Call Quality


The Xiaomi Mi 4 is an okay performer when it comes to call quality. It is a bit quiet in the earpiece, but for all else, sound from it is fairly clean and you can recognize the natural tones in callers’ voices. On the other end of the line, sound is a bit more muffled, lacking in clarity - it’s still above average, but not great.

The Galaxy S5 in comparison performs good, but not great in terms of call quality. It’s sufficiently loud in the earpiece, but it lacks in the clarity department as voices sound a bit muffled. On the other end, volume is decent, but voices do sound sharper than we’re used to hearing, with better represented higher frequencies and lacking in depth.

Battery

The Mi 4 surprises with a long-lasting battery that also recharges quickly, while the Galaxy S5 is a tad behind.

The Xiaomi Mi 4 crams in a surprisingly large battery for its size, and it does great in terms of battery life. We put all smartphones under a simulated average non-stop use test, with the display pre-calibrated at 200 nits, a level comfortable for indoor use. The Mi 4 scored in the top ranks with 8 hours and 32 minutes of non-stop use, while the Galaxy S5 was a step behind with a score of 7 hours and 26 minutes, a difference of 15% in favor of the Mi 4.

The Mi 4 defaults to a battery efficient mode that caps performance just slightly, but since that seems the one mode that most will use, that’s what we used for our tests.

It’s also worth saying that both are fairly quick to charge back from 0 to 100% - it takes some two hours (2 hours and 6 minutes on the Mi 4 vs 2 hours and 2 minutes on the S5). Not exactly as fast as the record-setting VOOC charge by Chinese Oppo that recharges even larger batteries for less than an hour and a half, but still fast.

Finally, while the Galaxy S5 features an easily user-removable battery. The Mi 4 requires suction cups, so overall, removing the back panel is not something that the average user can do.

Battery life (hours) Higher is better
Xiaomi Mi 4 8h 32 min (Excellent)
Samsung Galaxy S5 7h 38 min (Good)
Charging time (minutes) Lower is better
Xiaomi Mi 4 126
Samsung Galaxy S5 122

Conclusion

The Xiaomi Mi 4 is a surprisingly well made flagship smartphone that can compete on the same level as the Samsung Galaxy S5.

Both feature 5”-ish 1080p displays, but we prefer the colors on the Mi 4; the performance potential with Snapdragon 801 on both is identical, but Xiaomi makes much better use of it with its MIUI skin that is surprisingly well polished and rich in features; and finally, the Mi 4 has a longer-lasting battery.

The Mi 4 is not without its slight issues - the 13-megapixel camera - while good - is a step below the 16-megapixel shooter of the S5. The big drawback in the Mi 4 currently is the lack of 4G LTE support outside of China.

If that does not bother you too much, though, the Mi 4 offers great value for the money - with an off-contract price of just around $370 for the 16GB version, it is a way better deal than the $520 16GB Galaxy S5.

If you’re willing to deal with resellers and wait a couple of weeks for the Mi 4 to ship from overseas, chances are that you won’t be disappointed.



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24 Comments

1. HugoBarraCyanogenmod

Posts: 1412; Member since: Jul 06, 2014

XiaoMi has 3gb ram Samboy : I don't care Sammy win XiaoMi has 3080mah battery Samboy : I don't care Sammy win XiaoMi has 8mp front camera Samboy : I don't care Sammy win XiaoMi priced only $300 Samboy : cheap XiaoMi, galaxy s5 is more premium

5. Zack_2014

Posts: 677; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

XiaoMi: Get your phone spoiled IDC(Lack of service centres XiaoMi: Software updates unreliable and unstable IDC. Xiaomi: Camera sucks compared to Sammy IDC. Xiaomi: Data leaked to China servers IDC. Xiaomi: Drop your phone in water IDC. Xiaomi: Fingerprint scanner.. What? IDC. Xiaomi: Copying Apple style IDC.

7. HugoBarraCyanogenmod

Posts: 1412; Member since: Jul 06, 2014

We found another winner, who complain everything on $300 device and willing to compromise every single cons on $600 I thought only Apple fan do this?

12. Neo_Huang

Posts: 1067; Member since: Dec 06, 2013

1. You can just buy two for the same price. 2. MIUI gets updates all the time and is extremely stable. 3. Camera is a mater of opinion. 4. You can't prove it, and it wouldn't affect you in any way. 5. It's your fault if you do. and XiaoMi offers $16 accidental damage insurance. 6. Swipe-style fingerprint scanners suck and are hard to use. 7. ???

