Xiaomi Mi4: Battery Life
Beating at the heart of the Mi4 is a 3,080mAh power cell, which in theory should give the handset a shade more stamina than phones like Samsung Galaxy S5 (2,800mAh) or LG G3 (3,000mAh). While the complexities of mobile hardware mean that more capacity doesn’t necessarily mean longer battery life, the Mi4 was able to last well over a day on a single charge, which is something which cannot always be said for many other Android smartphones.
There are two power modes on offer here, the first of which is named “Balanced” and is the default choice. Switching to “High Performance” yields more impressive results, but predictably at the cost of stamina. To be fair, the Mi4 is so swift that even when set to Balanced mode it remains responsive and amazingly fast.
While you can remove the back panel of the phone and gaze longingly upon the Mi4’s battery, it’s not removable by the end user, so you can’t replace it or carry a spare around with you.
Xiaomi Mi4: Call and Sound Quality
Like the Mi3, this successor has a single speaker positioned on the bottom of the device. You don’t get the deep stereo sound witnessed on the likes of the HTC One M8, but the overall volume is impressive. The speaker won’t cause you to miss a call or text message, even when in a noisy, crowded environment.
During calls, the Mi4 performed admirably. We were able to hear the caller without any issues, and thanks to a second, noise-cancelling microphone — located on the back of the phone — our own speech came over loud and clear, even when we were outdoors.
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Should I buy the Xiaomi Mi4?
When we reviewed the Mi3, we commented that it was very much a Chinese phone aimed at a Chinese audience, and despite Xiaomi’s desire to break into the international market, the same is true of the Mi4.
While it’s possible to install the full suite of Google applications and get the phone performing how you want it to, there’s always the trace of Chinese text here and there that reminds you that you’re using a device which wasn’t intended to set foot outside of its homeland.
Once you overcome such niggles, however, you’re rewarded with a very appealing and desirable handset. The build quality is exceptional for an Android device, and despite the lack of creature comforts such as NFC, 4G and expandable storage, the spec list places this at the very pinnacle of the tech hill.
A Snapdragon 801 chipset, 3GB of RAM and a fantastic display all combine to make for a truly alluring slab of mobile brilliance — and all being sold for a price tag that is sure to make jaws hit the ground. If you’re up for challenge of importing and customising it, the Mi4 is one to seriously consider.
The Mi4 is undoubtedly the best thing to come out of Xiaomi’s Chinese factory so far, and offers cutting-edge power, an eye-catching, iPhone-like design and an excellent custom version of the Android OS. However, for buyers outside of China, it’s something of a hard sell, despite the £200 price point.
Next, read our best cheap phones round-up
How we test phones
We test every mobile phone we review thoroughly. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly and we use the phone as our main device over the review period. We’ll always tell you what we find and we never, ever, accept money to review a product.
Score in detail
Battery Life 8
Calls & Sound 7
Screen Quality 8