Xiaomi might not be well known in the West, but it’s popular in many Asian countries. It was the fourth-largest smartphone manufacturer by market share in China last year, according to Counterpoint. It beat Apple by one percentage point.
Xiaomi is doing even better in India, where it overtook Samsung in the last quarter of 2017 to become the top smartphone vendor in the country — although Samsung disagrees.
Xiaomi’s success is attributed to its smartphones that offer great price/performance ratios. In this post, we take a look at a few of the best Xiaomi phones, keeping you up to speed on high-end, mid-range, and budget devices.
Best high-end smartphone: Xiaomi Mi Mix 2
When it comes to the best Xiaomi phones, the Mi Mi 2 sits at the top of the pack. The highlight of the Mi Mix 2 is its design. The smartphone is a stunner with its thin bezels, a minimalistic ceramic back, and an 18K gold-plated ring around the camera.
Xiaomi’s flagship also excels in the specs department. It’s powered by the Snapdragon 835 chipset, has 6 GB of RAM, and offers 64, 128, or 256 GB of storage. There’s also a Special Edition of the handset available that comes with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage. Additionally, it has a full ceramic body, whereas the standard version has a ceramic back and an aluminum frame.
The 5 MP selfie snapper is located in the chin of the Mi Mix 2.
Other specs and features include a 5.99-inch Full HD+ display with an 18:9 aspect ratio, a single 12 MP primary camera, and a 3,400 mAh battery. The selfie snapper sports a 5 MP sensor and is located in the chin of the device because the top bezel is too thin to house it.
The standard version of the handset launched back in September for RMB 3,299 (6 GB/64 GB), RMB 3,599 (6 GB/128 GB), and RMB 3,999 (6 GB/256 GB), which translates to around $520, $570, and $630. It’s only available in a few countries including China, India, and Spain.
- 5.99-inch IPS LCD display with 2,160 x 1,080 resolution, 403 ppi
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
- 6/8 GB of RAM
- 64/128/256 GB of on-board storage, not expandable
- 12 MP rear camera, 5 MP front camera
- Non-removable 3,400 mAh battery
- Android 7.1 Nougat
- 151.8 x 75.5 x 7.7 mm, 185 g
- Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 review
- A second opinion on the Mi MIX 2, Xiaomi’s shot at the flagship segment in India
- Xiaomi Mi Mix 2: Great specs, but a few things are missing
- Listen to the Mi MIX 2’s designer talk about Xiaomi’s new bezel-less phone
Xiaomi Mi Mix
The Mi Mix has a similar design as its successor but features a thicker bottom bezel that also houses the front-facing camera. It sports a larger 6.4-inch display with a resolution of 2,040 x 1,080 pixels, the Snapdragon 821 chipset, and 4 or 6 GB of RAM. Other specs include a 16 MP primary camera, a large 4,400 mAh battery, and a headphone jack that you won’t find on the Mi Mix 2. The device launched back in October 2016 in China and was also released in a few other markets including Vietnam and South Korea. It isn’t available in the U.S. or Europe, but you can still buy it from Chinese retailers such as GearBest.
Xiaomi Mi 6
The Xiaomi Mi 6 was announced in April 2017 and sports a 5.15-inch Full HD display, the Snapdragon 835 chipset, and 4 or 6 GB of RAM. It’s equipped with a dual-camera setup featuring a 12 MP wide-angle sensor and a 12 MP telephoto lens that offers 2X lossless zoom. The device has a gorgeous design with a curved glass back and stainless steel frame. It packs a 3,350 mAh battery that should get you through the day without a problem and sports a fingerprint scanner on the front. It doesn’t have a headphone jack, which might be a deal breaker for some. It’s available in China as well as Spain but wasn’t released in the U.S.
Best mid-range smartphone: Xiaomi Mi Note 3
The Mi Note 3 made its debut in China in September, along with the Mi Mix 2. It has a 5.5-inch Full HD display, is powered by the Snapdragon 660 chipset, and has 6 GB of RAM.
One of its biggest features is the dual-camera setup on the back, which has a 12 MP wide-angle sensor and a 12 MP telephoto lens offering 2x optical zoom. The cameras have a 4-axis optical image stabilization and allow you to capture those bokeh images that are all the rage these days.
The Mi Note 3 also sports a 16 MP sensor with what Xiaomi calls an Adaptable AI Beautify mode. The company claims it offers a “realistic beautify effect” that won’t compromise the quality of the image. You can use it to make your eyes bigger or your chin smaller, remove spots from your skin, and more.
