In a market plagued by terminals of all sizes and colors, few manufacturers get such recognition as Xiaomi. Especially if we consider that his path to internationalization has not yet been completed. Xiaomi is one of the kings of the middle ranges and the new Xiaomi Mi 5C has just come out of his factory.
The new Xiaomi phone is quite special. The Xiaomi Mi 5C is not only a medium range more, it is in charge of carrying the first processor signed by the Chinese manufacturer himself. The Surge S1 arrives on board the Xiaomi device and now we test them both. Join us for the analysis.
As we mentioned before, the Xiaomi Mi 5C is more than a mid-range Xiaomi, is the frame in which the first chip designed in the house is delivered, but that does not prevent us from obviating the rest of its characteristics. Especially because we found some interesting enough to be a mobile phone that we can buy for about 200 euros.
When we take the Xiaomi Mi 5C out of the box the first thing we appreciate is a white front, at least in the pink gold model we have analyzed. Nothing more to hold it we appreciate the feel of its metallic body and its solid construction, although its design is perhaps too continuity with respect to the rest of devices of the mark. Even with reminiscences of past iPhones, we can not fail to mention.
The phone has a rather classic structure. The Mi 5C reserves the front for the screen, a panel of 5.15 inches that fits quite a bit to the side frames but without becoming a phone that dispenses with them. At the bottom of the front, we find the Home button, which also acts as a fingerprint reader. At the top, the front camera, the ambient light sensor, and the speaker.
The back of the Xiaomi Mi 5C is quite clean, with two upper and lower bands to make way for a smooth back that only carries the Xiaomi logo on the bottom. The main camera is located to the left, next to the LED flash, and the rest of the phone remains unpolluted.
The sides are reserved for the buttons on the right side, with the volume controls and the power button, and for the SIM tray on the left side. The top retains the headphone jack on the left side while the bottom frame has the centered type C USB port and a speaker on the right side, balancing the design.
The Xiaomi Mi 5C in hand is very nice, even for the most reluctant to touch with metal. The device is comfortable because with its dimensions of 144.4 x 69.7 x 7.1 mm is shown content, and its weight of 135 grams helps that we do not mind playing with it as long as we want. Just compare it with other phones of a similar size to verify that, in fact, we speak of a lightweight phone despite the metallic body.
Overall, the Xiaomi Mi 5C is quite elegant and invites us to think that we are facing a more expensive phone. A careful design, a first-rate touch and we only have the feeling that the manufacturer risks little when it comes to printing personality to their devices. Perhaps the feeling of “I have already seen” is what most harms a device that, on the other hand, will appeal to many. Especially in the cleaning section, because its metal back is tremendously efficient avoiding footprints.
A careful screen in all aspects
It is no longer strange to find in the middle ranges characteristics that were previously reserved for catalog leaders, especially since they decided to flee to 2K. That’s why it’s natural to see that the 5.15 inches of the Xiaomi Mi 5C have a FullHD resolution that offers approximately 430 pixels per inch. Normalization of densities exceeding 400 points.
We start the tour of the Xiaomi Mi 5C screen talking about color rendering. Especially because we are facing an IPS LCD panel, possibly the most faithful in this regard. Here the software plays in our favor as we can configure both the saturation and the contrast to our taste. However, the factory settings give us faithful colors and only slightly saturate the pictures, enhancing the details and offering an attractive display.
By means of the screen settings offered by MIUI 8.0, we can choose between a warm color setting, a preset standard, and a cold tone setting. The contrast also has three settings, from automatic to standard, through high contrast. The automatic mode will be the one that reacts based on the luminosity of where we are and is the way that we recommend.
Another detail to thank for the settings of the MIUI screen is its reading mode, which we can also program according to certain hours. If we are consuming a lot of text on the screen, we can reduce the overall brightness with this reading mode and thus rest the eyes. No doubt a very specific but equally useful and available mode within the phone’s own configuration.
We reached the brightness and found a fairly correct level both indoors and outdoors. A slight glue may be precisely in the second value because although the screen is usable when we are in the sunlight, either directly or indirectly, we miss a little more intensity. The screen is functional but the brightness level is improved, something that does not happen indoors, however, where the display is optimal.
Something more than outdoor brightness would not have been bad, but overall it is good
How does it work in terms of viewing angles? As we usually say, no one observes a screen from a 178º angle in the day-to-day, and these are numbers that normally correspond to highs, and numbers to show off. The angles of Mi 5C are good, but more than that are “enough”. The screen does not change color until it is quite inclined and both in the hand and on the table, even being away, is visible and with good quality.
And we close the screen with the touch, quite pleasant and with a speed of response on a good level, as with dirt. The fear of a screen is that it is permanently dirty by a badly applied or poorly coated oil layer, but the Xiaomi Mi 5C can withstand several hours of trouble-free use, although it will sooner or later be necessary to clean it, as everyone else. The terminal has passed the cotton test on more than one occasion during the tests we have done.
