When it comes to smartphones with an excellent price to spec ratio, Xiaomi’s always a name to heavily consider. Heck, i still remember when they came out with the Mi3. That one was such a hit.

Fast forward to 2017, and they now have a ton of devices that could compete with other brands at far more affordable price points. The Mi5X is a perfect case in point, sporting a powerful mid-range processor, a full HD display, and dual rear cameras for PhP13,500. Now that’s what you call bang for the buck. Widget City currently sells it, and you might want to consider getting one from their site.

The thing is though, Xiaomi doesn’t have an official distributor here in the Philippines just yet. So if for any reason your phone goes haywire, who do you bring it to? Well, let’s just say that’s another issue.

So you could imagine, with a price this low, there had to be some compromises right? well, I got my hands on a review unit, to see whether this phone is really worth the hype (and the risk).

Xiaomi Mi5X Specs:

  • 2.0GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 Octa-Core Processor
  • 4GB of RAM, 32GB/64GB of internal storage expandable via microSD card (Up to 128GB)
  • 5.5-inch Full HD IPS LCD Display, 401ppi
  • 12MP (Wide-Angle, f/2.2) + 12MP (Telephoto, f/2.6) rear cameras, Sony IMX386, PDAF, Optical Zoom
  • 5MP front camera
  • USB Type-C Interface
  • Fingerprint Sensor
  • MIUI 8.5 on top of Android 7.1.2 Nougat
  • 3,080mAh battery

Design and Build Quality

mi5x unit 11 - Xiaomi Mi5X Review: Unbelievably Good for its Price

There’s no doubt that the Mi5X sports a simple, yet premium look. You have the usual soft curves, the aluminum construction, and the matte finish that all blend so well that it looks more than its actual price.

mi5x unit 5 - Xiaomi Mi5X Review: Unbelievably Good for its Price

All the buttons are located on the right side and are quite responsive. On the opposite end is the SIM card slot.

mi5x unit 3 - Xiaomi Mi5X Review: Unbelievably Good for its Price

The Mi5X uses a USB Type-C port, which is a good sign that the company is moving with the times. The fingerprint sensor is located at the back, where your index finger naturally lands when holding the device.

mi5x unit 2 - Xiaomi Mi5X Review: Unbelievably Good for its Price

The 5.5-inch IPS LCD display displays good color accuracy and is quite vivid. It’s able to take advantage of MIUI’s “colorful” approach to Android.

Performance

As expected from the Snapdragon 625, day to day performance was mostly satisfying. It’s no doubt, a very capable phone as far as your usual grind is concerned. I did notice a bit of heat buildup when taking pictures, but not enough to impact the experience.

mi5x sys 25 640x360 - Xiaomi Mi5X Review: Unbelievably Good for its Price

It’s also a capable gaming machine, as NBA 2K17 on High settings yielded no major issues. For a more optimal experience though, I do suggest toning down some elements like crowd and Sideline.

Camera

mi5x unit 9 - Xiaomi Mi5X Review: Unbelievably Good for its Price

The Mi5X sports a dual rear camera system which is composed of two 12MP sensors, one with a wide-angle lens, and the other, a telephoto lens. When combined, you get pictures that look crisp, sharp, and detailed. Color accuracy is on point as well.

mi5x cam 16 640x480 - Xiaomi Mi5X Review: Unbelievably Good for its Price mi5x cam 15 640x480 - Xiaomi Mi5X Review: Unbelievably Good for its Price mi5x cam 4 640x480 - Xiaomi Mi5X Review: Unbelievably Good for its Price mi5x cam 6 640x480 - Xiaomi Mi5X Review: Unbelievably Good for its Price

What’s even better is that it’s the same case with the front facing camera. You get quality selfies with great detail and no sign of over-processing.

mi5x cam 24 640x480 - Xiaomi Mi5X Review: Unbelievably Good for its Price mi5x cam 25 640x480 - Xiaomi Mi5X Review: Unbelievably Good for its Price mi5x cam 26 640x480 - Xiaomi Mi5X Review: Unbelievably Good for its Price

There’s a dedicated button in the UI for taking depth-of-field shots. And when it works, it works great. But that’s the thing. When using this mode, the camera does tend to struggle with focusing, so much that’s it’s actually frustrating to use.

mi5x cam 18 640x480 - Xiaomi Mi5X Review: Unbelievably Good for its Price

Software

The Mi5X runs on MIUI 8.5 on top of Android 7.1.2 Nougat, and like always, MIUI is the very customizable UI that it has been ever since the Mi3 days. It’s colorful and feature-packed.

Much of the things I loved back then are still here, like the secret inbox (oops) for hiding your special conversations. You also have control over how warm or cold the colors on the display will be.

You also get gestures, such as double-tap to wake. There’s also Second Space, that kind of creates an entirely new workspace that you can customize separately from your main one. Useful if you’re letting someone borrow your phone. Dual Apps lets you log in to different accounts in a social media app such as Facebook. Useful for keeping track of your work and personal accounts minus the hassle of using another device.

The Camera App does give you most of the modes that you’ll need. You have group selfie mode, panorama, beautify, tilt-shift for giving object a miniature look, and of course, Pro mode which gives you control over individual elements of each shot.

