Xiaomi Mi4c review – Xiaomi are back on track

Xiaomi Mi4c review – Xiaomi are back on track

98
SHARE
xiaomi mi4c review

After the poor show that was the Xiaomi Mi4i, we have been wondering if Xiaomi could make a comeback, and they certainly proved that they can with the release of the Mi4C. Keep reading for my full Xiaomi Mi4c review.

Although physically identical (well almost) to the Xiaomi Mi4i, the new Xiaomi Mi4c is a different beast. It offers innovative features, better camera, and much more usable performance. This is the phone the Xiaomi Mi4i should have been, and I wish I could keep it.

Xiaomi Mi4c Review – Design

There really isn’t much to say about the Xiaomi Mi4c’s design that wasn’t already said about the Mi4i. They are almost identical to each other, the differences being the Mi4c has an integrated IR remove in the head phone the phone and lacks English writing on the rear of the body.

xiaomi mi4c review

The rest is exactly the same (physically) which means opinions will be once again divided. Personally I really like the smooth finish of the soft white rear panel, and enjoy the compact (thin and narrow) 5-inch polycarbonate phone, but others using the phone say it feels cheap and that they much prefer a metal border.

As someone who routinely uses metal bodied phones, I still love the design and feel of the Xiaomi Mi4C and would say it ranks as one of the best made plastic phones on the market today.

For those of you not familiar with the Mi4c or Mi4i I’ll give you a very brief tour around the phone.

xiaomi mi4c review

The front of the Xiaomi Mi4c has a 5-inch 1920 x 1080 display, below the screen are back-lit hardware buttons (only visible when they are pressed and the LED behind them lights up) and above we have the Mi logo on the left, receiver and a 88 degree wide-angle 5 mega-pixel F2.0 camera.

xiaomi mi4c review

Around the edge of the phone we find the aforementioned IR remote and 3.5mm headphone jack at the top right, a dual micro SIM tray on the left (no SD card slot), power and volume buttons on the right, and USB type C in the base (yes, this is also a physical difference to the Mi4i, sorry).

The white sides of the phone a moulded in to a single rear panel that spreads across the back of the phone too. There is a white version, black version and other options available too.

xiaomi mi4c review

A single speaker sits behind a grill in the rear of the phone, next up is another Mi logo, and finally at the top left we have dual tone LED flash, and 13 mega-pixel camera.

xiaomi mi4c review

If you didn’t like the Xiaomi Mi4i’s design then you are not going to like the Mi4c, I’m lucky and think they both look and feel great.

Xiaomi Mi4c Review – Performance

This is where we really see the difference between the Xiaomi Mi4i and the Xiaomi Mi4c. The Mi4c has a later Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor, Adreno 418 GPU and 2GB RAM. The difference between this set up and the one on the Mi4i (Snapdragon 615) is like chalk and cheese.

While the Xiaomi Mi4i suffers from constant lags, over heating and general sluggish performance, the Xiaomi Mi4c is a joy to use. The Mi4c handles everyday use in its stride, barely breads a sweat when pushed, and so far hasn’t missed a beat!

The Xiaomi Mi4c comes with MIUI 7 Beta installed, and like many of you, I wondered if Xiaomi had just finally managed to optimise the phone with the new system. Perhaps installing MIUI 7 on the Mi4i you can get the same terrific performance? The answer to that is sadly no. I have both my Xiaomi Mi4i and Mi4c on the same MIUI 7 Beta, and the Mi4i is still a bag of lags and bugs.

Xiaomi Mi4c Review – Hardware

So the performance is better on the Xiaomi Mi4c due to the new Snapdragon 808 chipset, but are there any other differences? Yes!

xiaomi mi4c review

First of all we have a new side touch control on the Xiaomi Mi4c. Side touch is set to work as a optional camera control be default, but in the settings you can also have it set as a home short cut too. Basically all it does is allow you to tap the edge of your phone to head back to the home screen or snap a photo. It sounds like a gimmick but I found myself using it a lot (its especially good for selfies).

xiaomi mi4c review

The Mi4c also has a IR remote built-in meaning that you can connect home devices to the phone and control them from one universal device. I was unable to use this as my LG TV doesn’t appear to be supported, and that’s the only IR controlled device I have to test it on. Still it is there if you need it.

