Review Roundup: Xiaomi Mi 4i
The Mi 4i is a return to what Xiaomi do best - making low cost phones that you'd actually want to own.
NDTV80%
CNET76%
Tech280%
The Next Web85%
Indian Express90%
Deccan Chronicle85%
Pros
  • Excellent build quality
  • Good camera
  • Solid battery and quick performance
Cons
  • Small amount of storage and no expansion
  • Some overheating issues
  • MIUI is divisive
83%Overall Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)
0%

In the grand scheme, Xiaomi’s 2014 flagship the Mi 4 was something of an outlier. It saw the company shift its market aspirations from the low to mid end to the high end, seeking out customers who might otherwise be in the market for an iPhone or top tier Android phone. Though well received, the Mi 4 never really sold in the ludicrous numbers that previous Xiaomi phones had, primarily because it bypassed their most fevered fans. So, if the Mi 4 was a missed date, the Mi 4i is the apology flowers.

Coming in at Rs. 12,999 (around £130 to you and I), the Mi 4i actually shares little in common specifications with its bigger sibling, but what it does offer is more than enough for the budget buyer. Android 5.0, a 5″ 1080p IPS display, a Snapdragon 615 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, an Adreno 405 GPU, a 13MP rear camera with a 5MP front unit and all the connectivity options you can handle. Oh, and it also comes in a range of bright, friendly colours.

The only question now is, what did the critics think? Read on to find out.

NDTV:

With the Mi 4i, Xiaomi has another clear winner on its hands. The phone costs less than half as much as some of its Snapdragon 615-powered brethren and still outperforms them in all departments. The Moto G (Gen. 2) has been our favourite pick at this price point, but the Mi 4i scores with a stunning screen and great build quality.

Having said that, MIUI is not without its quirks and the camera performance could’ve been better, so if you prefer the stock Android experience, expandable storage, and a camera that’s a little bit more forgiving, the Moto G (Gen. 2) is still a solid pick. Everyone else, go ahead register yourself for the next flash sale of the Xiaomi Mi 4i.

CNET:

Xiaomi says the Mi 4i was designed as a flagship phone for “emerging markets.” And while its specs can’t compare to those of high-end phones like the Samsung Galaxy S6 or the LG G4, its performance is good enough for most everyday tasks and it is available at an impressively low price.

Compared with say, the slightly more expensive $250 Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3, the $205 Mi 4i is a bargain, but you’ll need to be able to get one first, especially if you don’t live in the markets where the phone is sold. It has mostly the same specs, but the Idol 3 does have expandable storage (though you’ll pay more for it).

Against the $180 Samsung Galaxy Prime, well, the Mi 4i handily beats it, with better all-around specifications, camera and a higher-resolution display for only $25 more. The 4i is also better designed — both phones have a 5-inch display, but the Mi 4i is thinner and lighter with a bigger (though non-removable) battery.

Tech2:

With the Mi 4i, Xiaomi is offering you a phone that has premium specs, a great display, good camera, good battery life at an affordable price point. There has been no compromise on the design aspect as well and although it is a 5-inch device, you can easily use it single-handedly for most use cases. The camera is one of the best in this price segment.

Sure, there are performance issues, which we have elaborated above. But for a first time buyer these aren’t major deal breakers, if you look at the positives that come with this phone. Issues with animations can be resolved with software updates. One thing that will annoy some users is 12.9GB usable space and lack of a microSD card slot.

The Next Web:

After nearly a week of using the Mi 4i, I’m bummed that I have to return it. It’s got a great camera, runs all day and then some on a single charge, and is quick enough for most tasks.

It’s also a lot more comfortable to use than my 5.5-inch OnePlus One. I never had an issue reaching corners with my thumb, and the screen is still large enough to enjoy a book or video.

That being said, I can’t get over the 16GB storage situation. That’s a constraint that’s hard to live with and it makes the Mi 4i difficult to recommend to most people.

Still, if you can religiously back up your photos to the cloud and don’t care much for having your music stored locally, this is a great buy.

Indian Express:

It goes without saying that the Mi 4i offers the best possible at Rs 12,999 in terms of design, display and battery. The device fits looks good and fits perfectly in the hands and in pockets. It comes with a bright and lively display. Sunlight Display takes care of outdoor visibility.

The minimum battery life you can expect from the Mi 4i is 24 hours- in both balance and performance mode. The device gets fully charged in little less than 2.5 hours. The camera is good but it’s not the fastest. You will have to be a bit patient while focusing on a subject. However, HDR and dual-tone LED Flash will make you fall for the Mi 4i.

The device is smooth, you will hardly encounter any lags or regular performance issues, even if the RAM availability is less. Running on Android 5.0.2 Lollipop OS with MiUI 6 skin on top, the device offers everything you need out-of-the-box.

Deccan Chronicle:

To wrap-up the entire experience with the Mi 4i, we would want to state that Xiaomi has definitely managed to impress us with the quality and performance of the device. The Mi 4i is a premium smartphone in the mid-range category with a low budget and premium quality parts. The definitely recommend the smartphone to those hunting for a high-end premium-looking smartphone in a mid-range budget. With contenders such as HTC Desire 820, the Samsung Galaxy A7 and the OPPO R5, which sport identical hardware specifications and build quality, the Xiaomi definitely stands atop the list.

 

Looking to buy an Mi 4i? Check out our buyer’s guide for Chinese made smartphones.

About The Author

Editor in Chief

Ten fingers, five senses, one man, loads of Chinese smartphones.

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