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Xiaomi Mi 5s vs Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus – The Battle of the MEGA Flagships from China

by Linus 6

As you know, the Chinese company Xiaomi has been on a roll recently as they released one phone after another. The Mi5s and the Mi5s Plus are the latest flagships that sport premium design, all the latest and greatest specs you can find on any phone and a lot more. Which phone is the right choice for you? Learn more in our detailed comparison.

We wanted to say thanks to Oppomart for sending Xiaomi smartphones for a review.

Xiaomi Mi5s vs. Xiaomi Mi5s Plus: VIDEO REVIEW

Xiaomi Mi5s vs. Xiaomi Mi5s Plus: SPECS

Display
5.15″ vs 5.7″ (1080p)
Processor and GPU
Xiaomi Mi5s:
Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 821, Quad-core (2×2.15 GHz Kryo & 2×1.6 GHz Kryo), Adreno 530 GPU
Xiaomi Mi5s Plus:
Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 821, Quad-core (2×2.35 GHz Kryo & 2×1.6 GHz Kryo), Adreno 530 GPU
RAM
4GB vs 6GB
Camera
4MP Front/12MP Back vs 4MP Front/ Dual 13MP Back
Connectivity
Bluetooth, 3G, 4G, GPS, WIFI, GSM,EDGE, GPRS, UMTS, HSPA, HSPA+, dual-SIM.
Battery
3.200 mAh (non-removable) vs 3.800 mAh (non-removable)
Dimensions
145.6 x 70.3 x 8.3 mm / 145g vs 154.6 x 77.7 x 8 mm / 168g
OS
MIUI 8 (Android 6.0)
Storage
128GB (not expandable)

Xiaomi Mi5s vs. Xiaomi Mi5s Plus: DESIGN

Just before we start, we have already made an extensive Xiaomi Mi 5s review and the Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus review, so you can check them out for more details.

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The very first difference that you are going to notice is the size. As the name implies, the Mi5s Plus is a larger phone due to its 5.7” 1080p display.

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The Mi5s has a smaller 5.15” display and thus, the phone is much more compact and it can be better managed in one hand.

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Speaking of those displays, both panels are sharp, vibrant and nice to look at.

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Mi 5s Plus
Mi 5s Plus

On the top, both phones have 4MP selfie shooters and highly customizable notification LED lights. Also, both devices sport nicely backlit capacitive buttons but only the Mi5s has a large home button that has an embedded fingerprint sensor whereas the Mi5s Plus has the sensor on the back.

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Speaking of the fingerprint sensors, both phones are fast and accurate in this department but I found the Mi5s Plus to be faster and more reliable at times.

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Both phones are made almost entirely of metal, but I prefer the Mi5s as it sports a matt aluminum finish, which does not attract any fingerprints like the brushed glossy metal finish on the Mi5s Plus. Also, the latter phone has plastic top and bottom parts for antennas.

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As for cameras, we have completely different setups. The Mi5s is a more conventional choice as it sports a 12MP Sony shooter. The Mi5s Plus sports two 13MP cameras. The first is a regular shooter and the other is a monochrome sensor that takes images in black and white and it is mainly used to maximize light and contrast in every photo taken.

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It is a bit strange that the Mi5s Plus has the IR blaster but the Mi5s does not.

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As for loudspeakers, the Mi5s Plus is a clear winner. The sound is more balanced and rich, and you can simply hear the difference in just a few seconds.

Xiaomi Mi5s vs. Xiaomi Mi5s Plus: HARDWARE and PERFORMANCE

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Both Xiaomi phones are being called flagships for a reason. The Mi5s and the Mi5s Plus sport bleeding-edge specs and therefore the phones can handle absolutely anything you throw at them.

I have the high-end versions of each phone that sport Snapdragon 821 chips and 128GB of storage, which is, however, not expandable on neither of the devices.

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If you need the absolutely top of the line specs-sheet, go with the Mi5s Plus as it sports 6GB of RAM and slightly more powerful version of the Snapdragon 821.

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My Xiaomi Mi5s comes with 4GB of RAM but after using both phones for quite some time, I didn’t notice any difference whether I played the most demanding 3D games or just used the phones for the daily tasks.

Xiaomi Mi5s vs. Xiaomi Mi5s Plus: USER INTERFACE

Both phones ship with the MIUI 8, which is the Xiaomi’s highly customized skin of Android 6.0.

