Xiaomi Mi 5 & Mi 5 Plus rumor round-up: the great Chinese smartphone(s)


Although Xiaomi crowned the Xiaomi Mi Note and Mi Note Pro its flagship devices for 2015, everyone who's been following the strongly emerging Chinese brand knows that it has something even better in the works. The company's Mi series smartphones have traditionally been its hero devices, and are arguably the ones on which the company built its reputation. Thus, the Xiaomi Mi 5 and the rumored Mi 5 Plus are smartphones of great interest that have already turned to cannon fodder for the army of leaksters out there. Here's what we know about the Mi 5 and Mi 5 Plus so far!

Design


Xiaomi has successfully managed to keep the Mi 5 and Mi 5 Plus' design under wraps for the time being. Thus, their looks are open for interpretation from anyone with 3D Studio and a bit of free time and imagination. There is only one design rumor floating in the blogosphere, though, and that's a rumored thinness of just 0.20 (5.1mm). For the time being, gaze at this set of concept renders to get a very general idea of how the Xiaomi Mi 5 could turn out.


Interface


The Xiaomi Mi 5 and Mi 5 Plus are expected to run Android 5.1.1, or a later version of Google's operating system, decorated with Xiaomi's own MIUI skin. Some of its signature features include the fact that it is well optimized, with smooth, good-looking animations, extensive customization options, and support for themes. But even though MIUI v6 is well translated in English, there are still some places where you bump into Chinese characters or services that you don’t understand or that are not relevant. This is common with Chinese smartphones, and is hopefully something Xiaomi will fix in time for the Mi 5 & Mi 5 Plus. Although it's not fully ready to present itself out of mainland China, MIUI is still one of the better 3rd party Android user experiences out there.


Display, processor, memory, and camera


According to the latest intel, Xiaomi is preparing not one, but two versions of its flagship smartphone. These are the Xiaomi Mi 5 and the Xiaomi Mi 5 Plus. Each has a different hardware configuration.

The Xiaomi Mi 5 is expected to feature a 5.2-inch Quad-HD resolution display with a 64-bit octa-core Snapdragon 810 SoC under the hood. There will be 3GB or 4GB of RAM onboard, and the main camera is supposed to be a 16MP unit. A 3000mAh battery unit will be powering the show. There also may, or may not be a fingerprint scanner present, although with Qualcomm technology at play, we would not be surprised if the Mi 5 arrives with the chipmaker's Sense ID tech.

As for the Xiaomi Mi 5 Plus, this one is expected to be a larger, 5.7-inch phablet that keeps the Quad-HD resolution, incorporates Qualcomm's next-generation Snapdragon 820 SoC, and may have a 24MP main camera in addition to its 13MP selfie cam counterpart. There's a fingerprint scanner involved as well, we presume, and the battery capacity may be bumped to 3500mAh.

Memory capacities for both smartphones will be between 16GB and 64GB of eMMC 5.0 storage, possibly expandable via microSD card. While we don't see Xiaomi opting for Hynix's UFS 2.0 flash storage chips for the Mi 5, due to the complications of integrating the required memory controller and possibly other things, we're pretty sure the company will shop camera sensors from Sony, like it usually does for its high-end devices.

We'll leave you with a moment to wipe the drool off your mouth, and move on to the pricing and release dates!


Price & announcement date


The Xiaomi Mi 5 has had a price tag to the tune of $371 - $386 mentioned in some leaked materials, which is in-line with what's expected of the company's high-end smartphones. The Mi 5 Plus, though, could see its price escalate to as much as $600, given all the powerful (and costly) hardware that's packed inside it.

The announcement and release dates for both smartphones are still elusive, though. The most recent clue we've got points to October or November as the announcement date. However, if Xiaomi plans to out a Snapdragon 810-powered device in the second half of the year, it might look towards moving the announcement date forward a couple of months, as an announcement this late in 2015 means catching the Snapdragon 810's very last hype train. In this regard, there's a rumor that Xiaomi will announce the Mi 5 at its "annual conference" on August 5.

That's not the case with the purported Xiaomi Mi 5 Plus, though. If the smartphone is built on the Snapdragon 820, this means it's due for a late announcement, and possibly a Q1 2016 release date - in line with the chipset's mass production schedule.

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