Xiaomi Mi 4c ReviewXiaomi Mi 4c 6.6
Earlier this year, the company launched an “affordable flagship” in India – the Xiaomi Mi 4i – which, as always, packed some pretty respectable hardware for its asking price. Later, in September, Xiaomi launched the Mi 4c in China – very similar in appearance to the 4i, and still bearing a bargain price-tag, but with a more powerful processor inside. That managed to peak the interest of Android smartphone fans who follow the more exotic handsets closely.
You can't buy the Mi 4c directly from Xiaomi, but there are a lot of 3rd party websites that sell it worldwide. The base model comes with a hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 808, 2 GB of RAM, a 13 MP / 5 MP camera combo, and a 3,080 mAh battery, all for the price of around $240, minus shipping and taxes. The offer sounds quite enticing, and we were quite anxious to see whether it is as good as it sounds. Here's what we found.
In the box:
- Xiaomi Mi 4c
- Quick start guide (in Chinese)
- SIM ejector tool
- Wall charger
- USB Type-C data cable
Being a $240 handset, we can't fault the Mi 4c for not being made out of shiny materials. The phone's body pretty much consists of a glass front and a plastic back panel, which wraps around to its sides. It's a solid build that doesn't creek, crack, or move around when pressured. It does, however, strike us with an elegant and ergonomic design. The back is slightly arched, making it comfortable to hold, while its corners are stark, giving it a very sleek look, but without being sharp to the touch. The plastic is of the matte variety; it has a soft feel when held, but it does attract quite a bit of fingerprint smudges.
On the front, we have the small-ish earpiece grille, which manages to complement the handset's elegant looks. To the right of it, there's the selfie cam and a notification LED. Below the display, we have a trio of capacitive navigational keys, which are invisible when the backlighting is off.
The phone's hardware controls are situated on its right side – a power button sits just north from the phone's center, and the volume rocker is placed above it. The power key is decently clicky, but the rocker feels a tad shallow. It doesn't help that the latter is quite wobbly, too, generally causing us to feel uncomfortable while using it.
On the top of the device, we have the 3.5 mm headphone jack and an IR blaster. On the bottom, there is the USB Type-C charging and data port. The speaker grille is a wide strip, situated in the bottom center of the handset's back. The camera is in the top-left corner, accompanied by a dual-tone LED.
In terms of handling, the phone is pretty easy to operate, with its ergonomic design and average-sized display. It also fits well in pockets and is light enough to not cause any issues.
138 x 69.6 x 7.8 mm
4.66 oz (132 g)
151.8 x 74.9 x 9.85 mm
6.17 oz (175 g)
145.75 x 70.8 x 7.26 mm
5.04 oz (143 g)
147 x 72.6 x 7.9 mm
4.80 oz (136 g)
Colors that pop
The Xiaomi Mi 4c is equipped with a 5-inch IPS LCD display with a 1080 x 1920 pixel resolution. Its pixel-per-inch density lands at 441, which makes the screen pretty sharp. Color temperature measures at 7,844 K, which is quite off from the reference value of 6,500 K. As a result, the display has a bluish — at times leaning towards purple — tint. For the night readers who worry about the blue colors – there is a "reading mode" in the settings, which allows the user to choose how much they wish to warm up the screen via a slider; it goes from regular cold-ish picture to full-on red. Color reproduction is also far from perfect, as the Mi 4c's display manages to miss almost all of the targets on the sRGB scale, and most of the colors are often over-saturated.
All that being said, we didn't find the display to be bad. Yes, some colors do blow up, but we didn't feel them to be as aggressive to our sight as the measurements might suggest. The images look vivid and alive, and we appreciated that. The purple tint of the display was most evident in dark environments, where we did find it kind of annoying.
The display's maximum brightness measures at 456 nits and we found it pretty usable out in broad daylight. The lowest it would go is 1 nit, which is excellent for night-time usage.
We do wish that Xiaomi had gotten the colors a bit more spot-on with the Mi 4c's panel. However, for its class, we really can't fault it too much. The resolution is super-crisp, colors jump out vividly from behind the glass, and the screen is usable in any type of environment – there's not much more one could ask from a midrange-priced phone.
Display measurements and quality
|Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better||Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better||Contrast Higher is better||Color temperature (Kelvins)||Gamma||Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better||Delta E grayscale Lower is better|
|Google Nexus 5X||487
|Xiaomi Mi 4c||456
|HTC One A9||345
The numbers below represent the amount of deviation in the respective property, observed when a display is viewed from a 45-degree angle as opposed to direct viewing.
|Maximum brightness Lower is better||Minimum brightness Lower is better||Contrast Lower is better||Color temperature Lower is better||Gamma Lower is better||Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better||Delta E grayscale Lower is better|
|HTC One A9||48.4%
|Google Nexus 5X||77.6%
|Xiaomi Mi 4c||89.9%
The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.
