Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus Review

5 December, 2016, 13:39:40

After reviewing the Xiaomi Mi 5s we wanted to check out the Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus as well. Not only to make a comparison, but see what an even larger and more powerful version can do and how it will perform. It won't be a surprise or a spoiler if we'd revealed that it is faster than expectations and is the best performing smartphone we've tested so far. In addition, it has a dual-camera setup on the rear, a larger display and battery, so yes - there are many new things to test and check against the competition.
The review unit has been provided by Gearbest.com.

Specifications

Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus boasts a 5.7-inch IPS display with an FHD resolution (1080 x 1920) and a 2.5D curved glass. No protective glass. The screen incorporates Synaptics TD4322 TDDI technology. Its static contrast ratio is 1300:1, while the peak brightness measures 500-550 cd/m². Coverage of the NTSC color space is specified as being 94%. Hardware-wise, the device is based on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 MSM8996 Pro chipset, but clocked at a higher rate - one pair of Kryo cores work at 2.35GHz and the other pair operates at 2GHz. An Adreno 530 GPU clocked at 653MHz is responsible for the graphics - the same is in the classic version of the chipset. In terms of RAM and storage combination, the model has two versions - 4GB of RAM plus 64GB of internal memory and 6GB of RAM with 128GB of storage. The RAM is dual-channel, LPDDR4, clocked at 1866MHz. The internal memory is UFS 2.0 and cannot be expanded. Along with the many sensors on board, the smartphone features a fingerprint one placed on the back. It is made by Fingerprint Cards and is the FPC1035 model that provides 360-degree recognition and a navigation feature. Mi 5s Plus provides many connectivity options, including NFC with Android Beam, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac and 802.11n 5GHz with MU-MIMO, Wi-Fi Hotspot, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi Display, Bluetooth 4.2, USB Type-C 2.0 with OTG support. As long as it concerns network bands support, the model works with 2G GSM, 2.5G CDMA, 3G WCDMA and TD-SCDMA, 4G LTE Cat. 12 ones and supports VoLTE. In terms of satellite navigation, it works with GPS/A-GPS, GLONASS, and BeiDou as well. The camera department of the model is the main difference from its smaller sibling. It includes two rear cameras, each equipped with a 13-megapixel Sony IMX258 Exmor RS sensor and a 6-element lens. However, the first camera shoots in color, while the second is monochrome. Their work is aided by a dual-tone LED flash and phase-detection auto-focus. The front-facing snapper packs a 4-megapixel OmniVision OV4688 CMOS BSI - the same found on Mi 5s, and an 80° wide-angle lens with an f/2.0 aperture. A 3800 mAh Li-Pol battery keeps the lights on and is coupled with a 9V/2A fast charger, using Quick Charge 3.0. For complete details, here is the full list of Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus 64GB specifications.

What's in the box

Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus is placed inside the same type of box, in which we have received the Mi 5s - a white, rectangular one with the MI logo debossed on the lid. Some basic specifications and certifications of the model are provided on the rear of the box. The device lies in the top level compartment and is attentively packaged, including a special foil that protects the display and a second one for the back - protecting the two rear cameras and the fingerprint sensor. The package also includes a transparent silicone protective case, which is unusual of Xiaomi as they do not include any accessories with their devices. The case itself has a transparent protective foil on its back. Along with it you will see the user manual, warranty card, SIM-tray pin and the charger with a USB to USB Type-C 2.0 cable, both in black. In a similar fashion to all other chargers, included with Xiaomi smartphones, this one is the US NEMA-1 plug standard with two flat pins and no grounding area. It is widely used in the US, Canada and some Latin American countries. If you live elsewhere, make sure you have a wall plug adapter.

