“We pit the latest sensation in the Indian smartphone arena with its recently-announced successor”
You might find it little ironic that the day when Beijing-based company is debuting in India with the Mi 3 (first impressions | FAQs), Xiaomi has introduced its successor in its home country. The Mi 4 takes the ideology of the Mi 3 a step further as the new device now holds the title of “The fastest and most gorgeous Mi phone ever”. While there’s no denying that the Xiaomi Mi 4 is better than the Mi 3 when it comes to hardware, the difference isn’t much. So, if you’re in a quandary over whether to go with the Mi 3 or wait for the Mi 4 to launch in India, then we’ve tried to make your decision easier.
Here’s a look at both the devices with their spec-to-spec comparison.
While the table above captures the differences in the hardware department, there are some subtle things that can’t be captured in numbers. The first distinction is that while the Mi 3 imparts a metallic feel, its successor actually rocks a frame fashioned out of stainless steel. In fact, the Mi 4’s design is reminiscent of the Apple iPhone thanks to its chamfered edges. Another interesting difference is that Xiaomi has added a touch of personalisation to the Mi 4 since it features a removable rear cover, which can be replaced with various panels sporting different textures. So if you fancy wood, leather or even fabric, then you can opt for one of your choice for the Mi 4. While there’s negligible difference between the battery capacity of both the smartphones, the brand’s latest device boasts of a quick-charging feature, which is huge boon for most of us with busy lifestyles. It’d also be interesting to pit it against the rapid charging feature of the Oppo Find 7.
Coming to the specifications, it’s apparent that there’s just an evolutionary bump in the hardware configuration of the Mi 4, in comparison to its predecessor. But they do add a lot of capabilities to the handset. In terms of sheer power, the Mi 4 boasts a 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor paired with a generous 3GB of RAM. In comparison, the previous iteration of the device has a 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor and 2GB of RAM, and thus will remain a notch lower than the Mi 4 when it comes to multitasking and sheer number-crunching power. The use of Snapdragon 801 also allows the Mi 4 to capture 4K videos, compared to the Mi 3 that only shoot in 1080p. The shooter seems to be same with regards to the megapixel count, but the Mi 4’s camera sensor has a wider aperture of f1.8 compared to f2.2 aperture on the Mi 3, which should improve the low-light photography. To help you capture better selfies, the Mi 4 comes equipped with an 8-megapixel ultra-wide angle front camera compared to just 2MP available on the Mi 3. Most important of all, the Mi 4 is a future-proof since it supports the LTE-FDD band, which is supported in India.
Software-wise, both smartphones run Android 4.4 KitKat and while the Mi 4 has the latest MIUI v6 ROM, the Mi 3’s ROM is one generation behind. However, the latest ROM will be available for all the devices by August 16th as a software update.
If you ask us to choose between the two devices, the answer totally depends upon your requirement. If you want a top-tier smartphone with maximum bang for the buck, then both the devices are equally good. If you direly need to buy a smartphone as soon as possible, then our suggestion would be to buy the Mi 3 now, though as we found out today, it may not be so easy to snag one. Even if you need to buy a phone within the next three months, there’s very slim chance that the Mi 4 will arrive in India by then, so you’d be better off buying the Mi 3 for now. But if you can wait longer than that, then the Xiaomi Mi 4 is certainly a super value-for-money device at just Rs 19,000 ($320) for 16GB flavour and Rs 24,000 ($400) for the 64GB variant. The only thing is, we don’t know when it’ll land here. Happy shopping!
Comparison image by Pratik Vyas