Xiaomi Mi 4c review: MiForce

MiForce

Orlin Milinov, 21 October, 2015.

Display

The Xiaomi Mi 4c features a similar 5" Full HD IPS display to the one we saw on the Mi 4i. It has 441ppi for pleasantly sharp screen contents. Unfortunately, the glass covering the display isn't scratch-resistant or at least it's not quoted as one so you'd have to take extra care not to scratch it accidentally.

Taking a closer look at it under our digital microscope reveals a standard RGB arrangement of the sub-pixels that make up the Xiaomi Mi 4i LCD panel.

Xiaomi Mi 4c

The maximum display brightness of the Xiaomi Mi 4c (450nits) may not turn any heads, but when it comes to contrast ratio, it scored some great results in terms of contrast (1609:1). The amazing result can be attributed to the deep black levels, which are frankly, class leading for an LCD unit. These results are quite rare for an LCD and we've only see the Lenovo K3 Note perform similarly. Perhaps the two units come from the same panel manufacturer.

Color rendering on the Mi 4c is only fairly accurate (Avg deltaE 6.6 for the primary colors plus black and white), with white being not as accurate as we would expect. With a deltaE of 12.2, it's on the colder bluish side, but you would hardly notice that unless you get some sort of a reference to compare it side by side.

As usual, display colors are a matter of personal taste and perception so if you don't need calibrated color output, you will probably be quite happy with the color rendition on the Xiaomi Mi 4c.

There are is an option to tune the color rendering towards a cooler or warmer white point, but playing with the slider didn't improve the color rendering accuracy at all.

A great point about the Xiaomi Mi 4c display is the amazingly minimum brightness level of only 0.8nits of white, which would allow you to read comfortably without any eyestrain even in pitch dark.

Display test 50% brightness 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Xiaomi Mi 4 0.17 164 940 0.73 679 929
Xiaomi Mi 4i 0.15 161 1063 0.51 542 1055
Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 0.17 162 953 0.492 467.00 953
Xiaomi Mi 4c 0.08 121 1613 0.28 452 1609
Xiaomi Redmi 2 0.30 273 943 0.58 561 974
Sony Xperia M5 0.08 110 1392 0.63 527 839
Sony Xperia Z3 - - - 0.65 866 1333
Samsung Galaxy A5 0.00 191 0.00 398
Meizu m1 note - - - 0.65 562 867


The sunlight legibility is about the same as on the Mi 4i and the Xiaomi Mi 4c's screen performs very well outdoors. You will be able to comfortably see what's happening on the screen even on the brightest day.

