x PhoneArena is hiring! Reviewer in the USA

Xiaomi Mi 4c Review

Xiaomi Mi 4c

Posted: , by Paul K.

Xiaomi Mi 4c Review


Xiaomi Mi 4c Review
Xiaomi Mi 4c Review
Xiaomi Mi 4c Review
Xiaomi Mi 4c Review
Xiaomi Mi 4c Review
By now, you've probably heard of Xiaomi – the Chinese company, which is in the habit of selling smartphones with some pretty powerful hardware at unbelievably low prices — in eastern Asia, at least. Indeed, trying to get your hands on one of these handsets will usually involve some extra shipping fees and taxes, but even after that, the phones still end up offering some extra value for the money spent.

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


Plastic elegance

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.

Xiaomi Mi 4c
5.43 x 2.74 x 0.31 inches
138 x 69.6 x 7.8 mm
4.66 oz (132 g)

Xiaomi Mi 4c

OnePlus 2
5.98 x 2.95 x 0.39 inches
151.8 x 74.9 x 9.85 mm
6.17 oz (175 g)

OnePlus 2

HTC One A9
5.74 x 2.79 x 0.29 inches
145.75 x 70.8 x 7.26 mm
5.04 oz (143 g)

HTC One A9

Google Nexus 5X
5.79 x 2.86 x 0.31 inches
147 x 72.6 x 7.9 mm
4.80 oz (136 g)

Google Nexus 5X

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page.

Xiaomi Mi 4c Review


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
Xiaomi Mi 4c 456
OnePlus 2 564
HTC One A9 345
Google Nexus 5X 487
View all

  • Options

posted on 02 Nov 2015, 04:20 25

1. SirYar (Posts: 351; Member since: 02 Jul 2014)

This deserves a minimum of 8.0.

posted on 02 Nov 2015, 04:24 4

2. PeterK. (Posts: 314; Member since: 13 Nov 2013)


posted on 02 Nov 2015, 04:28 4

3. Wulfgardr (Posts: 73; Member since: 29 Oct 2014)

Because "BIAS111!!!!!!"

posted on 02 Nov 2015, 04:43 3

7. PeterK. (Posts: 314; 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.

posted on 02 Nov 2015, 04:45 2

9. Rafishant (Posts: 369; Member since: 13 Oct 2015)

Don't care about those trolls. They are just having objections on everything.
Just ban those annoying fanboys.

posted on 03 Nov 2015, 12:07

64. neela_akaash (Posts: 1229; Member since: 05 Aug 2014)

PeterK needs to explore the 'Security' app in MIUI.

posted on 02 Nov 2015, 10:00 3

42. Guaire (Posts: 740; Member since: 15 Oct 2014)

"Xiaomi's secret sauce. This is one of the best proprietary Android skins right now."


posted on 04 Nov 2015, 15:38

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

posted on 02 Nov 2015, 04:30 12

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.

posted on 02 Nov 2015, 04:34 1

5. Spedez (Posts: 514; Member since: 29 Aug 2014)

Because some random Chinese says so.

posted on 02 Nov 2015, 04:44 1

8. Rafishant (Posts: 369; Member since: 13 Oct 2015)

A Chinese crap deserves ZERO

posted on 02 Nov 2015, 04:49 3

11. kanagadeepan (Posts: 981; Member since: 24 Jan 2012)

Because HTC One has A9 got 7.8...

posted on 02 Nov 2015, 07:00

18. jellmoo (Posts: 2035; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)

Because it's the better device...

posted on 02 Nov 2015, 04:55 5

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?

posted on 02 Nov 2015, 04:58 1

13. paul.k (Posts: 197; 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.

posted on 02 Nov 2015, 05:40 15

14. NonFanBoy (Posts: 175; 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.

posted on 02 Nov 2015, 08:45

31. Rydsmith (unregistered)

"...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.

posted on 02 Nov 2015, 10:34 1

47. Andrewtst (Posts: 678; 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.

posted on 02 Nov 2015, 16:01

55. raky_b (Posts: 232; 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

posted on 02 Nov 2015, 22:11 1

59. joey_sfb (Posts: 6600; 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.

posted on 02 Nov 2015, 08:47

35. raky_b (Posts: 232; 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

posted on 02 Nov 2015, 09:23 2

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.

posted on 02 Nov 2015, 04:39

6. Captain_Doug (Posts: 1035; 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.

posted on 02 Nov 2015, 04:46 16

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!

posted on 02 Nov 2015, 05:41

15. Martin_Cooper (Posts: 1614; 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.

posted on 02 Nov 2015, 08:46 1

33. Rydsmith (unregistered)

Not when you can a buy a Moto G for less and get far better performance.

posted on 02 Nov 2015, 10:09 1

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.

posted on 02 Nov 2015, 05:54 1

16. deanylev (Posts: 223; Member since: 11 Mar 2014)

Racist PA :P

posted on 02 Nov 2015, 06:26 1

17. Odeira (Posts: 275; 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.

posted on 02 Nov 2015, 07:11 4

19. pppddd (Posts: 19; 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.

Want to comment? Please login or register.

Xiaomi Mi 4c

Xiaomi Mi 4c

OS: Android 5.1
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
Display5.0 inches, 1080 x 1920 pixels (441 ppi)
Camera13 megapixels
Qualcomm Snapdragon 808, Hexa-core, 1800 MHz, ARM Cortex-A57 and ARM Cortex-A53 processor
Size5.43 x 2.74 x 0.31 inches
(138 x 69.6 x 7.8 mm)
4.66 oz  (132 g)

Latest stories