Tuesday, May 12, 2015

[Review] Xiaomi Mi 4 VS Mi 4i

Recently, Xiaomi Singapore have announced that there's a new product coming into our market, which is the Mi 4i! That's the first global product which is launch outside of China, their home market. India have started selling Mi 4i on the 30th April, and it's coming to our shores on 12 May, noon time! So I am happy that I managed to get my hands on Mi 4i before the launch and I am going to do a comparison with its previous model, the Mi 4.

True to its weigh, I've tested both Mi 4 and Mi 4i on the weighing scale. And Mi 4i is indeed lighter than Mi 4, due to the build of the set. As Mi 4 is a metal build while Mi 4i is a plastic build. As far as I can remember, Mi 4i is the lightest phone so far with Xiaomi's launch in Singapore (it is even lighter than Redmi 2).

Weighing at 129g, 1g lighter than stated on their website. 
Mi 4 is nearly 23g heavier than Mi 4i, but u can feel the weight difference. 

With a lighter phone, you don't have to worry about weighing your pants down. Even though it maybe lighter, it does not feel like a toy phone, so that's a plus point for the phone (Not sure if it's gonna slip out of my butter fingers though). Besides the weight, the thickness of the Mi 4i wins over Mi 4, for it is thinner than Mi 4 by slightly a little.
Very slight difference in the thickness but Mi 4i is still the slimmer one! 
The only thing that Mi 4 wins over Mi 4i is that it is smaller in width as Mi 4i is slightly wider as compared to Mi 4.
Slightly wider, maybe it's time to get a wider pocket for Mi 4i. 
Mi 4i back casing is actually matt, hence, it doesn't feel slippery or fragile, as compared to Mi 4. In fact, Xiaomi Singapore had conducted a Mi 4i stress lab for their Mi fans on the 8th May. Highlights of the events were all posted here:

It is interesting that Mi 4i is really stress resistance! :p I did have my fair share of stressing that poor little Mi 4i.  Enough of the physical comparison of the phones, next I'm moving to the battery test, I can't say it is a fair test since my Mi 4 is a 3G set while Mi 4i is a dual sim 4G set. But at least both data SIMs are on Starhub (pretty fair in this sense). Also, I've reset my Mi 4 to Global stable ROM, factory reset, so Mi 4 is in the same state as Mi 4i. Apart from the fact that Mi 4 runs on KK based MIUI 6 while Mi 4i runs on Lollipop based MIUI 6.

Had to reboot two phones even though both had been charged till 100%, but because I've not reboot Mi 4 for more than 48hours. :p So reboot and these were the battery life of each of the phone.
Mi 4i takes a little longer to boot up, hence the time since boot up is shorter than Mi 4. 
For this test, I've used Spotify to test on battery drainage, and also network connection.
SS to show that both phones are on the same playlist. 
After 15 mins of playing on both phones, it doesn't seems to have any connection issue that's very severe, even during my trip on the mrt, under tunnel. :D But Mi 4i seems to drain a little more battery.
Mi 4i drained 1% more than Mi 4. 
Most probably because Mi 4i is running on lollipop which results in higher battery drainage. So I decided to let both phones run on Spotify for the next 1 hour plus while I was doing something else. And I came back to check on the phones: 
Both phones drained same percentage of battery juice in an hour plus. 
Both Mi 4 and Mi 4i drained same percentage of battery juice and the temperature did not rise that much either. Both are still within the acceptable range of temperature, even though both phones may feel a little warm while using, but it's not a burning touch.

Being a fan of photo-taking, camera test is something I'm not gonna miss out. All settings are set as default, apart from the fact Mi 4i was set @ 16:9 and Mi 4 @ 4:3 for this shoot (my mistake for not checking). But the condition for the photos were the same. Orange warm light @ Swensens.
The colours of the nanoblocks looks pretty neat though in my opinion.
The colours look rather harsh here. 
Base on the two photos, Mi 4 photo turned out better than Mi 4i, but Mi 4i seems to have cooler colours than Mi 4. I prefer the Mi 4 photo out of these two though, for I feel that Mi 4i didn't bring out the vibrant colours of the instagram nanoblock.

Next I set both phones to HDR normal mode, taking my favorite stuffs of all time, FOOD! Since yesterday was Mother's day, its time to feast (Secretly yay! to food)
Colours are rather dark though. 
Colours here looks brighter and yummy!

Base on HDR normal mode, Mi 4i seems to bring out the colours of the food while Mi 4 seems to be darker in pictures. So both phones have their pros and cons, is how we adjust the focus point when we take photos.

Lastly I've created this video and tested the following:
* Boot up time/Loading time
* Gaming quality (Since on Xiaomi website, they boost that Mi 4i is adept at handling both everyday apps and intense 3D gaming)
* Sound quality (For it has smart PA)
* The battery drainage and temperature after gaming.

I've read through that there are heating issues with Mi 4i and I just had to test it myself.

Can't compare SD 801 and SD 615 second gen, as the loading speed and game frame rates will be slower for Mi 4i. But I am happy that indeed, Mi 4i is able to handle the graphics of hearthstone, and also inner world (not in the video) without any lagging. Besides the game frame rate, Mi 4i really lives up to its smart PA. In this video, the speaker of Mi 4i is technically covered, as it is at the back. But the sound quality and volumes is exactly the same as Mi 4, which has its speakers at the bottom of the phone (uncovered).

 I've also tested playing games with the speaker uncovered for Mi 4i, and the verdict from my family members were that Mi 4i sounds louder and clearer than Mi 4 when I'm playing the exact same games on both phone. I ran the games at the same time for testing purposes. SO gamers, rejoice!!

And I do not experience any overheating issue as what some might have and there's no lag at all at this moment in time. Both Mi 4 and Mi 4i have the exact same apps installed so maybe a SD 615 second gen with a better GPU makes up for the lag in CPU? :D

Oh, another point to take note (probably some of you know this, but I kuku), you can use whatsapp on the non-data phone, but using the data of the other SIM card. Just a question that my friend asked yesterday so I tried it out today and it works (new discovery for me).

For a price of $279, you'll get a phone that has specs like this and able to do some serious gaming (for people like my brother), why not?

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