with an all-touchscreen display panel has always been a fan dream. Xiaomi invested its best talents in design to make the concept phone a reality. To achieve an edgeless display, Xiaomi was forced to move the 13MP selfie camera on the bottom of the device, adapt a ceramic drive unit for converting electrical signals into mechanical energy for transmitting sound as accommodation for an earpiece was not possible and replaced the traditional proximity sensor with an ultrasound sensor embedded beneath the glass panel.
Regarding power, the Xiaomi Mi Mix runs on Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 chipset with up to 6GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, is highlighted by MIUI 8 skin and features a 16MP phase detection autofocus OIS camera for 4K video recording. The in-house battery is a 4,400 mAh unit while the connectivity specs are highlighted by two SIM card support, 4G LTE network, WiFi, USB Type-C, Bluetooth 4.2, and fast charging.
Xiaomi Mi Mix USA availability is not provided directly by the manufacturer, but some resellers have it in stock where its pricing has now dropped at $540.See Xiaomi Mi Mix at AliExpress
Xiaomi Mi Note 2
Released October 2016: Xiaomi’s endeavors at experimenting with mobile phones generally proved to be successful. But its first phone with curved edge display was shaded by the Mi Mix concept phone as Xiaomi decided to release both devices at the same time. This device debuted as a budget alternative to the Note 7 and soon after problems with the Samsung phablet occurred, the Xiaomi phone with curved screen gained momentum and took its place.
The Xiaomi Mi Note 2 debuted along with the Mi Mix, and it resulted on the phablet being shaded out. Nevertheless, it was the company’s first device to offer support for over than 37 LTE bands, making it useable on most of the carriers around the world. It has a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED FHD display with curves on the edges, runs on Snapdragon 821 with up to 6GB of RAM and 128GB of flash storage, and has its user interface features covered by MIUI 8.2.
The Mi Note2 has a front-facing fingerprint on the tiny Home button, supports two SIM cards, features a 22.5MP Sony IMX318 camera for 4K video recording, an 8MP FHD selfie snapper at the front, and gets powered by a non-removable battery with a large capacity of 4,070 mAh with Quick Charge 3.0. The manufacturer does not officially ships products in the western countries, but you can still buy Xiaomi Mi Note 2 in the US via AliExpress for the price tag of $416.See Xiaomi Mi Note 2 at AliExpress
Xiaomi Mi 5
Released April 2016: The Xiaomi Mi5 and its versions are probably the most successful devices of the Xiaomi Mi phone series. The Mi 5 stole everyone’s hearts when debuted at the MWC 2016 event in Barcelona, and it has flagship specs for the value. The 5.15-inch Xiaomi phone has a premium bezel-less preview with glass material on both sides that are held together by a tiny metal framing. It sports an FHD LCD display made of Corning Gorilla Glass 4, a 16MP phase detection autofocus OIS camera for shooting 4K videos, and a 4MP selfie camera.
The Xiaomi Mi 5 gets powered by a 3,000 mAh battery, runs on Snapdragon 820 with a premium edition having 4GB of RAM and 128GB of flash memory. It launched running Android 6.0 Marshmallow with MIUI 7 skin on top, but it is now upgraded to Android 7 Nougat and MIUI 8. Similarly to other top Xiaomi phones, its availability in the US is not directly supported. The price of Xiaomi Mi 5 has dropped to $225 and can be globally ordered via AliExpress.
Only a few months after launching Mi 5 phone, Xiaomi updated it with the Snapdragon 821-powered Mi 5s and Mi 5s Plus. The new Xiaomi Mi 5s replaced the glass body design for a metal outlook and provided some additional improvements in speed and connectivity. The 5.15-inch LCD screen remained at 1080p but the 3D Touch feature was added, the fingerprint on the front side was continued.
The featured Snapdragon 821 SoC provided the new Xiaomi phone an improvement performance, and the battery was now a 3,200 mAh unit.