Audio performance on the Xiaomi Mi4c is good. With headphones attached (I tested with Piston 3 and OP Silver Bullets) audio performance is really good. It’s not as rich or rewarding as LeTV or Vivo, but you aren’t going to be disappointed. Audio from the rear built-in speaker is loud and clear. Im using the phone to play music now and with half volume I have my small living room filled with drum and bass.

xiaomi mi4c review

The battery in the Xiaomi Mi4c is rather large in comparison to the size of the phone. Remember this is a 5-inch device, yet it has a 3080mAh battery inside. There are large phones with smaller batteries (the new Nubia Z9 for example) so I was expecting good battery life and I got it. As the processor runs much cooler I was getting over 6 hours of onscreen time with the Xiaomi Mi4c, with more frugal usage more is possible.

xiaomi mi4c review

Camera’s have also been improved on the Xiaomi Mi4c when compared to the Xiaomi Mi4i. Lens are not much wider front and rear, and now camera performance is more similar to the Xiaomi Mi Note, impressive as the Mi Note has a killer camera set up.

Xiaomi Mi4c Review – MIUI 7

MIUI 7 looks and feels great on the Xiaomi Mi4c. MIUI engineers have done a great hob of optimising the system for the new Snapdragon 808 chipset, but this being MIUI 7 there are also some new features included too.

MIUI 7 now has a Mi Wallet feature. This is like Google Pay and will require that you log in with your Xiaomi account (with connected payment card) and let you pay for products and services. I am using the standard ROM that comes with the phone so I also have the Chinese Game Center will new icons and redesigned UI. The weather app has a new icon design that tells you the current weather in your location, plus there is a new Video application giving you access to Chinese content.

The biggest changes I found were in the settings. For example the battery and performance settings have moved. There is also the Edge Control settings and a new Child mode (at least I haven’t noticed this before in MIUI 6)

Not huge changes, so anyone who has experience with MIUI (or iOS) will feel right at home.

Xiaomi Mi4c Review – Camera

As already mentioned in the hardware section, the cameras on the Mi4c are much better than the Mi4i. While the Mi4i had great sensor, the optics made for narrow images, now on the Mi4c that’s been changed and you can fit much more in to your photographs.

xiaomi mi4c photo sample

Again not much has changed in the camera application on MIUI 7, you still have options to have HDR on, off or in Auto mode. With the speed of the Mi4c I opted for auto most of the time. A swipe from the right will give you a live preview of 12 different filters and a swipe to the left brings up 9 camera modes and a camera settings short cut.

Overall I’m really happy with the performance of the camera on the Mi4c, I just wished the weather was a little better so I could have taken some better photos.

Xiaomi Mi4c Review – Gallery

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Xiaomi Mi4c Review – Specifications

Model: Mi4C
Sim Card:
  • Dual 4G SIM (2 x micro), Dual Standby
  • supports 4G, 3G, 2G network, but does not support two slots using 4G network simultaneously.  If one SIM card is using 4G /3G network, the other SIM card can only access to 2G network.
Color: White | Black | Blue | Pink | Yellow
Capacity RAM: 2GB

ROM: 16GB

Multi-Languages English,Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese
Chipset CPU: Snapdragon™ Snapdragon™ 808 CPU, 1.8GHz

GPU: Adreno 418 GPU

System MIUI 7 base on Android 5.1 OS
Screen Display Size: 5″ Sharp/JDI Full HD display

Resolution: 1920 x 1080 resolution, 441 PPI

Multitouch: Yes

Technology: All-new Sunlight display with hardware-level,pixel contrast adjustments

IPS 178° wide viewing angle

Camera Rear Camera:13MP Sony/Samsung camera,5-element lens, f/2.0 aperture

Front Camera: 5MP front camera, f/2.0 aperture

Features:  Two-tone flash,Supports manual mode, real-time HDR, Torch Supports 1080p video recordings

