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Xiaomi Mi 5s Smartphone Review

Andreas Kilian, Stefanie Voigt (translated by Bernie Pechlaner), 03/06/2017

S like Special? Last year, the Xiaomi Mi 5 smartphone impressed us with its outstanding price-to-value ratio. This time around we'll take a look at the successor Mi 5s, which comes with more flash storage, a sturdy metal chassis and features - at the time of writing - the fastest available Snapdragon SoC.

Xiaomi Mi 5s

For the original German review, see here.

Xiaomi's upper-class Mi 5 - which we reviewed in July of 2016 - has now received a fairly major update. Following in Apple's footsteps, the new version now carries the letter "s" appended to the name. At 5.15 inches, the display size remains the same, but the internal components have been updated, as Xiaomi now uses the powerful Snapdragon-821 SoC and equips the phone with 128 GB of flash storage as well as 4 GB RAM. Another difference compared to the predecessor is the chassis, which is now completely made out of metal. The color choices are gold, black, silver, and pink. Like all Xiaomi smartphones, the Mi 5s isn't officially sold in Europe. Nonetheless, the phone is available from a few importers. The 32 GB version sells for about 300 Euro (~$317), while our top-of-the-line review smartphone costs 350 Euro (~$370). In addition, the user has to pay for shipping and - if applicable - taxes as well, so the Mi 5s ends up costing about as much as the predecessor.

Direct competitors are the Samsung Galaxy S7, the Huawei P9, as well as the HTC 10. The slightly larger OnePlus 3T with 5.5-inch display is also a contender.

Xiaomi Mi 5s (Mi Series)
Graphics adapter
Qualcomm Adreno 530, Core: 624 MHz
Memory
4096 MB 
, LPDDR4
Display
5.15 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 428 PPI, capacitive, IPS, glossy: yes
Storage
128 GB UFS 2.0 Flash, 128 GB 
, 119 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm audio headset jack, 1 Fingerprint Reader, NFC, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: acceleration sensor, gyroscope, hall effect sensor, proximity sensor, compass, barometer, Miracast, DLNA, USB-OTG
Networking
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5), Bluetooth 4.2, 2G (850/900/1800/1900 MHz), 3G (850/900/1900/2100 MHz), TD-SCDMA: (Bänder: 34/39), LTE: (Bänder 1/3/5/7/38/39/40/41), Dual SIM, LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 8.25 x 145.6 x 70.3 ( = 0.32 x 5.73 x 2.77 in)
Battery
12.1 Wh, 3200 mAh Lithium-Polymer, Quickcharge 3.0
Camera
Primary Camera: 12 MPix autofocus f/2.0, 2160p video @ 30 fps, Sony IMX 378
Secondary Camera: 4 MPix fixed focus f/2.0, 1080p video @ 30 fps)
Additional features
Speakers: mono speaker bottom, Keyboard: virtual, power adapter, data cable, MIUI8, 12 Months Warranty, fanless
Weight
145 g ( = 5.11 oz / 0.32 pounds), Power Supply: 65 g ( = 2.29 oz / 0.14 pounds)
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

The smartphone measures 145.6 x 70.3 x 8.25 mm and is therefore slightly larger than the predecessor. The weight increases as well from 129 to 145 g (4.55 to 5.11 ounces), but compared to competing phones, the differences are quite minor. Thanks to the rounded back, the Mi 5s is actually very easy to hold. 

The chassis is now made out of metal, so the torsional rigidity is very good. Pushing down on the case itself or the touchscreen has no noticeable ripple-effect on the display. The build quality is generally quite high, although the antenna strips can be felt when running the finger tips across the body. Some competing manufactures do a better job integrating those into the casing. 

A SIM-card drawer on the side holds the two Nano-SIM cards. The battery is not designed to be user replaceable. 

Size Comparison

152.7 mm / 6.01 inch 74.7 mm / 2.94 inch 7.35 mm / 0.2894 inch 158 g0.3483 lbs145.9 mm / 5.74 inch 71.9 mm / 2.83 inch 9 mm / 0.3543 inch 161 g0.3549 lbs145.6 mm / 5.73 inch 70.3 mm / 2.77 inch 8.25 mm / 0.3248 inch 145 g0.3197 lbs145 mm / 5.71 inch 70.9 mm / 2.79 inch 6.95 mm / 0.2736 inch 144 g0.3175 lbs144.55 mm / 5.69 inch 69.2 mm / 2.72 inch 7.25 mm / 0.2854 inch 129 g0.2844 lbs142.4 mm / 5.61 inch 69.6 mm / 2.74 inch 7.9 mm / 0.311 inch 152 g0.3351 lbs

Connectivity

Our review smartphone features 4 GB of RAM and 128 GB of flash storage. As shipped, the user has access to 119 GB. Expanding the storage with microSD cards is unfortunately not possible.