Xiaomi has also included a display tech for boosting the brightness of darker areas of your screen to make them more visible when there's bright light source present. It's similar to what Sony has been doing with its flagships lately only here it works throughout the interface and not just in the gallery.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Nokia 808 PureView
    4.698
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+
    4.615
  • Samsung Galaxy E7
    4.485
  • Samsung Galaxy A3
    4.241
  • Samsung Galaxy S6
    4.124
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge
    4.124
  • Samsung Galaxy Note5
    4.09
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    4.033
  • Apple iPhone 5
    3.997
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    3.997
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    3.895
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 outdoor
    3.879
  • Samsung Galaxy A8
    3.859
  • Apple iPhone 6
    3.838
  • Motorola Moto X (2014)
    3.816
  • Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
    3.799
  • Apple iPhone 6s
    3.783
  • Vivo X5Pro
    3.706
  • Samsung Galaxy A7
    3.679
  • Oppo R5
    3.678
  • Samsung Galaxy K zoom
    3.675
  • Nokia Lumia 930
    3.567
  • Apple iPhone 5s
    3.565
  • Samsung Galaxy S5
    3.549
  • Nokia Lumia 735
    3.547
  • Motorola Nexus 6
    3.543
  • Apple iPhone 6s Plus
    3.53
  • Alcatel Idol X+
    3.527
  • Apple iPhone 5c
    3.512
  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    3.509
  • Oppo R7 Plus
    3.499
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo
    3.487
  • vivo X5Max
    3.472
  • LG G Flex2
    3.465
  • YotaPhone 2
    3.453
  • Samsung Galaxy J7
    3.422
  • Motorola RAZR MAXX
    3.42
  • Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III
    3.419
  • Meizu MX5
    3.416
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 Active
    3.406
  • Nokia Lumia 925
    3.402
  • Gionee Elife S5.5
    3.386
  • Samsung I9505 Galaxy S4
    3.352
  • Oppo R7
    3.32
  • Samsung Omnia W
    3.301
  • Motorola Moto X Play
    3.222
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 mini
    3.174
  • Samsung I9000 Galaxy S
    3.155
  • Samsung Ativ S
    3.129
  • Samsung I9190 Galaxy S4 mini
    3.127
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom
    3.118
  • Nokia N9
    3.069
  • Microsoft Lumia 640 XL
    3.065
  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    3.023
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.97
  • Samsung Galaxy Premier
    2.958
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    2.95
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • Lenovo S90 Sisley
    2.892
  • Sony Xperia Z5
    2.876
  • Samsung I8730 Galaxy Express
    2.861
  • BlackBerry Q10
    2.856
  • Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II
    2.832
  • Sony Xperia Z3+
    2.824
  • HTC Desire Eye
    2.815
  • Gionee Elife S5.1
    2.812
  • Samsung Galaxy S II Plus
    2.801
  • BlackBerry Z30
    2.79
  • Sony Xperia Z5 compact
    2.784
  • Meizu MX4 Pro
    2.765
  • Sony Xperia M5
    2.69
  • Sony Xperia ZR
    2.672
  • Huawei Ascend P1
    2.655
  • Xiaomi Mi 4i
    2.641
  • Sony Xperia Z3
    2.618
  • Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
    2.616
  • Sony Xperia T3
    2.609
  • BlackBerry Passport
    2.595
  • Xiaomi Mi 4c
    2.574
  • Microsoft Lumia 640
    2.563
  • Nokia Lumia 900
    2.562
  • Motorola Moto G 4G
    2.546
  • HTC One Max
    2.537
  • Nokia Lumia 720
    2.512
  • HTC One
    2.504
  • Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
    2.503
  • Motorola Moto G
    2.477
  • vivo Xshot
    2.465
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    2.424
  • Samsung Galaxy S III mini
    2.422
  • Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
    2.416
  • LG G Flex
    2.407
  • Huawei Honor 7
    2.406
  • ZUK Z1 by Lenovo
    2.382
  • HTC Desire 820
    2.372
  • HTC One (M8)
    2.371
  • Motorola RAZR i
    2.366
  • Meizu MX4
    2.366
  • Meizu m1 note
    2.362
  • Sony Xperia ZL
    2.352
  • HTC One M9
    2.334
  • LG G4
    2.317
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    2.307
  • HTC One E9+
    2.305
  • HTC One (M8) for Windows
    2.291
  • Oppo R1x
    2.281
  • Oppo Find 7a
    2.279
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    2.272
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    2.269
  • HTC Desire 600 dual sim
    2.262
  • Sony Xperia C5 Ultra
    2.253
  • Nokia Asha 311
    2.25
  • Sony Xperia C4 Dual
    2.235
  • Xiaomi Mi Note
    2.234
  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    2.233
  • LG Nexus 5
    2.228
  • Huawei P8
    2.196
  • Nokia Lumia 820
    2.193
  • HTC One (E8)
    2.185
  • Oppo N3
    2.181
  • Nokia Lumia 920
    2.17
  • Huawei Honor 6
    2.169
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 2
