Rumors of the Xiaomi Mi 5 have been circulating for quite a while and fans may be wondering — will it ever arrive? The answer is yes, and we’ve not got long to wait before it’s revealed. In the meantime, here’s everything we think we know about the Mi 5.
Updated on 02-17-2016 by Julian Chokkattu: Added full specs of the Mi5 leaked from two different sources.
Hardware and design rumors
Snapdragon 820 and USB Type C
The full specs of the upcoming Xiaomi Mi5 have been leaked in two separate ways — and each of the leaks offers slightly different information alluding to two variants of the device, according to GizChina. Keep in mind that these are still leaks, so we can’t verify the information, and please take everything with a grain of salt. Besides, with Mobile World Congress being less than a week away, it won’t be long until we get the full details on the Mi5.
The first leak comes in the form of a packaging label for the Mi5, which tells us the device will have a Snapdragon 820 processor 2.15GHz, an oddly-sized 5.15-inch display, a USB Type C port, and a 3,000mAh battery. The biggest difference between this information and the second leak is in the camera specs, with this variant having a 16-megapixel rear camera, and a front-facing 4-megapixel (ultrapixel) camera. Images of the metal chassis of the phone were leaked as well.
The second leak is of images — not of the smartphone, but of Xiaomi’s presentation file for the Mi5. This leak says the device will have a Micro SD card, dual-SIM support, and NFC — a feature Xiaomi removed after the Mi3. This presentation also says the display will be 5.2-inches, with a 1,920 x 1080p resolution.
It is possible that the differences in screen size allude to the possible curved model of the device, which we’ve heard rumors of before.
There will indeed be two offerings at the least, one with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, and one with 4GB of RAM as well as 64GB of storage. The presentation also mentions a 26-megapixel rear camera with an f/1.6 aperture, which means perhaps the 4GB RAM version will have a better camera than the 3GB RAM variant, which may be stuck with a 16-megapixel rear camera. The device is also purported to have Qualcomm 3.0 fast charging.
If the presentation leak is correct, you’ll be able to purchase the device on February 26, after Mobile World Congress.
To build up hype for the Mi5, Hugo Barra, vice president of International at Xiaomi, posted a video to Facebook teasing the device’s speed.
If these specs align with what we saw in mid-November, the Mi5 will be a powerhouse. A benchmark test for a device codename Gemini appeared on Geekbench’s site. While these can easily be faked, it does show the Gemini running an MSM8996 Qualcomm chip — better known to use as the Snapdragon 820 — with 3GB of RAM, and Android 6.0 Marshmallow installed. The Gemini’s appearance coincided with talk of a December announcement.
In late September, @leaksfly on the social network Weibo published another set of specs, and because they differ once more than those we’ve seen before, it suggests Xiaomi has been gradually tweaking the phone while it waits for the right moment to launch it.
The @leaksfly data said the phone will feature a 5.2-inch screen with a 1080p resolution, smaller and lower resolution than previous rumors — including those from previous @leaksfly leaks. The Snapdragon 820 processor with 4GB of RAM are still likely, according to the source, along with a 16-megapixel camera on the rear, and an 8-megapixel from cam. This information matches the latest leak, except for the 8-megapixel front-facing camera. @leaksfly said the device will run on Android 5.1.1, which will inevitably be covered in the MIUI skin, plus a choice of a 16GB or 32GB model.
Before this, according to a leak in early July, the specs were yet again thought to be different. For example, the display was said to be 5.3-inches — slightly larger than the Mi 4 — and with a 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution. The rear camera was listed as having 16 megapixels, while the front facing camera may come in at 6 megapixels. The rumor mentioned a Micro SD slot for expanded storage, a micro SIM slot, a 3030mAh battery, and Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. It looks as though the Micro SD card rumor may be right.
Talk of the Snapdragon 820 started back in May, after a @leaksfly rumor said Xiaomi will pair the processor with 4GB of RAM, and offer both a 16GB and a 64GB model. At that time, the screen was expected to measure 5.5-inches and have a 2,560 x 1,440 pixel resolution, making it slightly smaller in size than the 5.7-inch Mi Note Pro. The new leaks suggest there will be two Mi 5 models, a standard model with 4GB of RAM, and a second phone with 3GB of RAM.
Other features listed back then included a cameras with optical image stabilization — plus a USB Type-C charging port. Xiaomi may use aluminum for the phone’s body, and it may measure just 5.1mm thick. Finally, as part of the Snapdragon 820, the phone may use Qualcomm’s ultrasonic fingerprint authentication system. The fingerprint sensor was also part of the July rumor report from Mobipicker.