Located at the bottom edge is the USB Type-C port, which only supports the older USB 2.0 standard, so data transfer is limited to about 35 MB/s. With USB OTG, the user can connect various external drives and peripherals. In addition, the phone features a 3.5 mm headphone jack. For wireless communication, the Mi 5s supports AC WLAN as well as Bluetooth 4.2 and NFC. Pictures and sound can be transferred to other devices via Miracast and DLNA. 

The front of the smartphone houses an RGB LED and a fingerprint sensor.

Software

Since Xiaomi's smartphone was designed for the Chinese market, many of the preinstalled apps are only fully functional there. The only system languages offered are Chinese or English. Having said this, we should point out that we received our review smartphone with a Global ROM, which includes Google's Play services and supports many more system languages - including German. The ROM is based on Android 6.0.1 and the graphical interface MIUI 8.0. It should therefore be possible to receive OTA updates.

Xiaomi forgoes an app drawer, so all installed programs end up on the home screen. The app "Themes" allows the user to modify the interface to his or her liking.

Other useful features are the child mode, which makes it possible to restrict the available apps, as well as a "Dual App" function, which installs programs twice so the can be used independently. 

Lock screen
Home screen
Additional apps
Folders
Quick settings
Apps currently open
Power management
Security Center
Software version

Communication and GPS

The Mi 4s supports 4G, but the - at least in Germany - important LTE band 20 is not available. Xiaomi also doesn't specify the maximum transfer rates. Thanks to the AC WLAN module with MIMO support, the Mi 5S can either use the 2.4 GHz and the 5 GHz band. We recorded receive and send rates of 312 and 271 MBit/s, respectively with the phone connected to our reference router Linksys EA8500. The results are quite decent and comparable to other competing smartphones. Another positive aspect is the maximum possible WLAN distance, which is very good.

In addition, the Mi 5s includes support for Bluetooth 4.2 and NFC.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Apple iPhone 7
A10 Fusion GPU, A10 Fusion, 128 GB NVMe (Klaus I211)
532 MBit/s ∼100% +71%
Xiaomi Mi 5s
Adreno 530, 821 MSM8996 Pro, 128 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
312 MBit/s ∼59%
Samsung Galaxy S7
Mali-T880 MP12, 8890 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
281 MBit/s ∼53% -10%
Huawei P9
Mali-T880 MP4, Kirin 955, 32 GB eMMC Flash
279 MBit/s ∼52% -11%
OnePlus 3T
Adreno 530, 821 MSM8996 Pro, 64 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
257 MBit/s ∼48% -18%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
Adreno 506, 625, 32 GB eMMC Flash
121 MBit/s ∼23% -61%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Apple iPhone 7
A10 Fusion GPU, A10 Fusion, 128 GB NVMe (Klaus I211)
485 MBit/s ∼100% +79%
Samsung Galaxy S7
Mali-T880 MP12, 8890 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
335 MBit/s ∼69% +24%
OnePlus 3T
Adreno 530, 821 MSM8996 Pro, 64 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
313 MBit/s ∼65% +15%
Xiaomi Mi 5s
Adreno 530, 821 MSM8996 Pro, 128 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
271 MBit/s ∼56%
Huawei P9
Mali-T880 MP4, Kirin 955, 32 GB eMMC Flash
185 MBit/s ∼38% -32%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
Adreno 506, 625, 32 GB eMMC Flash
112 MBit/s ∼23% -59%
GPS inside
GPS inside
GPS outdoors
GPS outdoors

The GPS sensor is accurate to within 3 m (10 feet) outdoors and establishes a satellite lock quit quickly. Inside, the module reported our location also quite swiftly, but with a slightly reduced accuracy.

For a real-world test, we take the Mi 5s together with the bike computer Garmin Edge 500 on a bike ride. Unfortunately, the smartphone only recorded part of our track correctly, what likely can be attributed to power management. To prevent the deactivation of apps in the background, they have to be excluded in the system settings. At least as far as the recorded values are concerned, we didn't see large deviations, so the GPS precision should at least be sufficient for navigational purposes.

Garmin Edge 500 - test track
Garmin Edge 500 - test track
Garmin Edge 500 - details
Garmin Edge 500 - details
Xiaomi Mi 5s - test track
Xiaomi Mi 5s - test track
Xiaomi Mi 5s - details
Xiaomi Mi 5s - details

Telephone and Voice Quality

Telephone app: dial pad
Telephone app: dial pad
Telephone app: contacts
Telephone app: contacts

The telephone app has the usual features like a dial pad, a call log, as well as direct access to the contact list. A search bar is located up top.

During a normal call, both conversation parters were happy with the way the Mi 5s sounded. The speaker phone is a different story: while we didn't encounter any dropouts, voices sound tinny and aren't very loud on both ends of the conversation.

