Xiaomi Mi 5 smartphone: An 820-SoC flagship at $305? WOW...

Xiaomi Global veep Hugo Barra creeps into Barcelona to launch new shiny

Xiaomi Mi 5
Foxtail Millet 北京小米科技有限责任公司

The Xiaomi Mi 5 smartphone flagship launch at MWC 2016 gets Android fans excited. But we don’t yet know the release date outside China: The best Xiaomi can tell us is, “Soon…”

The company’s earlier statements implied Q3 or Q4. So perhaps this amazing set of feeds’n’speeds isn’t worth waiting for.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers weigh it up. Not to mention: Where can I buy one?..

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

What’s the craic? Cam Bunton zooms in—Xiaomi Mi 5 is official:

From the design alone, it would be easy to confuse [it] with a Galaxy S7. ... But don’t let that copycat form factor put you off. [At] around $306, [it] packs in an incredible array of high-end features.

Barra took the opportunity to mock...protruding camera units. ... The Mi 5 packs in a 16MP sensor...with built-in 4-axis optical image stabilization. ... It takes pretty good shots [and] shoots 4K video.

Snapdragon 820 processor clocked at 1.8GHz or at 2.15GHz. [It’s] Qualcomm’s latest, most powerful...inside both the LG G5 and...Galaxy S7. ... 3GB of RAM on the two standard models.

A full HD 5.15-inch display [gives] pixel density of 428ppi. ... Quick-Charge 3.0 support, a 3000mAh battery, NFC and support for LTE-A. ... It runs Android Marshmallow with Xiaomi’s MIUI skin.

The Xiaomi Mi 5 Pro comes with a...ceramic back rather than glass...4GB RAM, 128GB storage. [It] costs...approx $413.

Sounds good, but what’s it like in-hand? Tim Anderson got Hands on with Xiaomi's Mi 5:

Following a hypetastic presentation from...Barra, [I] was among the first to get a quick hands-on. ... The first impression is that this device really is light...and thin. ... It’s also notable how little bezel there is.

[It] is smooth and well-made but feels less premium than a Samsung S7, though ahead of an LG G5. ... Performance...was outstanding, with...apps that open in a snap. ... Xiaomi's MIUI...is not objectionable.

There is no MicroSD. ... You do get dual SIM capability though.

The launch date in China is 1st March. ... “Global markets soon,” said Barra.

So it’s a flagship-class device at mid-range phone prices—why so low? Stanley Corbett explains:

It’s called mark-ups.

If people will pay...why charge less?

Only time will tell how much of a ripple effect this will have.

It wasn't only launched in Spain, but also in China. Parmy Olson twins the two events—Xiaomi Boldly Undercuts Samsung And Apple:

Launched an hour apart in Beijing and at MWC in Barcelona on Wednesday [it’s] less than half the price of the cheapest...iPhone 6S.

It’s a bold bet for a Xiaomi. ... Despite the low cost, [it] boasts some impressive specs. ... it’s possible that [it] will be the very first smartphone to get [the Snapdragon 820] to consumers.

Xiaomi...needs to kickstart growth overseas in order to make up for a flagging performance. ... Part of the problem is Apple’s...success at capturing the high end of the...Chinese market.

Can’t wait. But Alex Wagner thinks you shouldn’t hold our breath:

Xiaomi’s Mi 5 looks like a solid flagship...at a price that’s hundreds of dollars less.

Unfortunately [it] isn’t going to see a Western release. That...is disappointing.

Back in July 2015, [Xiaomi] said that it was “no less than a year plus”...away from entering the US market. [We] will just have to continue ogling...from afar.

And Finally...

Where can I buy one?

You have been reading IT Blogwatch by Richi Jennings, who curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don’t have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or itbw@richi.uk.
Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

Shop Tech Products at Amazon