This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.
The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.
This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.
The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.
This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.
7. PeterK. (Posts: 286; Member since: 13 Nov 2013)
No bias here.
Have you used the device? Well, I have, and I assure you that even with a stock MIUI ROM it's still far from being good. First of all, wave goodbye to chat notifications - you're either not going to receive any or get them after a couple of hours. Secondly, there is lag present if we've ever seen one.
9. Rafishant (Posts: 187; Member since: 13 Oct 2015)
Don't care about those trolls. They are just having objections on everything.
Just ban those annoying fanboys.
64. neela_akaash (Posts: 1095; Member since: 05 Aug 2014)
PeterK needs to explore the 'Security' app in MIUI.
42. Guaire (Posts: 495; Member since: 15 Oct 2014)
"Xiaomi's secret sauce. This is one of the best proprietary Android skins right now."
66. TheDriXx97 (Posts: 1; Member since: 04 Nov 2015)
Hi! Between the Mi4c and the OnePlus X wich one would you choose, based on your experience on the Mi4C
4. S.M.Talha (Posts: 70; Member since: 27 Aug 2014)
Because?it is at least on par with nexus 5x which recieved 8.5 rating.
And its your fault that u brought it from wrong dealer.
12. SirYar (Posts: 351; Member since: 02 Jul 2014)
Because your cons are a bunch of bolony. The fact you bought a phone with a broken ROM is not Xiaomi's fault. You also clearly stated that the battery would last a full day of heavy use yet say it's disappointing?
13. paul.k (Posts: 142; Member since: 17 Jul 2014)
For a 3,080 mAh battery, screen-on time is not on par. Standby is great, but often kills chat notifications. Double-edged sword.
14. NonFanBoy (Posts: 141; Member since: 28 May 2015)
I am sorry PA, but having used a Mi 4i which has the same software and an inferior hardware, there is no question that its a great device. But when you consider the price, it blows everything out of the water. Its the only Chinese brand with genuine customer support centers in almost all major cities here in India, so the risks involved in buying the phone is also significantly lesser compared to other Chinese brands.
A great screen , good camera, great processor (and raw specs so to say), a very popular OS and decent customer support. This phone has the recipe to be a great phone. And for the price, its arguably one of the best phones on offer currently.
Its not Mi's fault that you got a faulty device. So for me, your rating makes no sense whatsoever. I am starting to believe the trolls here who go on about PA being biased to this and that.
31. Rydsmith (Posts: 487; Member since: 20 Jun 2012)
"...buying it from a 3rd party retailer means that there is a good chance one will need to do a lot of tinkering with the handset before it becomes fully functional. There's also a lot of manual maintenance required if you wish the phone to work at its best – all things that knock off points from user-friendliness. Last, but certainly not least, we find the fact that the phone often refuses to accept push notifications a pretty serious offense, seeing as it's a device that's meant to work first and foremost as a tool for communication"
If you are fine having a phone (a communication device) that limits and sometimes just eliminates communication then more power to you; but that doesn't make it a good phone, in fact it makes it unacceptable and not worth it even for the price.
And there are other alternatives and better choices, Moto G, Alcatel Idol, etc...
Don't say that there aren't.
47. Andrewtst (Posts: 597; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)
Mi4i is great device? I sold it in less than two months. Crappy lag here and there. Lousy optimise phone with bad battery life.
55. raky_b (Posts: 99; Member since: 02 Jul 2014)
and, does Skype video calls works for you!?
i have same, and after minute or two of calling, mic turns off,and no one can hear me.
it's a bug from day one ow selling that device.
they are giving updates (800MB) every 2. week, but still not real fixes, just some minor stuff
59. joey_sfb (Posts: 5256; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)
Because its not an official phone from XiaoMi for its intended market. You bought a phone that is meant for another market and review it for all it flaws.
Its more a bashing session to vent out your own frustration than a review.
Using the word 'review' make me laugh.
35. raky_b (Posts: 99; Member since: 02 Jul 2014)
nope, it does not...it have good HW, but MIUI kills it all.
and you can't use it as a brick
41. kevindjap (Posts: 2; Member since: 19 Aug 2015)
what i dont understand is PA compare a $240 phone with a higher price phone. Comparing should be in the same bracket price not with the "flagship" with higher price. maybe thats why PA giving such a low score.