Others: 5-element lens, f/2.0 aperture

Network and Wireless Connectivity 4G FDD-LTE: Bands 1(2100 MHz)/ Bands 3(1800 MHz)/ Bands 7(2600 MHz)

TDD-LTE:Bands 38(TD 2600) / 39(TD 1900) / 40(TD 2300) / 41(TD 2500)

3G: TD-SCDMA:Bands 34 (TD 2000) / 39(TD 1900)

WCDMA:Bands 1(2100 MHz) / 2(1900 MHz) / 5(850 MHz) / 8(900 MHz)

CDMA 2000:Bands BC0 / BC1

2G GSM: Bands 2(1900 MHz) / 3(1800 MHz) / 5(850 MHz) / 8(900 MHz)

CDMA 1X:BC0 / BC1

GPS:GPS, AGPS,GLONASS,Positioning by BDS(BeiDou Navigation Satellite System)

Bluetooth:Bluetooth 4.1,Bluetooth HID

WiFi: 802.11 a/b/g/n, 802.11ac wave 2 include MU- MIMO, supports 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands,Wi-Fi Display,Wi-Fi Direct

OTG:Yes

USB: Type-C Port

Battery capacity and life

3080mAh all-day battery

Sony/Samsung/ATL 4.4V lithium-ion polymer battery

3080mAh (typ)

3000mAH (min)

Standby Time: About 2~3 days

Sensor Electronic compass,Gravity sensor,Light sensor,Gyroscope,Hall sensor,Proximity sensor

 

Xiaomi Mi4c Review – Conclusion

So physically the Xiaomi Mi4c and the Xiaomi Mi4i are very similar, almost identical, but in use they are very different phones. One is just a headache to use (the Mi4i) and the other is pure joy (Mi4c).

xiaomi mi4c review

As an owner of the Mi4i I am a little upset, I want my phone to be the Mi4c, if it were I would probably give my OnePlus 2 a rest and use the little Xiaomi for a while (you sometimes forget how nice a 5-inch phone can be to use).

However I have to send this review unit back, perhaps I can switch it for my Mi4i though and hope no one finds out.

  • Design - 9/10
    9/10
  • Hardware - 9/10
    9/10
  • Battery - 9/10
    9/10
  • Camera - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
  • Value - 9/10
    9/10
8.9/10

Previous articleNubia release 3rd Anniversary Edition Nubia Z9 with bezel-less 5.2-inch display at $630
Next articleJust a Rumour: Siswoo have not bought Zopo
SHARE
  • Mario Pruteanu

    great review andy, been following your site for more than 1 and a half now

  • Steve B

    your photos look a lot better than other examples i’ve seen, which though detailed, looked a bit dull and muted. Yours have some pop to them, wonder if it’s the Sony/Samsung factor or just the Andi factor?

    • I’d like to take credit haha

      • Stiven

        Andi is the camera in mi4c better than Letv x600?

        • Yup, I would say so

          • Likhon Amin

            Major difference?

          • Dante

            Then is this your new fav phone?

    • MinusPlusDivide

      It’s Andi factor. Andi is the only one who can take sharp pictures even that phone doesn’t have OIS and even sharper than an eyes can see if that phone has OIS.

  • If the sellers who shipped the phone to you read this review, they’ll certainly be able to tell between the Mi 4i that you send back and the 4c 😛

    • that’s true 🙁

      • Muhammad Yasir

        i feel sorry for u , andi !

      • MaxPower

        hey Andi, i wanted to ask you about the quick charge on this phone, can you confirm that doesn’t support QC2.0?

        also i wanted to let you know that LeTV finally opened the US store
        m.lemall.com/us/
        so far they only sell earphones and speakers.

  • Joe

    “… perhaps I can switch it for my Mi4i though and hope no one finds out.”

    Old rascal! :p

    • Muhammad Yasir

      HAHA !

  • balcobomber25

    Xiaomi released two horrible phones (Mi4i and Note Pro) due to their stubbornness to use SD SoCs. They followed it up with two excellent phones (this and Note 2). Interested to see what happens next, an 820 powered Mi5?

