June 18, 2024
Xiaomi 14

Review of the Xiaomi 14

The Xiaomi 14 has a lot of responsibility as the company’s newest flagship and its torchbearer. I refer to it as slender since I believe the smartphone’s convenient dimensions greatly contribute to its appeal. But the phone’s Leica cameras are, without a question, its greatest asset. It’s difficult to live with the label “co-engineered with Leica,” as both companies go above and above to ensure that the product performs well in terms of photography. The device’s top specs, which are highlighted by Qualcomm’s flagship SoC, are equally impressive.

 Rating: 8 / 10

Verdict

The Xiaomi 14 is a feature-rich smartphone that performs admirably in most categories. The numerous pre-installed apps and a few minor problems with the cameras’ handling of light flares may irritate purists. Aside from that, the smartphone excels in terms of functionality, quick charging, and most importantly, the adaptability of its Leica cameras. The smartphone’s size makes it ideal for use with one hand as well.

Cameras

To start, let’s grab the bull by the horns and see what those Leica snappers are all about. A 50MP f1.6 primary camera with OIS, a 50MP f2.0 telephoto lens with 3.2x optical zoom, OIS, and a 75mm floating lens are included, along with a 50MP f2.2 ultra-wide lens.

A 32MP camera up front is used for selfies. There is a Light Fusion 900 sensor in the camera specs, and there are a ton of settings and possibilities when you explore the camera app. I won’t go into depth about each one, but let me just say that the Xiaomi 14 is a great camera if you want to experiment with taking artistic photos.

In summary, the Xiaomi 14 may fall short of becoming the greatest smartphone with a camera by a hair, but that is likely a minor quibble in the grand scheme of things. It’s still true that the smartphone is a very flexible shooter due to its abundance of possibilities and creative freedom, not to mention its small size. It’s a little hard to describe, but I bought the phone on a long vacation, and I can guarantee you that, in comparison to a larger device, it’s a breeze to carry around in the pocket all day and fast draw it for quick shooting (much like a handgun from a holster) as required.

To get the best out of the Xiaomi 14’s cameras, one thing to keep in mind is that you do need to experiment with the camera settings, modes, and choices and gain a solid understanding of what each feature accomplishes. An illustration of this can be seen in the macro photo I took of a tiny dinner table lamp after adjusting a few parameters.

Design and display

The Xiaomi 14’s size is the first thing that draws your attention. The smartphone is quite easy to handle and operate with one hand because of its 6.36-inch display. The Xiaomi 14 is the ideal size, even if I would describe it as petite given that most phones these days have larger screens. Even though it’s small and light enough to carry about all day, it fits easily in and out of a pocket, and the screen doesn’t feel small when using it for entertainment, gaming, or email and document processing.

Let’s talk about the display. Xiaomi has made sure that the 6.36-inch screen is just as appealing as the phone’s other components. The LTPO AMOLED panel supports Dolby Vision and HDR10+ and has a refresh rate of up to 120 Hz. It also has a maximum brightness of 3,000 nits. A quick and responsive fingerprint scanner is located front and center, and the bezels are incredibly thin. There are no issues with the display’s capability either.

Battery, performance, and software

The Xiaomi 14’s software is pre-installed with HyperOS, which runs on top of Android 14. Aside from the several pre-installed apps (which you can uninstall if you don’t need them), using the device is easy and hassle-free generally. There are all of the signature features and aspects, such as Mi Share, theme support, backup and restore access to Mi Cloud, find my phone, second space, etc. A heart rate function that leverages the in-display fingerprint sensor to display your current heart rate is buried deep under device settings.

Let’s talk about the battery. Although the 4,610mAh capacity seems a little small on paper, it is capable of providing a full day’s worth of use with moderate usage. Furthermore, the phone is charged to a full 50% in less than 15 minutes, 80% in roughly 25 minutes, and 100% in about 35 minutes, give or take, thanks to the 90W wired charging speed. Notable features include 10W reverse wireless charging and 50W wireless charging compatibility.

Final verdict

The Xiaomi 14 is positioned firmly in the premium flagship segment, where it will face competition from devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S24 (review) and the Google Pixel 8 (review). These are fierce competitors, each with their advantages and disadvantages. The software and camera of the Pixel 8 and Galaxy S24 are excellent, but Google’s product may not be the best option for people seeking maximum performance. The Samsung ecosystem features that are available on the Galaxy S24, such as DeX and other capabilities, make it particularly noteworthy. I believe that the Leica cameras on the Xiaomi 14 set it apart, given the great adaptability these cameras provide to photographers who want to push the boundaries of their craft. That and the way it performed.

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