Xiaomi 14 Civi review: looking Leica wow

Review Summary

Expert Rating
8.0/10

Design
★  
8.5
/10
Display
★  
8.0
/10
Software
★  
7.5
/10
Camera
★  
8.0
/10
Performance
★  
8.0
/10
Battery
★  
7.5
/10

Pros

  • Stunning design and in-hand feel
  • Bright and attractive display
  • Good Leica cameras for photos and videos

Cons

  • Average battery life
  • CPU throttles under stress
  • Portraits lack sharpness

The Xiaomi Civi series has been exclusive to China since its debut in 2021. Xiaomi finally broke this exclusivity by bringing the series to India with the Xiaomi 14 Civi. According to the brand, ‘Civi’ stands for ‘Cinematic Vision,’ emphasising the focus on delivering impressive photography. In line with this vision, the Xiaomi 14 Civi features Leica cameras, broadening access to professional-grade imaging capabilities. Priced under Rs 50,000, the Xiaomi 14 Civi aims to offer flagship-level camera performance, complemented by a premium design and an impressive display. But does it live up to these lofty promises? Let’s find out.

Verdict

The Xiaomi 14 Civi stands out with its lightweight and premium glass and leather design language, making it easily one of the best-looking phones in the sub-Rs 50,000 segment. On top of that, you get a stunning display and Leica cameras for those looking for professional-level photography without spending a lot of money. However, the phone’s battery life and performance throttling leave you wanting more.

Design and display

Xiaomi 14 CiviVivo V30 ProOnePlus 12R
Thickness7.4mm7.45mm8.8mm
Weight177 grams188 grams207 grams
IP ratingIP54IP54IP64


The design of the Xiaomi 14 Civi is easily the standout factor about the phone. It looks great from a distance and feels great in the hand. The moment you hold it, you’ll appreciate the phone’s lightweight design at just 177 grams. The quad-curved display and back panel meet a matte metal frame to offer a premium look and feel. The Matcha Green option we received for review has a dual-tone finish on the back panel with a combination of vegan leather and an inlay of patterned glass. In addition to being light, the phone measures just 7.4mm in thickness, making it extremely easy to hold and carry around in your hand. The device is IP54-rated for dust and limited water resistance.

The display is equally stunning as it offers what the brand calls a floating quad-curved display. It is protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass Victus 2. The display itself is a 6.55-inch AMOLED panel with up to 120Hz refresh rate and up to 240Hz touch sampling rate. It’s a vibrant screen with deep blacks and saturated colours by default. You can opt for a slightly muted colour scheme via the display settings. The display supports Dolby Vision and HDR10+, and offers a peak brightness of 3000 nits which is only really useful when watching HDR content.

Xiaomi 14 CiviVivo V30 ProOnePlus 12R
Size6.55-inch AMOLED6.78-inch AMOLED6.78-inch AMOLED
Peak brightness3000 nits2800 nits4500 nits

Cameras

While the design of the Xiaomi 14 Civi is definitely the standout feature, so are the Leica cameras. Xiaomi is making its partnership with Leica more accessible to buyers with this device. The rear camera system has a 50MP Light Hunter 800 sensor with OIS, a 50MP telephoto lens with 2x optical zoom, and a 12MP ultra-wide camera, all backed by Leica.

Daylight

In daylight, the 50MP primary camera captures striking photos that look vibrant and very social media-ready. If you check out some of the camera samples below, you’ll notice punchy colours and excellent close-up shots. The camera is also able to handle dynamic range well. The Leica partnership shows in features like Leica Authentic and Leica Vibrant photographic styles, where the former is supposed to capture more natural colours while the latter boosts the colours. However, I found that both modes tend to lean towards saturated colours.

xiaomi-14-civi-camera-sample-1
xiaomi-14-civi-camera-sample-3
xiaomi-14-civi-camera-sample-2
xiaomi-14-civi-camera-sample-4
xiaomi-14-civi-camera-sample-5
xiaomi-14-civi-camera-sample-6
xiaomi-14-civi-camera-sample-7
previous arrow
next arrow
xiaomi-14-civi-camera-sample-1
xiaomi-14-civi-camera-sample-3
xiaomi-14-civi-camera-sample-2
xiaomi-14-civi-camera-sample-4
xiaomi-14-civi-camera-sample-5
xiaomi-14-civi-camera-sample-6
xiaomi-14-civi-camera-sample-7
previous arrow
next arrow