    2.166
  • OnePlus Two
    2.165
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • Asus Zenfone 2 ZE551ML
    2.149
  • LG Aka
    2.145
  • Nokia N8
    2.144
  • Nokia Lumia 620
    2.142
  • Archos 50 Diamond
    2.134
  • Nokia 515
    2.134
  • HTC Desire 500
    2.129
  • Sony Xperia C3 Dual
    2.12
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note
    2.119
  • Sony Xperia acro S
    2.119
  • Nokia Lumia 1020
    2.103
  • Oppo Find 5
    2.088
  • Huawei P8lite
    2.078
  • Sony Xperia SL
    2.078
  • Nokia Lumia 630
    2.056
  • BlackBerry Z10
    2.051
  • Moto G 3rd gen max manual
    2.026
  • Huawei Ascend Mate7
    2.024
  • Samsung I9295 Galaxy S4 Active
    2.022
  • Apple iPhone 4
    2.016
  • HTC One mini
    2.003
  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    2.001
  • Huawei Ascend P7
    1.992
  • LG G2
    1.976
  • Sony Xperia E4g
    1.972
  • OnePlus One
    1.961
  • Oppo R819
    1.957
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia ray
    1.955
  • Lenovo Vibe X2
    1.952
  • Sony Xperia Z2
    1.944
  • Sony Xperia E3
    1.943
  • Nokia Lumia 1320
    1.941
  • HTC One mini 2
    1.94
  • Samsung Galaxy Camera
    1.938
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime
    1.935
  • Sony Xperia J
    1.932
  • Acer CloudMobile S500
    1.931
  • ZTE Blade S6
    1.927
  • LG Nexus 4
    1.926
  • LG G Pro 2
    1.922
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3
    1.913
  • Nokia Asha 308
    1.911
  • HTC Butterfly 2
    1.905
  • Sony Xperia T
    1.894
  • Meizu m2 note
    1.892
  • BlackBerry Leap
    1.892
  • Nokia Lumia 830
    1.887
  • HTC Desire X
    1.878
  • HTC Windows Phone 8X
    1.873
  • HTC Butterfly
    1.873
  • HTC Butterfly S
    1.867
  • Huawei Ascend P6
    1.865
  • Huawei Ascend Mate
    1.845
  • LG G2 mini
    1.838
  • LG G3
    1.82
  • Nokia Lumia 1520
    1.813
  • HTC Desire 616 dual sim
    1.797
  • Sony Xperia V
    1.792
  • HTC Desire 816
    1.783
  • Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
    1.772
  • HTC Desire 700 dual sim
    1.769
  • ZTE Nubia Z9 mini
    1.759
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • Meizu MX3
    1.754
  • LG Optimus G
    1.753
  • Sony Xperia T2 Ultra
    1.74
  • Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact
    1.735
  • Acer Liquid Jade S
    1.734
  • Sony Xperia SP
    1.733
  • Oppo Find 7
    1.691
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    1.691
  • HTC One V
    1.685
  • BlackBerry Q5
    1.682
  • LG Optimus Vu
    1.68
  • Motorola Moto E (2nd Gen)
    1.675
  • Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9
    1.672
  • LG Optimus GJ
    1.666
  • ZTE Nubia Z9
    1.659
  • LG Optimus 3D Max
    1.658
  • HTC Desire V
    1.646
  • Samsung Galaxy Xcover 2
    1.632
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace 3
    1.622
  • Microsoft Lumia 532
    1.615
  • Jolla Jolla
    1.605
  • Microsoft Lumia 435
    1.598
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    1.578
  • Sony Xperia go
    1.577
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 I8160
    1.566
  • Samsung Galaxy Core
    1.563
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    1.552
  • Motorola Moto E
    1.545
  • LG Optimus 3D
    1.542
  • Nokia Asha 302
    1.537
  • Samsung Galaxy Core Prime
    1.507
  • BlackBerry Curve 9320
    1.488
  • Sony Xperia M
    1.473
  • Oppo N1
    1.47
  • Sony Xperia E4
    1.467
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    1.462
  • Nokia Lumia 610
    1.432
  • Samsung Galaxy S Duos
    1.4
  • Sony Xperia M2
    1.393
  • Microsoft Lumia 535
    1.393
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo
    1.393
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand 2
    1.38
  • Sony Xperia E1
    1.372
  • Nokia Lumia 625
    1.371
  • Gigabyte GSmart G1355
    1.361
  • Sony Xperia L
    1.351
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8
    1.35
  • Xiaomi Redmi 1S
    1.35
  • HTC Desire 510
    1.34
  • Sony Xperia M2 Aqua
    1.331
  • Sony Xperia miro
    1.324
  • Samsung I9082 Galaxy Grand
    1.321
  • Samsung I8530 Galaxy Beam
    1.315
  • Xiaomi Redmi 2
    1.311
  • HTC Desire C
    1.3
  • Nokia X
    1.291
  • Sony Xperia C
    1.283
  • Nokia Asha 503
    1.281
  • Nokia Asha 501
    1.27
  • LG Optimus L7
    1.269
  • Nokia Lumia 510
    1.268
  • Samsung Galaxy Fame
    1.245
  • LG Optimus L9
    1.227
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Samsung Galaxy Young
    1.22
  • Sony Xperia E
    1.215
  • Nokia XL
    1.204
  • Sony Xperia E dual
    1.203
  • Asus Memo Pad 7 ME176C
    1.198
  • Samsung Galaxy Pocket
    1.18
  • Nokia Asha 305
    1.178
  • Nokia Asha 306
    1.175
  • Sony Xperia neo L
    1.169
  • Sony Xperia tipo
    1.166
  • Nokia Lumia 520
    1.161
  • Samsung S6802 Galaxy Ace Duos
    1.148
  • Samsung Galaxy mini 2
    1.114

