- Release Date: April 23, 2015
Latest Android presence
Decent battery life
Heats up a bit
No NFC or Infrared support
The Xiaomi Mi 4i is the company's most competitive attempt to lead the smartphone market in India. Although there are many similar offerings available in the market, it has an impressive design and all the necessary specifications to be the real beauty with a sharp brain under an affordable price bracket.
Xiaomi, the company that popularly known as the Apple of China, entered India in July last year with launching its highly affordable Mi 3. Although the launch was quite a remarkable success for the company, it somewhere failed to continue with the arrival of the Mi 4. The flagship smartphone was one of the anticipated offerings by the Chinese company, but its high price had helped rivals to garner some revenue. In April, the Beijing-based company planned something different to please its Indian fan base and brought an all-new offering which it called the Mi 4i. This new smartphone seems to be designed as an inferior version of the Mi 4. However, there are some new inputs to ultimately offer an improved user experience. We started using the Xiaomi Mi 4i soon after the company conducted its first flash sale to bring out all its pros and cons. So is our words in the form of this in-depth review.
What’s in the Box
The Xiaomi Mi 4i comes in a box that reminds us all the previous Xiaomi smartphones. This box is made of an eco-friendly material and has minimal branding on top. Once unboxed, it shows the Mi 4i unit on top, and under that, there is a unified chamber that has a room for an AC charger, quick start guide and a USB-to-microUSB data cable. A SIM eject tool is also included to let users easily eject the SIM tray.
Although this time we were hoping for some more in-box content, at least for a headset, the Chinese company saved its cost there and offered all the things which are just essential for start using the Mi 4i.
Watch Xiaomi Mi 4i unboxing:
Our headline suggests that the Xiaomi Mi 4i is a piece of beauty. But one may want to know how it is beautiful in our view, here we are detailing that.
The Mi 4i does not feature glass or metal to give a premium feel. Instead, it features a unibody polycarbonate plastic design that makes it a simple and sober device. Presence of plastic might be considered as a strategy to maintain affordability, but literally it enhances the overall design of the Mi 4i and offers a soft-touch feel which one does not even from a high-end smartphone that has a metal built. Plastic also helps in maintaining the overall weight of the smartphone to 130 grams and gives a slim design of 7.8 millimetres.
From the front side, the Xiaomi Mi 4i shows a full black panel with Mi logo on top left and an earpiece as well as a secondary camera sensor on centre. The company has continued its trend of providing capacitive buttons on the Mi 4i, but these are not visible when not in use. This makes the frontal panel quite impressive. Moreover, there is a display with thin bezels and Corning OGS panel is protecting the entire front side. The panel resists from minor scratches but we still advise to use a screen protection.
Left side of the Mi 4i has a SIM card compartment that has a dual-SIM card tray. Xiaomi didn’t use the hybrid dual-SIM card compartment that just became a trend across most of the Chinese smartphone vendors. This means that there is no way to use a microSD card with the Mi 4i.
On right, the Mi 4i has volume rocker and a power/lock key. Both the keys are made of stainless steel and are ergonomically placed to let users easily increase or decrease volume while attending voice calls or switch on or off the smartphone.
Bottom of the Xiaomi Mi 4i has a microUSB port and a primary microphone. Unlike a traditional microUSB port, there is a rectangular microUSB port that makes some distinction.
On top, there is a 3.5mm jack for audio connectivity.
Rear side of the Xiaomi Mi 4i has an entire plastic back panel with Mi branding. The back panel is a non-removable panel and has a battery pack underneath. Xiaomi claims that it used a magnesium alloy support structure to make the Mi 4i a strong smartphone despite of the plastic back panel. There is a soft-touch matte finish that provides from fingerprints. Besides, the rear side has a speaker grill with 114 sound chamber holes and a secondary microphone. The speaker grill is not positioned well as sound often muffles when the smartphone is kept on a flat surface.
Overall, compact design of the Mi 4i makes it a perfect mid-range smartphone. It initially comes in white but Xiaomi’s VP Hugo Barra confirmed at the launch event that more color options will be available in the coming future.