Cameras

Webcam photo (click for the original)
Webcam photo (click for the original)
Main camera photo (click for the original)
Main camera photo (click for the original)

While the predecessor's rear-facing camera featured a 16 MP sensor, the new Mi 5s only has a 12 MP unit at its disposal. At first, this might sound like it is a disadvantage - especially when one considers that the older model took very decent photos. The Sony IMX378 sensor which Xiaomi switched to is the same one which Google uses for their Pixel smartphone, so the quality is impressive. The 1/2.3-inch sensor is very large, which improves the low-light abilities. On the other hand, the new smartphone lacks an image stabilizer - the Mi 5 was equipped with one. The maximum lens aperture is f/2.0. 

The main camera is capable of taking photos with a huge dynamic range (scene 2) as well as high sharpness (scene 1). The sharpness does decrease somewhat in the lower right-hand corner - something the photo of our test chart reveals as well. Even in low-light conditions we hardly ever had issues with blurred photos and the camera captures lots of details (scene 3). The only noticeable difference to the iPhone 7 Plus is the slightly higher image noise in the background. Compared to most other smarthphones, the Mi 5s fares exceptionally well.

The front-facing camera with its 16:9 aspect ratio features 4 MP. When changing to an aspect ratio of 4:3, the phone crops the image. Although the Mi 5s doesn't quite capture the amount of details the best selfie-cameras can, the picture quality is still very good. Remarkable is the narrow depth of field, which leads to nicely blurred backgrounds.

The main camera records 3820 x 2160 pixels at a rate of 30 fps. A Full-HD mode with 60 fps is unfortunately not available. Despite that, the recordings are astoundingly smooth. Another positive: during video recordings, the autofocus reacts promptly and the electronic image stabilization works very well. The webcam can record videos in Full-HD at a maximum frame rate of 30 fps.

The camera app has many different modes, including a manual mode as well as a RAW mode, which generates DNG instead of JPG files. To take a quick snapshot, the user can just double-click the volume-down button to open the camera from standby mode.

Photo of the ColorChecker chart; the lower half of each patch shows the original color.
Photo of the ColorChecker chart; the lower half of each patch shows the original color.
Excerpt of the test chart
Excerpt of the test chart
Test chart (click for the original)
Test chart (click for the original)

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3
click to load images

Accessories and Warranty

The package contains the Chinese charger (max. 18 w) with the USB cable, the SIM slot tool and a Chinese quickstart guide. A headset isn't included. Users who purchase from TradingShenzen - the supplier of the review smartphone - also get a EU adapter for the charger, a screen protector and a USB OTG cable. The retailer also supplies a one-year warranty against defects.

Since the Mi 5s is designated for the Asian market, it does not carry a CE certification. Please see our Guarantees, Return Policies and Warranties FAQ for country-specific information.

We also had the opportunity to review the VR goggles Mi VR Play, which are - just like Google's do-it-yourself Cardboard solution - passive, meaning they don't feature integrated electronic components. The goggles do have a button though which allows interaction with the virtual environment. Google's Cardboard app allows the user to get a taste of the virtual world. Unfortunately, the picture is quite pixelated and fast movements cause blurring. VR goggles featuring a simple construction commonly have this issue though. Still, a visit to the virtual world is an interesting experience.

Input Devices and Operation

With the Global ROM installed, the keyboard choices are either Google's Gboard or SwiftKey. Both keyboards can be configured easily, recognize swiping and feature voice recognition. The precise touchscreen makes typing that much easier. 

The area in the middle underneath the display houses the - consistently reliable - fingerprint sensor, which wakes up the smartphone from standby and unlocks it as well. In addition, the button takes the user back to the home screen. Located to the left and two the right of the sensor are two lighted touch buttons. All three together function as the Android navigation bar. The side edge houses the volume rocker switch and the power button, which feature crisp feedback.

SwiftKey Tastatur vertikal
SwiftKey Tastatur vertikal
SwiftKey Tastatur horizontal
SwiftKey Tastatur horizontal

Display

Subpixel array
Subpixel array

No matter if the automatic brightness is turned on or off: at 596 cd/m² (white display background) and with a peak of 627 cd/m², the display is very bright indeed. The black value of 0.6 cd/m² is comparatively high though, so the contrast ratio of 1045:1 isn't quite as good as what we've seen from some of the competitors. When looking at evenly distributed dark and light areas (Average Picture Level/APL 50), the brightness decreases slightly to 593 cd/m². The brightness distribution is pretty even at 91 percent, although we noticed a very thin brighter stripe at the top edge of the display. At a brightness setting of 17 percent and below, the Mi 5s utilizes PWM. Since the frequency is very high at 2273 Hz, even sensitive users should remain unaffected.

