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Xiaomi 14 5G Review: An Inexpensive Flagship with Leica Magic

Xiaomi has an excellent track record of launching some of the best value-for-money smartphones that offer comparable hardware as other top flagship models despite costing just a fraction of the price. To carry on it’s legacy, the Chinese smartphone giant has recently unveiled the new Xiaomi 14 5G that not only offers unbeatable hardware, but also comes with an enticing launch price of just S$999 in the local market.

Xiaomi 14 5G: Design

On the outside, the new Xiaomi 14 5G is certainly a good-looking smartphone that looks sleek and elegant from all angles. It dons a trendy flat-edge design with a boxy appearance that looks akin to most other recent smartphones such as the Galaxy S24 5G. Despite that, you can still easily tell the Xiaomi 14 5G apart from other devices thanks to it’s distinctive, square-shaped camera array that really stands out from the crowd.

Xiaomi 14 5G Design -1

Just like last year’s model, the new Xiaomi 14 5G comes with a petite 6.34” display which allows it to achieve a compact form factor that makes it extremely comfortable to grip and hold, even for those with small hands like myself. As expected from a high-end device, the Xiaomi 14 5G also features a glass-clad chassis that screams premium the moment you lift up the phone.

Xiaomi 14 5G Design -2

The model I had for review comes in a White color paint job with a glossy finish to it. Even so, I’m quite surprised that the back panel doesn’t actually picks up as much smudges as I’d expect on a glossy material. Besides the White variant, the Xiaomi 14 5G is also available in two other colors – Jade Green and Black – with the latter sporting a matte finish.

Xiaomi 14 5G Design -3

Over at the front, the Xiaomi 14 5G features a flat display based on a high-end LTPO AMOLED panel which boasts an impressive 2670 x 1200 pixels screen resolution along with a slick 120Hz refresh rate that promises a smooth and sharp visual experience regardless whether you’re watching videos or playing games.

To sweeten up the deal, the display also supports HDR10+ and Dolby Vision that helps to ensure accurate color reproduction for a more realistic visual experience. That’s not forgetting that it also supports an exceptional peak brightness that’s capable of hitting up to 3,000 nits under auto brightness mode to keep the screen visible even under bright daylight.

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In terms of durability, the Xiaomi 14 5G is IP68-rated for dust and water resistance. This basically means that the phone is able to withstand light drizzle or splashes or water which offers you a peace of mind when it’s unintentionally exposed to water.

Xiaomi 14 5G: Performance & Battery life

Sitting at the heart of the phone is none other than Qualcomm’s latest flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset which promises unparalleled performance in day-to-day use. Besides making multi-tasking felt like a breeze, the high-performing chipset also holds up well when working on more resource-intensive workloads like video editing and even mobile gaming.

On top of that, the Xiaomi 14 5G also features a new cooling solution dubbed as Xiaomi IceLoop system which provides 3 times the thermal efficiency compared to traditional VC’s to ensure the phone is always performing at its peak without the risk of overheating. This allows a more enjoyable gaming experience with smooth and stable gameplay.

Editors’ Picks

To keep it’s lights on, the Xiaomi 14 5G is backed by an enduring 4,610mAh battery which has no issue providing at least a day’s worth of usage on a single charge. In fact, I often found myself getting around 1.5 days battery life on a normal workday which is surprisingly decent for a phone of its size.

The main highlight here actually lies in it’s ultra-fast 90W fast wired charging support that’s able to recharge a completely flat battery from 0 to 100% in around 35 minutes. Wireless charging is onboard too, and it charges pretty quickly as well thanks to its amazing 50W charging speed.

Xiaomi 14 5G: Cameras

On the photography side of things, the Xiaomi 14 5G is equipped with a highly capable triple-cam system co-developed with German Optic Specialist Leica. It’s lead by a flagship-grade 50 megapixels main camera that uses Xiaomi-custom Light Fusion 900 imaging sensor which boasts an impressive 13.5EV high dynamic range alongside a native 14-bit color depth.

Just like last year’s Xiaomi 13 5G, there are two different shooting modes available in the camera’s setting: Leica Vibrant and Leica Authentic. As you can probably tell from its name, Leica Vibrant favors a more vivid image profile that allows photographers to perfectly capture the emotion of the moment. Leica Authentic on the other hand delivers an iconic “Leica Image Look” that focuses on aesthetically pleasing and natural colour reproduction, well-drawn shadows, realistic local contrasts and excellent reproduction of fine details and a moderate amount of sharpening.

Xiaomi 14 5G Photo Sample -2
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For me, I shoot using Leica Vibrant mode most of the time as I personally prefer the color science it brings along that really makes the photos pop. But regardless which shooting mode you uses, you can be assured to get high-quality photos with rich details and excellent dynamic range that are easily on par with other more expensive flagship phones.

Apart from the different shooting modes, the Xiaomi 14 5G’s main camera is also equipped with the next-generation Leica Summilux optical lens with a large f/1.6 aperture which not only improves low-light performance, but also greatly reduces lens flare or ghosting as its able to achieve better light efficiency with an advanced 7P aspherical high-transmittance lens as well as anti-glare lens coating.

Likewise, the Xiaomi 14 5G also impresses with a highly-capable 50 megapixels telephoto camera unit which adopts a floating lens system which actually allows the lens to shift within the camera, giving it the ability to focus from 10cm and beyond. This not only allows it to serve as an ideal macro camera for close-up shots, but also turns it into a superb camera for long-distance shots (see the video above to see the telephoto camera in action).

Xiaomi 14 5G: Verdict

With a starting price of just S$999, the Xiaomi 14 5G is the most affordable flagship phone you can get in the local market. Despite that, the Xiaomi 14 5G is no weaker than any other flagship devices including those that nearly doubled its price. In fact, it even outperforms many other more expensively priced devices in areas like mobile photography and battery life, giving consumers plenty of reasons to make this their next daily driver.

For those who’re interested, the Xiaomi 14 5G is now available for purchase through Authorized Xiaomi Stores, partner stores and Shopee. Early birds who purchase the phone will be entitled to the following offers:

  • From 9 to 22 March, buyers can receive free premium gifts worth up to S$718., including a Xiaomi Watch S3 worth S$239, and a Xiaomi 14 Gift Box worth S$129.
  • From 23 March to 7 April, buyers can receive free premium gifts worth up to S$479, including a Xiaomi 14 Gift Box worth S$129. Other gifts include 100GB cloud storage on Google One for 6 months, and 1+1 years of extended warranty on the smartphone.

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