Mi Band 2 – Review

Mi Band was the most popular fitness tracker in the world. Following the Mi Band, Mi Band Pulse was introduced by Xiaomi. The Mi Band Pulse never made it to India. But now we have a whole new version of the Mi Band. The Mi Band 2 has been announced in India and it is priced at Rs 1999. The reason for the success of the Mi Band was its value for money, compactness and impressive battery life. Now the Mi Band 2 inherits all of this along with heart rate sensor from Mi Band Pulse and a Display.

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Xiaomi Mi Max – Review

Xiaomi mobiles are always unique in one way or the other. Xiaomi comes up with new mobiles in segments where there is little or no competition. Whether you really need it or not, that is a different question. But Mi Mobiles have always been an object of interest for its uniqueness and disruptive pricing. Mi Max, as the name suggests is the maximum size for a mobile. It has a large 6.44 inch display and that makes it the largest phablet that can be still be called a mobile and not a tablet.

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[MWC16] Xiaomi launches the much anticipated Mi5

Xiaomi is one of the Chinese mobile manufacturers whom we all admire for their innovative product portfolio. Xiaomi came into India with Mi3 and ever since, they have managed gathered a large fan base. Last year, 2015, Xiaomi maintained a low profile in India. Apart from a few upgrades to the existing mobiles, there was no significant product launched in India. But the year 2016 is going to be different. Xiaomi is all set to launch the Redmi Note 3 on March 3rd in Delhi. Today at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Hugo Barra announced the Mi5. Throughout the presentation, I was looking forward to hear about Mi5’s plans for India. Finally at the end, Hugo confirmed that the Mi5 will be available in India soon. India has missed out on a couple of Xiaomi devices last year and now Mi5 will be a welcome launch in India.

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Xiaomi Mi5 will be powered by a Snapdragon 820 processor clocked at 2.2 GHz. It has the Adreno 530 for GPU. MI5 will support LTE+. It has a Cat 12 LTE modem which can support a max download speed of 600 Mbps. It also supports VoLTE. Here are the specifications of the Xiaomi Mi5.

  • Dimensions – 144.55 x 69.2 x 7.25 mm
  • Weight – 129 gm
  • Operating System – MIUI 7 on Android Marshmallow
  • Primary Camera – 16 MP Sensor, PDAF Autofocus, with dual LED Flash and 6 piece lens element and 4 axis OIS
  • Secondary Camera – 4 MP, 2 μm pixels
  • Processor – Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 clocked at 2.2 GHz  with Adreno 530 GPU
  • Display – 5.12-inch Full HD display
  • Battery – 3000 mAh battery with Quick charge 3.0

MI5 will be available in 3 color variants. Gold, White and Black. It has a very thin form factor of just 7.25 mm and it weighs just 129 grams. The back has a curved glass design, which meets the metal rim. The display is a border-less display, which makes the device look sleek with its thin bezels. The display supports just 1080p resolution. But that could lead to a better battery life. The device is powered by a 3000 mAh battery and has Quick Charge 3.0.

On the camera department, Mi5 will have a 16 MP Sony IMX298 sensor. It will have PDAF autofocus, saphire glass protection and 6 piece lens arrangement. The entire camera arrangement will sit on a 4 axis optical image stabilization. The front camera will have a 4 MP sensor but like HTC ultra pixel, the pixel size is large at 2 μm. The rear camera can shoot 4k videos and the front camera can offer you real time beautification modes for videos and video calls. It supports NFC and also has a fingerprint sensor on the front. The Mi5 is the first Xiaomi mobile to come with a physical front home button.

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The Mi5 will run on the latest Android M with the MIUI 7 skinned on top. The performance scores on Antutu, shared by Hugo is insane at 142k+. Mi5 will go on sale as early as next month in China. The Pro version with a ceramic back and 4 GB RAM /128 GB ROM will cost RMB 2699 (~ Rs 28k). The basic model with a 3D glass back and 3 GB or RAM will cost RMB 1999 (~Rs 21k).

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My knee jerk impression on the Mi5 is definitely positive. It has a fantastic design, great spec and a sensible pricing. The curved glass back could be slippery to handle. I am not sure why Xiaomi decided to have just a 3 GB of RAM on the 32 and 64 Gb variants. MicroSD card slot is consistently neglected by Xiaomi. Apart from the minor quirks, I am excitied about the Mi5 and now it all depends on how soon Xiaomi will bring Mi5 to India and the landing price in Indian market.

Xiaomi Redmi Note Prime launched – Price Rs 8499

It has been a while since Xiaomi announced a mobile in India. Xiaomi has a huge fan base in India. Xiaomi launched the Redmi 3 and Mi Pad a few weeks earlier and it was announced only in China. The Mi Note and Mi Note pro were launched a while ago and there are no signs of their availability in India. The recently launched Redmi Note 2 also may not make it to India because of legal issues. While the Indian fan base is eagerly waiting for these devices to be available, Xiaomi today announced the Redmi Note Prime.

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The Redmi Note Prime is an upgrade to the exisiting Redmi Note 4G in India. The Note Prime is second mobile that will be “Made in India” after Redmi 2 Prime. The Note 4G may not be along the likes of Mi Note or Redmi 3 that we are eagerly expecting. For those who are looking to buy a decent 4G device at an affordable price point, the Redmi Note is a good choice. But it has been a while since the mobile was made available in India and the Redmi Note Prime refreshed the Redmi Note in India. It is priced at Rs 8499 and will be available through Amazon and Mi.com website on open sale, till stocks last.

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The Redmi Note Prime has dual SIM slots, 2GB of RAM, 16 GB of internal storage and a better processor Snapdragon 415, compared to the Note 4G. Rest of the specs are all the same and you can compare it below.

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You can buy it on open sale from December 15 here and here. You can also check out my review on the Redmi Note 4 G at Gadgetdetail.

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Mi4 and Mi Note to the first Xiaomi devices to get Marshmallow update

The MIUI 7 was launched with much fanfare and it was criticized heavily for not being on the latest Android version. Finally MIUI 7 will be updated with Android Marshmallow on it. The first devices to get the update would be MI4 and Mi Note. While the Mi Note never made it to India, the Mi4 is one of the best high-end mobiles you can buy in India, though it was released in 2014. GizmoChina has reported that one of the MIUI operations manager has posted the information about the update in the MIUI forum. While the exact dates of the update availability is not yet known, it is reported that it will be available soon.

CEO Lei Jun

Windows 10 on Xiaomi devices

Recently Xiaomi has got into a Nine months agreement and according to the agreement, Mi devices can run Windows 10. Xiaomi is among the few top mobile vendors to be invited to try out the Windows 10 on a non-microsoft mobile. So if you have a Mi4 you are in for a double treat as you can try out the latest flavors of the two top operating systems. Its been a while since Xiaomi got any new devices to India. We hope to see the newly launched Mi Pad 2 and Redmi Note 3 in India soon.