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Xiaomi Mi4

posted Aug 28, 2014, 9:06 AM by Barny CK
The Xiaomi Mi4 is the successor to the highly successful Mi3. Released a mere 8 months after its predecessor, this phone packs all the standard specifications of a 2014 generation smartphone. Clearly, Xiaomi isn't resting on its laurels and it isn't willing to lose the throne of being the most widely sold smartphone in China. The Mi4 uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset and clocking in a 2.5 GHz. To beat the competition (namely Samsung), Xiaomi fitted this phone with 3GB of RAM. This is in comparison to Samsung's latest phone series the Galaxy Alpha which has 2GB of RAM. In fact, most other phone makers utilises 2GB instead of 3GB of RAM. The screen is a 5 inch 1080p either from IPS Sharp or Japan Display OGS. It's got an 8MP front camera and 13MP rear camera, both sourced from Sony. System onboard is the Android 4.4 KitKat with MIUI V5.  The Mi4 is marketed with the 16GB or 64GB variants. 

Xiaomi is notorious for its willingness to copy but this time around, the Xiaomi Mi4 is kinda drifting towards its own style. Some say its a mashup of Apple's iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy family. It's true but something unique is appearing.  Outwardly, the phone boasts a stainless steel frame perimeter which surrounds both the front and back panel plastic casing that makes for a very solid yet light feel. Then there's the interchangeable back covers to give the phone some added personality. This kinda reminds me of the Nokia days when I get to change the plastic panels with some cool design patterns. Already, Xiaomi has designed several coloured back panels such as leather, wood, marble and even denim. I'm pretty sure third party retailer will pounce on this swappable back cover to market several unique pattern covers of their own. 

System wise, the Mi4 is definitely a powerhouse, capable of running graphic intense games flawlessly. Although using a dated version of MIUI, Xiaomi make up for its shortcoming with an extremely smooth menu interface and beautiful visual effects. There's even an option for you to switch display temperature between cool, standard and warm as well as adjust the colour saturation. 

One thing that I love the most about the Mi4 is the camera function. If there's one thing Xiaomi stands, it's got to be the camera! The phone is fitted with Sony's IMX 214 sensor that gives the camera the ability to capture high definition videos in low lit areas. Then there's a lot of control in it to give users a better experience and better picture quality. DSLR camera users will be glad to know that they can control the aperture of the camera and there's this feature called "Tracking Focus". What it does is it locks on a target when taking pictures and no matter how you move the phone, the camera is constantly focused on it. I think this is especially cool as I normally hate it when while finding a nice view to frame my picture, I lose the focus and then I'll have retap my target to get it back in focus. And then, there's the real time HDR function. HDR or High Dynamic Range refers to  a technique that captures both the bright and dark elements of a picture. Basically, it's like trying to take a picture of the sun ray penetrating the leaves of the tree. Either the sun ray is too bright or the tree leaves are too dark. HDR solves this problem but with the Mi4, you can solve it real time. 

All in all,  Xiaomi has definitely up the competition by packing so much features and so much power into the Mi4. And with it's high competitive price, it's hard for other phone makers to match. This may definitely be another sell out for this phone model. Currently Mi4 is on sale in China but there is no word yet when it will be on sale internationally. 
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