I have covered some features in the dedicated reviews, so make sure to check those videos out.

In short, both phones are equally fast and fluid on the daily basis despite having a ton of features, customization options, various tweaks and settings to play with.

Xiaomi Mi5s vs. Xiaomi Mi5s Plus: IMAGE QUALITY

I have made an in-depth camera comparison review of these phones, where you can find a lot of camera samples, so make sure to check that video out.

Xiaomi Mi 5s:

Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus:

As for daylight images, the Xiaomi Mi5s tends to take a little sharper, more detailed and better-saturated pictures. The dual-camera or stereo mode on the Mi5s Plus does help in quite a few situations that lead to a better saturation, contrast and exposure in most of the shots. However, the results are not always that noticeable and sometimes the auto-HDR mode can take pictures that are more pleasing to the eye.

As for indoor and macro shots, the Mi5s tends to take a little sharper images most of the time. However, the Mi5s Plus is better in some of the shots, especially if you use the dual-camera mode.

As for low-light image quality, the Mi5s wins again. The images look sharper, brighter and they have more detail. On the other hand, the dual-camera mode on the Mi5s Plus really helps reducing the noise and bringing more detail, so if you shoot in this mode, you may achieve better results than with the Mi5s in some of the shots. However, I would say that the dual-camera mode is not always reliable.

I don’t really understand why but the Mi5s Plus takes sharper selfie images despite having the same camera sensor as the Mi5s.

When it comes to the 4K video, the quality of footage is comparable and I don’t really see a clear winner in this department, except for the fact that the Mi5s shoots better videos in low-light.

Xiaomi Mi5s vs. Xiaomi Mi5s Plus: CONNECTIVITY

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Both phones come with a dual nano SIM card tray but there is no microSD card slot.

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When it comes to connectivity, I didn’t have any issues with neither device as the call quality is good, Wifi, Bluetooth or GPS work fine.

Xiaomi Mi5s vs. Xiaomi Mi5s Plus: BATTERY LIFE

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The Xiaomi Mi5s sports a 3200mAh battery whereas the Mi5s Plus has a 3800mAh unit.

Both devices are very similar in terms of battery life. I was able to get 5-6 hours of screen-on time on a mixed use, which a great result.

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Both phones support Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 but you would need to buy compatible fast chargers separately.

Xiaomi Mi5s vs. Xiaomi Mi5s Plus: CONCLUSIONS

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So, there you have it, the latest Xiaomi’s flagships – the Mi5s and the Mi5s Plus.

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Both phones have quite a few things in common as they sport some bleeding-edge specs that allow the devices handle anything you throw at them. Also, both phones have premium design, they run on the same MIUI 8 and the devices have pretty good cameras.

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However, I would choose the Xiaomi Mi5s because it is more compact, it does not have any plastic parts on the back (except for the nano-injected plastic inlays), and I simply prefer matt metal finish as it does not attract fingerprints so easily as the Mi5s Plus.

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Also, the Mi5s has a slightly better camera.

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On the other hand, the Mi5s Plus is slightly more powerful on paper, it has a larger display, a better loudspeaker, and a faster fingerprint reader.

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Also, the dual-camera setup has some advantages that may give an edge over the Mi5s in some of the shots.

At the end of the day, both Xiaomi’s flagships are great phones for the price. I really hope that this comparison helped you but you have to consider all the pros and cons of each device before making a purchase.

Buy Xiaomi Mi5
  • MAHOGANY HD

    Good job Linus!

  • Raky_b

    Mi5s would look really nice if it would be without that Fugly black bezels

  • NextHype

    So… single cam with a very good sensor is better than dual cam with good sensors. That explains why the advertising on Mi5s’ cam was done with photo shot by Mi5s instead of Mi5s Plus.

    Good review BTW

  • goodwill

    Nice review Linus! I think dual cam tech is still too early to in its stage to be good. It’ll give you some cool bokeh effect but a single setup is better. i think for now a dual setup won’t allow the phone to have a OIS so that’s a huge give away too.

  • Sujoy Das

    I have Ordered this phone from Aliexpress but seller is taking too much
    time to ship it (Because 11.11 sale).he is saying he needs some time to test the device and
    install firmware in phone . is it alright ? is it normal ? so i need to install official MIUI ROM after receiving phone ?
    Please explain . Thank you in advance @disqus_zVM1xgVozO