The dialer and the phonebook share a single app although there are two shortcuts, bringing you straight to the tab you need. The app has pleasant flat looks, though somewhat refreshed. It uses a tabbed interface - recent with dialer on the first and the contact list on the second.
Call recording is available - the files can be saved either on your device or on your MiCloud.
The dialer may look rather familiar, but it's quite capable. Unfortunately, most of the new smart features are only available in a few markets such as China and India.
It can recognize automatically business numbers, as well as scam contacts thanks to the Xiaomi's Caller ID database. You can also search in both Hindi and English from the T9 numpad, which is helpful. And if you live in those countries, you can use the integrated Yellow Pages option.
The Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus speaker scored an Average mark on our loudness test, down from the Mi 5s Very Good score. Luckily, its sound quality is the opposite of its Mi 5s sibling - the sound is rich and crisp; the bass is good as are the high notes. You should add vibration for your notifications just in case, though.
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The Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus offers an excellent file managing app called Explorer, which lets you browse the files in its internal storage and groups them by type.
The MIUI v8 also offers a Security app. It can scan your phone for malware, manage your blacklist, manage or restrict your data usage, configure battery behavior, clean some RAM; it can also manage the permissions of your installed apps.
The Security app has a new feature now - it allows you to define the battery behavior of selected apps and apply restrictions only to the apps you choose.
The Mi Remote uses the IR blaster to control anything from TVs (including the Mi TV, of course) to digital cameras. The setup process is relatively straightforward, and a handy option shares the remotes you've set up with others on the same Wi-Fi network. You'd have to go through the setup only once per home assuming everybody else uses a Xiaomi phone as well.
The custom and now flat Calendar looks good, syncs with your accounts including Google, and offers Day and Month views.
There is also the standard sound recorder, flashlight, clock, and weather apps, among others, that are a given in any self-respecting Android package nowadays.
We liked the Compass app. It has very nice and clean interface, shows the magnetic directions and doubles as a level meter. If you lift the phone up, then you'll get a nice augmented reality view with real-time East/West/North/South overlay.
The Calculator app has been updated - it now supports advanced calculations and conversions.
Finally, there is a brand-new Notes app. It has been given new templates, new look, support for checklists, among other things.