570
cd/m²
621
cd/m²
579
cd/m²
585
cd/m²
627
cd/m²
585
cd/m²
590
cd/m²
615
cd/m²
588
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 627 cd/m² Average: 595.6 cd/m² Minimum: 1.15 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 91 %
Center on Battery: 593 cd/m²
Contrast: 1045:1 (Black: 0.6 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 4.5 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6.1
ΔE Greyscale 4.5 | 0.64-98 Ø6.3
Gamma: 2.26
Xiaomi Mi 5s
IPS, 1920x1080, 5.15
Samsung Galaxy S7
SAMOLED, 2560x1440, 5.1
OnePlus 3T
Optic-AMOLED, 1920x1080, 5.5
Huawei P9
IPS-NEO, JDI, 1920x1080, 5.2
HTC 10
Super LCD 5, 2560x1440, 5.2
Xiaomi Mi 5
IPS, 1920x1080, 5.15
Screen
Brightness middle
627
350
-44%
421
-33%
582
-7%
445
-29%
598
-5%
Brightness
596
351
-41%
430
-28%
563
-6%
434
-27%
566
-5%
Brightness Distribution
91
98
8%
84
-8%
91
0%
93
2%
90
-1%
Black Level *
0.6
0.38
37%
0.36
40%
0.51
15%
Contrast
1045
1532
47%
1236
18%
1173
12%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
4.5
2.04
55%
7.1
-58%
4.4
2%
2.8
38%
3.5
22%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
7.5
3.25
57%
15.3
-104%
7.4
1%
5.8
23%
6.1
19%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
4.5
1.63
64%
6.8
-51%
4.8
-7%
3.7
18%
3.5
22%
Gamma
2.26 97%
2.07 106%
2.23 99%
2.2 100%
2.31 95%
2.29 96%
CCT
7427 88%
6391 102%
7866 83%
6175 105%
7164 91%
6532 100%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
86.86
77.78
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
99.35
99.44

* ... smaller is better

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 2273 Hz ≤ 17 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 2273 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 17 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 2273 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9418 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
40 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 13 ms rise
↘ 27 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 96 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (25.1 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
45 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 21 ms rise
↘ 24 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 70 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (40 ms).

While the color and grayscale deviations are pretty modest with DeltaE values of 4.5 for both, some competitors are closer to the ideal with DeltaE values of less than 3. The temperature of 7427K is also much higher than the optimum of 6500 K, so white looks more bluish. Some options in the settings menu allow the user to modify the output if so desired.

Graylevels (sRGB)
Graylevels (sRGB)
ColorChecker (sRGB)
ColorChecker (sRGB)
Saturation (sRGB)
Saturation (sRGB)
Colorspace (sRGB)
Colorspace (sRGB)

Thanks to the high display brightness, the screen is easy to read even if the user should venture outside. Direct sunlight and the resulting reflections are best avoided, however. 

Outdoor use: direct sunlight
Outdoor use: direct sunlight
Outdoor use: shade
Outdoor use: shade

We can't find many flaws with the viewing angle stability. At very shallow angles, the brightness does decrease visibly, but color changes are not an issue. Depending on the angle, darker areas appear brighter - a typical behavior for IPS displays.

Viewing angles from the left ...
Viewing angles from the left ...
... and right
... and right

Performance

While the predecessor featured a Snapdragon 820 SoC with four Kryo cores, the Mi 5s is equipped with the slightly revised and updated Snapdragon 821. The two faster cores run at up to 2.15 GHz (Mi 5: 1.8 GHz); the two energy-saving cores run at 1.6 GHz as before. The clock rate of the integrated Adreno 530 GPU is also slightly higher at 653 MHz.

The Mi 5s did particularly well when running the GFXBench and 3DMark benchmark tests, which mainly tax the GPU. Here, the smartphone pulled ahead of the other units in our comparison. The result of the AnTuTu v6 benchmark test is also quite impressive with only the OnePlus 3T squeezing more performance out of the Snapdragon 821 SoC. When running PCMark, the Mi 5s trails the competition for the most part. What's interesting is the fact that the predecessor did quite a bit better here. The results of the browser and flash storage tests are just about average. Since all upper-class smartphones offer a high level of performance, the Mi 5s has more than sufficient power for everyday use. During our time with the smartphone, we never encountered longer load times and animations always remained stutter-free. 

