Smartphones are the most used and most personal piece of technology in current times. For that very reason, the iPhone has used brand recognition and high quality materials to take over the smartphone market in America because the iPhone is more than just a phone, it’s a trusted and respected name that is also your friend. However, many people don’t realize just how much they’re paying for their phones because carrier subsidies make it seem cheaper. In reality, you end up paying for quite a bit of your phone until you upgrade to the latest and greatest thereby starting the same process over again. OnePlus has seen this error and tried to sell a similarly capable phone for less to the pleasure of the buyers. Xiaomi, a huge Chinese phone maker with no exposure in America, has also seen this error and it trying to play on both the familiarity of the iPhone shape for much less. How does it fair?

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Familiar Shape, New Name

At first glance, the Mi4 is an iPhone. It’s got the same rounded corners with flat sides and a metal band that seems to hole the phone together. Upon closer inspection, however, there are just enough differences to make the distinction. The capacitive touch buttons on the front as opposed to a home button and the back isn’t covered with glass. The Mi4 is also bigger, it’s a 5 inch screen which is the trend in smartphone size these days.

A full HD screen is nothing to scoff at, even with the advent of quad HD. You still get fantastic resolution and PPI with the added bonus of better battery life due to less power being used by the screen. You also have the option for different battery covers, similar to the OnePlus One’s lineup of unique covers to give you a bit of whimsy when decorating your phone.

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Specifications

As for the internals, the Mi4 is certainly no slouch. It runs the latest version of Android with the top of the line specifications that have been standard in top end smartphones. So what is the standout feature of this phone?

It’s the price. For half the price of an unlocked flagship smartphone, you can get a Mi4 and never pay another carrier subsidy and be able to take it to any carrier you choose. In the world of value, this is a steal. I, for one, love this trend of more phone for less money. The Mi4 is another welcome addition to that trend.

Meet Weston Lanpher

Weston is our professional gadget reviewer. Nothing thrills him more than being able to get his hands on the latest and greatest in electronics.