The mid-ranger also packs a 3,500 mAh battery, has an IR blaster on board, and supports facial recognition. The 64 GB variant retails for RMB 2,499 (around $395), while the 128 GB version goes for RMB 2,899 (around $460). Xiaomi is also selling a fancier blue version that’s slightly more expensive at RMB 2,999 (around $475) and only comes with 128 GB of storage.
- 5.5-inch IPS LCD display with 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, 401 ppi
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 660
- 6 GB of RAM
- 64/128 GB of on-board storage, not expandable
- Dual 12 MP rear cameras, 16 MP front camera
- Non-removable 3,500 mAh battery
- Android 7.1 Nougat
- 152.6 x 74 x 7.6 mm, 163 g
Xiaomi Mi Max 2
The Mi Max 2 falls into the phablet category thanks to its large 6.44-inch Full HD display. It also packs a massive 5,300 mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 support that can get up to 68 percent in one hour of charging. The device is powered by the Snapdragon 625 chipset, has 4 GB of RAM, and features a 12 MP primary camera. It doesn’t have a so-called bezel-less design like the Mi Mix 2, so it can be hard to use and carry around because of its size. But it is a fantastic option for those who play a lot of games and watch tons of videos. The Mi Max 2 is only available in a few markets including China and India, like most of Xiaomi’s lineup.
Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus
The Redmi 5 Plus made its debut in December and sports a 5.99-inch Full HD display with the popular 18:9 aspect ratio. I wouldn’t call it bezel-less, but it does have a higher screen-to-body ratio than its predecessor. The handset is powered by the Snapdragon 625 chipset and comes with either 3 or 4 GB of RAM. It packs a 4,000 mAh battery, is equipped with a 12 MP primary camera, and has a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner. The Redmi 5 Plus also features a beautiful metal body that’s available in four colors: blue, gold, rose gold, and black. It’s only available in China for now, but will likely make its way to India and a few other Asian countries somewhere down the line. Those in the US and Europe will have to go the import route to get it.
Best budget smartphone: Xiaomi Mi A1
The Mi A1 is Xiaomi’s first Android One smartphone. This means it runs a stock version of Android, without the company’s MIUI skin on top.
Although it’s a budget device, it still packs more than enough power under the hood for the average user. It’s powered by the Snapdragon 625 chipset and comes with 4 GB of RAM. The handset sports a 5.5-inch Full HD display and is also equipped with a dual-camera setup on the back featuring a 12 MP wide-angle sensor and a 12 MP telephoto lens that offers 2x optical zoom.
The Mi A1 comes with a 5 MP selfie snapper, a metal body, and a 3,080 mAh battery that supports fast charging thanks to a recent update. It also offers 64 GB of expandable storage, a fingerprint scanner, and Android Nougat that can be upgraded to Oreo.
The smartphone is already available in many countries including India and Spain. It wasn’t officially released in the U.S., but you can still get it on eBay for $235.
- 5.5-inch IPS LCD display with 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, 403 ppi
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 625
- 4 GB of RAM
- 64 GB of on-board storage, expandable up to 128 GB
- Dual 12 MP rear cameras, 5 MP front camera
- Non-removable 3,080 mAh battery
- Android 7.1.2 Nougat
- 155.4 x 75.8 x 7.3 mm, 165 g
- Xiaomi Mi A1 review: the perfect budget phone?
- Xiaomi’s Mi A1 Special Edition in Red is coming to India (updated)
- The most exciting new Android phone is… an Android One?
Xiaomi Redmi 5A
Xiaomi unveiled the Redmi 5A in Nov. 2017 and sold more than a million units in less than a month. The successor to the popular Redmi 4A is equipped with a 5-inch HD display and powered by the Snapdragon 425 chipset. It comes in two variants: one with 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage and the other with 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage. The Redmi 5A also packs a 3,000 mAh battery, sports a 13 MP primary camera, and runs Android 7.1.2 Nougat with Xiaomi’s MIUI skin on top. It’s available in a few markets, including India and Spain.
Xiaomi Redmi 5
This is a smaller and less powerful version of the Redmi 5 Plus. The affordable device comes with a 5.7-inch HD+ display, which means it has an aspect ratio of 18:9. You’ll find the Snapdragon 450 chipset under the hood along with 2, 3, or 4 GB of RAM. The handset packs a 3,300 mAh battery, has a 12 MP camera, and sports a metal body. It also features a fingerprint scanner located on the back. Like the Plus model, it’s only available in China for now and comes in blue, gold, rose gold, and black.
These are the best Xiaomi phones in our opinion, although there are plenty of other great models available. Have we missed any major ones? Let us know in the comments!