Xiaomi Mi 5s review: Ever changing

Ever changing

GSMArena team, 24 October 2016.

Display

The Xiaomi Mi 5s features a 5.15" IPS display of 1080p resolution, similar to the one utilized by the original Mi 5. A density of 428ppi is more than respectable and leaves the Snapdragon 821 chip with power to spare on tasks and productivity, so we don't mind the lack of Quad HD resolution.

Unfortunately, Xiaomi didn't mention any specific glass protection for the screen and we can confirm the Gorilla Glass 4 is gone for good. The Mi 5s acquired lots of big scratches on top of its display just in the week we had it for a review. We suggest that you apply a screen protector on it as soon as you take the phone out of its box.

Other than that, the screen offers great viewing angles and there is hardly any color shift or contrast loss when looking the Mi 5s display at an angle.

Xiomi Mi 5s review

Xiaomi claims the screen will provide up to 600 nits of max brightness. Our test results confirmed and even exceeded the claim for maximum brightness as we measured 650nits worth of luminance.

The minimum display brightness is 1.1nits, which is perfectly suitable for late-night reading in a dark room and it's even lower than the Galaxy S7's. The screen's contrast ratio is excellent as well at 1294:1, though slightly less than the promised contrast ratio of 1500:1.

Display test 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Xiaomi Mi 5s 0.51 660 1294
Xiaomi Mi 5 0.51 628 1227
Samsung Galaxy S7 0.00 391
Samsung Galaxy S7 max auto 0.00 563
Apple iPhone 7 0.35 561 1603
Apple iPhone 7 (max auto) 0.40 656 1640
nubia Z11 0.43 513 1196
ZTE Axon 7 0.00 352
Sony Xperia XZ 0.37 502 1349
Sony Xperia XZ (max auto) 0.46 608 1336
Meizu PRO 6 0.01 360 40000
HTC 10 0.29 428 1543

When it comes to color rendering, the Mi 5s has an excellent color rendering with an average DeltaE of 3.5 and a maximum deviation of 4.5 in the gray color. If all colors stay below 4, the screen is considered to be of perfect calibration level accuracy and the Mi 5s almost achieves that.

Note that we did our color test in Standard (constant) screen mode. If you opt for the Auto one, you will get punchier colors at the expense of color calibration.

Finally, the bright screen of the Xiaomi Mi 5s performed excellently in our sunlight legibility test, too. Posting a very high value for a non-AMOLED panel, the Mi 5s ranks the same as its predecessor.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+
    4.615
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
    4.439
  • OnePlus 3
    4.424
  • Samsung Galaxy S7
    4.376
  • HTC One A9
    4.274
  • Samsung Galaxy Note7
    4.247
  • Samsung Galaxy A3
    4.241
  • ZTE Axon 7
    4.154
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge
    4.124
  • Samsung Galaxy Note5
    4.09
  • Huawei Nexus 6P
    4.019
  • Vivo Xplay5 Elite
    3.983
  • OnePlus X
    3.983
  • Oppo R7s
    3.964
  • Apple iPhone 7
    3.964
  • Huawei P9 Plus
    3.956
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016)
    3.918
  • Samsung Galaxy C5
    3.911
  • Samsung Galaxy C7
    3.896
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    3.895
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 outdoor
    3.879
  • Samsung Galaxy J2 outdoor
    3.873
  • Samsung Galaxy A8
    3.859
  • Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016)
    3.817
  • Motorola Moto X (2014)
    3.816
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) outdoor mode
    3.802
  • Xiaomi Redmi Pro
    3.798
  • LG V20 Max auto
    3.798
  • Sony Xperia XZ
    3.795
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)
    3.789
  • Apple iPhone 6s
    3.783
  • Meizu Pro 5
    3.781
  • Microsoft Lumia 650
    3.772
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)
    3.756
  • Oppo F1 Plus
    3.709
  • Vivo X5Pro
    3.706
  • Sony Xperia X Compact
    3.694
  • Apple iPhone SE
    3.681
  • Samsung Galaxy A7
    3.679
  • Meizu PRO 6
    3.659
  • BlackBerry Priv
    3.645
  • Apple iPhone 7 Plus
    3.588
  • Apple iPhone 6s Plus
    3.53
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) outdoor mode
    3.523
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016)
    3.523
  • Acer Jade Primo
    3.521
  • Microsoft Lumia 950
    3.512
  • Oppo R7 Plus
    3.499
  • nubia Z11
    3.466
  • Samsung Galaxy J7
    3.422
  • Meizu MX5
    3.416
  • LG V20
    3.402
  • Oppo R7
    3.320
  • Xiaomi Mi 5s
    3.276
  • Xiaomi Mi 5
    3.240
  • Samsung Galaxy J2
    3.235
  • Sony Xperia X Performance
    3.234
  • Motorola Moto X Play
    3.222
  • Huawei P9
    3.195
  • Lenovo Vibe Shot
    3.113
  • Motorola Moto X Force
    3.105
  • LG Nexus 5X
    3.092
  • Huawei Mate S
    3.073
  • Microsoft Lumia 640 XL
    3.065
  • Sony Xperia X
    2.989
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.97
  • Huawei Mate 8
    2.949
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3S
    2.913
  • Sony Xperia XA Ultra
    2.906
  • LG G5
    2.905
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • Sony Xperia Z5
    2.876
  • Microsoft Lumia 550
    2.851
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3 Pro
    2.803
  • Sony Xperia Z5 compact
    2.784
  • LG V10
    2.744
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3
    2.735
  • Sony Xperia M5
    2.69
  • Huawei P9 Lite
    2.679
  • Vivo V3Max
    2.659
  • Xiaomi Mi 4i
    2.641
  • Sony Xperia XA
    2.609
  • Xiaomi Mi 4c
    2.574
  • LeEco Le Max 2
    2.567
  • Microsoft Lumia 640
    2.563
  • Lenovo Moto G4
    2.544
  • Oppo F1
    2.528
  • Sony Xperia Z5 Premium
    2.525
  • Huawei Honor 7 Lite / Honor 5c
    2.506
  • Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
    2.503
  • Oppo F1s
    2.481
  • Motorola Moto G
    2.477
  • Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus
    2.473
  • Huawei G8
    2.471
  • Huawei nova
    2.467
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Lenovo Vibe K5
    2.459
  • Huawei Honor 7
    2.406
  • Sony Xperia E5
    2.386
  • ZUK Z1 by Lenovo
    2.382
  • HTC 10
    2.378
  • Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016)
    2.378
  • Huawei nova plus
    2.329
  • HTC One E9+
    2.305
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    2.272
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    2.269
  • Lenovo Vibe K4 Note
    2.254
  • Sony Xperia C5 Ultra
    2.253
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (MediaTek)
    2.249
  • 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
  • Huawei Honor 6
    2.169
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 2
    2.166
  • OnePlus Two
    2.165
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • LG Aka
    2.145
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4
    2.145
  • Archos 50 Diamond
    2.134
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note
    2.119
  • Acer Liquid X2
    2.084
  • Huawei P8lite
    2.078
  • Moto G 3rd gen max manual
    2.026
  • Xiaomi Mi Max
    1.996
  • Sony Xperia E4g
    1.972
  • OnePlus One
    1.961
  • Meizu m3 note
    1.923
  • Meizu m2 note
    1.892
  • BlackBerry Leap
    1.892
  • HTC Butterfly
    1.873
  • ZTE Nubia Z9 mini
    1.759
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • Asus Zenfone Selfie
    1.68
  • Motorola Moto E (2nd Gen)
    1.675
  • ZTE Nubia Z9
    1.659
  • Jolla Jolla
    1.605
  • Motorola Moto E
    1.545
  • Sony Xperia M
    1.473
  • HTC Desire C
    1.3
  • Sony Xperia C
    1.283
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Sony Xperia E
    1.215

