If you ever wanted a Redmi Note 4 with the Mi 6 camera - that's the Mi 5X. It's really that simple, and the best part - the price gets to stay quite low. The Mi 5X has many notable qualities, but kudos to Xiaomi for such a bold move that blurs the lines of the flagship definition and fills the gap between the high-end and midrange series.
Sure, Mi 5X sold as the Mi A1 under the Android One initiative may be more tempting for some, but we are not here to talk about the purist-friendly device. It's MIUI what makes the Mi series so popular and favorite, so the Mi 5X will be successful even without the A model as a plan B.
The Xiaomi Mi 5X is great-specked, that's for sure, but it delivered on pretty much every promise, too. The all-metal design and modern looks are very appealing, the LCD screen has flagship-grade brightness and contrast, the battery life is great thanks to the snappy and yet energy-efficient chip, while the dual-camera is almost as good as seen on the Mi 6, it just trails behind in low-light because of the OIS omission. Last, but not the least important, MIUI 9 is blazing fast on the Mi 5X and we can see why Xiaomi chose it for a launch platform.
We can't kick off this section without the Xiaomi Mi A1. It's the same phone and should provide the same synthetic and audio performance, battery life and camera quality, but coming with vanilla Android OS instead of MIUI. It's the company's first smartphone made under the Android One program and should be getting new Android versions as they come out. Mi A1 is available worldwide.
If the dual-camera is not a must have, then you can save some cash with the Redmi Note 4. It's pretty much the same phone as the Mi 5X, but instead of a dual-camera, it will offer much bigger battery and thus longer power independence.
Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017) has a Super AMOLED screen, the same premium unibody, equally snappy and efficient chip, better selfie camera and even bigger battery - all of these and you can have at the expense of the dual-camera setup and some additional €60.
The Nokia 6 has an inferior chipset and lacks a telephoto camera, but does very well in riding the nostalgia train. It's also a very balanced and snappy device running on vanilla Android Nougat, so there is that. The 6 costs as much as the Mi 5X, but we think it's more of a competitor to the Mi A1.
The Sony Xperia XA1 has a smaller and low-res display, but it relies on a stylish and iconic design and high-end camera to impress. It's a very comfortable and snappy design with Xperia launcher that works quite well with other Sony appliances, so you may want to check it out.
One very good match for the Mi 5X is the Oppo R11. It has a more powerful Snapdragon 660 chip and an AMOLED panel, plus an excellent high-res selfie camera, but this would cost you nearly twice as much.
The Mi 5X is pretty straightforward - one of the most affordable smartphones in the upper midrange, where available, that is. It offers great dual-camera experience on the cheap and that can't be matched by any reputable maker.
While its availability may be limited, the Mi A1 will surely help boost the Mi 5X's popularity, and vice versa. Xiaomi offers some great tools for flashing different ROMs, and you can turn an A1 into 5X or a 5X into A1 if you are not afraid of tinkering with your phone. So, no matter what you decide - the Mi 5X is probably one of the most tempting offers right now with unmatched camera experience for the class, premium design, and snappy performance. MIUI or Android - it's worth having this Mi in your pocket.
Special thanks to HonorBuy for providing the review unit.