The 7 Best Xiaomi Phones of 2020

Best Overall: Xiaomi Redmi Note 5

It's rare to find a phone under $500 that ticks as many boxes as the Redmi Note 5. When you consider that it sells for under half that, it's a truly remarkable device.

Also known as the Note 5 Pro in India, it's available in several configurations. With 3-6GB of RAM, 32/64GB storage, and four available colors, Xiaomi is covering its bases well.

Regardless of which version you pick, the Snapdragon 636 processor delivers impressive performance, and the vibrant six-inch display looks good both indoors and out.

While the company made the odd decision to use an older, slower micro-USB port for charging instead of USB-C, it made up for it by including a 4000mAh battery that easily lasts a day and a half.

The camera takes excellent shots in daylight, and even low-light photos look pretty good, which is highly unusual in this price range. Take all the above together, and you've got an easy pick for our top all-around Xiaomi phone.

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S

If you're looking for a super-fast, premium smartphone that doesn't cost the better part of a thousand dollars, ​then put the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S on your shortlist.

It's a striking device, made from ceramic materials that feel fantastic in the hand. There are minimal side and top bezels, and the six-inch screen has the 18:9 ratio that's become popular among high-end phone makers.

Inside, there's a top-of-the-line Snapdragon 845, 6 or 8GB of RAM, and 64/128/256GB of storage. No matter which version you get, this phone absolutely flies.

There's a 3400mAh battery that'll get you through a full day, and both QuickCharge 3.0 and Qi wireless charging for adding more juice afterwards. The Mix 2S supports dual SIMs, but not microSD cards, and there's no waterproofing.

The best aspect of this phone, however, is the amount of money left in your bank account after buying it, since it retails for around the equivalent of $500. 

Best Budget: Xiaomi A2 Lite

There are a few Xiaomi phones in the sub-$200 price range, but we’re going with the A2 Lite because it’s a good all-around smartphone that merges price and feature set really well, giving you passable speeds and good storage headroom at 64GB. If you do want to expand what the phone can hold, there’s a microSD slot that will accommodate up to 256GB more. It’s loaded up with a 2GHz Snapdragon 625 processor, and it runs Android One which will give you a smooth performance that’s basically stock Android. There’s a 12MP+5MP pair of cameras on that back giving you multiple focal length options, portrait modes, and AI-supported software. There’s a 4,000 mAh battery, which is pretty big for a smartphone of this size, and while Xiaomi claims that you can get two days on a single charge, your mileage may vary if you use data-intensive apps. The 5.84-inch FHD display sports 432ppi, so you won’t break any pixel records but you will have a decently crisp screen. Fold that in with a sleek metal body dual sim slots, and you’ve got a modern smartphone for a really reasonable price.

Runner-Up, Best Budget: Xiaomi Mi A1

A criticism leveled at many low-cost Android phones is the amount of unnecessary software they come with, and the lack of regular updates after release. Google's Android One program changes that, promising stock Android and consistent updates for at least two years, and the Mi A1 marks Xiaomi's entry into that market.

It's an attractive phone, with solid mid-range specifications at a budget price. There's 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, fast charging, dual SIM and microSD card support, and dual cameras with 2x optical zoom that takes reasonable photos, at least in good lighting. Most people should get a full day between charges, and there's even a headphone jack.

Sure, there's no waterproofing or wireless charging, but given the low price, they are excusable omissions in an excellent phone that will stay secure and up to date for as long as you're likely to own it.

Best Value: Xiaomi Pocophone F1

The latest in Xiaomi’s affordable line of phones, the Pocophone F1 proves that you can still get strong performance at an affordable price. Coming in at under $400 for both the 64GB and 128GB versions, the phones run on Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, resulting in top-of-the-line performance accentuated by LiquidCool Technology, which helps maintain speed even during long gaming sessions. The smartphone features both a rear fingerprint sensor and an infrared-based face unlock sensor, which can function in a variety of lighting conditions. The dual 12MP and 5MP cameras will also perform well, whether you’re shooting during the day or in low light, and selfie-takers can get the perfect shot with the 20MP front-facing camera that includes four-in-one Super Pixel technology and AI Beautify 4.0. With an 18.7:9 edge-to-edge display, the phone is interactive and intuitive, though its thick bezels and notch may not make it as visually sleek as others on the market. 

Best Big Screen: Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus

Want an attractive phone with a large display and good performance for under two hundred dollars? The Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus is it.

There's dual SIM and microSD card support, a headphone jack, and fast charging. The big 6" screen is the most noticeable thing about this phone, but the thin side bezels mean it is still (just) usable with one hand.

As well as making it great for watching videos, that extra size means there's more space available for a battery: in this case, a big 4000mAh version. That translates to up to two days between charges in normal use, and at least a full day even when you're pushing the phone hard.

Available with either 3GB RAM/32GB ​storage, or 4GB/64GB, a range of color options including attractive blue and pink variations help it stand out in a crowded market.​

Best iPhone Alternative: Xiaomi Mi 8

Xiaomi has often released phones that look very similar to Apple's latest models, and the Mi 8 is no exception. It closely resembles the iPhone X down to the "notch" at the top and the vertical dual camera setup at the back, but is an excellent phone in its own right.

The camera gained higher quality scores in independent tests than any other smartphone, and with specs like a Snapdragon 845 chipset and either 6GB RAM/64GB storage or 8GB/128GB, performance is about as good as it gets.

While the front of the Mi 8 may look a lot like an iPhone, the rear couldn't be more different, at least if you buy the special Explorer version. The top section is made from transparent glass, showing off the internal components behind it. It's a unique and surprisingly stylish design.

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