Search results for

All search results
Best daily deals

Affiliate links on Android Authority may earn us a commission. Learn more.

Xiaomi 14 hands-on: Who says reasonably sized flagships are dead?

The Xiaomi 14 brings a smaller size and plenty of premium extras, but what's it like to actually use?
By

Published onFebruary 25, 2024

 

 

Xiaomi has finally brought the Xiaomi 14 to global markets after launching the phone in China last year. But it’s also breaking with tradition and launching the Xiaomi 14 Ultra globally in lieu of a Pro model.

This is a rather different approach than bygone years, but it still represents a continued push into the premium space. We’re already taking a closer look at the Xiaomi 14 Ultra in a separate article, but is the base model worth consideration? It’s time for our Xiaomi 14 hands-on impressions.

Xiaomi 14 design: A Goldilocks phone?

Xiaomi 14 (4)
Paul Jones / Android Authority

The vanilla Xiaomi 14 is one of the few reasonably sized Android flagship phones on the market. It’s a little taller than the Pixel 8 and Galaxy S24, but noticeably shorter than the Pixel 8 Pro and Galaxy S24 Plus. This smaller size does make a difference, and I found the phone easy to use with one hand as a result. The in-display fingerprint sensor is a little too low for my liking, though, but I can get used to it.

The Xiaomi 14 also brings flat, aluminum edges along with a glass back on our review unit. That glass back is slightly curved too, making for a more ergonomic design. Unfortunately, that back is also a fingerprint magnet, so you’ll want to use a case as soon as possible.

Moving to the display, you’re looking at a 6.36-inch LTPO OLED screen with a 1.5K resolution and minimal bezels. The display is flat too, which suits me just fine as I’m not a fan of curved screens in the first place. The screen also reaches a claimed 3,000 nits of peak brightness, but that’s only really relevant for HDR content. 

What do all these specs mean for the actual viewing experience? Well, that 6.3-inch screen size is my personal sweet spot, while the display itself is vibrant and bright. HDR content in particular looks phenomenal on this panel. It’s pretty much what you’d expect from a flagship screen in 2024. But we’ll need more time to make a firm judgment.

Xiaomi 14 cameras: 50MP sensors everywhere

The Xiaomi 14 might not have a one-inch main camera or a 5x periscope camera, but it still brings a flagship-level, Leica-branded camera system. There’s a 50MP Light Fusion 900 (Omnivision, 1/1.31-inch) main camera, a 50MP 3.2x tele camera, and a 50MP ultrawide lens.

That camera housing is huge, but I thought the pictures you can get with this oversized camera system were quite impressive. Expect vibrant, natural shots with great low-light performance and accurate highlights from all three cameras. I’d go so far as to say that these images tentatively compare well to photos taken on Google and Samsung phones. Just don’t expect the Xiaomi 14 Ultra’s long-range zoom quality.

Xiaomi’s phone also supports 8K video recording, although I feel like 4K/60fps is the sweet spot. Video performance is great owing to the vibrant colors, but I thought jittery stabilization let things down a little.

Xiaomi 14 performance: All the power and watts

The back of the Xiaomi 14.
Paul Jones / Android Authority

Xiaomi’s phone is powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor, which should ensure top-shelf performance. I had no problems with everyday usage, but we’ll need to run the phone through demanding scenarios and benchmarks before we have a definitive verdict.

The Xiaomi 14 comes with a 4,610mAh battery, which should give you all-day usage at the very least. But we haven’t spent enough time to ascertain this. Once the battery runs dry, though, you can take advantage of 90W wired charging to get a 100% charge in roughly 30 minutes. There’s also 50W wireless charging for a 100% top-up in 46 minutes.

There is one potential downside to the phone if you’ve never used a Xiaomi device before, though. That’s the company’s Hyper OS Android skin. The software looks like it’s taken a lot from other platforms, but there is a bit of a learning curve compared to other skins. For example, it took some effort to get the always-on display set up, while screen-on time is missing. Either way, expect a transition period when coming from other Android skins or iOS.

Xiaomi 14 hands-on: Worth adding to the wishlist?

Xiaomi 14 series phone
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

I haven’t spent a ton of time with the Xiaomi 14, but I really like the device at this point. That’s largely due to the impressive cameras capable of taking excellent shots, and the great size.

It’s not all perfect, though, as Hyper OS takes a bit of getting used to. Xiaomi is also offering four major OS updates and five years of security patches, which is good but not on par with Samsung and Google in 2024. Meanwhile, the £849 (~$1,076) price tag is slightly more expensive than the Galaxy S24, although you are getting more impressive hardware. ​

Nevertheless, you should definitely consider the Xiaomi 14 if you want a great camera experience in a more pocket-friendly form factor.