Battery

mi5x sys 1 640x360 - Xiaomi Mi5X Review: Unbelievably Good for its Price

Well, for all it’s pros, there’s always a con, right? remember that part where I was looking for compromises? I guess this is it. Horrible battery life. Just make sure to bring a backup phone or a power bank, especially if you’re into gaming.

Verdict

The Xiaomi Mi5X is a fantastic device in many aspects. The simple, yet elegant design, the vibrant display, the gaming performance, and the notable cameras that beat even some of the more expensive phones that I’ve tested. The software is fun to use, and well optimized too.

On the flip side, the battery life is a joke, and the lack of local support is a deal breaker for some. That being said, this device is still one to beat for its price.

The Good

  • Simple and elegant design
  • Vibrant display
  • Feature-packed software
  • Gaming performance
  • Camera performance
  • Price

The Not So Good

  • Camera struggles to focus when trying to achieve the depth of field effect
  • No official local distributor which can lead to support issues
  • Horrible battery life

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Author

Emman has been writing technical and feature articles since 2010. Prior to this, he became one of the instructors at Asia Pacific College in 2008, and eventually landed a job as Business Analyst and Technical Writer at Integrated Open Source Solutions for almost 3 years.

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Tokyo Game Show Special Coverage

Tokyo Game Show 2018

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Witness this year’s biggest gaming convention in Asia, the Tokyo Game Show 2018. This September 19, our team will fly to Tokyo, Japan, to be part to TGS 2018. Special thanks to our brand partners Huawei Mobile, PLDT Home, Smart Communications and Cherry Mobile for making this coverage possible.

The Gadget Pilipinas Team was given access to a press briefing with Hidetaka Miyazaki, Director from From Software and a bit of hands-on gameplay. Here’s our take on the hands-on gameplay and the insights from the press interview. We also  figured a listicle is in order to rundown why this game will match the hype surrounding it.

Here’s our Top 5 reasons why “Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice” is to die for.

1) The game is Tenchu-inspired

sk8lqukaqalhq2mrzkqd 770x433 - Top 5 reasons "Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice" is to die forIf you’ve played any of the Tenchu games in previous game consoles, you know that the use of the grappling hook to set-up a one-slash-stealth kills from above is a hallmark of the series. Zipping to rooftops and treetops will be the go-to move in this game to get rid of sentries. And yes, those ever-so glorious decapitations and dismemberments with the stealth kill are present.

2) Casual or hardcore can play

sn1rmqcvrwomyuttaoyq 770x433 - Top 5 reasons "Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice" is to die forFrom Software is notorious for challenging games and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is no exception. However, Hidetaka Miyazaki, Director of From Software, revealed that he himself is a casual gamer and has made it clear that the game should be accessible to beginners and experienced players alike.

3) Upgradeable prosthetic arm

jjn6e6ivua5u142iukql 770x433 - Top 5 reasons "Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice" is to die forThat prosthetic arm that Sekiro has isn’t just for looks. It can launch a grappling hook and is upgradeable too. No details were revealed but its good to know that a skill-tree based system is in place. Think Horizon Zero Dawn or Spiderman on the way skill and gadgets are upgraded. Tech upgrades set in feudal Japan? What’s not to like?

4) Play the style that suits you

jo1pi5md3myj0pxynz9p 770x433 - Top 5 reasons "Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice" is to die forStealth like Tenchu or head-on like Dark Souls? It’s up to you. What’s clear is that you can’t use stealth for the whole campaign since the game wasn’t designed that way. Stealth can be used to thin enemy numbers and to preserve your health before confronting the big boss. The mix of stealth and hack and slash is always a good mix to change-up the pace and should suit any gameplay style.

5) Single-player only campaign can last 20 to 30 hours 

ocxemodvr6oa72argpyo 770x433 - Top 5 reasons "Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice" is to die forThat’s the length of the campaign as per Miyazaki. The game is focused-solely on the single-player experience. No more wayward players who can just jump-in and help or derail your campaign. From Software also focused on the story-telling. Given that no resources were spent in developing the multiplayer aspect, expect the campaign to take it up a notch.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice will be released on March 22, 2019 on PC, Xbox One and the Playstation 4.

Our Tokyo Game Show 2018 Coverage is brought to you by our brand partners: Huawei Mobile Philippines, PLDT Home Fibr, Smart and Cherry Mobile. Access our coverage here.

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Heads-up, Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) players. The PES game you’re playing on your phone is going to get a major upgrade.

For starters, the visuals will get a major overhaul and will be using Unreal Engine 4 – the same graphics engine used in triple A games for consoles and PCs. With the use of Unreal Engine 4, PES will be inching closer to how it looks versus its console port. It

Next, over 3,000 new animations, improved player AI with every playstyle accounted for, and realistic ball movements has been optimized for fans to enjoy the ultimate soccer game.

And lastly, 10 new league licenses from Europe, South America and Asia have been added, including Japan’s J. League.

The best part? Despite these updates,  Winning Eleven 2019 is still free-to-play (with in-game purchases).

PES 2019 promises to give a life-like behavior of the beautiful game and should take competitive mobile sports gaming to new heights.

Screen Shot 2018 09 21 at 1.16.38 AM 640x327 - TGS 2018: PES mobile game to be updated to "Winning Eleven 2019" this December!

More about the game and new features, here.

Our Tokyo Game Show 2018 Coverage is brought to you by our brand partners: Huawei Mobile Philippines, PLDT Home Fibr, Smart and Cherry Mobile. Access our coverage here.

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