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Getting started with the Xiaomi 14: a good challenger, but a challenger nonetheless

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Just a few hours after Honor, Xiaomi held a conference presenting the Xiaomi 14 Series, its new flagships for the start of 2024.

Like its compatriot, Xiaomi is reviewing its strategy with an ultra-premium positioning. The Xiaomi 14, the smallest model in the range, is priced from 1,000 euros. A price far from what the manufacturer has accustomed us to, but in line with the on-board technologies.

The Xiaomi 14 is in fact much better equipped than the previous generation. Logically, the brand has decided to no longer market the less popular Pro model.

Photography by Leica

Getting started with the Xiaomi 14: a good challenger, but a challenger nonetheless

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Xiaomi continues to highlight its partnership with photo specialist Leica. After reserving its cutting-edge technologies for ultra-premium models, the manufacturer is integrating some of them into its more “affordable” model.

The camera module of the Xiaomi 14 is the result of close collaboration between the brand's engineers and those of its partner. Leica is involved in the choice of optics, software optimization and photographic signature.

First, here is the composition of the camera module of the Xiaomi 14:

  • a 23mm (f/1.6) Leica Vario Summilux wide-angle lens (Leica's most premium); 50 MP Light Fusion 900 sensor (1/1.31” – 2.4 μm); 7 lenses; OIS
  • a 14mm Leica ultra wide-angle (f/2.2); 50 MP
  • sensor

  • a Leica 75mm (f/2) telephoto lens with 3.2x zoom; 50 MP
  • sensor

  • at the front, a 32 MP (f/2) Leica front camera

This photographic arsenal is associated with processing algorithms also developed with Leica to transcribe its colorimetric signature. Leica is therefore everywhere.

Without going into the smallest details (we will publish a full test soon), the photo quality of the Xiaomi 14 appears promising, especially in low light. The telephoto lens is also very convincing and the Leica signature gives a particular character to the shots. Only the portraits disappoint us a little with capricious clipping and too pronounced bokeh.

On the video side, the Xiaomi 14 can film up to 8K at 30 fps or in 4K at 60 fps with compatibility Dolby Vision. The manufacturer is introducing the Movie mode allowing you to shoot in cinema format and/or with cinematic bokeh (video portrait mode). Enough to align with the market leaders. Again, more in-depth testing will be necessary but our first impressions are good.

Beautiful screen

Getting started with the Xiaomi 14: a good challenger, but a challenger nonetheless

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The Xiaomi 14 integrates a 6.36'' CrystalRES AMOLED LTPO (1-120 Hz) screen. In a few figures, Xiaomi announces peak HDR brightness of 3,000 nits, 68 million colors, Dolby Vision and HDR 10+ compatibility as well as EyeCare certification (eye protection).

While waiting to take this screen to the 01Lab laboratory, we can already say that it is very bright and well calibrated. The colorimetry is more natural than usual, which suggests good things, especially for advanced multimedia use.

A powerful smartphone

Getting started with the Xiaomi 14: a good challenger, but a challenger nonetheless

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Like all high-end smartphones launched at the start of the year, the Xiaomi 14 features the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip, the ultimate plus ultra of what can be found at the moment. It is associated with 12 GB of RAM and 256 or 512 GB of storage.

Xiaomi has developed IceLoop System, a new cooling chamber allowing resource-intensive applications to be used for several hours. We launched a few benchmark 3D games without encountering any stability issues.

All this power is only interesting if the smartphone is durable. With its 4 610 mAh battery, the Xiaomi 14 lasts a little more than a day in general use. Allow a day for advanced use.

This data must be tempered: our Xiaomi 14 did not include a final version of the software during our tests. We also haven't used the phone long enough to study its daily behavior. We will therefore return to this data in our complete test.

On the other hand, we were able to taste the HyperCharge ultra-fast charging system. With a power of 90W, it can fully recharge the Xiaomi 14 in around thirty minutes. Impressive.


Getting started with the Xiaomi 14: a good challenger, but a challenger nonetheless

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Aesthetically, the Xiaomi 14 reminds us of a certain smartphone from Cupertino. Xiaomi indeed takes the lines of the latest iPhone 14/iPhone 15, with sharp edges and rounded corners as well as a flat screen with very thin borders.

Although it is not a compact model (152.8 mm x 71.5 mm x 8.2 mm for 193 g), its grip remains comfortable with one hand, particularly on the shiny green pattern. The latter grips the palm of the hand better but is also very fond of fingerprints. The matte black model is more slippery but also more sober and elegant.

On the back of the camera, the photographic module takes up a good third of the upper left half.A design choice that fits into the current trend of proudly displaying your photographic equipment. Xiaomi has slightly redesigned its contours for a more premium look compared to the Xiaomi 13. It still proudly displays the Leica label.

Apple inspirations extend to the software with a Xiaomi HyperOS overlay largely inspired by iOS. The quick settings menu is the perfect illustration of this.

Should we be offended ? Yes if we get into the fanboys squabble. No, if you want to use simple and effective software. After all, Apple remains a benchmark in this area.

Our first opinion on the Xiaomi 14

After a few days with the Xiaomi 14, our first impressions are quite good. If the Xiaomi 14 Ultra embodies the ultimate in what the manufacturer offers, the Xiaomi 14 marks a nice move upmarket compared to its predecessor.

The care taken in photography, the high performance, the superb screen and the ultra-fast charging promise a pleasant daily experience.

The fact remains that by drawing inspiration from Apple's work (design and interface) Xiaomi is not improving its image as a challenger. On the contrary, these choices are the opposite of its new strategy consisting of establishing itself as a benchmark brand in the high-end market.

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116