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Rumour Zone: what to expect from Xiaomi Mi 5s and Mi 5s Plus

|September 26, 2016 |Android Phones, Android, Xiaomi

After a successful launch of the Xiaomi Mi5 at MWC earlier this year, the Lei Jun-led Chinese firm is all set to launch two new flagships in the form of the Mi 5s and Mi 5s Plus on September 27th. Among the two, the Xiaomi Mi5s Plus is allegedly a bigger and more powerful version of Xiaomi Mi5 (review) that is quite similar to the Mi Note phablet launched by the company last year.

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As expected, Xiaomi Mi5s has been the centre of a number of leaks and rumours, with a majority of them originating from the company’s homeland of China. Incidentally, the brand itself is leaking a number of details on social networking site Weibo to keep the hype going. Well, this isn’t new though, as Xiaomi’s counterpart OnePlus also follows a similar strategy prior to launch. 
Considering the amount of information flowing in, we decided to sum up all the rumours floating around Xiaomi's upcoming flagship. Let’s get started. 

Name

Xiaomi Mi 5s is a device, that most weren’t expecting. While rumours regarding an impending Mi Note 2 launch were flying around, it was indeed surprising to hear about this newbie in town. Now, it seems that the Xiaomi Mi 5s is a rechristened Mi Note 2, with a specs sheet that is quite similar to that of the Note 2. Just like the initial rumours regarding the Mi Note 2, the Xiaomi Mi 5s comes in two vastly different variants with the differences ranging from the display size to the RAM on the inside. Possibly, Xiaomi decided to go with the Mi5 branding to carry forward the success of the phone.

Design

Just like the Xiaomi Mi5, the all-new Mi 5s is reported to come with a metal unibody build, with glass on the front and the rear. Xiaomi has officially teased on Weibo that the device will come in a black variant too. However, expect the Black variant of the Xiaomi Mi 5s to get less prone to scratches than the Jet Black iPhone primarily because it comes in a ceramic body. That aside, the Ceramic glass back of the Xiaomi Mi 5s has a 3D curve to it, making it easier to grip.

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At the back of the smartphone lies the much touted rear camera setup with dual LED flash and a Mi logo to the bottom. It’s also worth noting that both the Xiaomi Mi 5s and Mi 5s Plus will come with a similar design with the only major difference being in the dimensions of the phones.

The major design changes in the Xiaomi Mi 5s and the Mi 5s Plus are however, seen on the front. Gone is the rectangular fingerprint embedded home button, and the two white coloured capacitive back and overview keys. They are now replaced by a new circular home button, which looks quite like the Halo button from Nubia. That said, the halo around the home button is purple in colour and not red, unlike the Nubia. The same is applicable for the capacitive touch buttons that are located to the sides of the home button.  Apart from that, another notable aspect that's missing on the Xiaomi Mi5s and Mi5s Plus is the presence of a conspicuous Mi logo to the top left corner of the front panel. There's also a fingerprint sensor located just below the glass front.

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Display

As mentioned earlier, the Xiaomi Mi5s will come in two variants and one of the main differences between the two is the size of the display. While the cheaper variant of the flagship - the Xiaomi Mi5s - comes with a 5.15-inch panel, the Mi 5s Plus sports a significantly larger 5.7-inch display. The 5.15-inch model comes with a full HD (1,920 x 1,080p) resolution as compared to the 2K (2,560 x 1,440p) found in the 5.7-inch one. Xiaomi is also reported to make use of a Super AMOLED panel sourced from Samsung for both the Mi 5s and Mi 5s Plus, however, the news can’t be confirmed as of yet. Nevertheless, expect both displays to come with excellent colour reproduction and deep blacks. The Chinese firm might also use a tweaked backlighting to generate a markedly higher peak brightness – similar to the one seen in the Xiaomi Mi5.

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The most interesting feature of the Xiaomi Mi5s Plus’ display however, will be the support for 3D touch. Just in case you are unaware, this is the same technology that was first adopted by the iPhone 6S and the Huawei Mate S. This basically makes use of an embedded Taptic engine that produces haptic feedback for generating the 3D touch feel. A leaked screenshot circulating on Weibo, clearly shows that Xiaomi has tweaked around their software to make of this 3D touch feature. 

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Processor and memory

The Xiaomi Mi5S is expected to come with the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 SoC, thereby becoming one of the first devices to sport the new chip. ASUS Zenfone 3 Deluxe (first impressions) and the LeEco Le3 Pro are the other two devices that come with the same SoC under the hood. An official teaser from Xiaomi indicates that their Mi 5s achieves a benchmark score of 1,64,119 on Antutu, thereby toppling the previous chartbuster OnePlus 3 (review) by a huge margin. However, it isn’t always safe to rely blindly on such stats that originate directly from the brand.

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Apart from that, the Xiaomi Mi 5s will come with 64GB of onboard storage and 4GB of RAM. The Mi 5s Plus on the other hand, will come with 128GB of internal storage space and 6GB of RAM on board. Going by previous Mi range of devices from the company, we can expect Xiaomi to skip the microSD card slot in both its new devices.

Battery

Not much credible information regarding the battery is known yet. However, expect Xiaomi to pack in at least a 3,000mAh and a 4,000mAh battery on the Mi 5s and Mi 5s Plus, respectively.

Software

As expected, the Xiaomi Mi 5s and Mi 5s Plus will run on the company’s own MIUI 8 interface. MIUI 8 is a skin on top of Android Marshmallow 6.0.1 which features the notable Doze Mode and Google Now on Tap. However, the latter might not be usable on Xiaomi's MIUI interface.

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A notable improvement on the software of the Xiaomi Mi 5s and Mi 5s Plus would be the support for a 3D touch. A screenshot that’s currently making rounds on Weibo reveal that on pressing hard on an icon on the home screen, a pop up showing various options related to the app will crop up. This is pretty similar to the implementation seen on the iPhones. Considering, Xiaomi’s experience in developing clean yet useful MIUI ROMs, the 3D touch feature may indeed be brought to good use by the company.

Cameras

Xiaomi has already revealed some details regarding the cameras on the Mi 5s and Mi 5s Plus. The teaser image that went viral on the Chinese social networking site clearly indicates the presence of a dual rear camera setup with a dual tone dual LED flash located to the left of the sensor. Unlike the iPhone 7 Plus, the dual rear cameras are located right in the middle of the ceramic back exactly on the midline. 

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The Chinese firm has also teased a number of images that are claimed to be shot using the Xiaomi Mi 5s and Mi 5s Plus. Well, they are really wonderful and clearly depicts what the cameras are capable off. However, do note that these images are always shot by professionals and probably heavily edited to make them look pleasing to the eye.

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Launch And Availability

The Xiaomi Mi5s and the Mi5s Plus will be launched in China by Lei Jun on September 27th. As per a report based on a leaked information, the smartphones will be going on sale in the country on September 29 via JD.com, with the price tags of 1,999 Yuan (~Rs 20,000) and 2,899 Yuan (~Rs 30,000) respectively. Xiaomi is also expected to give some hints regarding the global launch of the product at the unveiling in Beijing. Having said that, you can always buy a Mi5s and Mi5s Plus via Chinese resellers with worldwide shipping, albeit at slightly marked up prices. 

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There you go, here’s all that’s known about the Xiaomi Mi 5s and Mi 5s Plus for now. Do stay tuned for our coverage tomorrow, where we will be bringing you details of all the proceeding that’s taking place in China. Till then, let us know if you are excited about this new smartphone from Xiaomi?

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