The heart, the processor: measure performance
We come to the performance section and try to test the brain of this new Xiaomi Mi 5C with a double mission: to know how the phone behaves itself and fit once and for all to your processor in the current panorama of mobile chips. We must take into account that we speak of a Surge S1, an eight-core Cortex A53 chip at 2.2GHz and 1.4GHz accompanied by 3GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. In the graph, we have an ARM Mali-T860 MP4 with four rendering cores.
Since the first rumors surfaced about the S1 Surge was placed competing with the 600 line of Qualcomm, but the reality of the benchmarks puts it a step below. In fact, based on various performance tests it is placed slightly above the Snapdragon 435, probably the most competent low-end chip of the moment. Or so it was until the arrival of this new Surge S1 of Xiaomi.
Leaning on 3GB of RAM benefits you, and is that the eight cores of the processor make the performance is not only high for what we expected of it but also fairly balanced. The Xiaomi Mi 5C has run fluid at all times and even when it comes to demanding more power with games more “Dragons” has been level, reducing frames per second or resolution but offering a very competent user experience.
Apps load at the good speed and multitasking only resented when we had a good number of apps open at the same time when recovering apps in the background have caused some other notable but not considerate delay. Of course, titles with aggressive 3D graphics, such as some shooters or Clash Royale, do run somewhat more erratically although we assume that it is something related to the cache. Several minutes of departure and everything stabilizes until we close the game to move on to another task.
We buy a low range or low average, and that’s what we get. Although its performance is above average.
We do not forget that the Xiaomi Mi 5C has a front-end reader, although the question of whether we will have access to mobile payments has an easy answer: no. The absence of an NFC chip with which to pair the device with wireless payment systems makes the reader simply dedicated to the safety of the Mi 5C and nothing else.
Its operation is good, and although it is not the fastest reader in the market, something that remains in the field of its compatriots of Huawei, it is efficient and has worked even in somewhat more aggressive conditions for these devices. Moments of great heat and slightly humid traces, and the reader has come out graceful. Definitely, a good way to unlock the phone quickly, even if we have to use the PIN or the unlock pattern, as in all readers.
When we buy a midrange, and even a low profile based on the processor like this, we must know that we will not find a very high performance despite the balance, despite being above average. The Xiaomi Mi 5C is a phone for day to day, to be able to demand from time to time but not as a rule. It is not, of course, a phone for gamers even though the Surge S1 responds when we push you over the account.
Let’s talk about the autonomy and its battery of 2,860 mAh
One of the doubts that usually arise when buying a new phone has to do with its autonomy. Especially considering that the processor was unknown until very recently and we talked about a smartphone with FullHD resolution. Are the 2,730 mAh of batteries that have been installed in the new Xiaomi Mi 5C sufficient? Let’s see what results have given us the tests done to the terminal.
This is a mobile phone that has been able to support a little more than 6 hours of uninterrupted video with the brightness in half and in a day of normal use, mixed with WiFi and data networks, has offered us an average of 5 hours of the display before turning off. In the days that we have done the test only under WiFi, we have obtained up to 6 hours of screen with a similar use.
With 5 to 6 hours of autonomy, the battery of the Mi 5C gives us more than we expected of it
If there is something that can be said of this Surge S1 is that it helps the battery last and last, and turns the new Xiaomi Mi 5C into a phone to take into account if we want to leave home in the morning and return at night with autonomy To be able to connect it to the charger. A battery that also has a fast charge and allows to return 100% of the energy to the phone in 1:15 hours. 75 minutes to have the Xiaomi Mi 5C fully charged.
Of course, do with a charger because the included in the box has the connections for China given that the phone comes directly from GearBest. It is possible that other importers incorporate the European charger but, if not, look for something to place the USB cable that is also included. If possible, something that offers fast loading.
MIUI is MIUI, and you have to get used to it
If there is something characteristic in the layer of Xiaomi is that does not leave indifferent to almost anybody. Users of iOS accuse it of being a plagiarism of the operating system of Apple whereas in Android we have the two opposite poles: users who love their personalization options and users who prefer to cover it with some type of third party launcher, thus obviating Who are using a Xiaomi phone. Be that as it may, this Mi 5C offers Android 6.0 and covers it with MIUI 8.1, the latest version of its layer.
Xiaomi is surprising us with the evolution of MIUI. Its layer is more and more robust and, above all, it is delivered practically clean. Apart from the proprietary applications of Xiaomi, nothing obstructs us in this ROM that also offers improvements like the advanced file explorer or the application destined to the security of our phone. An application that makes cleaner, virus analyzer and also controls our use of mobile data. Without a doubt, something useful even if we do not need it all the time.
MIUI you like or do not like it, but it’s not a layer that leaves you indifferent
The Xiaomi Mi 5C has fallen into our hands with a ROM completely in Castilian and also comes with all Google services installed. For practical purposes, it is as if we buy a mobile with international distribution or one sold in our country. A point in your favor given that not all devices of the Chinese manufacturer thus reach other markets, and we have sometimes faced ROMs in English and Chinese, and stop counting.