In the daylight shot between the Xiaomi 14 Civi’s 50MP Light Hunter 800 sensor and Realme GT 6T’s 50MP Sony LYT600 sensor, the latter did a better job of capturing the detail of the ground while making the photo look brighter overall. The Xiaomi 14 Civi, in comparison, goes for a more contrasty photo with saturated colours and softer detailing of the pavement.

The Xiaomi 14 Civi is meant for portrait shots using the 50MP telephoto lens. Both 1x and 2x zoom shots look great with a pleasing background blur. The portrait mode gets a few Leica-tuned filters like Leica Viv for saturated colours, Leica Nat for pastel-like colours, Leica BW Nat and BW HC for different Black and White styles. Additionally, you can shoot in 35mm Documentary, 50mm Swirly Bokeh, and 90mm Soft Focus modes. All of these modes at hand give you a lot of freedom to experiment with portrait shots, something no other phone offers in this segment.

That said, the portraits captured aren’t without their faults. In the comparison shot below with the iQOO Neo 9 Pro, the Xiaomi 14 Civi does a better job with the depth effect and edge detection, but it smoothens facial features. In contrast, the iQOO phone retains facial sharpness and skin tones.

Lowlight

In lowlight conditions, the Xiaomi 14 Civi performs decently compared to the OnePlus 12R, but it could be better. The Xiaomi captures pleasing, warm colours but struggles with brightness and detail. While the telephoto lens works well in daylight, it’s challenging to use in low light due to the lack of OIS, making stable shots difficult.

Selfies

With the Xiaomi 14 Civi, you get not one but two front-facing cameras. One is a 32MP primary and another is a 32MP wide-angle lens. In daylight, the primary selfie camera works extremely well, capturing good sharpness and skin tones. Selfie portraits look good too, showing natural background blur and edge detection. However, the wide-angle selfie camera tends to wash out colours, making it look less appealing when compared to the primary selfie camera.

Take a look at the below comparison shot between the Xiaomi 14 Civi’s 32MP selfie camera and iQOO Neo 9 Pro’s 16MP front camera. As you can see, the iQOO Neo 9 Pro’s selfie tends to oversaturate colours, especially the skin tones and t-shirt, and the edge detection also falls short in comparison to the Xiaomi 14 Civi.

Videos

There’s no denying the Xiaomi 14 Civi is a great choice for videography. All cameras on board can record in 4K, which is useful especially if you’re a content creator. The primary camera will give you the most stable recording as it is the only sensor supported by OIS. The Cinematic Vision mode, the highlight feature in videos, allows you to capture videos in widescreen along with subject tracking. It can also simulate the Dolly Zoom effect, which has been popularised by filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock in some of his movies like Vertigo.

Performance and software

The Xiaomi 14 Civi is the second phone after the POCO F6 (review) to launch with the Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 chipset in India. This processor is supposed to be the middle ground between the current-gen flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 and last year’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. And benchmarks tell us a similar story, with the Snapdragon 8s Gen 3-powered Xiaomi 14 Civi scoring over 14 lakh on AnTuTu. For reference, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2-powered OnePlus 12R (review) scored over 12 lakh while the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3-powered Xiaomi 14 (review) recorded over 19 lakh.

Xiaomi 14 Civi
(SD8s Gen 3)
OnePlus 12R
(SD8 Gen 2)
Xiaomi 14
(SD8 Gen 3)
AnTuTu14,43,01112,40,47419,82,613
Geekbench single-core191310662191
Geekbench multi-core508743116705


We ran a few benchmark tests on the Xiaomi 14 Civi and here’s how the phone compares to some of its closest rivals. Starting with AnTuTu, the Xiaomi 14 Civi’s Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 registered a score over 14 lakh, higher than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2-powered OnePlus 12R and MediaTek 8200-powered Vivo V30 Pro. You can read our in-depth performance comparison with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2-powered iQOO Neo 9 Pro where the iQOO phone wins due to its performance-focused hardware.

