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Xiaomi Mi5 finally announced

How do you follow up the excellent Xiaomi Mi4? If you said the Xiaomi Mi5, then give yourself a pat on the back.

The Chinese manufacturer has just announced its new flagship phone at MWC 2016, as expected. It’s quite the looker.

It’s been 18 months since the Xiaomi Mi4 was announced, and the Mi5 represents quite a leap as you’d hope – chiefly with regards to its design.

As you may be able to see from the pictures (via Engadget), it ditches the plastic of the Mi4 in favour of a glass rear panel for the plain model and a ceramic panel for the Pro model, both of which curve round to join a metal rim, Galaxy S7-style.

The Mi5 features a somewhat mid-range 5.15-inch 1080p display, but is powered by a top-end Snapdragon 820 CPU. Users can specify whether they want 3GB of RAM and 32GB or 64GB of storage, or 4GB of RAM and 128GB of internal capacity.

Around back there’s a capable-looking 16-megapixel camera with a Sony IMX298 sensor and OIS. You also get a fingerprint sensor positioned under the screen, iPhone-style.

There’s USB Type-C support (like the LG G5 and unlike the Samsung Galaxy S7), and it all ticks along using a 3000mAh. That’s pretty darned healthy given the lower-resolution display. Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 fast-charging should help get you up to full charge swiftly, too.

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As you’d expect, you get Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box, although this has been layered with Xiaomi’s signature MIUI skin – now in its seventh iteration. If you haven’t encountered MIUI before, it basically involves an iOS-ification of the typically busy Android OS.

Prices for the Xiaomi Mi5 will start from 1,999 yuan (£220) when it hits Chinese shops next month. The Pro model will set you back 2,699 yuan (£297). Unfortunately, there was no word on a wider release, but the very fact that Xiaomi held this launch event in Barcelona offers hope of international plans.

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