6. Captain_Doug (Posts: 985; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)
It's a shame that it's not compatible with the US's LTE bands. At least there's a good replacement in the Oneplus X.
10. TechlineHD (Posts: 6; Member since: 13 Apr 2015)
it is just a shame that Phonearena reviewers do not have experience in Chinese smartphones whatsoever.... Yes, you got a reseller version with lots of bloat which is a lot slower ROM than the official one.
6.6 score? Cmon... This phone is so hard to beat at this price!
15. Martin_Cooper (Posts: 1368; Member since: 30 Jul 2013)
I guess you have used one so you can clearly say the review is biased? If not keep comments like that for your self. Specs mean s**t if the software is bad. There are phablets with 3000mah battery than outperform its battery by huge margin, Just shows how cheap chinese phones have great specs put together quickly with no software optimization.
33. Rydsmith (Posts: 487; Member since: 20 Jun 2012)
Not when you can a buy a Moto G for less and get far better performance.
44. Piyath_ale (Posts: 79; Member since: 02 Nov 2015)
Cheap hardware is a one story. But the user experience depend on the software. If the software is crap, like in this phone, no use from that awesome hardware. Cmon don't be biased a fanboy do much.
17. Odeira (Posts: 235; Member since: 29 Jun 2012)
Xiaomi phones are crap. Period. Bad notifications system, bad UI elements, bad optimisation, no amount of horsepower or specs superiority can cover it up.
Stop giving PhoneArena flak for pointing out THE TRUTH, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth! Chinese phones still have a SIGNIFICANT way to go in terms of software. Sure, there's the Huawei Nexus 6P, but it runs Pure Google, American Google, and isn't meant for China. Even the most bloated of Samsung phones run software and are better optimised than Chinese ROM's with the identical specs. Chinese made software sent to the rest of the world is crap, end of story.
19. pppddd (Posts: 17; Member since: 11 May 2015)
Apparently running american bloatware from the likes of google is a good thing for you...lol. If only they could be uninstalled and all the bugs google doesn't bother to fix, fixed. Yeah, really optomized software there.
22. Odeira (Posts: 235; Member since: 29 Jun 2012)
Because we don't need RAM boosters, Clean Master, or privacy managers and separate permission managers (not when Marshmallow gives you FULL control over this,) or separate app and themes stores when it can be integrated to the Play Store (Oh wait, China DOESN'T have the GP Store, right?)
Oh, the drive to make phones cheaper by dealing with the devil (questionable SW companies.)
34. spixel (Posts: 18; Member since: 20 Oct 2015)
Yeah, sing praise to Marshmallows permission manager. That feature has been present in MIUI for what, 4 years?. Same with 'Doze' Googles 1337 talk for a feature available in several Chinese UI's for years. Google is awesome!
39. Odeira (Posts: 235; Member since: 29 Jun 2012)
But MIUI ripped off iOS hands down. Right down to the notifications mishandling. And frankly, that's the story of Chinese UI's - straight up rip off iOS with none of the benefits (of even Nexus and Western Androids.) Include some "addons" such as RAM boosters, a crude permissions manager, spyware in the guise of preinstalled services,...
38. pppddd (Posts: 17; Member since: 11 May 2015)
Right because if you don't like then others clearly shouldn't either and MIUI permission managers have been around like other custom roms since before kitkat, long before google implmented them. Not to mention they have superior granular permission tables compared to M, that's why custom roms are so popular.
I have no idea if china has or doesn't have the play store available but from I understand they don't use google even before it was blocked so it's irrelevant
The drive to make phones cheaper has little to do with software. All the major OEMs have software riddled with bugs and bloat and at a higher price point including even your almighty google.
20. spixel (Posts: 18; Member since: 20 Oct 2015)
You're scoring methods needs serious readjustment. I mean,
6.6 for Mi4C? A $205 phone with a very good camera, snapdragon 808, full hd display. PLEASEEE.........Even with its flaws you mentioned, the phone deserves a minimum of 8/10
These kind of scores are actually turning phonearena into a joke.
Let the readers decide how much of a negative such software issues are instead of heavily penalizing the overall score. Even your last sentence imples the phone is worth buying, but a 6.6 is not worth buying for anyone.
24. Odeira (Posts: 235; Member since: 29 Jun 2012)
Because ALL cheap phones SHOULD get a free pass for crappy software because it's cheap, right?
