Xiaomi New Launch : Xiaomi Mi 5S - Snapdragon 821, Under Glass Fingerprint & More for just $300

Things may not have gone as planned this year for Xiaomi, however, the company is back in the game in the top-end segment with not one but two new flagship grade smartphones, the Xiaomi Mi 5S and the Xiaomi Mi 5S Plus

We have been hearing about these two devices for the past few weeks and leaks started to come in pretty fast recently. But now, both the devices have been made official which means we have all the information that we need about these two handsets.

Xiaomi used 3D Glass body on its earlier flagship, the Xiaomi Mi 5 and there was a 3D Ceramic version as well. This time, for its new flagship, Xiaomi is using a metal body. This could be a good decision as mass producing the ceramic body is not an easy task and we don’t want any supply problems with the Mi 5S as its predecessor.

The Xiaomi Mi 5S comes with an all metal design with four color options, dark gray, silver, gold and rose gold. It’s curvier and smoother in terms of design as compared to its predecessor. The metal gets a matte anodizing finish to give it a unique look. On the front, the phone features 2.5D glass, giving it a slightly curved feel.
Dimensions: 145.6 x 70.3 x 8.25mm | Weight: 145 grams

Plus, you even have the option of getting the 79 Yuan ($12) dot protective case to give your phone a different look.


As expected, the Xiaomi Mi 5S comes with the powerful Snapdragon 821 chipset, which is the upgraded version of the already powerful Snapdragon 820. Then there’s LPDDR4 RAM and 64GB / 128GB UFS 2.0 high-speed memory on the device. There will be two variants: 3GB + 64GB and 4GB + 128GB.

The phone features a 5.15-inch custom high-brightness 1920 x 1080p display with brightness up to 600 nits. Other features of the display include NTSC color gamut coverage up to 95% and high color saturation. What’s also special about this display is that it supports pressure sensitivity but only in the 4GB + 128GB model!

While these specs are pretty good, what’s really the highlight of the Xiaomi Mi 5S is its ultrasonic fingerprint sensor. Yes, it will be the first mass produced smartphone to feature the advanced ultrasonic fingerprint sensor. This 3D sensor enabled seamless integration of panels unlike other capacitive sensors. Further, it’s quick, accurate and long lasting. The sensor is located below the glass, without the need for any opening in the display panel.

The company did mention that optimizing the ultrasonic sensor required a lot of time and efforts from its engineers. But finally by June 2016, Xiaomi successfully solved major problems with the sensor and optimized power consumption.

The camera is yet another highlight of the Xiaomi Mi 5S. The phone comes with a 12MP Sony IMX378 1/2.3″ 1.55um sensor , which is 61% larger than the one inside the iPhone 6S Plus. Since the sensor size is bigger, Xiaomi claims that the phone is able to capture stellar photos, even at night. However, note that this is a single camera module. Only the Mi 5S Plus comes with the dual camera module at the back.

Other specs of the camera module include f/2.0, 6P lens, 80 degree wide angle, dual LED dual tone color temperature flash, PDAF, Second Gen. Qualcomm ISP, facial recognition, auto HDR and Panorama. The camera supports 4K shooting at 30 fps, 1080p at 120 fps and slo-mo 720p at 120 fps.

Up front, you get a 4MP Ultrapixel camera with f/2.o aperture, 80 degree wide angle lens, facial recognition etc.

Lei Jun revealed that the company gave out the Mi 5S to a professional photographer traveling to Northern Europe and the US. The pictures taken by the photographer turned out to be very good, and with the right amount of exposure control, even night time photography from the Mi 5S turned out to be impressive. You can check out the official samples below (a couple of them we have already seen).

To see whether the Xiaomi Mi 5S camera is good or bad, the company conducted a blind test with a sample of 200 ordinary users who were asked to select the camera sample that they liked. Out of these, 55% (110 users) found the Xiaomi Mi 5S camera sample to be better. In another blind test with a sample of 159 professional photographers, Xiaomi claims that 49% preferred Xiaomi Mi’s camera sample.

The company claims that the phone’s camera comes with richer detail and accurate colors as compared to competitors like the S7 Edge and the iPhone 6S Plus. That’s a big claim, but it also revealed an image comparing the sample from the three phones. Check it out for yourself.

The Xiaomi Mi 5S also comes with NFC and 4G+ technologies. So, it should support fingerprint enabled payment systems like Xiaomi Pay in China. Other specs include 802.1 ac dual band Wi-Fi with MU-MIMO, Bluetooth 4.2, Bluetooth HID, Wi-Fi Direct and Wi-Fi Display.
Supported LTE bands include:
FDD-LTE B1, B3, B5, B7 and B8
TDD-LTE B38, B39, B40 and B41
The battery is of 3200mAh capacity with QC 3.0 support (9V 2A) using the USB Type-C port.


The Xiaomi Mi 5S will start at 1999 Yuan ($300) for the 64GB version and 2299 Yuan ($345) for the 128GB version.

There are many details yet to be revealed by the company like the battery capacity (but it supports Quick Charge 3.0), so we will update this article after more details are available.