AnTuTu v6 - Total Score (sort by value)
Xiaomi Mi 5s
148698 Points ∼52%
Samsung Galaxy S7
127902 Points ∼45% -14%
OnePlus 3T
159866 Points ∼56% +8%
Huawei P9
95743 Points ∼34% -36%
HTC 10
131866 Points ∼47% -11%
Xiaomi Mi 5
116330 Points ∼41% -22%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
Xiaomi Mi 5s
1020 Points ∼50%
Samsung Galaxy S7
957 Points ∼47% -6%
OnePlus 3T
891 Points ∼44% -13%
Huawei P9
1029 Points ∼51% +1%
HTC 10
928 Points ∼46% -9%
Xiaomi Mi 5
1106 Points ∼54% +8%
Graphics (sort by value)
Xiaomi Mi 5s
5033 Points ∼17%
Samsung Galaxy S7
1723 Points ∼6% -66%
OnePlus 3T
4444 Points ∼15% -12%
Huawei P9
1583 Points ∼5% -69%
HTC 10
5009 Points ∼17% 0%
Xiaomi Mi 5
4522 Points ∼16% -10%
Memory (sort by value)
Xiaomi Mi 5s
1740 Points ∼23%
Samsung Galaxy S7
2244 Points ∼30% +29%
OnePlus 3T
1954 Points ∼26% +12%
Huawei P9
2627 Points ∼35% +51%
HTC 10
1772 Points ∼24% +2%
Xiaomi Mi 5
1801 Points ∼24% +4%
System (sort by value)
Xiaomi Mi 5s
3387 Points ∼21%
Samsung Galaxy S7
4217 Points ∼26% +25%
OnePlus 3T
3130 Points ∼19% -8%
Huawei P9
3930 Points ∼24% +16%
HTC 10
2806 Points ∼17% -17%
Xiaomi Mi 5
3638 Points ∼22% +7%
Overall (sort by value)
Xiaomi Mi 5s
2345 Points ∼28%
Samsung Galaxy S7
1987 Points ∼24% -15%
OnePlus 3T
2218 Points ∼26% -5%
Huawei P9
2025 Points ∼24% -14%
HTC 10
2193 Points ∼26% -6%
Xiaomi Mi 5
2392 Points ∼28% +2%
Geekbench 4.0
Compute RenderScript Score (sort by value)
Xiaomi Mi 5s
7259 Points ∼57%
Huawei P9
3077 Points ∼24% -58%
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Xiaomi Mi 5s
4292 Points ∼16%
OnePlus 3T
4236 Points ∼15% -1%
Huawei P9
4904 Points ∼18% +14%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Xiaomi Mi 5s
1728 Points ∼30%
OnePlus 3T
1881 Points ∼33% +9%
Huawei P9
1755 Points ∼30% +2%
PCMark for Android - Work performance score (sort by value)
Xiaomi Mi 5s
5121 Points ∼26%
Samsung Galaxy S7
4826 Points ∼25% -6%
OnePlus 3T
5664 Points ∼29% +11%
Huawei P9
7058 Points ∼36% +38%
HTC 10
5809 Points ∼30% +13%
Xiaomi Mi 5
6873 Points ∼35% +34%
Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
Xiaomi Mi 5s
9378 Points ∼18%
Samsung Galaxy S7
13161 Points ∼25% +40%
OnePlus 3T
9798 Points ∼19% +4%
Huawei P9
11783 Points ∼22% +26%
HTC 10
8905 Points ∼17% -5%
Xiaomi Mi 5
8619 Points ∼16% -8%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Xiaomi Mi 5s
2580.2 ms * ∼4%
Samsung Galaxy S7
2561.5 ms * ∼4% +1%
OnePlus 3T
2719.3 ms * ∼5% -5%
Huawei P9
2922.6 ms * ∼5% -13%
HTC 10
3146.3 ms * ∼5% -22%
Xiaomi Mi 5
2973.3 ms * ∼5% -15%
JetStream 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Xiaomi Mi 5s
57 Points ∼16%
Samsung Galaxy S7
74 Points ∼21% +30%
OnePlus 3T
54.526 Points ∼16% -4%
Huawei P9
68.4 Points ∼19% +20%
HTC 10
52.1 Points ∼15% -9%
Xiaomi Mi 5
53.969 Points ∼15% -5%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Xiaomi Mi 5s
93 fps ∼1%
Samsung Galaxy S7
84 fps ∼1% -10%
OnePlus 3T
91 fps ∼1% -2%
Huawei P9
40 fps ∼0% -57%
HTC 10
73 fps ∼1% -22%
Xiaomi Mi 5
90 fps ∼1% -3%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Xiaomi Mi 5s
60 fps ∼2%
Samsung Galaxy S7
53 fps ∼2% -12%
OnePlus 3T
59 fps ∼2% -2%
Huawei P9
43 fps ∼1% -28%
HTC 10
43 fps ∼1% -28%
Xiaomi Mi 5
60 fps ∼2% 0%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
Xiaomi Mi 5s
49 fps ∼9%
