Waiting for the latest flagship smartphone is a little bit like online dating. You’ll catch a glimpse, read all you can, learn a little more. Maybe you’ll even see their body in some illicit photographs, who could say? You’ll never really know them, however, until they’ve unveiled during a bombastic tech presentation in Barcelona. Alright, maybe it’s not like online dating at all.

Nevertheless, over the last month we’ve had some pretty solid indicators of what we’re going to get with Xiaomi’s hottest, newest handset. We saw some convincing promotional pictures and specifications leak back in mid-January, and just last week Xiaomi boss Hugo Barra shared a number of holiday snaps taken with the phone. So, does the Mi 5 have anything left to surprise us with? Let’s take a look

mi5 side

The first thing we should note about the Mi 5 is that, well, it’s more or less how it was described in that leaked listing last month. Though, that’s not to say there isn’t anything to cover – namely, just how gorgeous this thing is.

The Mi 5 was modelled after the gorgeous Mi Note that dropped last year and its lineage is clear to see. It’s got a lovely all glass back which slopes down into aluminum sides. On the front, we meet up with a  5.15″ 1080p display. Xiaomi are touting its ultra-bright 16-LED backlighting (as opposed to 12-LED, which is standard) and Sunlight Display technology for excellent readability in the sun.

Elsewhere on the front of the phone, there’s a new physical home button with a fingerprint reader built in and a 4MP UltraPixel style camera.

On the internal side, we’ve got Snapdragon’s latest and greatest 820 chipset, which supports fast charging (80% in 35 minutes). It’s backed up by either 3GB for the basic model or 4GB for the pro model, both of which will go some way to powering Android 6.0, which is running underneath their custom MIUI 7 software. Keeping the thing alive, there’s a respectable 3000mAh battery unit.

Whilst we’re on the subject, we should tackle the base and Pro model structure, because it’s a little confusing. Essentially, there are three models here. A base 32GB model which has its processor clocked at 1.8GHz, a base 64GB model with its processor clocked at 2.15GHz and a Pro model with 128GB, its processor clocked at 2.15GHz and 4GB of RAM. Oh, and it has a ceramic back, rather than glass. That clear? I thought not.

mi5 wobble

Xiaomi are most proud of its camera, though. They’ve opted for a Sony IMX298 sensor, which captures 16MP stills at an aperture of f/2.0 and has 4 axis optical image stabilization – a first, no less. It captures video at 4G and is made of sapphire glass to repel scratches. Here’s a video of it being great at image stabilization.

Oh, and of course it’s got connectivity options coming out of every orifice. Think USB Type-C, carrier aggregation, 4G+, LTE, VoLTE, NFC and basically any other acronym you’d care to think of. Though unfortunately there’s no support for micro-SD cards.

Overall, the phone weighs just 129g, 14g less than the iPhone 6S Plus, and measures 69.20mm x 144.55 x 7.25mm. It’ll be available in black, gold or white.

Finally, we get to the price. The top end Pro model will cost 2,600RMB, which works out at about £252, whilst the 32GB model comes in at £188. No news yet on the 64GB model, but we’ll update this when we know. It’ll be available in China from the March 1st, so get your wallet ready and your browser on our reseller guide.

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

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