Design, build and controls

Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus will not surprise you in terms of design. And that's a good thing. You will get a reliable, well-built and stylish smartphone. It has a metal body with what seems to be plastic caps for the antenna areas. For the Plus model of the Mi 5s, Xiaomi has opted for a premium brushed finish on the back. The horizontal hairline finish does look very nice and is not slippery. The vertical rear sides are gently curved to improve ergonomics and provide comfortable handling experience, which is even more important for a bigger device like the Mi 5s Plus. The rear edges themselves are chamfered and glossy just like the front ones, which creates a very slim visual profile. The matte frame tightly surrounds the display unit covered with a 2.5D curved glass. The larger display and battery suggest that you'll probably get a bulky smartphone, but with the Mi 5s Plus this is not the case. With a weight of 168 grams it is average among smartphones with 5.7-inch displays. If you add in the fact that the battery has a capacity of 3800 mAh, the device may even be considered lightweight for its class. The same applies for the thickness of 7.95 mm. Do we have to remind that the Mi 5s is thicker with 0.3 mm (8.25), while boasting a smaller battery? The width and height, which measure 77.7 mm and 154.6 mm, respectively, are typical for devices with displays of that size. All in all, the Mi 5s Plus looks and is more compact than expected. It is available in four colors: grey with a black front, and gold, rose-gold and silver - all three with a white front. We are reviewing a gold unit. The color is very nice and subtly gold, very close to the champagne gold one. The color on the antenna caps does differ from the main one and is closer to that of platinum.
The layout of the smartphone's buttons, trays, ports, etc. is no different from what Xiaomi has provided up to now. On the left side of the device is placed the dual nano-SIM card tray (no slot for a microSD card). On the right frame the volume and power buttons are positioned. They have the same matte finish as the frame with very thin and gently glossy chamfered edges. That does improve the touch experience - the buttons are comfortably tactile, while fitting perfectly into their places. On the top frame we see the usual infrared port, which Xiaomi has decided to omit on the Mi 5s, along with a 3.5mm jack and a microphone. The bottom frame houses a USB Type-C 2.0 port with two speaker grilles to its left and right. The left is for a microphone, the right is for the single speaker on board. On the front of the device, above the display you will see the earpiece, light sensor, front camera. Below it, the capacitive navigation bar with backlit buttons is located. The buttons are ordered from left to right as follows: menu, home and back button. Their functions can be adjusted from the Buttons menu under Additional Settings. The fingerprint sensor is a round one with a glossy chamfered ring. It is placed on the back of the smartphone right below the two rear cameras, which are vertically centered. To the right of the shooters the dual-tone LED flash is positioned. Towards the lower end of the back you'll see the glossy MI logo debossed on the backplate.

Display

What does make an impression at first sight is that the Mi 5s Plus has one of the thinnest black bezels compared to other Xiaomi smartphones. The outer (frame) bezel is thick, however. This is just the opposite to the Mi 5s, which has very thin frame bezels and thick black ones. The screen features a 5.7-inch IPS panel by Sharp with a 1080p resolution and a pixel density of 386 ppi. The display panel is an in-cell one, meaning the touch layer and the LCD layer are merged into one. It is combined with Synaptics TD4322 TDDI technology. TDDI stands for touch and display driver integration, meaning the touch controller and display driver are placed into one layer. This makes display units more touch-responsive, thinner, brighter, improves resolution, lowers power consumption due to the integrated RAM. In general, TDDI solutions are at the base of creating truly bezelless displays, though this is not the case with the Mi 5s Plus. The contrast ratio of the model is 1300:1. Its peak brightness is within the 500-550 cd/sq.m. range. The gamut coverage is 94% of the NTSC color space. There's no special protective glass, at least no such is specified. The latest Xiaomi smartphones are equipped with very bright displays and the one of Mi 5s Plus is no exception. Even though the peak brightness is defined as 500-550 cd/sq.m. our measurements showed a peak brightness of 645 cd/sq.m., which is a very high brightness and you will definitely have no issues enjoying content on the smartphone in broad daylight. The white values are relatively high at all brightness levels, which coupled with the relatively low black values provides a very high contrast ratio. The official specifications state it is 1300:1, but our unit has a contrast ratio that is almost 3000:1. The temperature of the white point decreases with the decrease of the brightness level. At 100% it is 8200 K and at 0% brightness it measures 7500 K. Colors are a bit on the cold side, but it's not bad and cannot be noticed right away. There's a reading mode along with a color tweaking option under the Display settings, so this should suffice in case you need warmer colors, less or more vibrant ones.
Brightness White luminance Black luminance Contrast Color temperature
100 % 645.889 cd/m2 0.225 cd/m2 2871 8231 K
75 % 330.621 cd/m2 0.113 cd/m2 2926 7973 K
50 % 173.434 cd/m2 0.058 cd/m2 2990 7796 K
25 % 70.732 cd/m2 0.024 cd/m2 2947 7645 K
0 % 7.182 cd/m2 0.000 cd/m2 - 7515 K
The sub-pixel geometry of the display one is traditionally striped. The coverage of the NTSC color space is again specified as being 94%, but the CIE diagram shows otherwise. No matter that it is larger than the one of the Mi 5s, it does not reach 94%. The strongest color deviation is in the green area, followed by the red and blue one. The viewing angles are almost perfect with excellent preservation of color and slight loss in brightness, mainly on the vertical ones. Put simply, this is a very good display unit that is, indeed, very responsive and pleasure to look at.

