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.
Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus
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?