Android and Windows 10 Mobile versions
Although the Mi 5 is expected to launch with Xiaomi’s MIUI on top of Android, a new rumor hints that the Chinese company may offer a Windows 10 Mobile variant of the Mi 5, too. Windows Mobile Power User picked up the news from a few Chinese sources, including GizmoChina. The site claims that the Windows version will sport all the same specs as the Android model and arrive at the same time during Mobile World Congress on February 24.
Mi 5 will launch on February 24
The Xiaomi Mi 5 has been rumored for months, and will finally launch in February 24. The news comes directly from Xiaomi’s global product director Hugo Barra, who posted a teaser image for a press event on his Facebook page. Additionally, he wrote, “Mi 5 is almost here! It’s Xiaomi’s first product launch in 2016, happening on February 24.”
The date also happens to be right in the middle of Mobile World Congress, where Samsung, LG, and HTC are all likely to reveal major 2016 smartphone releases. It’s not clear is Xiaomi will also be at the show — it has never done so before — but what is obvious is that it wants to capture plenty of the limelight.
This comes after a wealth of leaks and rumors, many of the most recent pointing to a February announcement. In a Weibo post, Xiaomi co-founder and senior vice president Liwan Jiang said the company was accelerating production of the Mi 5 , ready to stock shelves soon after the Spring Festival, the holiday period around Chinese New Year. It goes on until mid-February. This lines up with new information saying that the device will be available for purchase on February 26, 2 days after the announcement.
Related: Hands-on with the Oppo F1
We’ve been tracking Mi 5 launch rumors for a while. In 2015, the last we heard was the phone would be shown off on December 3, but it never materialized. Going back further, there were lots of rumors of a November launch date, but analyst Pan Jiutang stated Xiaomi would hold off the Mi 5 launch until the Snapdragon 820 became available for mass production. Before the November leaks, we heard about an October 19 event, which turned out to be the launch of the Segway-type scooter. Specification leaks go back even further.
A standard and an Edge-style Mi 5?
Two new images of what’s supposed to be the Xiaomi Mi 5 leaked in late January, showing a standard Mi 5 and a second, curved model, that may be something like Samsung’s Galaxy S6 Edge. Originating on the Weibo social network, the standard flat model differs from previously leaked images by having the proximity sensor above the speaker, rather than alongside. The chassis looks to be made from metal, and the glass may have a 2.5D curve. The Mi logo sits in the top left corner.
The second image shows a phone with what’s referred to as an Edge-style curve down both sides of the chassis. The picture is certainly of a different phone — the front cam and proximity sensor match previous leaks here — and there’s definitely the hint of a curved edge. However, it’s not as pronounced as Samsung’s Galaxy S6 Edge, and may not have the same functionality. There’s also a chance the curve is an optical illusion, or worse, a clever fake. The chassis doesn’t have the same antenna breaks as seen in the other image, and may have an IR sensor on the opposite side to the headphone jack.
If Xiaomi is going to announce two versions of the Mi 5, the rumor says the standard looking phone may have 4GB of RAM, while the Edge model may have 3GB. We’ve seen leaked renders of a phone that may be the Mi 5, complete with a physical home button, and 2.5D glass before, but that doesn’t make these new leaks anymore genuine, and may still be prototypes.
Recently leaked images by a user on Weibo show off what looks to be the Xiaomi Mi 5 in four colors: black, gold, white, and pink. The notable difference in this image compared to that of previously leaked renders is the home button, which is not as round and resembles the button on Samsung Galaxy devices. The image does seem to confirm the rumored 2.5D glass front panel, assuming it’s the real deal.
A video was also leaked of the Mi 5 sitting on a wooden dock, but it doesn’t look completely similar to the leaked images. It’s a little more rectangular and not as rounded as the images purport the device to be. Of course, it could be an earlier prototype.
In early December, two leaks gave us a look at potential Xiaomi Mi 5 designs. The first came from GizmoChina and a Weibo source, and showed the front of the phone with a black border. The Mi logo and a home button — that’s expected to house a fingerprint sensor — were the only other points of interest.
A few days later, another image was published on the Weibo social network, this time in the shape of a full render. It shows a curved 2.5D glass front panel, and a similar home button design to the first leaked image, plus there is the hint of a USB Type-C charger mounted underneath. The Mi logo is missing from its usual home in the top left of the body.
None of the images are official, and should be considered speculative until the phone is finally made official.