Xiaomi outs Mi 5s and 5s Plus: Snapdragon 821, ultrasonic finger scanner and dual camera

Xiaomi outs Mi 5s and 5s Plus: Snapdragon 821, ultrasonic finger scanner and dual camera
After a long month of rumors and teasers, Xiaomi just took the wraps off its monster of an upgraded flagship, the Mi 5s, and added a larger sidekick, the 5s Plus, to the mix. Why monster? Well, while the Mi 5s keeps the same 5.15" 1080p screen with 600 nits of brightness of its predecessor, the Mi 5, it adds a Snapdragon 821 chipset, and a bunch of new tech, both for the company, and overall. The Mi 5s Plus enlarges the screen diagonal to 5.7 inches, adds a dual camera with 13 MP Sony sensors, and up to 6 GB of RAM.

The top 4 GB + 128 GB version of the Xiaomi Mi 5s employs a pressure-sensitive display, just like Apple's iPhones, leveraging the Synaptics touch drivers to tell between a lighter push or a harder press of the display's cover glass, and reacting accordingly to showcase pop-up menus and content previews. So far so good, we have this on the iPhones and some other handsets. 

Next in line for the Mi 5s, however, is Qualcomm's Sense ID ultrasonic fingerprint sensing tech, however, which is a first, and recognizes fingertips in a fraction of a second while being less prone to damage. It uses ultrasonic waves to get an extremely detailed map of your fingerprint, much more detailed than the map that one can get via the traditionally used planar touch scanners. These higher-res scans are good news for security as you can read finger details as low as pores and ridges, plus you can now have readings even when your finger is wet, oily or dirty. The new tech works through glass, so it could could be integrated in various places in a phone. The Mi 5s Plus seems to opt for a more orthodox touch finger scanner placed on the back of the phone underneath the dual camera set, which is a wise decision, considering the phone's dimensions.

The camera on the back of the 5s is a 12 MP affair with the new Sony IMX378 sensor that is said to come on Google Pixel as well, while the front-facing shooter doles out 4 MP selfies. Xiaomi posted some sample photos, which you can preview below, but we wouldn't put much thought in them, as the official samples are often taken in prepared conditions. Be patient, as these are larger files, purportedly taken straight outta Mi 5s, and there is even a direct comparison with the cameras on the 6s Plus and S7 edge. The 5s Plus sports the trendy dual camera set, with two Sony 13 MP sensors for some extra depth of field shenanigans. 

As for the rest of the specs, there is a USB-C port on the bottom of the phones, as well as Quick Charge 3.0 technology for rapidly topping up the phones. The battery capacity of the bigger phone is 3800 mAh - not bad considering the thin sub-8mm frame, while the 5s comes with a 3200 mAh juicer.

How much? The 64 GB version of the Mi 5s will set you back the equivalent of $300. The 128 GB one will be $345, and that's the same price that the basic 5s Plus can be had for with 4 GB + 64 GB combo. The top Mi 5s Plus model with 6 GB RAM and 128 GB storage is marked with a $389 sticker. These are the prices if you live in China, of course, expect the tags to be about 30% higher abroad. Both phones go on sale two days from now, on September 29. Any takers?

source: Xiaomi



1. MaryPoopins

Posts: 324; Member since: Jan 15, 2015

Watching that conference was pretty dry, not much whoopin' and hollerin', but man alive, those prices :) Got my cash ready for a Mi5s Plus on Thursday !! A bit disappointed at no ultrasonic glass fingerprint reader, but never mind.... maybe on my next upgrade in 2018. Here's some links if interested. Use Google Translate on the web page. http://www.mi.com/mi5splus/http://www.mi.com/mi5splus/specs/

3. kiko007

Posts: 7518; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Any link to the 5s?

5. MaryPoopins

Posts: 324; Member since: Jan 15, 2015

Just remove the 'plus' part from the links I guess :D

19. spin9

Posts: 310; Member since: May 31, 2014

I would buy it if it had two identical color cameras on the back. I can do monochrome by software but what about 3d photos and video?