Samsung Galaxy S7
40 fps ∼7% -18%
OnePlus 3T
46 fps ∼8% -6%
Huawei P9
18 fps ∼3% -63%
HTC 10
39 fps ∼7% -20%
Xiaomi Mi 5
42 fps ∼8% -14%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
Xiaomi Mi 5s
48 fps ∼13%
Samsung Galaxy S7
27 fps ∼7% -44%
OnePlus 3T
45 fps ∼12% -6%
Huawei P9
19 fps ∼5% -60%
HTC 10
24 fps ∼7% -50%
Xiaomi Mi 5
42 fps ∼12% -12%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen (sort by value)
Xiaomi Mi 5s
32 fps ∼1%
Samsung Galaxy S7
28 fps ∼1% -12%
OnePlus 3T
32 fps ∼1% 0%
Huawei P9
10 fps ∼0% -69%
HTC 10
24 fps ∼1% -25%
Xiaomi Mi 5
30 fps ∼1% -6%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen (sort by value)
Xiaomi Mi 5s
32 fps ∼1%
Samsung Galaxy S7
15 fps ∼0% -53%
OnePlus 3T
32 fps ∼1% 0%
Huawei P9
11 fps ∼0% -66%
HTC 10
14 fps ∼0% -56%
Xiaomi Mi 5
31 fps ∼1% -3%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics (sort by value)
Xiaomi Mi 5s
1927 Points ∼43%
Samsung Galaxy S7
2010 Points ∼45% +4%
OnePlus 3T
1452 Points ∼33% -25%
Huawei P9
2510 Points ∼56% +30%
HTC 10
1512 Points ∼34% -22%
Xiaomi Mi 5
1976 Points ∼44% +3%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics (sort by value)
Xiaomi Mi 5s
4746 Points ∼45%
Samsung Galaxy S7
3018 Points ∼28% -36%
OnePlus 3T
3310 Points ∼31% -30%
Huawei P9
1080 Points ∼10% -77%
HTC 10
4581 Points ∼43% -3%
Xiaomi Mi 5
4558 Points ∼43% -4%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 (sort by value)
Xiaomi Mi 5s
3580 Points ∼46%
Samsung Galaxy S7
2715 Points ∼35% -24%
OnePlus 3T
2577 Points ∼33% -28%
Huawei P9
1237 Points ∼16% -65%
HTC 10
3157 Points ∼40% -12%
Xiaomi Mi 5
3542 Points ∼45% -1%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Xiaomi Mi 5s
22372 Points ∼26%
Samsung Galaxy S7
19944 Points ∼23% -11%
OnePlus 3T
22426 Points ∼26% 0%
Huawei P9
15517 Points ∼18% -31%
HTC 10
20344 Points ∼24% -9%
Xiaomi Mi 5
21483 Points ∼25% -4%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Xiaomi Mi 5s
34202 Points ∼6%
Samsung Galaxy S7
33348 Points ∼6% -2%
OnePlus 3T
34494 Points ∼6% +1%
Huawei P9
21577 Points ∼4% -37%
HTC 10
30061 Points ∼6% -12%
Xiaomi Mi 5
32613 Points ∼6% -5%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Xiaomi Mi 5s
30606 Points ∼13%
Samsung Galaxy S7
29015 Points ∼12% -5%
OnePlus 3T
30810 Points ∼13% +1%
Huawei P9
19854 Points ∼8% -35%
HTC 10
27176 Points ∼11% -11%
Xiaomi Mi 5
29246 Points ∼12% -4%
AndroBench 3-5
Random Write 4KB (sort by value)
Xiaomi Mi 5s
15.08 MB/s ∼6%
Samsung Galaxy S7
16.01 MB/s ∼6% +6%
OnePlus 3T
74.39 MB/s ∼30% +393%
Huawei P9
47.45 MB/s ∼19% +215%
HTC 10
15.89 MB/s ∼6% +5%
Xiaomi Mi 5
13.61 MB/s ∼5% -10%
Random Read 4KB (sort by value)
Xiaomi Mi 5s
100.35 MB/s ∼57%
Samsung Galaxy S7
85.9 MB/s ∼49% -14%
OnePlus 3T
123.57 MB/s ∼70% +23%
Huawei P9
39 MB/s ∼22% -61%
HTC 10
29.92 MB/s ∼17% -70%
Xiaomi Mi 5
106.78 MB/s ∼61% +6%
Sequential Write 256KB (sort by value)
Xiaomi Mi 5s
153.47 MB/s ∼31%
Samsung Galaxy S7
145.72 MB/s ∼29% -5%
OnePlus 3T
165.3 MB/s ∼33% +8%
Huawei P9
72.19 MB/s ∼14% -53%
HTC 10
115.56 MB/s ∼23% -25%
Xiaomi Mi 5
159.29 MB/s ∼32% +4%
Sequential Read 256KB (sort by value)
Xiaomi Mi 5s
412.7 MB/s ∼28%
Samsung Galaxy S7
483.82 MB/s ∼33% +17%
OnePlus 3T
436.43 MB/s ∼30% +6%
Huawei P9
281.26 MB/s ∼19% -32%
HTC 10
275.09 MB/s ∼19% -33%
Xiaomi Mi 5
459.64 MB/s ∼31% +11%

