It’s been over a year since Xiaomi has properly launched a Mi flagship device (the Mi 4i being an iteration for the international market). The then Snapdragon 801-powered Mi 4 was claimed to be the fastest smartphone in the world. Well, the good news is, a new uprated flagship – Mi 4c – has been revealed alongside Xiaomi’s venture into the telco space. The bad news is: it’s China only.
The Mi 4c is powered by the 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 808, one of the fastest mobile processors available today (the same that powers the LG G4). It features two Cortex A-57 and four Cortex-A53 cores and pared with the fast Adreno 418 GPU. So expect some silky smooth 3D gaming and FHD video playback. Built-in memory is 2GB or 3GB and storage set at 16GB or 32GB.
The 5-inch display looks to be the same Sharp/AUO/LG unit that’s in the Mi 4i. A superbright Full HD panel (441PPI) that’s enhanced by Sunlight Display for improved visibility in bright conditions.
Same but different
In the design department, it shares the same depth as the Mi 4i which is 7.8mm but weighs slightly heavier at 132g. It will be available in White, Grey, Pink, Yellow and Blue colour options.
It comes with a slightly smaller battery than the Mi 4i, rated at 3,080mAh (against the Mi 4i’s 3,120mAh) that shouldn’t differ too much from the 1.5 day battery life that’s on the Mi 4i. It supports Quick Charge 2.0 for faster recharging. For the first time ever, the Mi 4c also comes with the new USB Type-C port.
An added bonus is a built-in IR blaster than can control more than 2,000 different appliances.
Camera-wise, it gets a new 13MP Sony IMX258/Samsung S5K3M2 rear camera with a five-element f/2.0 lens. It supports phase detection autofocus (PDAF) for fast focusing speeds, as fast as 0.1ms. For selfie lovers, there’s a 5MP wide-angle front camera.
Something new that the Mi 4c is bringing to the plate is a whole new way to control your phone, called Edge Tap. Both sides of the phone now respond to light taps. A double tap on the side allows you to go back without hitting the Back button, and a single tap on the side while in active camera mode snaps a photo. It remains to be seen how useful and practical this is. Will wait for a hands-on before I comment further on this.
Out of the box, the Mi 4c ships with MIUI 6 but Xiaomi has said it will receive the much-anticipated MIUI 7 update soon.
Pricing and availability
The Mi 4c will be available from 23 September on Mi.com and Tmall in China. The 2GB RAM/16GB storage variant will start at RMB1,299 (RM898) while the 3GB RAM/32GB storage variant will retail for RMB1,499 (RM1,036). While it will not set foot on Malaysian soil officially, expect the phone to be available via grey importers including DirectD soon.
Although it doesn’t offer anything groundbreaking, the Mi 4c is a better flagship overall compared to the rather disappointing Mi 4i.
The killer proposition is the price. For under RM900 for the base variant and just a little over a grand for the top end? Sweet indeed.