We can’t say Xiaomi’s Mi 4i has been the best kept secret. But at least it still excites with what it has to offer.
While most of the rumours - the 5in full HD display and Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor - proved to be spot on, a few surprises also showed up during the presentation led by Xiaomi’s global vice president, Hugo Barra.
First, the battery. Like most devices in its class, the Mi 4i's packing a pretty juiced-up battery, clocking at 3120mAh in capacity. And really, if it’s called the Mi 4i, you would expect it to sport the same design as the Mi 4, including a thin 7.8mm profile.
It's just like the Mi 4
And while we already knew about the 5in screen, its Sunlight Display feature came as a bit of a surprise. The name, which alludes to how the display and front camera works under sunlight, automatically readjusts the high, mid and low tones of the display.
This is mainly done by lowering the harsher pixels on the higher tones, keeping the mid-tone pixels consistent and enhancing the lower-tone pixels. In short, you’ll see a more accurate depiction of what you’re capturing before you press the shutter button.
We'd also heard rumours about the Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor, but what we hadn't seen were the benchmark scores. At over 40,000, this is a pretty high score for a mid-range device, but we’ll reserve our judgement until we’ve actually tried it out in the flesh. After all, numbers don’t tell the full story until you’ve experienced it first-hand.
The camera is the same old story: a 13MP sensor paired with a dual-LED flash that'll create more natural-looking skin tones in human subjects. Yes, the inevitable comparison to Apple will be there. But at least you’ll get to use the Beautify mode, which may prove absolutely essential if you’re updating your Tinder profile picture.
Like the Mi 4, its i variant will be equipped with Xiaomi’s latest customised user interface, MIUI 6.0 on Android Lollipop. More importantly, this will be the first time Xiaomi is launching MIUI 6.0 on a smartphone outside of China.
And we'll get it... when?
As to when the Mi 4i will make its way to your region, Xiaomi will be sending the details over closer to its launch date. We do know, though, that pre-orders will start from 30th April in India. How much? 12,999 Indian Rupees, which converts to approximately US$200.
But be sure of it: this is the first Xiaomi phone that will be placed in your hands almost immediately. No more looks of envy towards the east required.