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Xiaomi Mi4i vs Samsung Galaxy A7

Updated on April 24, 2015

Xiaomi's VP Hugo Barra introduced their latest phone in the Mi range, the Mi4i. Hugo Barra is one of the few people I envy and it is mainly because of the fact that he is one of the most innovative people on the planet. The launch event took place in New Delhi, and this just shows how seriously Xiaomi is looking at the Indian market. No other major brand in the world has launched their flagships in India. Hugo Barra took a dig at Apple, when they showed the "Butt Test", by saying "some" brands don't even do this test. Xiaomi is definitely taking a huge toll on Samsung and Apple. They've already romped into the top 3 sellers of smartphones in India, and that too within a year. Today, we'll look into the comparison between Samsung's Galaxy A7 against the newly launched Mi4i.

Source

Looks and Build Quality:

Mi4i

The Mi4i looks gorgeous. It has a polycarbonate unibody, which means that it is plastic but still looks premium. At the top we have the earpiece, along with the secondary camera and a few sensors. On the right hand side of the device we have the power button and the volume rocker. Both these buttons are rock solid and offer very good response. On the left hand side we have the dual slot for micro-sim cards. Both of the sim cards support 4G. Below the phone we have a micro-USB port and above the phone we have a 3.5mm audio jack. Behind the phone, at the top left corner, is the 13 megapixel primary camera with a dual tone flash. Below, we have the Mi logo and the loudspeaker. There are 3 touch capacitative buttons and they light up when touched. So using them in the dark would not be a problem.

Galaxy A7

I should say, Samsung has done a really wonderful job in designing this device. The devices they launched a year back all look the same. The Galaxy A7, however, is different. It has a plastic unibody with a metal lining on the side. This one thing awed me. It looks stunning and you definitely will feel like keeping it all to yourself. My favorite is the Champagne Gold colour which really accentuates the metal lining more. At the top of the phone we have the earpiece, the secondary camera and sensors. On the right side, we have a power button and the slots for sim card and microSD. The slot nearer to the power button is a slot that can be used either for the sim card or for the microSD. The sim card slots accept nano sim. Only one slot accepts 4G/3G sim, the other accepts only 2G. Below the device we have two touch capacitative buttons and a physical button, like in all Samsung devices. At the bottom we have the micro-USB port for charging and file transfer as well as the 3.5mm audio jack. Some people like this at the top, some at the bottom. It is a personal opinion, but I like it at the top! Behind we have the 13 megapixel primary camera that juts out a lot, and a single LED flash. Just next to it we have the loud speaker. Below we have the Samsung logo and the Duos logo, if you've got the dual sim variant.

Mi4i
Mi4i
Mi4i
Mi4i

Hardware:

I am not going to separate out the two phones in this section, just because both of them have almost the same hardware. Xiaomi Mi4i comes with a second generation Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 octa core processor. It has 4 performance cores clocked at 1.7GHz and 4 balanced cores at 1.1 GHz. To take care of all the HD gaming, and by that I mean the meanest of games, we have the Adreno 405 GPU. Mi4i has 2 gigs of LPDDR3 RAM which lets you multi task with ease. Performance is just awesome and there is nothing here that you can complaint about. Now you will all be thinking that the battery life would be compromised, but no, Xiaomi has provided the Mi4i with a whopping 3120mAh battery that can last for almost a day and a half even with moderate to heavy use. On the downside, we have only 16GB of storage space out of which around 10.6 GB is free. There is no expandable storage. The silver lining is that it supports OTG, so you can plug in your pendrives.

Galaxy A7 also packs in the same processor, but the first generation of Snapdragon 615. This has 4 performance cores clocked at 1.5 GHz and 4 balanced cores clocked at 1.0 GHz. This chipset is also said to have a heating problem, and it showed up in the A7 too. For gaming, we have the same Adreno 405 GPU coupled with 2 GB of RAM. We have 16 GB of onboard storage and the option of expanding it upto 64 GB. Well done, Samsung! In terms of battery, we have a modest non-removable Li-Ion battery of 2600mAh capacity. During tests, it ran for well over a day. It is a very well optimized device and makes use of battery very efficiently.

Benchmarks:

 
Antutu 5
Quadrant
Vellamo
Samsung Galaxy A7
31436
15298
1665
Xiaomi Mi4i
40253
25686
1665
Source

Display:

Mi4i

The Mi4i is one of the thinnest devices around measuring at 7.8mm thick and weighing a mere 130g. Keep in mind that 130g is with the 3120mAh battery. The display is from Sharp and JDI, undoubtedly one of the best in display units, and for protection we have Corning OGS glass. The 5inch screen has a resolution of 1920x1080 giving it a pixel density of 441ppi. We also have a new feature called Sunlight display, which makes pixel contrast adjustments when you move into bright areas. The IPS panel has a wide viewing angle of 178°.

Galaxy A7

Galaxy A7 packs a 5.5inch display with full HD resolution. For protection we have the latest Corning Gorilla Glass 4. But the thing that blew me away was the fact that this phone is a mere 6.3mm thick and weighs only 141g, considering the fact that it has a metal lining along with the plastic body. Engineering at its best. The Super AMOLED screen is plain awesome and there are no problems when it comes to sunlight readability. The colors are rich and bright and we have no complaints whatsoever.

The Official Mi4i Video:

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Which one will you buy?

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Camera:

The Mi4i has a 13 megapixel rear camera that is flush with the surface of the phone. It comes with two tone LED flash, one is pure white and the other one if bright yellow. There is also an in-built torch feature, which lets you take pictures in the dark with the flash as a torchlight. The 5 element lens is from Sony/Samsung with an aperture of f/2.0. Xiaomi has done a lot of algorithmic changes with the camera app and the camera itself. It can take really great HDRs now and there is also an anti ageing sort of an app that is built into the camera (front camera) that takes care of the wrinkles and makes your face glow automatically. On the front we have a 5 megapixel f/1.8 camera with an 80° wide angle lens.

Galaxy A7 has a 13 megapixel shooter at the back and a 5 megapixel camera at the front. The camera in the front has a wider lens compared to the Mi4i measuring at 108°. But the pictures taken by the Mi4i are far more superior than the ones takes with the A7. The rear camera is an old 4:3 module and I think that is the reason that it sticks out too much. But saying that, the photos come out pretty decent. The 1080 videos are also good, but not the best, when comparing it with the S4 or S5.

It is Mi4i all the way!

Mi4i - All color options
Mi4i - All color options

Price:

Until now, things have been a bit equal, I should say. The Mi4i has better performance, but the Galaxy A7 looks premium and has a really gorgeous body. Performance in the A7 is not bad too. But there is one thing that the Indians want to know, and that is the price. We, Indians, want everything better and that too at the best possible price. So here are the prices of the Xiaomi Mi4i and the Samsung Galaxy A7. Proceed with caution and hold onto your jaws as it will surely drop out right now.

Xiaomi Mi4i - Rs.12,999 (~210$)

Samsung Galaxy A7 - Rs.30,000 (~485$)

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