Xiaomi Mi5C with Surge S1
It had been known for several weeks that Xiaomi would soon launch its own series of processors like Samsung or Huawei. The code name "Pinecone" fueled the rumor mill, but now it's out. The first Pinecone processor is called Surge S1 and is part of the mid-range processor class. Of course, simply releasing a processor would be boring, which is why Xiaomi also announced the right mid-range smartphone - the Xiaomi Mi5C.
Processor and memory
The Surge S1 is a 64-bit processor with 4 Cortex A53 cores that clock at 2.2 GHz and 4 Cortex A53 cores that clock at 1.4 GHz. With the ARM big.LITTLE technology used, Xiaomi promises a high-performance and at the same time energy-saving system on chip. Further features are a Mali T860 GPU, which is 760% more efficient than the previous generation, the Mali T40, and also supports the latest Vulkan API.
The 32 bit DSP (digital signal processor) of the Surge S1 enables VoLTE, which Xiaomi expects to achieve an enormous increase in voice quality. With VoLTE, calls are made directly via LTE, i.e. digitally based on the IP protocol. The manufacturer specifies the maximum sampling rate as 16 kHz. With the 14-bit dual ISP (Image Signal Processor), Xiaomi also wants to improve image data processing. Above all, image recordings in low light conditions should benefit from this. The Surge ISP algorithm is said to improve light sensitivity by 150% and reduce image noise. The Pinecone SoC does comparatively well in the benchmark. Multi-core values of 4 points were measured using Geekbench 3.399, which puts the SoC well above a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625. The storage equipment of the Xiaomi Mi5C is impressive. In addition to a 3GB dual-channel LPDDR3 memory, the smartphone also offers a 64GB eMMC5.0 flash memory.
Display and camera
A 5.15-inch JDI display is installed that has full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution. The luminance is above average 550 nit, which means that the display should still be easy to read even in sunshine. The contrast ratio is 1.500: 1, the NTSC color space is covered with 94,4%. On the software side, the Mi5C offers various display setting options for color temperature, as well as an eye-friendly mode that filters blue light.
The main camera used has a resolution of 12 megapixels. If you compare the specifications published by Xiaomi with the current Sony IMX image sensors, it can be concluded that the Sony IMX386 image sensor was probably installed. The main camera features a pixel size of 1.25μm, an f / 2.2 aperture, a 27 mm wide angle, a PDAF and an LED flash. The front camera has a resolution of 8 megapixels and offers an f / 2.0 aperture as well as numerous software correction options.
Connectivity and battery
All current cellular standards are supported. It is not yet known whether the Xiaomi Mi5C will also support the LTE bands used in this country. The smartphone is equipped with a dual-band WiFi (802.11a / b / g / n / ac) and a Bluetooth 4.1 module for wireless data transmission. The sensory equipment is average and, in addition to the usual sensors, also includes an infrared and a fingerprint sensor. Navigation is via GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS and Beidou.
The battery has a capacity of 2.860 mAh. The smartphone is connected via a USB Type-C socket. In order to charge the smartphone in the shortest possible time, a quick charge function has been integrated.
Xiaomi dares to venture into new realms. The in-house Surge S1 processor is not a performance miracle, but the equipment is quite impressive for a mid-range chip. It could be interesting how Xiaomi will fare as a chip manufacturer and which high-end chips can be expected. The Xiaomi Mi5C promises to be the first decent mid-range smartphone with a Surge S1 chip, at least on the data sheet. How it will work out in practice remains to be seen. The sales price in China is 1499 RMB, which is about 206 €.