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The Xiaomi Mi 5x is our choice for one of the best value for money smartphones.

mi 5x

Here’s Why We Think Xiaomi Mi 5x Is The Best Budget Dual Camera Phone.

In most cases xiaomi phone prices drop within a few weeks of release. The mi 5x is no different from the rest. The previously more expensive price has plummeted from $270 to roughly somewhere around $230 in case of most versions. In some cases the mi 5x costs even $200. But the price tag is justified because it performs amazingly well in many important aspects for a phone that is under $300.

The phone is available in many different variations and colors and additional features each with different price tags. The reason we love these phones is because they’re always packed with a ton of features. And if you cant afford phones like the OnePlus one; the Mi 5x definitely is the next best thing with a competitive advantage of better battery life.

When you unbox the device, it would already be running MIUI 8. The phone comes in with a decent 54 gigabytes out of 64 gigabytes space and is compatible with additional memory cards of up to 128 gigabytes. The downside however, is that you won’t be able to install apps on your external memory.

Design

mi 5x
source:https://xiaomi-mi.com/

This phone is slick and sexy looking, it’s just 7.3 mm thick just like the iPhone 7 plus; which is definitely praise worthy. With an intense bezel, a 5.5 inch touch screen, a 5 mega pixel front facing camera an led notification light next to it and a fully glass front side. At the bottom of the screen you’ll find the home button the multi task button and the return key. The back side is metallic with a finger print scanner in the middle, a dual 12 mega pixel camera and a dual tone flash at the upper left hand corner.

The phone definitely looks  better than the note 4x and feels great to hold in hand but there is one problem. When you amp up the brightness, the device tends to heat up rather quickly. And metal being a good conductor of heat; doesn’t help. I’m not a big fan of bezels but it honestly suits this phone pretty well. The sides and the buttons are also fully metallic as well.

At the top of the phone there is a secondary microphone and an IR Blaster which is my personal favorite thing about xiaomi phones. If you want to turn on the air conditioner of your class room, you can do it with your phone without your teacher even noticing or almost any electronic device for that matter.  On the right hand side, there is the volume and power button. and on the left is the sim card tray. However, at the bottom you’ll find the 3.5 mm audio jack, the microphone, the USB-C port and the speaker.

The Screen

The 5.5 inch LTPS IPS LCD touch screen display has a resolution of 1080p. The colors may seem a bit washed out at first but that be easily remedied. Just go to the color settings and tamper with it and adjust it to your preferences. In the end you will get a vibrant and sharp look; at least in my case I did. The brightness is properly optimized for visibility and you will have no trouble looking at it in a fairly sunny day. The viewing angles are also convenient, hence you can look at the phone from any angle you want and everything would still be visible. The screen has exceptionally nice touch sensitivity and supports multi touch features. You can touch the screen in 10 different places and the screen would still react.

Finger Print Scanner

The circular finger print scanner is stunningly accurate and decently fast. Perhaps, it’s not as fast as the Mi 6 ; but it’s definitely impressive.

Audio

When we said great value for money, we weren’t kidding. The sound quality from the 3.5 mm audio jack is as good as it gets for a smartphone at this price range. While listening to music you’ve already heard before, you might even pick up background instruments you never thought existed in the song. You can use almost any earphones and still be dazzled by the sound quality.

Front Facing Camera

The 5 mega pixel camera takes decent photographs in day light but it starts to struggle in dark or low light surroundings. You will notice the declining image quality as you take images in darker environments. But it’s an otherwise decent front faced camera coming from a budget phone. If you don’t mind not taking a lot of selfies at night; it’ll do just fine.

Back Camera

The Mi 5x Boasts the first mid range dual 12 mega pixel camera in the series. Both of these lenses are 12 mega pixel and they have Omni visual sensors. But we were a bit puzzled by the aperture on the 50 mm telephoto lens which is f/2.6 and on the 26 mm where the aperture is f/2.2. We just don’t get why the aperture on the primary camera is less than the telephoto camera.

Primary Camera

At first we’re going to talk about the performance of the primary camera. The focusing was decently fast, images snapped during day time conditions were satisfactory, the color reproduction was almost accurate, the HDR photos taken were yielding great results but the colors might seem a bit unnatural when using the zoom lens, the dynamic range was great, however, the sharpness might seem a bit off.

There is some bad news however. Just like the front facing camera, in low light conditions the back cameras gets  defeated . All the images start to get all grainy and noisy. None of the bells and whistles that we’ve discussed were functioning.

Dual Camera

Now, lets get to know the dual camera better. If you’re a fan of dual cameras; you aren’t going to get anything better than this one at a price range under $300 price range. The f/2.6 aperture telephoto lens works best as an optical zoom lens in day light but not so much in low light. It would rather just work as a digital zoom in dark environments.

In the manual mode you can adjust everything to your liking. You’re going to get 30 fps video recording in the 4K settings, 30 fps on 1080p settings and 120 fps on 720p settings.

The portrait mode offers live preview just like iPhones. Although not as accurate, the feature is still a welcomed addition to the camera. The portrait mode only utilizes the telephoto lens and works amazingly well in day light conditions. According to the UI specifications the object has to be within 2 meters away from the camera it has a mediocre performance even for objects that are farther away.

There is one other problem, the focus doesn’t seem to work properly when you’re on the portrait mode. But it isn’t a deal breaker though.

Operating System

The phone is running on android 7.1.2 nougat. Although, the MIUI 9 was supposed to be in the phone, we received MIUI 8. The MIUI 9 was still on beta at the time the article was being written.

The Main Speaker

The speaker quality was Okay. It didn’t turn our world upside down though. The sound clarity is satisfactory to a specific extent of the volume level. when you amp up the full volume however, the sound isn’t very clear anymore and loses quality noticeably.

Hardware

Processor

The hardware in this phone is pretty solid. The Mi 5X is run on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 octa-core 2.02 Ghz processor. If you’ve used the Note 4x you’ll find a similar performance on this phone which isn’t an overwhelming improvement.

Graphics Card

You’ll also get an Adreno 506 graphics card which is fair enough for most android video games. But you will experience the occasional lag and stuttering from time to time. It happens after you’ve used the phone heavily for a while.

Ram

4 gigabytes of ram is available in both the 32 gb and 64 gb options. Which enables seamlessly smooth multi tasking on the phone. It is a joy to work on multiple applications on this phone because of how absolutely fluid everything is. It does rarely get a bit snappy and sometimes apps can take a slightly longer time to open but it’s hardly noticeable.

Battery Life

The xiaomi Mi 5x has a 3080 mAh battery. The battery will give you a maximum screen on time of nearly 6 hours which is more than we expected. A very admirable feature about the Mi 5x is that it supports fast charging. The fast charger won’t be included in the box however. But it’s a good thing that it does support fast charging. It takes between 1-2 hours to fully charge on fast charging if the phone’s battery is totally drained.

Additional Features

The good news is that phone supports LTE or in other words 4G internet connectivity. It has a secondary noise cancellation microphone, an IR Blaster, and a GPS, and a ton of sensors.

Verdict

The Mi 5x is a very admirable mid range smartphone. It offers great value for money. It’s loaded with a ton of helpful features. The main setback is the poor performance of the low light camera. But hey, you’re getting a dual 12 mega pixel camera for roughly $230. Which isn’t a bad bargain. Aside from the camera I was more than satisfied with most of its features. The Mi 5x definitely has a lot to improve upon but the phone is pretty damn good for the given price tag.

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