Rumour Zone: what to expect from the Xiaomi Mi 5

“A roundup of all the leaks and rumours surrounding Xiaomi’s upcoming flagship, the Mi 5”

Talk about up and coming OEMs in the global smartphone space, and Xiaomi will definitely feature at the top of the list. The Chinese behemoth is slated to launch its flagship for this year – the Xiaomi Mi 5 – at two simultaneous events in Beijing and at MWC 2016 in Barcelona.


While February 24th is still a week away, the rumour mill has a lot of juice on the latest flagship from Xiaomi. So in this piece, we take a look at all that the Mi 5 might have to offer.


This one was a spec confirmed by none other than Xiaomi’s top honcho Hugo Barra. In a tweet posted last month, Hugo Barra stated that the Xiaomi Mi 5 will come equipped with the Snapdragon 820 processor.


The 820 is the latest (and most powerful) processor in the Snapdragon portfolio. Offering features such as X12 LTE support for blazing fast internet speeds (600Mbps DL, 150Mbps UL), a Kryo CPU, a Hexagon 680 DSP, Adreno 530 GPU and Advanced Spectra Camera ISP, the 820 is in many ways the holy grail for processors and flagship smartphones in 2016.

Other features of this processor include Quick Charge 3.0, Versatile LTE-U (which allows for the phone to latch on to LTE connections in both licensed and unlicensed spectra) and always-on sensors. The only other phone confirmed to come with this processor is the LeTV Le Max Pro that was unveiled at CES 2016.


This is mere speculation on our part, but it is likely that the Mi 5 will come with 3/4GB of RAM onboard (as was evident from the Mi Note Pro’s spec sheet). Internal memory should be either 32GB or 64GB. Some rumours even suggest that Xiaomi might just do a OnePlus and include two separate variants – a 3GB/32GB combination and a 4GB/64GB one. 


This one is based on a screenshot of the Mi 5 posted by Hugo Barra and the official Xiaomi pages on Facebook, and a screenshot shared by Xiaomi chairman Lei Jun on Chinese social media site Weibo.


Prima facie, we can see the NFC logo and Dual SIM support.The presence of NFC is interesting, since this was a feature missing in most Xiaomi devices since the Mi 3. Does this open up avenues for wireless charging? We can only wait and watch.


Through a post on Weibo on January 30th, Xiaomi Senior VP Liwan Jiang stated that the Mi 5 would come with a 1,080p resolution display, thereby debunking any earlier rumours about the display having a QHD resolution.


This move was stated to be made in order to conserve power on the device. Keeping the resolution in mind, an optimal screen size of 5-inches to 5.2-inches can be expected to preserve the pixel density.


In this regard, there are two different sources of information: A Chinese seller called Oppomart had included the specs of the device on a dedicated product page, but that was taken down soon after. The listing on the page stated the cameras offered 20MP rear and 8MP front sensors, with the rear camera likely to have phase detection auto focus, as seen on the Redmi Note 3.

The other source comes in the form of Mobipicker, which stated that the rear camera would actually have a resolution of 16MP, and would have a ‘flip-side’ design reminiscent of old Nokias, which would pop the camera out only when the camera application was enabled. Slightly farfetched, yet immensely intriguing, we wouldn’t place our bets on this side of the story.

But again, there is some official information in this regard, coming from none other than Hugo Barra himself. In a thread on the official MIUI forum, Hugo Barra shared some of the camera samples from the Mi 5.


Android 6.0 Marshmallow, with MIUI’s latest flavour – MIUI 7 – layered over. This is more of a given spec for a flagship, and this writer can safely bet top money on this point.


The blurriest of details come in the form of the design of the Mi 5, thanks to the vast number of leaks and renders in this regard.

Most of them seem to suggest the presence of a physical home button in the front, which would raise a doubt as to whether the fingerprint sensor would be incorporated on the home button or within the screen itself, since the processor is apparently capable of supporting that level of technology. Our bet is a fingerprint sensor on the home button.


A metal frame is expected to feature around the edges, with a glass display that spills over onto the side edges. The Mi 5 might probably have thin bezels, keeping in tune with the current design standards. This is a speculation based on the design of the Mi Note Pro. The camera placement and structure should be akin to that in the Mi 4i. 

The display is expected to have 3D Touch Technology, much akin to the iPhone 6S, and would open up entirely new dimensions of interaction if it was found to be true. This interaction module is likely to come in the form of Synaptic ClearForce Technology for Smartphones.



Recent rumours regarding the price hint at the Mi 5 costing 2,499 Yuan (about Rs.26,250/-). The phone is stated to be officially announced next week, so all the obscure details should be clarified then, straight from the horse’s mouth.

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