    • Tizz

      Honest question; what’s the problem with Mi Note Pro? Anandtech did a review about it and said it doesn’t heat up much, though i agree it’s too expensive.

      • RuR

        You can get a Samsung Galaxy S6 for the price of MI Note pro.

        • Tizz

          Yeah but balco said the Mi Note Pro is horrible because it has the SD810, not for the price.

          • Dante

            Dont listen to anybody on gizchina ( including me ) But you can trust me because i know you like croc – legend of the gobbos . This phone didnt heat up while i had it for 2 weeks even when trying to emulate dolphin which was kind of a first to me , yes in hard gaming it gets warm but thats normal (doesnt get meizu hot)

      • balcobomber25

        Everyone I know that has or had one says it suffers from some of the worst heating of all the 810 phones.

        • Tizz

          Kinda weird since i’ve read some reviews and it says it doesn’t heat up, thanks though.

          • MinusPlusDivide

            It’s not overheat if the manufacturer can manage it, Mi Note Pro has said to be addressed (or lower) the heat issues after few updates although still advise to get normal Mi Note instead. Even LG G Flex 2 has very few into no report of overheating even this is the first device to use SD810.

            The one I know that really suffer from SD810 a lot is Sony Z4/Z3+. This one is the real diaster.

            I can say if you ever hand on a lot of devices, you will know that SD chipsets aren’t hotter than those way overhyped “Exynos” devices people in other tech sites do. Galaxy S6 and Note 5 are very hot devices too and even show sign of overheat which is the same problem from Galaxy S4 Note 3 and still today Samsung can’t fix the problem because I saw S6 overheat itself in recent Mobile Expo.So can be sure that if you hand on both SD810 device and Note 5 you will not know the difference which is hotter.

            and for android device it’s better to choose SD to have the most apps compatible (at least in my country internet banking apps doesn’t work well if you use other chipset than Snapdragon even MTK , Exynos)

            but if you are the same as me who looking for unicorn of the midrange device, I choose to let go this year midrange devices which mostly use SD615 until next year with update SOC and to have every brands include fast charge.

    • MattD

      No doubt about them using sd820 on mi5, everything depends on the soc’s performance… In the worst case though, Xiaomi won’t be starving thank to those beasts of midrangers they’ve launched lately

      • balcobomber25

        Depends on the availability of the 820 and when they want the Mi5 to launch. They are already well past their normal release for the “Mi” flagship phone which is why they released the holdover Mi4c.

        • MattD

          That’s the point: they’re waiting for the sd820 to come out, that’s why they’re months past their usual release date for the flagship!

    • Maciek Buczkowski

      Don’t really know what’s so horrible in MI Note pro. Wonderful phone. No overheating issues and performance smooth as butter.

      • balcobomber25

        Everyone I know that used it says it overheats badly, especially when playing games. I know about 10 people that bought one and regretted it ever since.

        • Dante

          this phone has really been off
          the stocks, But i agree with maciek they use a really effective cooling solution in this phone (if not better than in Op2 which is great) but the 3rd party Roms are lacking , the audio is also amaze on this one

          • balcobomber25

            I haven’t used it myself so I can’t say but from what I have been told by people I trust, you need to wear gloves to do anything processor intensive (games, editing video etc) or you will get burned. Audio is usually excellent on all Xiaomi phones.

            • Dante

              Lol , Maybe its time just to stop thinking about qualqs for a bit

        • Adam Wasilewski

          I have no any overheating issues with my Note Pro.

        • Maciek Buczkowski

          Ok, maybe these people were right. On the other hand, I was using the device for a couple of months. None of the issues you mentioned noticed. Heat like in 801 tbh. I got to admit though, I am not and never was a heavy gamer. Just casual.

  • Muhammad Yasir

    whats wrong with cam ?! why only 8.5 why not 9.5 ?!

    • Tajwar

      Imo the photos look better then the ones shot from the op2

      • Nope not quite as good, but not far off

        • KatieC

          Hi Andi. Do you think this is a better buy at the moment than the Mi Note considering the camera delivers similar results?