Battery life

Xiaomi has put a 3,080mAh battery inside the Mi 4c, a solid capacity for a 5" device. In our battery test the Xiaomi Mi 4c scored a 52h rating, which means you can count on a little over two days if you do an hour each of calling, browsing and video playback a day. While the phone does well in the three separate tests its standby endurance is disappointing at about four and a half days.

Opting for using the device with two SIM cards will cost you one day of standby down to just three and a half days. So the dual-SIM endurance rating is 45 hours, which is far from OK.

Such usage pattern is of course entirely artificial, but we've established it so our battery results are comparable across devices.

Xiaomi Mi 4c

Xiaomi didn't spare money and is providing a proper fast charger within the retail box, so you will be able to charge your battery blazing fast.

Our proprietary score also includes a standby battery draw test, which is not featured in our battery test scorecard but is calculated in the total endurance rating. Our battery testing procedure is described in detail in case you want to learn more about it.

Connectivity

The Xiaomi Mi 4c supports 7 LTE bands and you can tap to an LTE network on either SIM, but the other will default to a GSM band. The Mi 4c also offers quad-band GSM connectivity and tri-band 3G connectivity with HSPA support.

The rest of the wireless connectivity features include dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac support and Wi-Fi Direct. There is also support for Bluetooth 4.1, GPS and GLONASS. Wireless screen mirroring is available via the Miracast protocol. There is no FM radio though, only internet radio is avaialble.

The IR blaster is located on the top and coupled with the right software, you can use it to operate remotely pretty much any IR controlled home appliance, turning the Xiaomi Mi 4c into a universal remote. Xiaomi provides its own MiRemote app, which supports a plethora of devices and you can turn your Mi 4c of this dream remote right out of the box.

Xiaomi Mi 4c Xiaomi Mi 4c Xiaomi Mi 4c Xiaomi Mi 4c
MiRemote app UI

The Mi 4c is Xiaomi's the very first device to support USB Type-C - it's a new reversible connector for USB that builds on top of USB 3.1. The cable supplied with the phone ends on a USB 2.0 reversible plug though.

That's important to note for two reasons. The first one being speed - USB 3.1 Type-C cables can go up to 10Gbps, but the Mi 4c is limited to USB 2.0 speeds (480Mbps). The second thing is that Type-C connectors are meant to go on both ends of the cable since the standard allows for functionality to go both ways - that's data transfer and even charging.

Xiaomi Mi 4c

Android 6.0 Marshmallow is going to add official support for USB Type-C connectors and then you should be able to charge connected peripherals. That's still not possible at this time though.

If you'd like to use USB OTG and USB Host functions, you'll have to buy a third-party microUSB adapter.

Reader comments

  • AnonD-641559

Hi, bought a new Mi 4c a week ago. Camera quality is extremely poor, the left third of the photos totally lacks sharpness, and it's a heavy lens distortion to. Tried a v7 stable, and two v8 MIUI multi ROM's with the same result. It's unbeliev...

  • sue

you are right genius, but your perception is wrong, this kind of display is cheaper, the replacement digitizer + screen also cheap you genius, just be careful and put on cover, simple, compare to those expensive phone this is more affordable, eventho...

  • Kaze

Having Mi 4c makes my friends with S6, ip 6, G4 disappointed. They were complaining on some lag issues. My Mi 4c can equal these 2015 flagships in terms of speed and UI. As for Mi 4c, aside from having a 2015 flagship processor, an impressive camera,...