Xiaomi Mi 5 review: Form and function

Form and function

GSMArena team, 16 March, 2016.

Contacts and telephony

The dialer and the phonebook share a single app although there are two shortcuts, bringing you straight to the tab you need. The app has pleasant flat looks and it's about the same as we remember it. It uses a tabbed interface - recent with dialer on the first and the contact list on the second.

The Phonebook - Xiaomi Mi 5 review The Phonebook - Xiaomi Mi 5 review The Phonebook - Xiaomi Mi 5 review The Phonebook - Xiaomi Mi 5 review The Phonebook - Xiaomi Mi 5 review
The Phonebook

Xiaomi Mi 5 supports voice call recording and it can do it automatically on each call if you like. You can also assign an answer gesture, pre-define quick responses upon reject, there is even support for internet calling.

The Dialer - Xiaomi Mi 5 review The Dialer - Xiaomi Mi 5 review
The Dialer

There are even more call settings if you dig deeper into the menu - flip to mute the ringer, turn on/off the proximity sensor, lock automatically once slipped in a pocket, it can even mute calls from unknown numbers.

The Xiaomi Mi 5 comes with a new single speaker, which turned out to be louder than Mi 4's. It scored a Good mark on our loudness test, with the highlight being its ringing tone. The sound produced is pleasant but with an average depth.

Speakerphone testVoice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score
Xiaomi Mi 4 62.0 62.1 66.6 Below Average
Sony Xperia Z5 65.1 62.3 66.3 Below Average
Samsung Galaxy S7 66.5 62.1 66.2 Below Average
Apple iPhone 6s 66.5 64.6 65.8 Below Average
Xiaomi Redmi 3 66.1 65.5 70.6 Average
HTC One M9 65.2 64.6 76.1 Average
Xiaomi Mi 5 66.9 67.2 74.0 Good
Xiaomi Mi 4c 73.2 66.6 77.5 Good
Xiaomi Redmi 2 70.8 70.9 77.4 Very Good
OnePlus 2 75.7 73.5 80.7 Excellent

The gallery

The Xiaomi Mi 5 comes with a custom Gallery app. It defaults to your camera roll, but also supports Albums, Cloud and People. The People sorting, once chosen, sorts all of your photos by people's faces. Everything is automatic. Here you can also create a new baby album, to put your newborn pics inside.

Gallery - Xiaomi Mi 5 review Gallery - Xiaomi Mi 5 review Gallery - Xiaomi Mi 5 review Gallery - Xiaomi Mi 5 review
Gallery

The integrated editor offers various effects, frames, tools (crop, mirror, straighten, rotate, fisheye, doodle) plus light adjustments that let you bring out the shadows or the highlights.

Editing an image - Xiaomi Mi 5 review Editing an image - Xiaomi Mi 5 review Editing an image - Xiaomi Mi 5 review Editing an image - Xiaomi Mi 5 review
Editing an image

Music player

The MIUI music player is a custom app with a well laid out, easy to navigate interface. It features two tabs - the first one is cloud music, similar to Google Music service provided by Xiaomi, while the second tab has your own local and cloud music.

The player has cool effects, transitions and transparent elements, especially on the expandable Now Playing section.

Music Player - Xiaomi Mi 5 review Music Player - Xiaomi Mi 5 review Music Player - Xiaomi Mi 5 review Music Player - Xiaomi Mi 5 review
Music Player

Xiaomi's Music app offers customizable equalizers with a few default presets already available for use. You can also try Xiaomi's MiSound enhancer, which comes into play when you use headphones, and especially, a Xiaomi-branded headset.

Audio enhancements and equalizers - Xiaomi Mi 5 review Audio enhancements and equalizers - Xiaomi Mi 5 review Audio enhancements and equalizers - Xiaomi Mi 5 review
Audio enhancements and equalizers

Video player

The video player interface is very basic but there is rich video codec support. It managed to play everything we threw at it (including MKV and WMV files). The AC3 audio codec is surprisingly, supported too.

Video player - Xiaomi Mi 5 review Video player - Xiaomi Mi 5 review Video player - Xiaomi Mi 5 review
Video player

Subtitles and pop-up play are not supported by the MIUI's video player though, so you might want to look around the Play Store if you need a more capable alternative.

Audio output impresses

The Xiaomi Mi 5 delivered great audio output when hooked up to an active external amplifier. The flagship was not only able to match the best for clarity, it also delivered splendidly high volume for arguably the best performance among the 2016 flagships so far.

Stereo crosstalk was the only reading to be affected when headphones came into play and the increase was rather well contained. The rest of the readings remained unchanged and so did loudness for a truly impressive showing.

Anyway, here go the results so you can do your comparisons.

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
Xiaomi Mi 5 +0.01, -0.03-95.395.10.0034 0.0065-95.1
Xiaomi Mi 5 (headphones)+0.01, -0.03-95.295.10.0027 0.013-71.5
Samsung Galaxy S7 +0.01, -0.04-92.592.60.0027 0.0078-92.7
Samsung Galaxy S7 (headphones)+0.05, -0.05-91.992.10.0044 0.063-73.4
Sony Xperia Z5+0.01, -0.04-95.589.50.00330.012-94.8
Sony Xperia Z5 (headphones attached)+0.22, -0.24-95.189.50.00570.212-59.8
Apple iPhone 6s+0.03, -0.04-93.593.50.00160.0075-73.2
Apple iPhone 6s (headphones attached)+0.10, -0.06-93.893.90.00300.101-68.2
LG G4 +0.04, -0.07-93.493.30.0021 0.050-92.6
LG G4 (headphones)+0.93, -0.13- 91.491.90.013 0.244-50.4
Nokia Lumia 950+0.01, -0.03-91.391.20.00360.012-91.6
Nokia Lumia 950 (headphones attached)+0.59, -0.03-92.091.90.0110.316-63.9

Xiaomi Mi 5 frequency response
Xiaomi Mi 5 frequency response

You can learn more about the tested parameters and the whole testing process here.

Reader comments

  • Bailey

Yet i am using the global rom on my Mi6 and have never experienced this issues. i have had more lag and bugs on my S7 than i have ever had on a Xiaomi device. And my S7 could not make it through a day as well as my iPhone 6s that cant make it thr...

Update to v9 miui , auto brightness got better than v8,.

You should install global ROM, there is google play, you can upgrade to miui 9..