      • Muhammad Yasir

        exaxtly … at least a 9 would suffice

    • Dante

      Buy this already – its the perfect ocasion to get a phone that is perfect in every aspect (and also has a good price) plus sd808 is my fav chipset of this year

      • Muhammad Yasir

        mine too !
        BUT its a bit expensive (250$ = 35000 PKR and in Pakistan , THATS a big deal!)

        plus its a 5 incher when im looking for a 5.7 incher … will settle for 5.5

        • Dante

          Huh .. then uh … Wait … For the P9000… Maybe it wont be junk… Maybe…

          • Muhammad Yasir

            maybe … we saw alot of improvement in elephone Trunk !
            i hope p9000 is good throughout !

            • Dante

              Lol yeah…

          • RuR

            Elephone are rubbish compared to Xiaomi.

  • guerrierodipace

    The second sim slot can also be uesd as microsd expansion memory?

    • MaxPower

      no

    • MattD

      Nope

  • G’n’T

    Andi, do you know which camera is in your review model? Would be interesting to know if its the Sony or Samsung.

    • RuR

      I think Both will be good

    • No, idea. I would have to take it apart to see

      • G’n’T

        If you look at the properties of the pictures themselves, does that not tell you? Sometimes the meta data will reveal the camera used for the pictures. Not sure if its the same for smartphones though..

        • Sander Van de Moortel

          It just says Xiaomi

  • Cuong

    What about video quality? I’ve seen a lot of good pictures produced by Mi4c but its video samples i found on Youtube doesn’t look really good – lack of detail and have lots of motion blur. I were hoping that’s just firmware problem.

    • MattD

      Maybe it’s the usual YouTube’s issue messing up with videos’ quality when they’re uploaded

  • Josef Ovethsky

    Andi Ive been with you since xiaomi mi2/2s days, I love your website and the review is great, thanks alot!

  • Derp herp

    Too bad every reseller only lies about stock. Waiting for phone to ship since 25th september

    • balcobomber25

      Which reseller do you go through? I have had no issues with Merimobiles, 1949deal or Honorbuy/Gizchina Shop.

      • Derp herp

        iBuyGou, waited from 25th september, cancelled order on 10th of october. Later ordered on Honorbuy 13.10, should be shipped in 48 hours. Nope … Hopefully atleast on monday or another cancel :/

        • Max

          You might want to try gearbest or banggood too. 🙂

          • Derp herp

            Honorbuy shipped today (on saturday). Didn’t expect it, but so happy about it.

  • Norbert Ciszek

    Hi Andi, just one question about the display. Is it the same great panel that was used in Mi4i? Because after watching these two videos… I have to admit I’m not so sure. What’s your say?


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rY-Ap-1Lmk

  • Likhon Amin

    Great review as always Andi 🙂 A question, how does the camera of leTV le 1 fare against the camera of mi4c?

  • waterresist

    Great review Andy and really comforting after Mi4i. Only one question came in mind: does the screen have a scratchproof coating?

    • Young

      Get tempered glass.

      • waterresist

        This is exactly the question. Do I need an extra layer of protection? Even Ulefon Paris have Gorilla 3 according to GizChina review.

  • bojan radovanovic

    You wanna say Mi4c has 2x better battery life, or at least SoT times, then Mi4i with same capacity!?
    Yeah, i am even more sorry that i have Mi4i. From first day i am not satisfied, so many bugs, bad battery, overheating, Xiaomi’s expectatins that we, users will be beta testers… And now, i see the totaly fu*d all of us that have bought that peace of crap, and offer something that it really could be called “cheap flagship”.

  • MinusPlusDivide

    I wish this phone has micro sd slot to be my perfect 5″ mid range for a middle guy like me.

    • Max

      This would be the perfect chinese phone with good build quality and decent pricing with a sd-card-slot. Perfect i say.