I mean, the Alcatel Idol 3 got a solid 8.5/10 -http://www.phonearena.com/revi
ews/Alcatel-OneTouch-Idol-3-5.5-inch-Review_id4004- and it COMPLETELY deserves it. This phone SHOULD hence get an 8 with its bad software implementation (lag, notifications mishandling, egregious bloatware?!) I don't see your point.
26. spixel (Posts: 18; Member since: 20 Oct 2015)
Yes it does deservce an 8.
MIUI is not crappy, it has a couple of inherent bugs but these have been around a long time and would have existed in every review of an Xiaomi phone. There are simple work arounds. It's much more feature rich than stock android
The lag issue must be extremely minor. All other reviews praised the UI performance. The 'bloatware' is not an issue. Just remove it or choose a good reseller.
The review score phones on phone arena get seems to depend on which reviewer it gets, rather than how good the phone is.
28. Odeira (Posts: 235; Member since: 29 Jun 2012)
So you are at the mercy of your chosen retail channel? That's a big problem already. And also, why always presume that it's up to the end user to fix the problems that Xiaomi could have worked hard to NOT BE THERE in the first place...?
I don't hate cheap phones, full disclosure. I just believe some are truly worthy of the price tag more than others.
And is reviewing phones always been at the mercy of whoever reviewed it to begin with? Everyone has bias, it's a different issue on how to manage it. A good phone with a fair reviewer is a good score, a bad phone with a fair reviewer will get a decent rate, simple as that.
36. spixel (Posts: 18; Member since: 20 Oct 2015)
I would agree with what you say, if stock Android and other UI's were faultless, but they aren't. So yes, it's being overly harsh to slam Xiaomi over such software issues. I had much more serious/annoying software issues with previous Samsung/Sony phones that could not be fixed with a little TLC. MIUI is well optimized which is not surprising considering it gets weekly updates. It's not perfect, but nothing is.
You're not at the mercy of your chosen retail channel, it's just a reality when buying Chinese phones. Spend 30 seconds to clean the phone up when you get it and what's the problem? Or do what I did, buy directly from Xiaomi on tmall.
50. shijuv (Posts: 17; Member since: 09 Aug 2015)
U speak as if u owned a xiaomi phone? Or u have used miui in a xiaomi phone for months/ years? Really those who say miui is crap is because they dont have an experience in it or they just dont want the additional features they want it all plain and simple which is tooooo boring even if it doesnt lag
45. Piyath_ale (Posts: 79; Member since: 02 Nov 2015)
Not biased here. But I have to say this. Not all Chinese phone manufacturers are crap and fraud. But some are. xiaomi, mainly make phones to make money. No innovation. Just money minded. That's why xiaomi makes similar knockoffs to other popular smartphones and sell them so cheaply. They just want to invade the market and make money. So their quality control is poor. And they don't innovate ever. So they make mostly crappy phones...
46. spixel (Posts: 18; Member since: 20 Oct 2015)
Xiaomi does not make knock offs. Every phone they released looks unique in my opinion. Heck, even the Note 5 looks like a Mi Note rip off at the back.
37. raky_b (Posts: 99; Member since: 02 Jul 2014)
dude, so based on your arguments, LG Flex 2 deserves perfect 10?
it has SD810, great display, better camera....perfect phone on papir, just as this one is.
but then, when you need to use it...
i have Mi4i,and there is no day passing that i am not thinking to throw it on the wall. yes it have decend HW on papir, but it's battery (3080mAh) and MIUI is just killing me...
40. spixel (Posts: 18; Member since: 20 Oct 2015)
What issues do you have with the mi4i? As I understand, the snapdragon 615 is kind of problematic, Xiaomi didn't make the chipset.
I find alot of people will complain about things such as battery life, performance no matter what phone they have. They expect infinite battery life, perfect performance so when something falls below expectations, it's automatically dreadful, unusesable, the worst ever!
If you take a close look at your battery life, you'll probably find it is above average.
62. raky_b (Posts: 99; Member since: 02 Jul 2014)
yes it is average, same as on my old S3 and it's 50% bigger capacity... xperia z (and z1, z3 and z3+) also have 50% less then this Xiaomi,and it can do 3x more. i never, but realy never had full day, and not more then 4h of SoT. and, no i am not playing games, and i don't have even one installed.
