Xiaomi Mi 5

Xiaomi Mi 5

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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 fitted in with an earlier Weibo leak (credit to My Drivers), where a banner inside an unnamed Foxconn facility was pictured saying the Mi 5 is now in mass production. This led to speculation regarding the launch date, which according to the leak would be sometime in February. My Drivers broke this down further, taking into consideration the holiday around Chinese New Year, and estimated the big day may be February 20.

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.

What about the specifications?

While speculation still grows, one thing seems certain — the Mi 5 will be a powerhouse. In mid-November, after months of silence regarding the phone’s possible specification, 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.

Apparently, the phone will feature a 5.2-inch screen with a 1080p resolution, smaller and lower resolution than previous rumors — including those from @leaksfly — stated. 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. Android 5.1.1 is the OS mentioned, 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 spec was 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.

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. New leaks suggest there will be two Mi 5 models, a standard model with 4GB of RAM, and a second curved phone with 3GB of RAM.

Other features listed back then included a 16-megapixel rear camera, an 8-megapixel front camera — both 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.

We’ll keep you updated on all the rumors regarding the Xiaomi Mi 5, and let you know any official news when the time comes.

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