14. WPX00

Posts: 511; Member since: Aug 15, 2015

mi.com/mi5s, or go mi.com/index.html and click Mi Phones -> Mi 5s

17. vincelongman

Posts: 5728; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Woah, the Mi5s has the same 821 and IMX378 camera sensor as the Pixel At only $300, insane value

21. Martin_Cooper

Posts: 1774; Member since: Jul 30, 2013

Sensor means nothing if the optics arent great and software optimization.

35. vincelongman

Posts: 5728; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Yep The 6P still beats the HTC 10 Despite the HTC 10 having the same IMX377 and better optics (f/1.8 vs f/2.0 pn the 6P) Google's HDR+ is simply amazing That being said, the Mi5s is still insane value

29. sarcastic_nerd unregistered

It will still be an average camera since Xiaomi's image processing is average at best. Also at f/2.0 and without OIS, it doesn't look like set to break smartphone photography records. Also the phones are locked down to their bootloader and you can't even root them. I wouldn't call this a value phone since it will only get released in India and China. And even in India the price will likely cross 400$ like it happened with the mi5. I'm not dissing Xiaomi. I use a few of their products like battery bank and earphones and they are pretty good for the money. But their phones only make sense if you live in China and can't access google services anyway.


Posts: 1168; Member since: Oct 05, 2015

The Mi5 has been rooted, and there are unlocking processes for it. Is there anything that I'm missing that suggests that this phone won't be the same case? And I agree, this should have had OIS. And a f/1.9 aperture at least. As for their image processing, it'll be great in the day, but iffy at night. Hopefully the pixel phones will show us what this sensor can do. The only other phone I'm waiting to see before I drop my cash is the LG G6.

36. vincelongman

Posts: 5728; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

True Despite the price increase, I'm probably getting a Pixel, I still like Google's software the most, especially the rumors of Andromeda

40. TheOracle1

Posts: 2340; Member since: May 04, 2015

I guess I'd better get rid of my Redmi Note 3 Pro since it makes no sense to have one in Florida.

8. kumarabhishek591

Posts: 152; Member since: Feb 22, 2014

That is just what i guessed in last post that the plus version may be the only one with dual camera but no one paid enough attention. Well i was right about it.

20. AmashAziz

Posts: 2934; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

Many people guessed that even before you. Donot think you are the only one to predict it right. Neither are you some minister to whom we need to pay attention and listen carefully. So it's stupid to brag about an unproved prediction, in a site filled by tech enthusiasts and geniuses. I am also a tech enthusiast, but wish would be a genius one day.

9. Guaire

Posts: 890; Member since: Oct 15, 2014

Ditching the fragile glass is good, but that iPhone antenna line is bad choice. I like the subtle looking fingerprint scanner of Mi5s. One of the largest image sensor alone of Mi5s is good, but why they omissioned OIS and large aperture I can't understand. Plus' back side looks better, but I can tell top and bottom parts made of plastic unlike smaller one. Also it have smaller sensors.

23. numbertwo

Posts: 17; Member since: Mar 20, 2013

I will explain: - the bigger the sensor is, the bigger the lens have to be too - the brighter the lens is, the bigger the lens has to be - if the sensor is bigger, it's also bigger the stabilizer system and more difficult to implement The more the focal length, the bigger the lens has to be... So if you want a 1/2.3" sensor, f1:1.7, with OIs and not too wide (I hate too wide lens...), the camera module has to be very big, and manufacturers always get a compromise... Xiaomi didn't want a camera bump, so they opted for the Sony approach (f2. 0, 1/2.3" sensor and no OIs), but fortunately only 12mpx (better dynamic range, better iso performance) and and xiaomi jpg engine is quite better than sony's. Anyways, their OIs in xiaomi mi5 doesn't work as well as it should...

