BARCELONA -- Xiaomi announced the Mi 5 smartphone at the Mobile World Congress show here Wednesday, a handset that reveals just how serious the Chinese company is at competing with market leaders Apple and Samsung. The Mi 5 is a shining example of how to make attractive yet low-cost smartphones that will sell in big numbers.
You might not know it, but Xiaomi is the world's fifth-largest maker of smartphones. The company shipped more than 18.3 million devices during the fourth quarter of 2015, putting it just behind Lenovo's 20 million devices. Handsets like the Mi 5 might help push Xiaomi ahead of Lenovo in the months ahead.
The phone is crafted from metal and glass.
Its design evokes that of the Samsung Galaxy Note. It's incredibly slim at 5.12mm thick and features contoured glass to provide the design with some character. A high-end variant of the phone, called the Mi5 Pro, will include a ceramic rear panel, instead of glass. The display measures 5.15 inches and has full HD resolution. The screen doesn't go head-to-head with the quad HD display of the Samsung Galaxy S7 or the LG G5, but it's still an impressive display.
Xiaomi picked Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820 processor to serve as the Mi 5's engine. All versions of the phone will have 4GB of RAM, but the processor will be clocked at 2.15 GHz for the 64GB and 128GB models, and 1.8 GHz for the 32GB model. Xiaomi didn't explain why the Mi 5 will use two different clock speeds.
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