Xiaomi's Mi 4i budget smartphone doesn't scrimp on specs

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The Xiaomi Mi 4i sports a 5-inch screen and upper mid-range specs at a buget price, with five color options

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Having already bestowed some flattery upon the iPad mini with its Mi Pad, Chinese electronics giant has continued the theme with its latest (upper) mid range smartphone, the Mi 4i. Revealed at an event in New Delhi yesterday, the Mi 4i looks a bit like the iPhone 6 and iPhone 5s had a love child, but packs an impressive set of specs for its budget price.

The phone features a 5-inch 1080p IPS display with a 178-degree viewing angle, a 1.7 GHz eight-core 64-bit Snapdragon 615 processor with an Adreno 405 GPU and 2 GB of RAM, and a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera that has a small f/2.0 aperture and a five-element lens.

Xiaomi hasn't bothered avoiding comparisons to the iPhone this time, boasting instead that the Mi 4i's colors are 32 percent more vivid than the iPhone 6 and that its 445 pixels per inch walks all over the iPhone 6 Retina display of 326 pixels per inch (of course if it's about pixel density, there are quite a few phone that trounce the Mi 4i's density as well).

The Mi 4i also sports what the company calls a Sunlight Display, which it says dynamically increases the contrast under bright light on a pixel-by-pixel basis to improve outdoor readability.

But the camera is the real star of the show here, with a beefed-up high-dynamic-range (HDR) mode that offers gamma and contrast tuning, color correction, and low-light de-noising. You can also decide on focus and depth of field settings after snapping your pictures, and a two-tone flash is meant to automatically adjust color temperature according to the hues and natural lighting of the environment.

The dual-SIM (you can have 4G/LTE in both slots) Mi 4i includes a 3,120 mAh battery that the company claims can last for 11 hours of HD video playback or 35 hours of 3G talk time and be fully charged in under three hours. Weighing 131 g (4.6 oz) and at 7.8 mm (0.3 in) thick and just a touch taller than the iPhone 6, it also comes in five colors: black, white, orange, blue, or pink. You're stuck with just 16 GB of storage space, however, with no higher-capacity options or microSD slots.

The Mi 4i is the first Xiaomi phone to be designed outside of China and the first to run a MIUI-flavored version of Android Lollipop out of the box. It'll be available for INR12,999 (US$205) in India from April 30, with a raft of customizations intended for that market. Prices and availability in other markets have not yet been revealed.

Source: Xiaomi Mi 4i

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