Legend

 
Xiaomi Mi 5s Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 MSM8996 Pro, Qualcomm Adreno 530, 128 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy S7 Samsung Exynos 8890 Octa, ARM Mali-T880 MP12, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
 
OnePlus 3T Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 MSM8996 Pro, Qualcomm Adreno 530, 64 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
 
Huawei P9 HiSilicon Kirin 955, ARM Mali-T880 MP4, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
HTC 10 Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 MSM8996, Qualcomm Adreno 530, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Xiaomi Mi 5 Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 MSM8996, Qualcomm Adreno 530, 64 GB UFS 2.0 Flash

* ... smaller is better

Gaming

Even demanding games like Asphalt 8 or Dead Trigger 2 pose no problem thanks to the the powerful Adreno 530 GPU combined with a comparatively low display resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels.

Touchscreen operation is very precise and the internal sensors work flawlessly as well when playing games.

Asphalt 8
Asphalt 8
Dead Trigger 2
Dead Trigger 2

Emissions

Temperature

Under load, the Mi 5s mainly gets warm up front, although the maximum temperature of 40.5 °C is absolutely no reason for concern. The back of the smartphone tops out at only 36.4 °C. 

To check if these moderate temperatures are the result of throttling, we run the GFXBench battery test, which repeats the Manhattan test thirty times in a row and not only records the battery level, but also the performance. The Mi 5s was able to maintain its power output for six times in a row; after that the performance declined by up to 28 %. For a powerful SoC, this isn't unexpected and some competing models, like the  HTC 10 or the Huawei P9, suffer from more pronounced throttling under the same conditions.

GFXBench Manhattan: Performance
GFXBench Manhattan: Performance
GFXBench Manhattan: Frametimes
GFXBench Manhattan: Frametimes
GFXBench Manhattan: Battery
GFXBench Manhattan: Battery
Max. Load
 39.9 °C
104 F
40.4 °C
105 F
39 °C
102 F
 
 39.2 °C
103 F
40.5 °C
105 F
39.1 °C
102 F
 
 37.1 °C
99 F
37.3 °C
99 F
38.5 °C
101 F
 
Maximum: 40.5 °C = 105 F
Average: 39 °C = 102 F
34.2 °C
94 F
35.8 °C
96 F
36 °C
97 F
35.2 °C
95 F
35.4 °C
96 F
36.4 °C
98 F
35 °C
95 F
35.3 °C
96 F
35.9 °C
97 F
Maximum: 36.4 °C = 98 F
Average: 35.5 °C = 96 F
Power Supply (max.)  29.9 °C = 86 F | Room Temperature 21.4 °C = 71 F | Voltcraft IR-260
(-) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 39 °C / 102 F, compared to the average of 33.1 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 40.5 °C / 105 F, compared to the average of 35.5 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 36.4 °C / 98 F, compared to the average of 34.1 °C / 93 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 30.5 °C / 87 F, compared to the device average of 33.1 °C / 92 F.
IR-Bild des Mi 5s
IR-Bild des Mi 5s

Speaker

Speaker response
Speaker response

Sound output is courtesy of a mono speaker located on the lower edge. While the predecessor actually sounded quite pleasing, the Mi 5s has taken a step backward in that regard: music sounds tinny and at higher frequencies quite shrill. The sound is somewhat unbalanced, which is evident when looking at the pink noise diagram. Between 1000 and 4000 Hz, the curve reaches a plateau, while the other frequencies drop of rather sharply. The Mi 5 had a much better response - especially in the higher frequency range. At 85 dB, the maximum volume is quite loud, however.

Sound output via the 3.5 mm audio jack is significantly better. When we connected a headphone, the audio signal was free of any interference or other issues.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2031.643.22525.439.73125.334.54032.931.85033.636.36331.635.78028.432.11002734.112520.8391602241.520021.347.125020.849.331521.253.140019.459.950019.562.763017.765.380017.970.1100017.873.9125017.375.5160017.475.6200016.775.4250017.274.8315018.276.9400017.973.3500017.664630017.760.4800017.8641000017.961.81250018.150.21600018.246.8SPL3085N1.356.6median 17.9median 62.7Delta1.312.33832.43832.431.332.430.431.730.436.42636.452.439.452.436.836.236.829.428.629.427.325.427.33321.33343.523.343.548.122.548.152.122.452.160.321.360.358.118.458.162.817.562.865.817.565.868.517.268.567.116.867.170.617.370.672.617.472.67216.67274.417.374.476.817.676.879.217.679.276.917.776.976.517.476.575.917.775.972.317.972.358.118.158.14718.14786.529.886.5651.365median 67.1median 17.7median 67.110.91.610.9hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseXiaomi Mi 5sXiaomi Mi 5
Xiaomi Mi 5s audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (84.97 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 18.6% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (7.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 7.8% higher than median
(+) | mids are linear (6.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 6.1% higher than median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (7.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (23.8% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 43% of all tested devices in this class were better, 13% similar, 44% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 65% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 27% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Xiaomi Mi 5 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (86.49 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 23.1% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (11.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.7% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 8.9% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (4.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (22.8% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 35% of all tested devices in this class were better, 12% similar, 53% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 59% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 33% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Comparison Frequency diagrams (Check boxes are selectable!)