Xiaomi 14 Civi performed the best out of the three in AnTuTu.

Next up is the Geekbench test that records the phone’s single-core and multi-core performances. Here too, the Xiaomi 14 Civi came out on top over the OnePlus and Vivo phones.

Xiaomi 14 Civi performed the best out of the three in Geekbench.

Burnout is an app that checks the phone’s sustained performance over a period of about 8 to 9 minutes to see how much the device throttles under stress. Here, the Xiaomi 14 Civi fared poorly compared to its rivals as it operated at only 40 percent of its performance under stress.

OnePlus 12R performed the best out of the three in our CPU throttle test.

Coming to the software side of things, the Xiaomi 14 Civi ships with Android 14 with HyperOS on top. The UI is instantly familiar for anyone who has used a Xiaomi or Redmi phone previously. You get a host of pre-loaded apps out of the box: 53 apps to be exact. This includes Google’s suite of apps, Xiaomi’s own apps like Xiaomi Service+, ShareMe, and Mi Store, and a bunch of third-party apps like Netflix, Amazon, Facebook, Fitbit, and so on. HyperOS is largely about making the UI feel faster and more fluid, which it is to a large extent. HyperOS is also expected to get AI features at some point, such as a ChatGPT-style AI assistant. But these features are yet to show up. Lastly, Xiaomi is promising 3 years of major software upgrades and 4 years of security updates.

PhonePre-loaded appsOS updates
Xiaomi 14 Civi533 years OS, 4 years security
iQOO Neo 9 Pro573 years OS, 4 years security
Google Pixel 8a327 years OS, 7 years security

Battery

To achieve its thin and light form factor, the Xiaomi 14 Civi goes with a 4,700mAh battery, slightly smaller than the typical 5,000mAh unit found in most smartphones. With this battery, the Xiaomi 14 Civi can last a full day on moderate usage but don’t expect anything more out of it. On days with heavier usage, you will have to reach for the charger once by evening or night. In our PCMark battery test, the Xiaomi 14 Civi lasted 12 hours and 15 minutes, which isn’t the best and lower than what the Vivo V30 Pro and OnePlus 12 managed.

The Xiaomi 14 Civi supports 67W charging and you get a 67W adapter in the box as well. It takes roughly 40 minutes to charge the device from 20 to 100 percent, which is expectedly quick due to the phone’s smaller battery capacity.

PhoneCharge time (20-100%)
Xiaomi 14 Civi (67W)40 minutes
Vivo V30 Pro (80W)33 minutes
OnePlus 12R (100W)26 minutes

Final verdict

If you have a budget of Rs 42,999, the Xiaomi 14 Civi should be your choice if you’re looking for a well-designed phone that not only looks stunning from a distance but also feels great in the hand. It should also be your pick if you’re looking for a good set of cameras, especially for portraits and videos, as its Leica modes for stills and Cinematic Vision feature for videos stand out in this segment.

While the camera could be better in some areas, particularly the telephoto and wide-angle lenses, and certain issues like smooth facial features and lack of detail might improve with software updates, the phone’s overall performance is smooth for daily usage. Although the battery life could be better compared to competitors like the OnePlus 12R and Vivo V30 Pro, the Xiaomi 14 Civi still offers an excellent design and impressive camera features, making it a strong contender in its price range.

Editor’s rating: 8 / 10

Pros:

  • Stunning design and in-hand feel
  • Bright and attractive display
  • Good Leica cameras for photos and videos

Cons:

  • Average battery life
  • CPU throttles under stress
  • Portraits lack sharpness

Tested by Aditya Pandey

Key Specs

Xiaomi 14 Civi
RAM8 GB
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 8s Gen 3
Rear Camera50 MP + 12 MP + 50 MP
Front Camera32 MP + 32 MP
Battery4700 mAh
Display6.55 inches (16.64 cm)
See Full Specs
Xiaomi 14 Civi Price
View All
Rs. 42,990.00
Go To Store

No posts to display