  • jimberkas

    Andi, you’ll move a lot of Mi4c phones with this review! xiaomi should definitely give you one for free!
    great review. great phone. wish it worked on US bands…

  • VMortens

    Not a word about the Type-C connector being only USB 2.0. Neiter a single one about lack, or presence of the uick charge technology, which can be really important for a battery of this size …
    What the heck Andi? Is it already just a marketing note, or it is a review?

    • Muhammad Yasir

      marketing !

    • Sirrr

      When “Xiaomi Mi4c first impressions” was posted 2 weeks ago, there were some debates on this subject.

      I also posted some links and info and i was interested to find some clarification about QC on Mi4c.

      But i guess nobody bothered to read the comments…

      • Sander Van de Moortel

        there is quickcharge

    • slartiblart

      It’s quick charge.

  • Muhammad Yasir

    THIS SUCKS no sd card !

    • Chico Migraña

      There’s no need of SD Card slot

      • Muhammad Yasir

        why ?

        • Chico Migraña

          You don’t even have a smartphone yet, with 16gb is OK for your first phone. You have a Mi cloud for photos and backups and OTG if you need more space, for the price is a good phone 😉

      • Max

        There indeed is. Everyone not in need of more than 16GB (10-11 free) of , doesn’t need such a powerful phone. You want to make many photos, play Games because of the good CPU and GPU and install many apps to multitask and loads Gigs of in it because of the good sound. 16GB definetely not enough at least not for people really using the powers of this phone. 🙂

        • Chico Migraña

          32gb version is enough if you want more GB, and you have 1Gb RAM extra so you can use multitask without problem

      • sHmoX

        It’s important for me, some games need almost 2gb storage, so…

  • Thang Cheong Pin

    Too bad that this Mi4c didn’t launch in all other country except China. I’m from Singapore and the local Xiaomi is still selling the Mi4i. Even the Redmi Note 2 is not here. They’re slow in bringing new models to their foreign branches.

  • fido futte

    Wonder if there is any EU version available of the Mi4c ? since B20 and EU language support is totaly missing, so unless you speak Chinese – this phone is not for you!

    • Derp herp

      Nope. This phone is for Asia. But I dont mind lack of B20 anymore and neither would you. Unless you are downloading movies or watching HD streams on mobile data.

    • JPiliouras

      But, it has English language available..

  • John L

    Any news on when the Black 3GB version might be available

  • Antonio Cappiello

    Does somebody know if Andy uses a Stable Rom or a Developer one?
    And what’s the keyboard name?

  • Kingu Prima

    No 3gb version ?

  • Kingu Prima

    Still no infos about thé mi5 witz snapdragon 820 ? Thanks ????

  • Allanitomwesh

    Just get the 3GB RAM version for yourself Andi

  • Sander Van de Moortel

    Just bought the phone from the official website. Camera performs nowhere near as advertised. More than half of the indoor shots are blurred, most unacceptably so, unless you really take your time to stabilise the phone with two hands. Outdoors, if bathing in sunlight, shots are acceptable if not perfectly sharp. Anno 2015 this is substandard for any phone.

    • bouet

      Just got it yesterday and I guess yours was flawed? Mine is doing some amazing shots and I love it!

    • slartiblart

      You sure you talking about the same phone? Got mine, the camera is stunning! Fast and not noisy and definitely not blurred. Your may have xiaomi potato version.

    • Hendri Go

      mine is great..so amazing clear

  • Nishikanta

    NO SD CARD. Thats the thorn in shoe

  • Roberto Tomás

    seems like you overvalued the camera to me. 5mp only for front? same 13mp you’d find on .. for example, the umi iron at $150

  • thelion

    2016

    • Milo

      Is it true or fake?

  • xiaomi lezz

    Just took delivery of my Xiaomi Mi4 today, Thought I would post a heads up to anone looking for one with fast shipping as these are in the EU warehouse. http://www.banggood.com/EU-Warehouse-Xiaomi-Mi4-5-inch-3G-WCDMA-16GB-ROM-3GB-RAM-Snapdragon-801-Smartphone-p-1017437.html?p=2O21111526893201504H mine came in just four days, So happy to be rid of my old Huawei, like moving from a Hillman Imp to a Jag !