Energy Management

Power Consumption

As far as the power consumption is concerned, the Mi 5s posts slightly better results than the competition except for the Samsung Galaxy S7, which is slightly more frugal. Compared to the predecessor, Xiaomi were able to reduce the power draw at medium load levels, while the maximum idle consumption is slightly higher. 

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0 / 0.14 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.4 / 1.7 / 1.81 Watt
Load midlight 5.84 / 9.12 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Xiaomi Mi 5s
3200 mAh
Samsung Galaxy S7
3000 mAh
OnePlus 3T
3400 mAh
Huawei P9
3000 mAh
HTC 10
3000 mAh
Xiaomi Mi 5
3000 mAh
Power Consumption
9%
-18%
-15%
-19%
-4%
Idle Minimum *
0.4
0.68
-70%
0.61
-53%
0.77
-93%
0.68
-70%
0.45
-13%
Idle Average *
1.7
1.02
40%
1.77
-4%
2.36
-39%
1.49
12%
1.68
1%
Idle Maximum *
1.81
1.14
37%
1.81
-0%
2.37
-31%
1.91
-6%
1.71
6%
Load Average *
5.84
4.73
19%
6.67
-14%
3.09
47%
7.4
-27%
6.7
-15%
Load Maximum *
9.12
7.16
21%
10.98
-20%
5.35
41%
9.71
-6%
9.18
-1%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

The Mi 5s ran for an outstanding 11 hours and 3 minutes during our WLAN test. None of the competitors managed to come close - the larger battery obviously pays dividends here. To extend the time away from outlets, the user also has the option to activate the power savings mode, which more closely monitors background processes and deactivates data synchronization as well. 

Since the Mi 5s supports QuickCharge 3.0, charging doesn't take long at all. The included 18 watt charger does require an adapter so it can be used in Europe, however. 

Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (Chrome 55)
11h 03min
Xiaomi Mi 5s
3200 mAh
Samsung Galaxy S7
3000 mAh
OnePlus 3T
3400 mAh
Huawei P9
3000 mAh
HTC 10
3000 mAh
Xiaomi Mi 5
3000 mAh
Battery Runtime
WiFi v1.3
663
456
-31%
494
-25%
569
-14%
413
-38%
504
-24%

Pros

+ good price-to-value ratio
+ sturdy metal chassis
+ dual-SIM functionality
+ USB-OTG, Miracast and NFC
+ precise sensors and good touchscreen
+ MIUI 8.0 with many additional features
+ great cameras
+ very bright and sharp display
+ great overall performance
+ long battery life

Cons

- no LTE band 20
- no headset included
- throttling under prolonged load
- speaker sounds tinny

Verdict

In Review: Xiaomi Mi 5s. Test model courtesy of TradingShenzhen
In Review: Xiaomi Mi 5s. Test model courtesy of TradingShenzhen

Xiaomi's Mi 5s impresses in many areas. The smartphone doesn't require many compromises when it comes to its features: the Mi 5s supports dual SIMs, the display is very bright and the user interface MIUI 8.0 offers plenty of additional functionality. In addition to the good performance, the smarpthone scores with its long run time during our real-world WLAN test. The main disadvantage is simply the fact that Xiaomi neglected to adapt the phone to the European market. The Global ROM can remedy some of the shortcomings, but it's still a shame that the Mi 5s doesn't support the commonly used LTE band 20. Some interested users also might be discouraged from purchasing since the smartphone needs to be imported.    

Xiaomi's Mi 5s offers high-end components wrapped up in an upscale metal case design. Starting at 300 Euro (~$317) plus shipping and taxes, the Mi 5s is priced like an upper middle-class smarpthone, so an import can be an attractive proposition. 

The price gap between the review unit and other (officially imported) top smarpthones in Europe has - in some cases - shrunken significantly, however, so many of the smartphones in our comparison are available at a starting price of 450 Euro (~$475).

Xiaomi Mi 5s - 02/24/2017 v6
Andreas Kilian

Chassis
87%
Keyboard
69 / 75 → 91%
Pointing Device
91%
Connectivity
46 / 60 → 77%
Weight
93%
Battery
94%
Display
85%
Games Performance
61 / 63 → 97%
Application Performance
59 / 70 → 85%
Temperature
89%
Noise
100%
Audio
66 / 91 → 72%
Camera
76%
Average
78%
88%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Xiaomi Mi 5s Smartphone Review
Andreas Kilian, 2017-03- 6 (Update: 2019-04-13)
Bernhard Pechlaner
Bernhard Pechlaner - Review Editor
Ended up in the IT sector in the 90s more or less accidentally and have remained in the industry (as a sysadmin) ever since. Always been interested in laptops - first purchase was - if memory serves correctly - a Toshiba Satellite T2115CS with DX4-75 processor, 4 MB of RAM and 350 MB hard disk drive (and Windows 3.1). To this day, laptops appeal to me - much to the chagrin of my wife, who doesn’t seem understand why we need 5-10 of them at any given time ;-).