25. Guaire

Posts: 890; Member since: Oct 15, 2014

Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. I guess a camera module with 1/2.3" sensor with f/1.8 aperture and OIS for example wouldn't be thicker than Samsung S6's camera module. I know S6's sensor is 1/2.6" but its format is 16:9. 1/2.3" 4:3 sensor's focal point should be the same with 1/2.6" 16:9 sensor. I also know that the S6 has a quite a hump at back, but S6's body is significantly thinner than Mi5s also it placed right behind the screen. Although AMOLED is thinner than LCD, its thickness adds to camera's own thickness. S6's thickness at the camera hump is 8mm including AMOLED display's thickness. Mi5s is 8.3mm thick and main camera isn't placed behind the screen. So far Xiaomi flagships seems far behind the best camera flagships and while using such a large sensor including everything they could add to it for improved low light performance would be better for the phone and the brand IMO. Even if it would increase the thickness a bit that would be a fair trade-off IMO. Sony's pixel size is smaller despite larger sensors due high resolution. Seems to me smaller pixels, lack of OIS and large aperture renders their cameras behind the curve rather than software. HTC also suffered from same thing at its One M9. Also Sony's wider than usual lenses can affect it I think.


Posts: 1168; Member since: Oct 05, 2015

The original Mi5 looks better in my opinion as far as looks are concerned. All that's left to see is whether or not Qualcomm's on SoC solution for lowlight paired with the new sensor will yield better results than what the Mi5 gave us. I can't see myself buying this if the camera goes backwards. If the phone isn't just better overall in most areas, it isn't worth the premium over the Mi5's current asking price.

10. Chuck007

Posts: 1411; Member since: Mar 02, 2014

Holy cow I am friggin impressed. If the real phone looks anything like the renders its more elegant than the iPhone 7

12. MaryPoopins

Posts: 324; Member since: Jan 15, 2015

They showed the phones in the press event. Look pretty much like the pictures. So yeah... yay :)

11. pp007

Posts: 39; Member since: Nov 21, 2015

Take my money and give me 2 phones for the price of one iPhone..

26. BoardDWorld

Posts: 117; Member since: Aug 17, 2016

actually, 3 phones..

13. nh1402

Posts: 138; Member since: Oct 30, 2013

Why are phone manufacturers insistent of only having the pressure sensitive display on the premium version, as a developer I would just like the standard phone to have it also, as I have no need for so much storage space on the device.

18. vincelongman

Posts: 5728; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Costs/money Give it another year or so, then it will be standard

15. Bankz

Posts: 2550; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

Well.. Not bad

16. shahrooz

Posts: 792; Member since: Sep 17, 2013

Glad they chose 1080p screen for Mi 5s plus, the battery and performance are going to be very good.

22. TheOracle1

Posts: 2340; Member since: May 04, 2015

Decisions, decisions. The Mi5s Plus has a bigger screen, battery and memory. The Axon 7 better audio, better screen and worldwide bands. Actually it's no decision. I'll get both for the price of an iPhone 7 Plus.

27. BoardDWorld

Posts: 117; Member since: Aug 17, 2016

Here's a few comparisons apart from the absolute obvious: Mi5s Display: 5.15" - 1080p - 428ppi - 600nit -1500:1 - Force Touch Mi5s Plus Display: 5.7" - 1080p - 386ppi -550nit - 1300:1 - "No" Force Touch Mi5s Camera: Next gen 12mp Sony Ultra Sensitive IMX378 Sensor - 4 AXIS OIS - Auto HDR - 2nd Gen Qualcomm ISP dark light enhancement tech. - 1080p Video @ 120fps - 32 Sec Exposure Mi5s Plus: Doesn't have all of the above but has a lower grade dual 13MP sensor cam. Mi5s Processor: SD821 2.15GHz, Adreno 530 Graphics @ 624MHz Mi5s Plus Processor: SD821 2.35GHz, Adreno 530 Graphics @ 653MHz* *Real world use this performance bump will mean very little to nothing, just less battery life.. Both have LPDDR4 1866MHz memory & UFS 2.0 storage speeds promoting 87% improvement over eMMC5 (roughly 500MB/s I guess)


Posts: 1168; Member since: Oct 05, 2015

No OIS on the Mi5s, dude. If they have EIS like Sony (which I doubt, I could forgive no OIS. I feel that OIS is mostly for allowing for longer exposure in lowlight stills, and beyond that a good EIS system works better for video.

28. MaryPoopins

Posts: 324; Member since: Jan 15, 2015

Xiaomi's have worldwide bands too. Which ones specifically do you think it doesn't have and/or for what countries?

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