OS, UI and software

Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus has arrived with a modified ROM in English with PlayStore pre-installed. The lock screen is as clean as it can be. You get the familiar swipe up to unlock the device and the shortcut to the camera app. In case you want to have shortcuts to other apps you find useful, you can add them from the corresponding settings. The home screen contains the traditional row of docked apps - Dialer, Messenger, Browser and Camera, together with the usual pre-installed apps such as Gallery, Security, Themes, and so on. The traditional Xiaomi apps that comprise the media eco-system of its in-house software are gone, so no bloatware here. A swipe down from the top of the screen opens the combined Notifications and Quick Settings shade. From the Settings menu you can choose to split them to the former MIUI style - the Notifications shade appears first with a shortcut to hiding them and then a second swipe to the left brings the Quick Settings on a full screen. Of course, a shortcut to the Settings menu and information about the weather along with the brightness level bar are present as well. A tap on the menu button opens the Task Manager with a Clean All function and an option to change the appearance of the apps in it - either smaller versions of the app screens or icons. In either views, you can lock and unlock an app from being cleaned as well as access its information.
Touching and holding the menu button opens the extensive Widgets menu you're already familiar with. It can also be accessed if you zoom in on the home screen - a signature MIUI feature. Once you access the Widgets menu you can move the Clock app, change its style, and move the Google voice search app along with any other app and folder on the device. The latter happens by the Move Apps functions. The actual Widgets feature allows you to add shortcuts to toggles from the Quick Settings, separate menus from the Settings as well as selected apps. The third option in this menu is to select the wallpaper of the home screen and the fourth is to choose the screen transition effect. The Volume shade is the traditional rectangular one of MIUI 8. The Power Off shade remains unchanged as well.
The Settings menu starts off with a search bar with which you can get fast access to options and functions inside the Settings. The Network group of options comes first and contains everything you might need to setup your SIM cards, networks, and wireless connections. The Personal group comes second and begins with the Display settings. Among all else, they include a Reading mode, Color & contrast modes, Text size, etc. Then the Wallpaper and Themes settings come next. They duplicate the functions and features of the Theme app, providing access to offline and online content with various options for customizing the MIUI appearance. The Sound & vibration options close the Personal group of settings. Besides a useful Silent Mode toggle and the classic three volume levels, it also contains a large choice of ringtones and notifications sounds, vibrations and system sounds. Under this group you will also find the advanced options for headphones and audio, which can be accessed as a separate menu from the Additional settings and from the Music app. After Personal, the third major group of options is the System & Device one. The Lock screen & password settings are the first one in this group. They allow you to choose and manage a lock type as well as set up and manage your fingerprint ID(s). There are other security toggles such as for the Smart Cover, waking the screen and quick camera start. The Notifications & status bar settings come second. From here you can switch to the classic style of Notifications and Quick settings appearance, manage the notifications for each app on the device, change the toggle positions in the Quick Settings, and other options for changing the appearance of separate elements - carrier name, battery indicator, etc.
Second Space is probably the most interesting and for some - useful feature of MIUI 8. It creates a virtual machine, so within one device you get two. For each you can have different fingerprints, accounts, apps, etc. The second space contains apps that manage it, import and export data from and to the "original" space, and switch between the two. The rest of the settings include options for the Do Not Disturb mode, the Battery and Storage. The Lite Mode is omitted here as well, so we arrive to the last group under System & Device - Additional Settings. It is very rich and allows you to manage the Date & time, Language & input, Locale, the Child Mode and your Privacy settings. It also contains the Quick Ball settings. The Quick Ball is a floating dot that can be used as a navigation tool and you can change the shortcuts to your liking.
