While Xiaomi continues to refuse to ship its handsets outside the Asian markets, the company has certainly managed to garner the interest of smartphone geeks worldwide, and many find ways to import Xiaomi handsets via 3rd party online resellers. What makes its smartphones so desirable? Xiaomi rose to fame with a number of models, which offered really good hardware and pretty design at really low price points – even after paying shipping and tax, a Mi 3 or Mi 4 flagship could still end up being a bargain. This trend waned off a bit, however, when Xiaomi introduced Mi Note Pro — a very shiny phablet with metal trims, glass back, and top-line hardware, which reduced the price gapbetween it and competitor top shelf devices.
So, smartphone aficionados have been waiting for the Xiaomi Mi 5 — the successor of the $320 Mi 4 flagship — for quite a while now. We’re all wondering if it will include any of the hip new tech we’ve been seeing recently, such as Force Touch (3D Touch in Apple-ish) or Iris scanning for unlock. Most of all, it’s curious to see if the Mi 5 will be a bang-for-the-buck decked-out flagship like the Mi 4 was, or if it will go the way of the Mi Note Pro, costing almost as much as any “regular” top-line smartphone does.
We’ve heard plenty of rumors about the Mi 5. After a year of leaksters claiming that it is about to be launched “soon”, Xiaomi has finally dropped the official word that the Mi 5 will make an appearance at this year’s MWC, in just 3 weeks. It is expected to be equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 SoC, 3 GB of RAM, and a 5.2” display
and, as per leaked renders and real-life shots of the supposed device, it’s going to be a looker.
So, this latest leak adds more to the stack of real-life pictures. What we have is a snap of a back plate that is supposedly to be put on the Xiaomi Mi 5. It appears to be made of metal, with a X-pattern brush applied to it, and is covered with glossy glass on top. So, if this panel truly is the real deal, it’s probably safe to say that the Xiaomi Mi 5 will be another glass sandwich. And that’s hardly a surprise, as this seems to be what’s currently hip on the premium market.
Will the phone be available in the US? Tough question. Xiaomi has more than once expressed a desire to sell internationally, and used to make promises of entering the US market way back when the Mi 4 was still a hot model. This is yet to happen, however, for whatever reason. So, if you are a fan of the Mi, you may have to import it from a 3rd party retailer again, and hope you get a proper unit.