Anyone who has ever owned a flagship smartphone is unlikely to be able to use a state employee later.
Cameras comparable to semi-professional ones, bodies made of glass and metal, juicy screens with the highest resolution - you quickly get used to good things, just like you get used to shelling out for a new top-end flagship for $ 700.
Spoiler alert: Xiaomi Mi5 has all this, and now we can say that this is one of the best smartphones of this year. But it has a trump card that other flagships do not have - it costs 2.5 times less than the best smartphone of any non-Chinese brand.
Twenty thousand rubles.
Xiaomi (reads like "Xiaomi", with an emphasis on the last syllable) is a large Chinese company that enjoys immense popularity in its homeland, and you should remember this name. It was founded just six years ago and is now one of the ten largest smartphone manufacturers in the world. Thanks to the power of word of mouth, as well as the weakness of the ruble, its products, like the devices of other companies from the Middle Kingdom, are becoming more popular in Russia. Xiaomi makes very decent smartphones at very indecent prices. At the same time, the company's approach to users and to the design of its devices resembles rather a European one: this is largely due to the arrival of Hugo Barra, the former top Google and one of the key Android developers, at the company.
In Russia Xiaomi officially practically not represented, although Mi5 sold in "The Messenger" at a price of 33 thousand. Rub. However, many online stores bring it to us at a price close to the Chinese price, for example Video-Shopper.ru. Moreover, in this case, you do not need to fiddle with the firmware: the smartphone comes to you on the official international version of MIUI, completely translated into Russian.
Nikolai Fedotkin, head of the online store Video-Shoper.ru, which distributes electronics, including Chinese, in Russia:
After the collapse of the ruble, the demand for Chinese devices has grown dramatically. If earlier, for example, iPhones gave us up to 40% of all profits, then by the time the ruble fell, this figure dropped to about 25% and a new trend was outlined - Chinese brands went up the hill. Devices from Xiaomi, Meizu and other manufacturers began to crowd out Samsung and Apple. The same iPhones became incredibly expensive - 50 thousand rubles. per model, the demand for them collapsed, and the share in our sales dropped to 10%. Sometimes they just lay in the warehouse. But the "Chinese" took more than half of all sales. And this is understandable - for 12 thousand rubles. (and even less!) you can buy an excellent smartphone from the same Xiaomi or Meizu … Now our statistics looks like this - 50% "Chinese", 40% A-brands like Samsung, Sony and HTC and no more than 10% - Apple. Although the share of A-brands in the turnover is higher, simply because the cost of phones is higher there.
According to our surveys, buyers of Chinese smartphones are satisfied: we generally do not see any difference in reviews between those who bought the same Xiaomi and, for example, an iPhone.
The image of smartphones from the Middle Kingdom in Russia is also rapidly changing: on mobile forums you will see many people who are waiting for new products from Meizu and other Chinese brands. They owned previous versions and want more.
I myself use a rather simple "Chinese" Meizu M2 Note for 10 thousand rubles. Why overpay?
My first- hand acquaintance with the Xiaomi Mi5, the company's new flagship, began in China: I came across it in one of the countless electronics stores in Shenzhen. Glass and metal, surprisingly thin frames, a bright and juicy screen, a fingerprint scanner, and even the device runs on the most powerful processor in the world of Android. The price tag is 1999 yuan. In terms of rubles, this is about 20 thousand rubles. Deal of the century.
This material is to some extent an attempt to break the stereotype stuck in the minds of many consumers that "China" is blind copying, low quality.
Mi5 looks fantastic. Outwardly, what is already here, it resembles the Galaxy S7 - a similar form factor, a glass back cover, an oblong Home button under the display. In terms of ergonomics, this is perhaps the best (apart from the tiny iPhone SE) smartphone I've used over the past year. Thanks to the beveled edges on the rear roof, the Mi5 fits perfectly in the hand. In addition, the smartphone is very light, after the metal flagships it seems weightless. On the one hand, this somewhat spoils the "premium" status of the smartphone, on the other hand, again, it makes it very convenient to use. And there are also very thin frames - most modern flagships will simply burst with envy.
The troubles, by the way, are the same as in Samsung's flagships - the lid gets dirty and scratches very quickly, so it's worth getting a protective case.
The screen is the real pride of Mi5 - very high brightness and contrast, perfect readability in the sun. The color rendition is not the most accurate, the colors on the display are slightly warmer than necessary, but this setting seems to me the most optimal for a smartphone: my eyes do not get tired of it - it is simply pleasant to look at the Mi5 screen.
Mi5 is powered by the most powerful mobile processor of our time - Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, and there should have been a paragraph about the fact that the smartphone always works incredibly fast, but, unfortunately, it will not. In games, Mi5 behaves really well, producing 40-60 frames per second. But there are complaints about everyday work: sometimes microfreezes happen, and pages in the browser sometimes take an unforgivable time to load. I highly recommend installing the beta version of the fresh MIUI 8 (this is done in a couple of clicks) - Xiaomi has eliminated most of the problems in it.
In addition, the not the most responsive touch when swiping is disappointing. If you quickly scroll the page in the same browser, you will notice a slight delay between finger movements and image movements. On the other hand, for some reason only I felt this "problem": none of my unsuspecting colleagues, whom I asked to test the sensitivity of the display, noticed nothing of the kind. Perhaps this is a purely personal quibble, born of the need to constantly test a variety of smartphones, but this picture is especially striking after meeting with the iPhone SE. However, when installing a fresh version of MIUI, this "sluggishness" practically disappeared.
Speaking of MIUI. This is perhaps the first "shell" of Android, which visually appealed to me. She, firstly, does not try to become a second iOS (in fact, there is only one similarity: the absence of a central menu - all application icons go to the desktop), secondly, it looks nice and neat, and thirdly, it is finely tuned. The appearance of the system can be changed almost beyond recognition by choosing from a dozen themes available for a smartphone.
The second trump card of the Mi5 is the camera. This is by far the best camera among all smartphones in this price segment: almost perfect white balance, fast and accurate focusing, excellent detail. In conditions of lack of lighting, the situation naturally deteriorates somewhat - but if you want something more, get ready to pay another 30 thousand rubles. for Samsung Galaxy S7.
I was unexpectedly surprised by the autonomy of Mi5: it is enough for a day and a half of quite active work. And I never deny myself the pleasure of regularly flipping through the feed on the social network.
And another nice, but not insignificant advantage is the ultra-fast fingerprint scanner. I have long forgotten what wallpaper is set on my lock screen, the sensor simply does not allow me to see it, immediately throwing me onto the unlocked desktop.
Usually, when the material has already been written, I pull out the SIM card from the tested smartphone and insert it into my Nexus 6P or iPhone SE. It's not even that it's time to return the device - it's just that during these ten days, for one reason or another, I could not "get along" with it.
Now, when I finish writing this text, Mi5 is lying next to me. It may sound too pathetic, but a Chinese smartphone for 20 thousand rubles. I was able to win over and leave a person who, by the will of fate, has a pleasant opportunity to test all the main smartphones of our time.
And this fact speaks volumes.