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Hands On: Xiaomi Mi 5

Big on specs, small on price. That’s the best way to describe Xiaomi’s flagship for 2016, the Mi 5, announced at Mobile World Congress this year.

The company also announced a partnership with Microsoft last month that will bring Skype and Microsoft Office apps to Xiaomi devices from September 2016.

LOOK AND FEEL

The Mi 5 is a 5.15-inch full HD handset that doesn’t feel like its 5-inches. It’s more on the slim, elongated side, similar to the Redmi Note 2, and sits comfortably in the hand. It has curved edges on the back, giving you a slightly better grip. The most noticeable difference on the Mi 5 is new USB-C charging port at the bottom; a trend we will see on Android handsets this year. A volume and power button sits on the right, a dual nano-SIM slot to the left, and the 3.5mm audio jack can be found at the top. The home button is also a speedy fingerprint reader. The Mi 5 weighs 129g.

UNDER THE HOOD

The Mi 5 is powered by a Snapdragon 820 chip, along with four Kyro cores – a dual 1.8GHz, and a dual 1.6GHz; 3GB of RAM; and 32GB of storage. The handset ridiculously fast, you can switch between apps easily, take photos instantaneously, play games with no lag and unlock with the fingerprint sensor superfast. It has a massive 3000mAh battery; supports 4G, and has an IR Blaster.

CAMERA

The main camera is 16-megapixels and has various modes and settings like manual mode, loads of filters, panorama, fish eye, tilt shift, etc – the stuff you’d normally need an app for; while the camera is capable of shooting in 4K and supports slow-motion and time-lapse. The 4-megapixel front-facing camera takes really good selfies, with various fun filters.

Overall, the handset is impressive considering it has really great hardware, including a fast charge feature that gives you 83% in just 30 minutes. If you’re looking for a high-end handset with lower price tag, the Mi 5 is the handset to get.

The Mi 5 is available for R7999 on prepaid at various retailers, and also available on contract from R399 a month on Vodacom.