Another detail to keep in mind is that during the time of use of the Xiaomi Mi 5C analyzed we have had a couple of minor system updates. Xiaomi continues to take care of MIUI and version 8.1 renders as few, although the aesthetics have remained quite stable for some versions. An attractive system, with improvements over the basic layer of Android and with possibilities of customization. Little more we asked this Xiaomi Mi 5C except we could have arrived with Nougat.
Although at the moment of truth, its use does not differ much of other versions of the system. By the way, it should be noted that this Xiaomi Mi 5C 64GB internal storage of the ones we have available, when taking it out of the box, approximately 56GB. We can, therefore, deduce that the system, Android plus MIUI 8.1, has a weight close to 8GB.
12 megapixels bright and fun to check at home
It seems like it was a while ago when we started with the analysis of this Xiaomi Mi 5C and we have already reached the section of the camera. As time goes. It plays to test its 12 megapixels rear and also its 8 megapixels front, two sensors that share an aperture f / 2.2 and also the focal length of 28 millimeters. Let’s see how they have behaved both during our photo shoots.
If there is something that can be highlighted of this Xiaomi Mi 5C at the photographic level is that it represents how much has advanced mobile cameras at all levels, including low, or low-range, with the pretensions of being something more. Shooting with the Mi 5C is fun, capturing images at the good speed and slightly saturating colors, which makes them even more colorful on the screen. All this without burning at any time, we must emphasize.
The speed of shooting with good light makes it difficult for us to take moving pictures unless we look for specific moving actions, something for which this camera is not built. The edges are clear and everything is quite correct, even some difficult backlight for this type of sensors. But with good light, everything usually works correctly, right? Another added the good dynamic range that offers us. Soon we are where to focus, the contrast between light and dark will be very well defined. All this without having to rely on the HDR, which is also present.
When the low luminosity arrives, the Xiaomi Mi 5C suffers although it defends itself above the average. We expected a more alarming sharp drop, but the Mi 5C camera becomes a “usable” camera in all situations, although it is obviously not designed or capable of photographing night scenes. However, we will be able to take the mobile out of the pocket and get out of the way and we will not be disappointed. Especially considering that it is a smartphone that costs what it costs.
Before moving on to the selfies, let’s talk about the close-ups. If you like macro photography, the Mi 5C surely you like a little more than the average number of phones of its price. The focus distance is very close, a few centimeters, and the background blur is correct to have an aperture of only f / 2.2. Xiaomi has done a good job at this point and you can fill Instagram with close-ups without fear of catching bad pictures.
As for the front camera, it is practically nothing different from the rear although its lower number of pixels makes it slightly faster than the rear. The selfies are bright, well defined and suffer from the same problems when the light falls, but again, not in a disturbing way. The general processing of the photographs of this Mi 5C is good although they are better appreciated already in our address and is that, as we mentioned in the section of the screen, the low brightness in exterior makes that we do not appreciate the photographs as it corresponds. It is not uncommon to go out to take pictures and believe that the results are bad until we see them with more darkness.
Xiaomi software also does its part, although it does not have too many options when it comes to photography. However, MIUI is quite useful when taking pictures and we can increase the exposure of the scene by rotating the focus point on the screen, which will prevent us taking pictures with an unwanted light. We must not forget that we can activate the native HDR when we want with a single touch, and thus get better-defined pictures and no excess digital retouching.
In general terms, and speaking of a terminal of its category, the Xiaomi Mi 5C has behaved quite well at the photographic level. If you value the camera more than other components of the phone, the Mi 5C will add points to your particular list of smartphones before making the purchase. Quick pictures, with good colors, valid in almost all situations but much better with light, etc. A mid-range camera that you will like. We found it lovely.
Xiaomi Mi 5C: Conclusions
Xiaomi has long since become a mature manufacturer, whose reliability has been proven. Except for a few times, such as the case of the Xiaomi Redmi Pro and the unfinished layer he was riding, the Chinese manufacturer’s phones offer good generalized sensations and his cape hooks us up. Although the latter, as we commented during its analysis, depends on a lot on the tastes of each user.
The Xiaomi Mi 5C is a nice, stylish and well-built phone. From experience, we can say that it is also resistant to blows. The screen performs well, as well as its processor, and both the camera and the quality of its sound are above average. If we add that the autonomy is more than enough for an average user, not demanding, we get a pretty round phone.
The summary of this analysis could be perfect that the Xiaomi Mi 5C surprises, in all aspects
Xiaomi’s incursion into the manufacture of processors has resulted in a recommendable phone. Not only for everything we have discussed above but also for the relationship between quality and price. The only regret is that getting one goes for importing and for sacrificing the official guarantee in favor of one of the stores that offer it to us. We are looking forward to finally reaching Xiaomi Europe, especially if this Xiaomi Mi 5C is one of the phones that landed on our continent. A great job. For a telephone of your level, of course.