For the first time in its history, Xiaomi went to Mobile World Congress this year to present a product, the Mi 5. Though intended only for the Asian market, the Chinese smartphone was positioned as a direct competitor to the high-end devices presented at the same event, namely the Samsung Galaxy S7 and the LG G5.


Is this really the case?


Confusing at first, especially when one of the pre-embedded Chinese applications is launched, MIUI is therefore very pleasant to use once the whole well apprehended and configured. As for the application drawer, it can easily be found by installing an application launcher.

Not surprisingly, we also happily enjoy the fluidity of the system linked to the lightness of the ROM. Throughout the test period, the Mi 5 showed no signs of weakness at this level.



With a Snapdragon 820 and 3 (or 4) GB of RAM, the Xiaomi Mi 5 is equipped like the majority of high-end devices of the moment. With the “only” Full HD screen (where the Samsung Galaxy S7 and LG G5 have switched to 2K), it has all the weapons in hand to compete fully and display very good performances.

Not surprisingly, it scores roughly similar to those of other devices equipped with the same components, without performing beyond measure. It even gets lower results on most tests. This is reflected in our tests on the refresh rate of the image, which in addition to having nothing exceptional is – somewhat – less stable than its competitors.

This slight difference is perceived on the use of the CPU when it goes through test. the G5 displays clear and accurate oscillations over a small frequency range of the use of its most efficient cores (between 1.5 and 2 GHz essentially), the Mi 5 seems to force use at 2 GHz with many drops below 1 GHz to ease the processor load and thus avoid overheating.

Do not denigrate its capacities for that. Although its processor shows some instability, it is nonetheless very powerful and does not flex during the game sessions. In use, you should not notice the whims of its CPU.

Network, GPS and fingerprint sensor

Chinese import requires, the Xiaomi Mi 5 is only compatible with 4G LTE B1, B3 and B7 bands. Only two of the three bands used in France are therefore present, as usual. Free subscribers will not see any problems (the operator does not use this frequency), but the others may have some difficulty in capturing their very high-speed network in some poorly covered areas.

On the cover, however, they will appreciate the speed of networks of category 6 (up to 600 Mb / s), although this standard is still far from being exploited by French operators. WiFi for its part is compatible with the fastest standards.

On the GPS side, the observation is also good with a fast and precise geolocation and a compass also reliable. In other words, we cannot fault the Mi 5 on this point.

Regarding the fingerprint sensor, Xiaomi has integrated a very efficient technology as fast as it is reliable. The difference with a Galaxy S6 is blatant. Like the latter, however, it is mandatory to press the physical button to unlock the phone, including when configured to operate in a tactile manner.


Photo & Multimedia

The Xiaomi Mi 5 features a 16 Megapixel Sony IMX298 sensor. At the time, we said that the photo and it is not surprising to find the same defects on the Xiaomi Mi 5.

In daylight, the result is good, especially when you look at the cliché on the screen of the phone. Color and contrast management is generally good. However, he sometimes struggles to manage the strong differences in luminosity, which often makes a sky entirely white. The HDR mode makes it possible to raise a little this, at the price of a rendering a little more unreal.

By zooming in the images, one notices that the sharpness is very good and that it is possible to read distant details without problem. This result, however, seems artificially exacerbated, which degrades the quality of the image, bringing out the pixels like the “sharpness” of Photoshop or Lightroom.

The bottom panels are legible, but of poor quality

Inside, the result is quickly more mixed, with a pervasive digital noise that begins to appear depending on the brightness. Finally, since the conditions are a little difficult, at night or with moderate electric lighting, do not hope to keep anything other than a light multimedia memory, dark and dotted with small grains.

Battery life

Regarding the autonomy of the Mi 5, the latter manages more than correctly. On a day, count about 4 to 5 hours of use of screen with mixed uses (social networks, mail, navigation, video, a little game …), which will allow for less addicted to hold almost two days in good conditions. A daily passage through the charger box seems nevertheless indispensable for a user a little more attentive.

To go further, a “Marathon” mode or a “Standby” mode that will deactivate certain options (WiFi, data, etc.) if necessary. These modes can also be automated when the telephone reaches a certain threshold of autonomy.

In our usual battery test of playing a one-hour YouTube video with the screen set to 200 cd / m², the Xiaomi Mi 5 lost only 11% battery. For comparison, the LG G5 and HTC 10, both equipped with the same processor lost 11% and 17% respectively on the same test. The Galaxy S7 lost only 10% of the original.