21. alexvv

Posts: 165; Member since: Oct 16, 2013

You are mostly right but Samsung leaks your data to south korea, practically America, what's the difference ? Everyone leaks steals your data not only bad Chinese xiaomi.

6. UglyFrank

Posts: 2194; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Xiaomi: No Gorilla Gass 3 Xiaomi: Worse battery life despite large battery(based on trustable gsmarena test) Xiaomi: no memory card slot, stuck with 16gb Etc

9. pulkit1

Posts: 354; Member since: Jul 03, 2014

price ?

10. Noonting

Posts: 135; Member since: Sep 19, 2014

Samsung has better audio quality Samsung has better camera quality Samsung has better optimization Samsung has more service center Xiaomi Fanboy : I don't care Xiaomi is cheaper! There are reasons for cheap price

19. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

Yes, because Xioami doesn't have a $200 gross profit margin (aka mark-up) scam like Samsung. It's common knowledge Samsung smartphones are over-valued and dumb or naive buyers support Samsung due to their embarrassment of over-paying for crappy phones. A number of business articles talk about how the S5 has not sold as well (versus Samsung's expectations) and the unsold units are collecting dusts in the warehouses. Now, Samsung is discounting unsold S5's and that destroys the resell value of the S5. Samsung could only fool so many people for so long. At the end of the day, it's an android device and therefore it's a commodity. I have predicted this on phonearena.com many years ago.

16. laughmi

Posts: 283; Member since: Oct 28, 2014

Agreed but not a single person would buy a Xiaomi if they are priced in the range of $100 less than Samsung (for mid-high range). Thats the truth and it hurts!! Samsung spends alot on R&D, Innovation, brand value and thats why they kick ass of even older brands like HTC, sony let alone the Chinese brands.

2. hboy857

Posts: 367; Member since: Jun 03, 2013

mi4 kills S5. (mi kills sammy) Go Xiaomi, disrupt the monopoly.

3. darkskoliro

Posts: 1092; Member since: May 07, 2012

omfg mi4 has free music streaming?? :D

4. rocksy

Posts: 67; Member since: May 06, 2014

Breaking News - Bad news for Xiaomi. Xiaomi banned from selling, importing phones in Indiahttp://m.ibtimes.co.in/delhi-high-court-impose-sanctions-xiaomi-over-ericsson-patent-infringement-case-phone-sales-616798

15. laughmi

Posts: 283; Member since: Oct 28, 2014

Xiaomi's run looks short in India. They outsell all brands except Samsung but the issues with patent infringing, copying, Worst service center, worst Redmi series phones, sending data to Chinese servers, security risks, phones getting badly heated, worst battery backup etc. have made sure this company just has a short run and would get turned to laughmi soon.

8. RandomUsername

Posts: 808; Member since: Oct 29, 2013

Mi 4 has on-screen buttons that aren't on the screen??? Also the S5 has IP67.

11. darkkjedii

Posts: 31092; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Best looking android phone by far, not surprising being as iPhone inspired as it is.

13. Neo_Huang

Posts: 1067; Member since: Dec 06, 2013

IMO the Mi3 was way better. The Mi4 looks a lot like the Galaxy Alpha though.

17. salaal

Posts: 109; Member since: Dec 08, 2013

The MI4 came out before alpha lol.

14. hotcaptain

Posts: 4; Member since: Dec 02, 2014

thank you for the review. indeed very informative. However, i still go for samsung s5 for a safer option.

18. chloeblack

Posts: 16; Member since: Nov 18, 2014

It seems that XiaoMi is facing big challenges and resentments.

20. 09131809121

Posts: 1; Member since: Dec 16, 2014

I don't like xiaomi

22. effimote

Posts: 20; Member since: Jan 06, 2015

s5 is better undoubtedly ,but if consider into the price , xiaomi 4 is cost-effective cellphone .i bought one xiaomi 3 from kingsbuying.com cost about 250 . working great .but just got heated easily

23. mirexcool

Posts: 65; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

Bought at Aliexpress. Satisfied! s.click.aliexpress.com/e/VJ2rjEMrZ

24. Ricky14

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 12, 2015

For safety i choose Samsung galaxy s5 instead of Chinese phone.And i own galaxy s5 so far one of the best smart phone.

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