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Xiaomi Mi 4i is a nice device but it’s far from a flagship

Intro

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The Xiaomi brand has been successful for delivering top end performance at an amazing low price. Their Mi 3 that was launched in Malaysia for RM889 was a serious disruptor, making everything else look ridiculously overpriced.

After discontinuing the Mi 3, Xiaomi has been focused mostly on the lower end devices with the Redmi series. Their last flagship, the Mi 4 had given Malaysia a pass due to its limited 4G LTE support. Finally after a year since Xiaomi has entered Malaysia, they have introduced the Mi 4i which they consider to be their new flagship smart phone for the global market.

Read on for our review of the Mi 4i.

Is the Mi 4i a flagship?

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Looking at the spec-sheet alone, the Mi 4i is clearly a notch below its original Mi 4 flagship. Xiaomi wants you to believe that the “i” post fix stands for international, and in some ways it is true since it is only sold outside of China. In reality, the “i” stands more for “Lite” or a lower spec version as it runs on a mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 Octa-Core processor with just 2GB of RAM.

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So why Xiaomi believes the Mi 4i deserves a flagship title? Well for starters, the display itself is a 5″ screen which is improved over the current Mi 4. While it pushes the same Full HD 1080 resolution, it gets additional Sunlight Display technology which automatically make adjustments on the pixel level to maintain visibility in sunny conditions. In our usage, it delivers as advertised and undramatic as it seems, we didn’t have any issues using the device outdoors at noontime.

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For the battery, the Mi 4i packs a higher capacity 3,120mAh battery which is their biggest ever fitted on a Mi smart phone. That’s more than their current top of the line Mi Note Pro and Xiaomi claims that this is the 2nd device to use this new efficient and dense battery type after the Galaxy S6. They added that the Mi 4i should last up to 1.5 days on a single charge and that’s made possible with its power saving optimisation with MIUI.