Phone Comparisons: Sony Xperia X Performance vs Xiaomi Mi 5 Pro

Introduction

Do we have a good one for you today – the Sony Xperia X Performance takes on the Xiaomi Mi 5 Pro. The new, all-metal design of the Xperia X Performance looks to do battle with the ceramic backed Mi 5 Pro. Even with the change of materials both devices look quite a bit like their predecessors. While the Sony’s metal does look and feel like plastic, both of these devices do look and feel premium. Let’s look at just what these two devices have in common and then we will take a closer look at each one in hopes that we can determine a winner of this comparison.

The Sony Xperia X Performance and the Xiaomi Mi 5 Pro do have a few things in common – starting with their physical size, although the Mi 5 Pro is 1.4mm thinner and weighs 25.4 grams less than the Xperia X Performance. Both devices have a display that is only .15 inches difference in size, and both use an IPS LCD FHD display. They both even use the same Snapdragon 820 processor and Adreno 530 GPU to handle graphics. Both have great camera areas with the nod going slightly to the Xperia. They both have non-removable batteries with quick charge capabilities. The Mi 5 Pro has a fingerprint sensor on all models whereas the Xperia only has the fingerprint sensor on its non-US model. They have the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, NFC, and a USB port – microUSB v2.0 on the Xperia and the newer reversible Type-C on the Mi 5 Pro – for charging and data transfer.

Please take a careful look at the detailed Specifications Comparison chart below and here you will see just how these two great devices stack up against one another – click on the “View Full Comparison” link at the end of the chart to expand the details. After that, we will look at each device in greater depth and point out some of its pros and cons. From all of this information, we will try to determine the winner based on specs and execution of design and functions.

Specifications

Sony Xperia X Performance

Sony does not like change – or much of it. The new Xperia X line of smartphones went from metal and glass to an all-metal design but looks very much the Xperia Z line they are replacing. It is the same basic shape with large bezels and FHD display. It has a good feel in your hand, but the metal they used does look and feel like plastic. Let’s see just how the Xperia X Performance model stands up to the Xiaomi Mi 5 Pro.

The Xperia X Performance sports a small 5.0-inch IPS LCD FHD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, and 441 pixels-per-inch (PPI.) Sony grabbed the same processor used in the Mi 5 Pro – the 64-bit Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with dual cores clocked at 1.6 GHz and dual cores clocked at 2.15 GHz along with the Adreno 530 GPU to handle the toughest graphics. It is also packing 3GB of DDR4 RAM, comes with 32GB of internal memory, which is expandable to 200GB via a microSD card.

The primary shooter in the Performance is Sony’s 23MP camera sensor. Sony added an aperture of f/2.0, 24mm lens, Phase Detection Autofocus (PDAF,) and LED flash – but still no OIS. Sony increased the front-facing camera (FFC) from 5.1MP to a larger 13MP, gave it an aperture of f/2.0 and 22mm lens for excellent selfies and video chats. A 2700mAh non-removable battery with Quick Charge 2.0 capabilities supplies the power.

The Sony Xperia X Performance retains it IP68 certification rating against dust and water. It also keeps the excellent dual stereo front-facing speakers. Although there is no fingerprint sensor in the US version, the international version should work on limited US networks – check with your carrier. The Xperia X Performance measures 143.7 x 70.4 x 8.7 mm and weighs in at 164.4 grams. The colors are White, Graphite Black, Lime Gold, and Rose Gold and the Xperia X will cost you about $700.

Xiaomi Mi 5 Pro

Xiaomi was a startup business that quickly took over as one of China’s premier companies. It has been making quality smartphones for about six years, and the Xiaomi Mi 5 Pro continues to add to that reputation. Xiaomi is still selling their smartphones only through online, although they will be selling them global at some time in the near future. When they finally start selling in the US with all the necessary LTE bands, they could become a real force in the US smartphone industry. The Mi 5 is the long awaited follow-up to the Mi 4. The Mi 5 series is a metal and glass construction and looks like a Galaxy S7 to a degree, but the Mi 5 Pro uses a special ceramic backing.

The Xiaomi Mi 5 Pro sports a 5.15-inch FHD IPS LCD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 428 PPI. Xiaomi grabbed the best processor on the market – the Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with a dual-core clocked at 1.6GHz and another at 2.15GHz – the same one used in the Xperia X Premium. Snapdragon uses an Adreno 530 GPU to handle the graphics. The Mi 5 Pro packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 128GB of the faster UFS 2.0 memory but has no means to expand.

The primary camera in the Xiaomi Mi 5 Pro uses a 16MP sensor, with PDAF (Phase Detection Autofocus), a dual-tone LED Flash, a large f/2.0 aperture, and includes a 4-axis OIS for better stability. The FFC camera is a 4MP with a f/2.0 aperture for selfies and video chatting. The Mi 5 Pro uses a non-removable 3000mAh, but they include Quick Charge 3.0 that will give you up to an 83-percent charge in only 30 minutes.

The Xiaomi Mi 5 sports an IR Blaster and in our review, we found the camera works great. However, in the US about the only signal we could get from AT&T and T-Mobile’s networks was an occasional 4G signal. It measures 144.6 x 69.2 x 7.3mm, weighs in at 129 grams, and will cost you about $500 for the Pro version with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage.

...And The Winner Is...

The Final Word

As much as I would like to give the win to the Xiaomi Mi 5 Pro, due to its lack of LTE connectivity in the US, I will have to give the nod to the Sony Xperia X Performance...and that is a small nod. With the Mi 5 Pro coming in at $200 cheaper, it is a tough decision.

Both of these devices have their shortcomings, and you may be happy with either one. The Sony Xperia X Performance is expensive for what you are getting - 1080p display, no fingerprint sensor in the US model, older USB port, and small display. The Mi 5 Pro, at its price, is expected to use a 1080p display and no IP68 certification. It has more RAM, and while it does not have expandable memory, it does have 128GB of built-in memory.

The choice is yours - either device will treat you about the same, but the MI 5 Pro will treat you to a $200 cheaper price tag.

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