*Apps are crashing,
*whole phone stops and ned to force restart to use it again, when brawser crashes and it happens once or 2x every day, little better when using Opera
*phone is getting too hot while just surfing or even worst while taking video (wich is also bad)
*Skype calls lose tone after 1 minute of talking (it's a bug from day one of this phone and they can't fix it)
*it does not showing missed calls as such, it's all "recived calls"
*speaker is very quiet...
and so on,and so on...
yes, it is better then 70$ "brand" name devices, but for 250$ how much i have paid for that, you can find much better devices.
f*** Redmi 1S is better, with much weaker HD. it have better support from MIUI then this "flagship", better SoT times and now it has MIUI7, wich Mi4i does not.
52. shijuv (Posts: 17; Member since: 09 Aug 2015)
But the sad fact is these people dont appreciate anything. And they gave 8 for redmi note 2. Doesn't that have miui or what? This review is pure crap...
21. spixel (Posts: 18; Member since: 20 Oct 2015)
I purchased a mi4c directly from Xiaomi's tmall store. Cheaper than resellers, no bloatware. So the info that you can't buy directly from Xiaomi is wrong.
25. Chiam (Posts: 4; Member since: 02 Nov 2015)
Xiaomi, OnePlus HTC.......they may all have the most up to date hardware but this is useless if it does not function. All these Chinese manufacturers lack the knowhow to produce a functional Software to make the device work.
After purchasing various devices for their latest hardware and cheaper price, I have been most disappointed and will now only purchase from mainstream Companies. Cheap is exactly what you will receive, cheap.
The Software is just not quite there........
27. spixel (Posts: 18; Member since: 20 Oct 2015)
Mainstream companies often have similar if not worse software issues. They are far from perfect either.
1 example - Good luck doing any multitasking on a Samsung Galaxy S6 despite having 3gb ram. 'touchwiz is just not quite there'
29. Odeira (Posts: 235; Member since: 29 Jun 2012)
But there's Multi Window, and maybe THAT specifically is why Samsung's multi-tasking chops are questionable. As supposed to the huge Nexus 6P with its USELESS (for a large screen) software.
30. spixel (Posts: 18; Member since: 20 Oct 2015)
Having multi window is no excuse for appauling ram management.
Some Chinese UI have both multi window and 'normal' multi tasking capabilities.
32. Odeira (Posts: 235; Member since: 29 Jun 2012)
But isn't in hindsight, RAM management was already apocalyptic when Lollipop was first released and it took ANOTHER NEW Android version to fix it? To be fair, Samsung coulda fixed it, but the Lollipop RAMpocalypse was so bad, Asus had to release the Zenfone 2 with 4GB RAM to cover it up, so Samsung is not sorely at fault here.
43. jibraihimi (Posts: 747; Member since: 29 Nov 2011)
One thing i really agree, that all xiaomi's phone should get low scores, just because of MIUI rom......its identity of xiaomi, but they seriously need to optimize it as it lags like hell, even on 3GB and 4GB RAM device......
48. Andrewtst (Posts: 597; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)
This is the first time I agree scores given by PA on China brand phone.
Mi product most of them with real bad optimization. Not sure about this but it is real bad in Mi4i, Redmi Note and also Mini Note.
I like Miui looks but I can't stand it bad optimization.
51. a1369366 (Posts: 27; Member since: 24 Aug 2014)
#A lot of Chinese bloatware and region-specific functions
*But you said that you'd bought it from 3rd party web site....and it took you "couple of hours" to flash the phone with one click install? I imagined that u never used a Samsung phone before?
#MIUI often kills all push notifications
*learn to use MIUI
Battery life could be better
*You had MIUI with google service? did you?
53. a1369366 (Posts: 27; Member since: 24 Aug 2014)
PS, I recall that Xiaomi phone has no bloatware unless that you bought a Carrier version.
54. FrankUnderwood2 (Posts: 209; Member since: 01 Oct 2015)
In the meanwhile, HTC One A-9 got a 7.8 score. I just don't get it PA. What are you guys smoking these days? Please at least co-relate your scores of a particular device with another before finalizing them.
56. shijuv (Posts: 17; Member since: 09 Aug 2015)
A review should include points for all the stuffs.. Like build, display, call connectivity, camera hardware, battery, software, value for money and 10 stuffs like that. Each carrying 10 marks. If the software is bad juz give it 4 or 5 marks in software section. Give points to other areas where it score.. On what basis u give the score? These people juz discuss about all the stuff and if they find a fault somewhere and if its an iphone they say its negligible and give a score of 9.99 and if its a chinese mobile they say that oh god we cant live with this fault and they give a score of 5. Craparena.. And if u wanna compare a 200$ phone with an 800$ phone then compare it in the pricing section too. Give double or triple the points for pricing. 200$ phone. For the cost of iphone we can get four mi4c...That means for the entire family...