Xiaomi Mi 5s review: Ever changing

Ever changing

GSMArena team, 24 October 2016.

The gallery

The Xiaomi Mi 5s and its MIUI 8 comes with a redesigned Gallery app, now showing more photos on the screen than ever. It defaults to your camera roll, but it also supports different albums.

Xiaomi's new app now automatically stacks your photos in Camera, Video, People, Screenshots, and Panoramas albums. The People sorting, once chosen, sorts all of your photos by people's faces.

The MIUI 8 gallery seems to have borrowed some of the iOS Photos looks, but nevertheless it's better than before and we appreciate the new looks and features.

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

The new integrated editor powered by Camera 360 offers various filters, crop options, enhancements (sharpen, contrast, brightness, saturation, vignette), and doodles. Oddly, this image editing app is less capable than the one supplied with the MIUI v7.

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

Xiaomi Mi 5s may or may not come with a standalone video app depending on your ROM. Either way, you'll get a rather basic app or section in the Gallery, where you can browse and play all of your videos. The video interface is very basic; subtitles and pop-up play are not supported.

If you live in China, you will definitely get a proper Video app and it comes with paid streaming services on top of its basic functionality for offline browsing.

Browsing and playing videos - Xiaomi Mi 5s review Browsing and playing videos - Xiaomi Mi 5s review Browsing and playing videos - Xiaomi Mi 5s review
Browsing and playing videos

There is also a new video editor with MIUI 8. It supports trimming, filters, and adding text, and audio tracks.

Video editing within the gallery - Xiaomi Mi 5s review Video editing within the gallery - Xiaomi Mi 5s review Video editing within the gallery - Xiaomi Mi 5s review Video editing within the gallery - Xiaomi Mi 5s review
Video editing within the gallery

Music player

The MIUI music player is a custom app with a well laid out, easy to navigate interface. The player has cool effects, transitions, and transparent elements, especially on the expandable Now Playing section. Lyrics are supported, too.

In some markets a streaming service similar to Google Play and Apple Music comes as part of the Music app, too.

Music Player - Xiaomi Mi 5s review Albums - Xiaomi Mi 5s review Songs - Xiaomi Mi 5s review Now Playing screen - Xiaomi Mi 5s review Options - Xiaomi Mi 5s review
Music Player • Albums • Songs • Now Playing screen • Options

Xiaomi Mi 5s offers customizable equalizers within the phone's Settings menu - there are 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 5s review Audio enhancements and equalizers - Xiaomi Mi 5s review Audio enhancements and equalizers - Xiaomi Mi 5s review Audio enhancements and equalizers - Xiaomi Mi 5s review Audio enhancements and equalizers - Xiaomi Mi 5s review
Audio enhancements and equalizers

Audio output starts off great, degrades with headphones

The Xiaomi Mi 5s delivered downright impressive 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 one of the best performances we’ve seen.

Unfortunately, degradation with headphones was quite pronounced with stereo crosstalk plummeting, volume levels dropping to just above average and some distortion creeping in. A rather mediocre showing here.

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

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
Xiaomi Mi 5s +0.01, -0.03-89.690.20.0029 0.040-85.5
Xiaomi Mi 5s (headphones)+0.71, -0.31-82.984.80.229 0.559-48.0
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
Apple iPhone 7+0.06, -0.10-92.492.30.00150.0093-80.9
Apple iPhone 7 (headphones attached)+0.03, -0.11-92.392.30.00110.012-77.0
LG G5 +0.01, -0.04-92.692.60.0051 0.0096-93.3
LG G5 (headphones) +0.05, -0.01-92.292.30.0029 0.037-50.7
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

Xiaomi Mi 5s frequency response
Xiaomi Mi 5s frequency response

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

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...