Although Mi 5s was an excellent device for the value, Xiaomi accompanied it with a larger version of 5.7-inch called Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus. This edition was a dual camera phone and one of the best at the time of release. Mi 5s Plus has two 13MP f/2.0 cameras with phase detection autofocus and OIS for 4K videos and succeeds the 4MP selfie camera from the Mi5 and Mi5s.
The Chinese manufacturer did not give up easily on the Mi 5 and its versions. The latest Xiaomi Mi 5 version launched in March 2017 debuting Xiaomi’s first Surge line of mobile processors. The latest member of the Mi 5 family, Xiaomi Mi 5c has the same 5.15-inch FHD LCD display and shares most of its DNA with the older versions.
The handset features a 12MP phase detection autofocus camera with f/2.2 aperture and HDR for 1080p video recording, an 8MP full-HD selfie camera, runs the Xiaomi Surge S1 chipset with 3gigs of RAM and 64GB of flash memory, and is pre-loaded with Android 7.1 Nougat out of the box. The price of Xiaomi Mi 5c sits at $210.See Xiaomi Mi 5 at AliExpress
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4
Released January 2017: The Xiaomi Redmi are the series of budget Xiaomi phones that have excellent features for the value of the dollar. Development of excellent cheap phones is what made Xiaomi reach the current levels. And such an excellent cheap phone is the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4.
The Redmi Note 4 features an all-metal body design with a 5.5-inch 2.5D LCD display featuring FHD resolution, sports a 13MP 5-element lens phase detection autofocus camera with dual-tone LED flash and f/2.0 aperture for recording high-resolution videos accompanied by a 5MP selfie shooter on the front. The housed Snapdragon 625 with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of expandable storage topped by MIUI 8 give to the phone additional speed and memory.
A rear-mounted fingerprint, the support of two SIM cards, 4G LTE, and a massive 4,100 mAh battery highlight the overall specs of the Redmi Note 4 phone. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 price seats at just $149.
Xiaomi has produced a second version of the device, called Xiaomi Redmi Note 4x, which is a replica of the original device that runs MediaTek Helio X20.See Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 at AliExpress
Xiaomi Redmi Pro
Released August 2016: Last year in August, Xiaomi choose to follow the trend of dual camera smartphones and introduce one of its own. As a result, Xiaomi Redmi Pro became the first dual camera Xiaomi phone. Sometimes referred to as the Xiaomi Redmi Pro Prime it is among the cheapest phones with two cameras, priced at just $199.
The Redmi Pro sports a metal body design and a 5.5-inch AMOLED display with FHD resolution. It is also one of the few Xiaomi phones with OLED screen. The dual camera setup, which is its most eye-catching feature, is made up of 13MP phase detection autofocus camera with f/2.0 aperture and a 5MP unit that measures depth for recording clearer hi-res videos. The selfie camera is a 5MP unit with a f/2.0 aperture lens of its own that also records 1080p videos.
The Xiaomi Redmi Pro phone runs the deca-core MediaTek Helio X25 with 4GB of RAM, 128GB of flash memory with microSD support up to 256GB for more free storage, and MIUI 8.See Xiaomi Redmi Pro at AliExpress
Xiaomi Mi Max
Released May 2016: Besides experimenting with curved and dual camera phones, Xiaomi gave a try to larger smartphones trend. Announced last year in May, in China, the Xiaomi Mi Max is company’s largest phone to date and it packs a 6.44-inch FHD display made of Corning Gorilla Glass 4.
The large phablet is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 with 3GB of RAM and 64GB of expandable memory (microSD up to 256GB) and topped by MIUI 8.2. There’s an advanced edition running Snapdragon 652 with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage which is sometimes called Xiaomi Mi Max Prime and sometimes referred as Xiaomi Mi Max Pro Prime.
The phablet hosts a 16MP phase detection autofocus 4K camera with f/2.0 aperture lens and a 5MP wide-angle selfie camera. It supports two SIM cards, 4G LTE, WiFi, and runs a non-removable 4,850 mAh battery. Xiaomi Mi Max is available for purchases and is priced at $220.See Xiaomi Mi Max at AliExpress