From the Additional Settings you can also manage the LED Notification Light behaviour and adjust the Headphones & audio effects along with the navigation bar Buttons, including their functions. The One-Handed mode is quite useful. In case you find the device difficult to operate with one hand, you can slide from the home button to the back button and switch on this feature. It shrinks the visible display area to three pre-set sizes to choose from. In order to get back to the original screen size, simply touch the dark area around the display. This group ends with the Accessibility, Backup & reset settings and the Mi Mover. The latter is a Xiaomi-bound function for transferring data from one Xiaomi device to another. The Accounts group of options comes fourth and from here you can manage the MI, Google or any other account you might have and sync data between them, if needed. The App Settings is the fifth and last group of options. From here you can manage the settings of the system apps and those additionally installed on the device. You can also activate or deactivate the dual app function, which allows you to use one and the same app with two separate accounts - WeChat for example. These settings also include options for managing App Permissions and Lock. About phone is the last menu and among all else, includes a shortcut to the System updates function that can be accessed from the Updater app, too.
The apps in MIUI appear on the home screen and all successive ones, and are not listed in alphabetical order. Moving an app to the recycle bin uninstalls it, but only after a confirmation dialogue, which prevents uninstalling apps by mistake. As mentioned earlier, on the home screen are the docked apps - Dialer, Messenger, default Browser, and Camera. The Dialer is combined with the Contacts in one app with two tabs and there isn't a Yellow Pages tab in this modified ROM. The app is intuitive and easy to work with. The same is with the Messenger, which offers no surprises. The default Browser works fast, contains an ad blocker, a choice of default search engines, a night mode, etc. The classic MIUI Calendar and Explorer (file manager) are present as well. The latter offers several types of sorting and previewing files, including a Mi Drop and a Cleanup function. The Notes app in MIUI 8 has been tweaked and provides more templates, a simpler interface and more intuitive creation of notes. The MiRemote app is present and unlike in Mi 5s, with the Plus, it works perfectly due to the infrared blaster provided in the model. Most probably you're already familiar with the Weather app, which is quite pretty and informative as well as the QR code scanner. It uses the primary camera to scan bar codes and search for them on the internet in order to provide more information about the product. However, in MIUI 8 this app provides two additional functions - to export the code to a business card or document.
The Calculator in MIUI 8 is enriched with many features and includes many options for conversions - of length, mass, volume, area, currency rates, etc. The Clock app contains the typical four tabs for alarm, clock, stopwatch and timer functions. A Sound Recorder is on board as well together with an Updater app. All these can be found in the Tools folder along with Contacts, Mail, Mi Account, Feedback, Downloads, and Compass tools. There's a separate folder for Google apps containing Gmail and Voice Search. On the second screen is placed an empty folder named More Apps.
One of the most feature-rich and main apps in MIUI 8 is the Security one. It is meant to protect your smartphone and optimize its performance. It joins in one places a total of six services. Cleaner is the first one and is used to analyze the device and make suggestions for its optimization mainly be cleaning unnecessary files. From here you can access the Virus scanner, which is the fifth service in the Security app. The second one is the Data usage, which is self-explanatory just like the third one - the Blocklist, containing settings for blocking caller IDs and messages. The fourth main function of the app is the Battery one, but this will be explored in more detail in the Battery section of this review. Permissions is the sixth service and duplicates the App Permissions and Lock settings from the Settings menu.
In the current modified MIUI 8 ROM, only the Themes apps has been preserved as part of Xiaomi's media eco-system. It is entirely in English and lacks only minor functions, but the main ones are preserved. You get access to both online wallpapers (lock and home screen ones) and themes, but no ringtones and fonts. However, when you go to the themes management console you see a folder with 70 offline ringtones along with app settings and customization options - lock style, status bar, icons, messenger and dial pad style, home screen style, etc.

