Xiaomi Mi 5 review: Form and function

GSMArena team, 16 March, 2016.

MIUI Browser

The Xiaomi Mi 5 comes with the feature-rich MIUI Browser. It has flat looking UI elements and does a great job at browsing. There is a native ad-block add-on and a data saver, it supports downloads, there is a night mode as well. It is almost as fast as Chrome, and now supports Find on Page.

It also offers a built-in Reading mode, which isn't available in Chrome. It enlarges the text font and strips away unneeded elements, leaving only the article you are reading in focus.

The aforementioned Night Mode, which is something we really miss in Chrome. It inverts the background and font colors and is easier on the eyes in dark settings.

Finally, the browser supports some very handy features as scrolling with the volume keys, quick tab switching from the edge of the display, you can opt for different search engines, among others.

Mi Browser - Xiaomi Mi 5 review Night Mode - Xiaomi Mi 5 review Reading Mode - Xiaomi Mi 5 review Reading Mode - Xiaomi Mi 5 review Reading Mode - Xiaomi Mi 5 review
Mi Browser Night Mode Reading Mode

Other pre-installed apps

The Xiaomi Mi 5 offers a great file managing app called Explorer, which lets you browse the files in its internal storage and groups them by type.

Explorer - Xiaomi Mi 5 review Explorer - Xiaomi Mi 5 review Explorer - Xiaomi Mi 5 review Explorer - Xiaomi Mi 5 review
Explorer

The MIUI v7 also offers a Security app. It can scan your phone for malware, manage your blocklist, manage or restrict your data usage, configure battery behavior, clean some RAM, it can also manage the permissions of your installed apps.

Security app - Xiaomi Mi 5 review Security app - Xiaomi Mi 5 review Security app - Xiaomi Mi 5 review Security app - Xiaomi Mi 5 review Security app - Xiaomi Mi 5 review
Security app

The custom and now flat Calendar looks good, syncs with your accounts including Google, and offers Day and Month views.

Calendar - Xiaomi Mi 5 review Calendar - Xiaomi Mi 5 review
Calendar

There are also the standard sound recorder, notes, flashlight, calculator, clock, and weather apps, among others, that are a given in any self-respecting Android package nowadays.

Voice recorder - Xiaomi Mi 5 review Calculator - Xiaomi Mi 5 review Clock - Xiaomi Mi 5 review Weather - Xiaomi Mi 5 review
Voice recorder Calculator Clock Weather

We really like the Compass app. It has very nice and clean interface, shows the magnetic directions and doubles as level meter. If you lift the phone up then you'll get a nice augmented reality view with real-time East/West/North/South overlay.

Compass app - compass, level, VR directions - Xiaomi Mi 5 review Compass app - compass, level, VR directions - Xiaomi Mi 5 review Compass app - compass, level, VR directions - Xiaomi Mi 5 review
Compass app - compass, level, VR directions

Xiaomi is preloading a new Mi Home app, which is helpful if you like to control your smart appliances from a single device. It can interact with your TV, audio system, air conditioners, air purifiers, among others. The app also offers TV information, weather detail, and even more useful information. It uses the Mi Remote app and the IR blaster.

The Mi Home center has a dedicated place on the lockscreen - just swipe from the left edge.

Mi Home on the lockscreen - Xiaomi Mi 5 review Mi Home - Xiaomi Mi 5 review Mi Remote - Xiaomi Mi 5 review Mi Remote - Xiaomi Mi 5 review Mi Remote - Xiaomi Mi 5 review
Mi Home on the lockscreen Mi Home Mi Remote Mi Remote Mi Remote