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Xiaomi Mi 5x Review: Doing What Xiaomi Does Best

Bang-For-Your-Buck Mid-Range Device?

When it comes to smartphones with bang-for-your-buck prices, Xiaomi will always figure into the conversation. It’s been awhile since the company has been in the Philippines at an official capacity, but shops like Widget City has been one of the retailers to carry their devices. One of the latest ones to hit their shelves is the Xiaomi Mi 5x, which provides a more affordable option should one be unable to shell out for the Mi 5s or the Xiaomi Mi 6. Is it worth Widget City’s asking price of Php 13,500 though? Let’s find out.

Xiaomi Mi 5x Specification

  • 2.0 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor
  • Adreno 506 GPU
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 5.5-inch Full HD LTPS IPS LCD display; 1920×1080 resolution
  • 64GB of expandable storage
  • 4G, LTE
  • Dual SIM
  • Twin 12-megapixel rear cameras (26mm @ f/2.2 + 50mm @ f/2.6) PDAF, 2x Optical Zoom, Dual LED flash
  • 5-megapixel front camera
  • WiFi, Bluetooth
  • GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • USB Type-C
  • 3080mAh battery
  • Android 7.1.1
  • MIUI 8.5

Dead Ringer for the iPhone 7 Plus

Xiaomi, and most Chinese brands for that matter have a certain affinity for Apple’s design language and that certainly hasn’t changed for the Xiaomi Mi 5x. It bears a striking resemblance to the iPhone 7 Plus and even handles like Apple’s current smartphone offering.

In fact, we’ve even managed to trick a couple of friends by hiding certain key differences, such as the fingerprint scanner placement on the back of Mi 5x and the lack of a home key on the phone’s chin.

Thankfully, the resemblance to Apple’s build quality carries over as well. The unibody metal build of the Xiaomi Mi 5x definitely held up to the week or so of testing with the device, which may have included a few drops here and there. Sorry, Widget City.

Better than Average Display

The Xiaomi Mi 5x has a 5.5-inch LTPS IPS LCD Full HD display, which gives you a pixel density of 403 pixels per inch. As far as picture quality goes, it’s definitely a lot better than your standard IPS panels with a decent amount of brightness, good color reproduction, and great viewing angles. We’ve been seeing a lot of LTPS display pop up in the mid-range segment and we get why companies are moving towards these panels.

As far as audio is concerned, we don’t have anything funky to report. You’re getting a decent amount of volume, which can lead to a few embarrassing moments because Facebook now auto-plays videos with audio now, but it has minimal distortion at higher volumes.

Great Mid-Range Performance

The Xiaomi Mi 5x is rocking a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of expandable storage; a processing package we’re used to seeing in devices in the Php 15k to 20k range. You’re getting good performance all around with smooth animations and snappy app launches. We’re definitely not complaining about the device’s performance, especially since the asking price isn’t as high as we’re used to seeing for other smartphones which are armed similarly.

You’re also getting pretty decent frame rates on some of the heavier games available on the Google Play Store, but we do advise you to tune your settings when you can to minimize drops further.

Call quality and connectivity were great, except for the fact that we have been trouble connecting to the update server of the device.

Dual Rear Cams A-Okay, Front Cam Falls to the Wayside

Like the iPhone 7 Plus, the Mi 5x is also equipped with dual cameras that have 2x optical zoom and a portrait mode so you can get that bokeh effect for your photos. It has twin 12-megapixel shooters at different focal lengths, which actually do a good job though we would have liked to see a little bit more vibrancy in its colors. Nonetheless, portrait mode goes a great job at giving you that bokeh effect and it’s got decent dynamic range as well.

If selfies are your thing, then you’ll be a little disappointed with the 5-megapixel front camera on the Xiaomi Mi 5x. We know, it’s not all about the pixel count but, if you really need to take a selfie, it better be in a well-lit environment.

The Battery Life is a Bit of a Shock

The Xiaomi Mi 5x has a 3080mAh battery, which is well within the standard range of most smartphones these days. The trouble is that the  Mi 5x seems to take big gulps and needs a top up of juice faster than other devices with the same capacity. We managed a time of 4 hours and 2 minutes on PCMark Benchmarks, which means we were in need of a wall socket by mid-afternoon.

Verdict: Affordable Alternative

Despite the disappointing numbers from its battery test, it’s not hard to see the value the Xiaomi Mi 5x gives. Again, you’re mostly seeing devices with the same processing package at a high price bracket, which already makes this phone from the Chinese brand worth a look. Perhaps, the only thing holding us back from giving it a glowing recommendation is the company’s status in the country and the lack of an official warranty. It’s still pretty tough to pass up though and you are getting an in-store warranty.

Widget City has priced the Xiaomi Mi 5x at Php 13,500. If you’re dead set on buying it, you can head to the product page.

Jamie Inocian

A self-confessed geek. Jamie started out helping out on the Unbox Podcast and became the Digital Sales Manager when he joined the team full time. He has since then transitioned into one of our Senior Editors and Head Video Producer.

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9 Comments

  1. How does Widget City cater to clients from Mindanao? Looking to buy one or some other Xiaomi model sooner or later, but we don’t have WC here!

  2. A better question would be: is it worth buying when an older Mi flagship will only cost you two to three thousand pesos more? Or that there are Redmi phones around eight thousand pesos with the same SOC and RAM combo?

    1. Very good questions. When people ask me about that, I tell them that it’s all about finding out what phone really suits your needs and, more importantly, your budget. If you can save up for a phone with better specs and you need all the extra processing power, by all means go for it, if you’ve set a hard spending cap for yourself then there are always other options.

  3. Surely, the Battery benchmark must be wrong or the device defective. Snapdragon 625 is battery efficient and devices with similar setups regularly top PC Mark battery benchmark . Was the benchmark run at full brightness? Most test setup run them at 50% brightness, since nobody but those who revel in the sun all day run their devices at full brightness…

    1. Yes. It was set at 50% which is why we were really surprised with the results. We ran it multiple times as well. Either way, with my use I needed to plug in by mid afternoon.

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