Networks, calls and connectivity

Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus is identical to Mi 5s in terms of hardware and connectivity options. The model has a SIM card tray for two nano-SIM cards only - no microSD card compatibility. Either slot can be set to be the main one. Both work in a dual SIM standby mode. The device supports a large number of network bands, making it suitable for worry-free use in most parts of the world. The supported bands include 2G GSM (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz), 2.5G CDMA 800 MHz, 3G TD-SCDMA (1900 and 2000 MHz) and 3G WCDMA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz), 4G FDD-LTE (850, 900, 1800, 2100, 2600 MHz) and 4G TDD-LTE (1900, 2300, 2500, 2600 MHz). This is due to the advanced capabilities of the X12 LTE modem integrated in the Snapdragon 821 chipset, which provides LTE Cat. 12 download speeds of up to 600 Mbps, and LTE Cat. 13 uplink speeds of up to 150 Mbps. As expected, our review unit did not experience any problems with call quality and reception. The device also supports quite a number of wireless connectivity options, including dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac and 802.11n 5GHz with MU-MIMO, Wi-Fi Hotspot, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi Display, and Bluetooth 4.2. Fully featured NFC with Android Beam is supported, too, and a USB Type-C 2.0 port with OTG support is on board as well. All these features work fine. Mi 5s Plus works with the three main satellite navigation systems - GPS/A-GPS, Glonass, and BeiDou. Our test unit managed to detect a good number of satellites from all three for a short time and with a very good accuracy. The infrared port works fine in detecting household appliances and enabling the smartphone to function as a remote control for them.

Performance

Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus is equipped with the 64-bit Snapdragon 821 MSM8996 Pro chipset in its top clocked version. The SoC is built after the 14nm process and its classic variant increases performance by 10% compared to the Snapdragon 820 SoC. Having in mind that the clock rate in this case is higher, we expect this percentage to be higher, too. The CPU consists of four custom Kryo cores grouped in pairs. The first pair is clocked at 2.35GHz, while the second works at 2GHz. The graphics are handled by the powerful Adreno 530 GPU clocked at 653MHz. It improves its performance by 5% compared to the one when it participates in the Snapdragon 820. Additional improvement in performance and battery life is provided by the new Qualcomm Hexagon 680 DSP. There are not so many smartphones that are equipped with this chipset clocked at its highest rate. These are the Mi MIX, Mi Note 2, Smartisan M1/M1L, OnePlus 3T, LeEco Le Pro 3, and Asus ZenFone 3 Deluxe. The Google Pixel/XL and the Xiaomi Mi 5s have the same system-on-chip, but the CPU is clocked at 2.15GHz instead at 2.35GHz. Our review unit of Mi 5s Plus scored 161610 points in AnTuTu, making it not only the most powerful smartphone we've tested so far, but also the third most powerful one in AnTuTu's list of tested devices after the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Indeed, this is one of the most impressive scores lately and the rest of the benchmark results only prove that. The difference in clock rate with the Mi 5s is only 0.2GHz, but the test results indicate that even such a minor difference increases performance higher than expected. In Basemark X and OS II our review unit scored 43939 and 2675 points, respectively. The single-core and multi-core scores in Geekbench are 1817 and 4375. All of these are higher than the results of other smartphones with the same chipset.
The 3DMark and PCMark tests showed very high results as well, winning over on most occasions other models with the same SoC. We have to share with you that it was a sheer pleasure to play a heavy game with its graphics settings set to the highest level and enjoy even the tiniest detail in the picture along with shutter- and lag-free gameplay. Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus guarantees you this. As long as it concerns RAM and internal memory, the device is no less fast. It has two variants - 4/64G of RAM/storage and 6/128GB of RAM/storage. Our review unit is the 4/64GB version. The RAM is dual-channel, LPDDR4 one (the latest generation), clocked at the currently highest speed possible - 1866MHz. 4GB of RAM are more than enough to have a plethora of apps running in the background and still not noticing that. The UFS 2.0 type of internal memory is one of the fastest ones around and the PCMark Storage and Androbench tests clearly show this. The scores are twice as high as those of devices with eMMC type of memory. Of totally 64GB on board, 57GB are available to the user. The suite of sensors on the Mi 5s Plus includes a light, proximity, accelerometer, magnetometer, gyroscope, orientation, gravity. Of course, there's a fingerprint sensor as well. Unlike the sensor on Mi 5s, this one is made by Fingerprint Cards (FPC1035) and is placed on the back of the device below the cameras and has a round shape. The sensor is very fast in storing IDs and unlocking the device. Working with it is comfortable and intuitive.