Battery life

The Xiaomi Mi 5s is powered by a 3,200mAh battery, which seems more than enough for a 5.15" device. It's also 200mAh beefier than the one inside the original Mi 5.

We ran our battery test, and the Xiaomi Mi 5s scored an 84h rating, which means you can count on the battery to last three and a half days if you do an hour each of calling, web browsing and video playback a day.

While the browser and video playback times are similar to the ones we got from the Mi 5, the call test and the standby performance turned out a bit lesser and thus the reason for the lower final rating.

If you want to use the phone with two SIM cards, you'll end up with an 80h rating.

Xiaomi Mi 5s review

While the rating is quite good for a flagship, we are a bit disappointed. The Mi 5s should have brought us better battery life thanks to its bigger battery, energy-efficient chipset, and optimized MIUI 8, but apparently - this didn't happen.

The battery testing procedure is described in detail in case you're interested in the nitty-gritties. You can also check out our complete battery test table, where you can see how all of the smartphones we've tested will compare under your own typical use.

Connectivity

The Xiaomi Mi 5s supports 9 LTE bands, quad-band GSM and quad-band 3G connectivity with HSPA support. You can tap to an LTE network on either SIM, but once you do, the second one will be limited to 3G or GSM connectivity. You can even have both registered on 3G networks, when 4G is not available.

The rest of the connectivity features include single-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac support and Wi-Fi Direct. There is also support for Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, GPS with GLONASS and Beidou.

There is no FM radio support.

Xiaomi Mi 5s comes with USB Type-C port. Media transfer mode is supported for accessing the phone's built-in memory over a USB connection. The port also supports USB On-the-go for connecting USB peripherals such as pen drives, keyboards or USB hard drives, but you'll need to buy a proper adapter for that.

Wireless screen mirroring is available via the Miracast protocol.

There is no IR blaster on the Mi 5s. The MiRemote app is on board, but it can only control smart devices connected to the same wireless network.

Reader comments

I have been using Xiaomi Mi 5s for 7 months till now. The first time I use this phone, it came with MIUI 8.5.3.8 with Android Marshmallow. Time by time, I updated to MIUI 9 and last MIUI 10 based on Android Oreo before I decided to do unlock bootload...

  • Mi 5s owner

The stock Mi Camera image lack detail and bad in low light. But, here is the good news. Mi 5s has camera hal3 API enable by default! What this mean is, you can install any Google Camera (with full HDR+ and Bokeh Potrait feature working) modded apk an...

My brother has a Mi 5S (black, 64GB.) Amazingly, we got it for only $98 (near mint condition. I guess the seller didn't know much about the Mi 5S, as other Mi 5s' are sold for around $200 used in my country). Videos are too shaky when compared t...