There’s no shortage of opinion on the internet about the Mi4, a lot which has been positive. One reviewer said it is the Chinese smartphone manufacturer’s attempt to show that it can play in the big leagues, and it is a solid attempt.

Without further ado, let’s get to looking at what the phone has to offer:

Design and Display

The Mi4 has a 5-inch, 1080p full HD resolution display with 441ppi density.


The smooth plastic back and metallic finish around the sides make the phone slippery and you have to hold it very well so it doesn’t slip off your hands.There’s also a certain discomfort that comes with receiving or making phone calls because the sharp edge hurts when pressed against your ears.

At the bottom edge of the phone is the mono speaker, and just beside it is the charging port. The phone’s storage is non-expandable and you only get one slot for a micro SIM; there’s no space for a memory card or a second SIM card.

Specs and Performance

The Mi4 packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset and a 2.5GHz quad-core Krait 400 CPU. It comes with 3GB of RAM and 16GB non-expandable storage. It also rocks Android 4.4.3 KitKat and MIUI v.5, both of which can be upgraded to Android 4.4.4 KitKat and MIUI 7.0.

True to spec, the phone’s performance is impressive. The screen was responsive and I ran through the 6 my regularly used apps without any hitch. There were times I had up to 12 apps running in the background and the phone did not slow down once.

While watching videos, I was able to fast-forward and rewind without any time lags. I really enjoyed watching my favorite TV series on VLC media player.


The phone comes with a 13MP rear camera and an 8MP front facing camera. It also has an LED flash a few millimetres below. The quality of pictures from the rear camera was pretty good, but the front facing camera will please selfish selfie lovers most. I couldn’t resist taking pictures while making faces at the camera.

The camera speed impressed me and the Adreno 330 GPU made sure I didn’t have to wait for Mi4 to load the pictures I took.

Also, the camera performed well in low-light conditions. It did a pretty good job with noise reduction.


Battery and Connectivity

The Mi4’s 3080 mAh non-removable battery will give pretty solid performance for the average user. A three hour-charge gave me enough battery life for a whole work day. And for me, a work day includes constantly checking my email, Twitter and all-round connection to the WiFi. Although, I must admit the phone takes a while to get fully charged. It took almost 4 hours to get from 45% to 100%.

After going through GSM Arena’s battery test it came out with an endurance rating of 68 hours, 3G talk time of 18 hours and 15 minutes, 9.13 hours of web browsing and seven hours of video playback.

In addition to the excellent battery life, the Mi4 offers quad-band GSM and 3G connectivity with HSPA support. It also has support for Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, GLONASS and an FM radio. I spent an hour listening to the radio, and there was excellent reception. But because the phone didn’t come with earphones (I wonder why) I had to get from elsewhere.

What I like about it

– I clumsily dropped the phone a couple of times, but black Mi4 don’t crack.
– The speed and performance of the phone made sure I didn’t run mad while waiting for apps to load for forever.
– A variety of colourful themes means the interface can be as beautiful as you want it. This is complemented by the phone’s speed because none of the themes (no matter how animated) will slow it down.
– The selfie-friendly 5MP front facing camera is bae.
– Solid battery life means I can go a whole day with moderately heavy usage without worrying about getting a red battery bar.

What I didn’t like about it

– Slippery back cover. The phone kept moving around on its own when I placed it on a hardcover surface.
– It heats up occasionally. I found this to be evident whenever I’m connected to the internet.
– Non-expandable memory. 16GB is the only available option outside China, which may disappoint users who need large memory space.
– It came with no earphones. Imagine the frown on my face right now.

My verdict

For NGN 56,000, this phone is a worthwhile investment. The ability of Chinese phones to compete outside China has been doubted in the past, but the Xiaomi Mi4 does well to silence these doubts. This, for me, is a phone worth the hype and maybe even more.

David Adeleke Author

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