Despite being a Chinese company, Xiaomi is a now a worldwide recognized name. The company is constantly throwing challenges to the big names such as Samsung in making and selling truly premium quality phones at a significantly reduced price. Its biggest market after China is India, where smartphone penetration is growing at an incredibly fast rate.
The company recently announced its newest smartphone called Xiaomi Mi 4i in India, making it the first smartphone from the company to be launched primarily for Indian customers. But how does it compare to its previous smartphones? How does it compare to the flagship Xiaomi Mi4 smartphone in the market? Let’s break down to the specs and find out.
The first and foremost thing of a smartphone is its display. You will likely compromise if you are not satisfied with some other parts of the phone. But you are less likely to compromise if the screen’s quality is sub-part. Because the display is not only the most visible part of your phone — where you’ll be looking at all the time — but it is also your primary point of interaction with all that this smartphone has to offer.
With that in mind, Xiaomi Mi4 has a 5-inch display with full 1080p resolution. It is an IPS display that features very vibrant and bright colors as well as great viewing angles. The good news is, you won’t miss this amazing display if you opt for the less-priced Xiaomi Mi 4i. The newest smartphone launched in India has the same 5-inch display with full 1080p resolution and IPS panel.
(ALSO READ: The Next Samsung of the World Is Booming in China)
So if display is your primary priority, which it should be, you can’t go wrong with either. Both Xiaomi Mi4 and Mi 4i have the same quality display.
Processor, RAM and Graphics
Xiaomi Mi4 is a higher-end, flagship smartphone of the company. So it should come as no surprise if its core features make it more powerful than the cheaper phone, Xiaomi Mi 4i. But in reality, you will notice that Xiaomi Mi 4i actually has an octa-core chipset compared to quad-core on Mi4.
Xiaomi Mi4 sports a Qualcomm MSM8974AC Snapdragon 801 chipset, whereas Mi 4i has Qualcomm MSM8939 Snapdragon 615 chipset.
Also, the CPU of Xiaomi Mi4 is Quad-core 2.5 GHz Krait 400 whereas the CPU of Mi 4i is Quad-core 1.7 GHz Cortex-A53 & quad-core 1.1 GHz Cortex-A53.
In terms of RAM, the flagship Mi4 has 3 GB of RAM, the cheaper Mi 4i has only 2 GB of RAM. It’s important to mention though that 2 GB is plenty of RAM and you shouldn’t expect any noticeable difference unless you’re really pushing your smartphone from real-life usage to show difference between the two.
However, graphics processing unit-wise, you will find Adreno 330 in Xiaomi Mi4, which was launched in July 2014, and Adreno 405 in Xiaomi Mi 4i, which was launched just last month.
Camera is one of the most important elements of a smartphone in this day and age. Many people’s primary use of smartphone is snapping photos and sharing those in the social media. While they do not necessarily need all the megapixels that their phone cameras have to offer, the more usually attracts more users.
Apparently Xiaomi had that in mind as its both Mi4 and Mi 4i phones have 13 MP camera on the back. On the front side, Xiaomi Mi 4i has a 5 MP camera, which is a downgrade from the 8 MP camera found in Mi4’s front side. But you are paying less for Mi 4i, some trade-offs are expected, right?
This is really something you shouldn’t worry too much about. Xiaomi is committed to bringing updates to all of its latest phones and regardless of which one you buy, sooner or later you will end up using the latest MIUI — which is a user interface Xiaomi uses on top of core Android — on your Mi phone.
At this time, the latest version of MIUI is called MIUI 6, which runs on top of Android 5.0.2 Lollipop. You will get that out of the box if you buy a Xiaomi Mi 4i. If you buy Mi4, you’ll have to update your phone to the latest version.
Now comes one of the most frustrating factors of modern smartphones. Gone are the days when you could charge up your mobile phone and forget about recharging it for weeks. Well, technically there are still some phones that can offer close to a week of battery backup, but for the most part, the previous statement holds true. So let’s check out how large of a battery these two Xiaomi smartphones pack under the hood.
Xiaomi Mi4 has a battery capacity of 3080 mAh. It also packs a special Quick Charge 2.0 feature which enables you to charge the battery up to 60% in just 30 minutes. On the other hand, Xiaomi Mi 4i has a battery capacity of 3120 mAh. By utilizing the Quick Charge feature, it can be charged up to 40% in 60 minutes.
To say that in plain language, Xiaomi Mi4 has a smaller battery, but when you need its backup most, all you need is access to a charging port for just 30 minutes, and the battery will be up 60%. If you need bigger battery, Mi 4i is a better choice. It does have a quick charging feature, but it isn’t as quick as its bigger brother, Mi4.
Xiaomi Mi4 supports only a single Micro-SIM, which could be a limiting factor given on how many SIM cards you need to use. If, as most people, you use dual SIM cards, you will find Mi 4i better for you as it features dual Micro-SIM card slots with dual standby feature.
The Usual Tidbits
Both Xiaomi Mi4 and Mi 4i have the usual tidbits that you can expect to find in a regular smartphone. That includes Bluetooth, dual-band WiFi, GPS, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Proximity, Compass, Barometer (only on Mi4). The phones also have micro-USB 2.0 ports that supports USB Host feature.
The one ‘usual’ thing that you won’t find in either of these smartphone is a memory card slot. Xiaomi Mi4 is available in 16 GB and 64 GB; and Mi 4i is available in 16 GB. Beyond that, you can’t add more memory to your phone as they don’t have a microSD memory card slot.
It may be frustrating to some, but many say that the omission of microSD memory card slot actually makes the phone perform faster and better as everything is running from the internal memory.
As you can see from this Xiaomi Mi4 vs Xiaomi Mi 4i comparison, there are some slight yet noticeable differences between the two smartphones. Although Xiaomi Mi4 was released in July 2014, some parts of it, such as the front camera, are still better than the newly released Mi 4i. Note that Mi4 is still Xiaomi’s flagship smartphone. The Mi 4i is a phone that is geared toward Indian audience. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that one is better over the other.
However, when you take the price into matter, the obvious winner becomes the newly released Xiaomi Mi 4i. A 16 GB unit of Xiaomi Mi4 will cost you Rs. 17,999 whereas a 16 GB unit of Xiaomi Mi 4i will cost only Rs. 12,999. It’s a stellar price for the materials that you get with Xiaomi Mi 4i. Put simply, you can’t go wrong for Rs. 12,999 with this smartphone.
The bad news is, most of you can’t even get it. Xiaomi follows a flash-sale model to allow users to purchase its phone and these sales are online only. So, even if you determine that the latest Xiaomi Mi 4i is the perfect phone for you, you will have to struggle to get one for yourself.
With specifications, price and value discussed about both phones, what do you think about Xiaomi Mi4 and Mi 4i? Has the cheaper, newer phone succeed in beating the flagship phone in terms of features and value for money? Would you still go for flagship Mi4 for some reason? Why, why not? Let us know in the comments below.