Cameras

Тhe camera app in Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus differs a bit from that on Mi 5s, the main difference being in the shooting modes. The Plus model lacks a Square and a GroupShot mode, but offers a Mono mode instead in favour of its monochrome rear camera. All the rest is pretty much the same. On the home screen of the app you get a circular shutter button, shortcuts to the HDR and flash options as well as to the list of filters and modes. You can choose from nine modes for the primary camera, including panorama, timer, audio, manual, straighten, beautify, HHT, tilt-shift, and mono. The manual mode lets you adjust the focus, exposure time, white balance and ISO. From the list of modes you access the camera settings such as the picture quality, QR scanner, low light enhancement, flash settings, saturation, contrast, sharpness. The main camera's video modes include time-lapse and slow motion, while among the video settings are the video quality, time lapse interval, etc. The front camera modes include timer and audio only. Its settings are similar to those of the primary shooter, but have specific options such as the mirror function. There are no video modes for the front camera. Once you take a photo, you can delete, share or edit it by applying filters, adjusting the frame, adding a sticker, and doodling.

Primary camera

The most significant difference between the Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus and the Mi 5s is the camera department. Mi 5s Plus has two rear cameras with identical sensors and lenses, however one shoots in color and the other is monochrome. The first is used to collect the color and the second - the light and dark details. When the dual-camera mode is activated, both cameras work simultaneously, preserving the color, depth and detail in a photo. Each camera is aided by a separate image processor. The sensor for each camera is one and the same - a 13-megapixel Sony IMX258 Exmor RS one, coupled with phase-detection auto-focus and a dual-tone LED flash. The rear cameras create photos with a resolution of 4160 x 3120 pixels and can shoot 4K (3840 x 2160) video at 30 fps as well as 720p at 120 fps. There's a PANO function as well making panorama photos with a resolution of 6816 x 1728 pixels. We have listed below several sample photos made with the rear cameras of the Mi 5s Plus, including shots in mono mode, indoors in very low light conditions with auto and manual mode on, with HDR on/off, a sample panorama and a video in 4K. The same camera sensor is used for the two rear cameras in LeEco Coolpad Cool1 dual as well as for the single primary camera in Vernee Mars, Xiaomi Redmi Pro, and Elephone P9000.
ISO 6400, 1/13 sec, f/2.2, Auto (very low light conditions)
ISO 1600, 1/2 sec, f/2.2, Manual (very low light conditions)
ISO 3200, 1/2 sec, f/2.2, Manual (very low light conditions)
HDR Off
HDR On
ISO 12233 resolution test chart (310 mm x 225 mm)

Secondary camera

The front-facing camera of Mi 5s Plus is the same as the one used in Mi 5s and Mi 5. For those cameras Xiaomi has chosen the 4-megapixel OmniVision OV4688 CMOS BSI sensor with a focal length of 4.6 mm and 2µm pixel size. In Mi 5s Plus it is combined with an 80° wide-angle lens with an f/2.0 aperture. The photos are with a resolution of 2688 x 1512 pixels and the camera can shoot FHD videos at 30 fps.

