Unboxing the Xiaomi Mi 4i
The standard retail box of the Xiaomi Mi 4i doesn’t offer anything beyond the bare essentials. You get an A/C adapter and a USB cable, leaving the choice of headset to you.
The retail package
The guys at Honorbuy.com are sugaring the deal with a number of freebies, including a car charger, a compact capacitive stylus and a silicone bumper case if you order from them.
The extra accessories courtesy of Honorbuy.com
Xiaomi Mi 4i 360-degree view
Both Xiaomi Mi 4 and Mi 4i are built around the same 5″ 1080p display, but the choice of materials is what made the difference. The Mi 4i stands at 138.1 x 69.6 x 7.8mm and weighs 130g, which is a millimeter thinner and 20g lighter than its dual-glass sibling.
Design and build quality
Xiaomi did its best with the Mi 4 combining curved glass with metal. The Mi 4i didn’t qualify for the same premium treatment and got polycarbonate instead. But it works admirably for the Mi 4i, allowing it to be affordable without looking cheap.
The black and white combination used on the panels of Xiaomi Mi 4i works nice. The white rear cover somewhat reminds of the Mi 4, but is as good as smudge-proof and the matte finish provides excellent grip. Our only concern is that it might get colored if you put it in your jeans pockets as similar white polycarbonate bodies have shown in the past.
The front glass is of unknown origin, all Xiaomi says is the phone uses Cornign OGS solution, but it’s not Gorilla glass. It seems an extra screen protector would be a wise buy if you don’t want to risk scratching your screen.
The front of the Mi 4i
5-inchers are commonly regarded as the limit for compactness and pocketability but the Mi 4i is thin enough and so light it doesn’t have to worry about those things. Handling the Xiaomi Mi 4i is a pleasure, its matte polycarbonate body is soft and pleasant, while the 5″ display can be operated with just one hand for most tasks.
Handling the Xiaomi Mi 4i
Yes, we like what Xiaomi did with the Mi 4i – in fact some of its aspects are better than the original Mi 4. Designed for affordable, the choice of materials is spot on and the phone doesn’t feel cheap at all.
The set of controls on the Xiaomi Mi 4i is pretty standard. Above the display, next to the earpiece, is the 5MP selfie cam alongside a couple of sensors. The front-facer is one of the downgrades from the flagship, which boasted an 8MP selfie camera.
Below the screen we find the traditional capacitive set of Task Switcher, Home and Back keys. The trio has white backlighting, which serves it well in the dark.
A peek above and below the screen
The left side of the Mi 4i has the dual-SIM tray, ejectable with a small pin. Unfortunately, you can’t opt for a microSD card instead of the extra SIM, a solution other makers are offering lately.
The right side features the glossy silver volume rocker and a Power/Lock key.
The left and right sides of the Xiaomi Mi 4i
The 3.5mm audio port is on top of the Mi 4i, while the primary microphone and the microUSB port are at the bottom.
The audio port is at the top, the USB port – at the bottom
Finally, the 13MP rear camera is at the back, accompanied by a dual-LED dual-tone flash. The original Mi 4 came with a single-LED flash, so the Mi 4i is slightly better equipped for low-light photography.
The loudspeaker grille is also at the back, towards the bottom.
The back of the Xiaomi Mi 4i
The rear panel of the Xiaomi Mi 4i isn’t removable, which means you can’t access the battery and swap it on the go.