Audio

The music player on our test unit is not entirely the same as in the original Chinese MIUI 8 ROM. Of course the content that is in Chinese is gone along with the options for downloading from Xiaomi's music app and streaming music. All the rest remains the same. The home screen for offline music includes a Favorites folder and an Offline folder along with playlists and the player itself. The files in the music player are grouped according to their names, artist or album name, or in folders. When you open a music file you can access the Headphones & audio effects settings, delete it, set it as a ring tone, edit the song information and toggle the sleep timer. You can swipe the main screen of the player to the right and access the list of songs that is currently on. A swipe to the left should open a screen with the song's lyrics.
Xiaomi did not specify whether the Mi 5s Plus has a special audio equipment, but the results from our test are suspiciously close to those of the Mi 5s, which is equipped with an NXP 66T19 audio chip and an NXP TFA9891 amplifier. As usual, we perform our audio test by using the TASCAM US-2x2 audio interface and the RightMark Audio Analyzer software. The results refer to the audio system of the device and do not take into account the speaker. Our test unit of Mi 5s Plus showed an excellent result in frequency response only and an average result in THD + Noise. All the other parameters scored Very good and the overall result is the same. The speaker, though being single, is better than average speakers on smartphones.
Test Value RMAA rating
Frequency response (from 40 Hz to 15 kHz), dB +0.03, -0.07 Excellent
Noise level, dB (A) -94.4 Very good
Dynamic range, dB (A) 94.2 Very good
THD, % 0.0085 Very good
THD + Noise, dB (A) -78.6 Average
IMD + Noise, % 0.0088 Very good
Stereo crosstalk, dB -81.7 Very good
IMD at 10 kHz, % 0.015 Very good
General performance   Very good
Frequency response
Noise level
Dynamic range
THD + Noise (at -3 dB FS)
Intermodulation distortion
Stereo crosstalk

Battery

The Power Efficiency service is one of the six functions of the Security app integrated in MIUI 8. It provides a Battery Saver toggle with options for scheduling the switch between modes as well as an App Battery Saver, which allows you to set separate options for separate apps and make battery saving more flexible. The Battery Use monitor lists which apps and hardware parts consume the most power. From the home screen of the Power Efficiency service you can tap on Analyze battery usage and get suggestions how you can optimize battery life. You can also access the settings, which include the turn off mobile data and clear cache when the device is locked functions, Schedule power on & off, Battery indicator type, Battery drain and Heating notifications. The main Settings menu includes Additional Settings, with Battery & performance options. They duplicate the Power Efficiency service and add some more functions such as System animations.
Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus packs a 3800 mAh, Li-Pol, non-removable battery, which arrives with a 9V/2A fast charger supporting Quick Charge 3.0. Below you see our usual graph that demonstrates the charging time and temperature of the model's battery. At a first glance we can say that in terms of both parameters the Mi 5s Plus battery scores better than that of Mi 5s. It charges faster despite having a larger capacity and gets less heated. Let's delve into the detail. Unlike Mi 5s, the fast charging of Mi 5s Plus started right from the start (check the yellow line) and maintained a steady pace till the battery reached 70% of its charge at 43 minutes. For example, Mi 5s's battery reached 70% after 1 hour and 3 minutes. Then the charging speed slowed down and for the next 20 minutes the battery gained another 20% of its charge to 90%. The last 10% to 100% needed 30 minutes. The total charging time was 1 hour and 33 minutes. For comparison, the battery of Mi 5s needed 1 hour and 45 minutes and is 600 mAh smaller. The battery temperature during charging (red line) also shows a better performance compared to that of Mi 5s. Charging started at 33°C and the battery temperature gradually rose to 40°C when the battery reached 50-60% of its charge. It maintained this temperature till it reached 85% of its charge. After that point when the charging speed dropped down, the battery temperature started dropping down, too. At the end of the process it measured 29°C. The PCMark Work 2.0 battery life test result of our review unit of Mi 5s Plus is 8 hours and 37 minutes. This is an excellent result for a 3800 mAh battery coupled with a 5.7-inch FHD display. The test has been performed in accordance with Futuremark's recommendation of calibrating the display's brightness to 200 cd/sq.m.

Final thoughts

We must say that the Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus is an excellent smartphone for its money. It provides top performance, comparable to the performance of and even winning over far more expensive devices. The display is large and of very good quality. At the same time the battery shows some real stamina. The camera department does not disappoint either, so if you’ve been considering this to be your next smartphone, you can go for it without any doubts.