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Xiaomi Mi 14 Pro Hands-on Experience

Ever since I got my hands on the Xiaomi 13 Ultra, I’ve developed a sort of magical bond with Xiaomi. On the one hand, I’m not a “Mi fan” or a highly loyal Xiaomi user, nor do I have a particular favorite or preference for the brand; on the other hand, I’m always on the lookout for Xiaomi’s products, hoping that Xiaomi and Leica will team up to come up with new features and new ways to play with them, and it’s one of the brands that I recommend most often to my family and friends. After using the Xiaomi 13 Ultra, the scales have tipped a little more in Xiaomi’s favor, and I’m looking forward to the new products that will come out of the “MiLeica” alliance.

Not long ago, the Xiaomi 14 Pro came. In this article, I’m going to talk briefly about my experience with this phone after a week of hands-on.


The Xiaomi Mi 14 Pro is a ‘little fat boy’.

As a large-screen machine, the Xiaomi 14 Pro retains a similar design style to its predecessor on the whole, with a square front, complemented by rounded chamfers and full-equal-depth micro-curved screens on the front and back, giving it a subtle naivety, both visually and in the hand.

For users with small hands, this wide and chubby feeling in your hand will further deepen the impression that it’s a chubby little thing. As a tip, if you’re more interested in stability and control in a one-handed grip, the smaller Xiaomi 14 will suit you better.

Overall, the Xiaomi Mi 14 Pro goes for a neutral, solid look without exaggerated styling or aggression. It has a Dragon Crystal glass protection on the front, and a high-spec screen that’s bright even in sunlight. Especially for the black version that I got my hands on, calm and understated are the most typical characteristics of this ‘little fat guy’ in terms of appearance.

The camera module of Xiaomi Mi 14 Pro is huge and has a great presence. I’m sure there are a lot of users who bought this product for its imaging system. And for the Xiaomi Mi 14 Pro, the imaging system is indeed its most important selling point.

It doesn’t seem to have changed
From the perspective of Xiaomi 13 Ultra users, the Xiaomi 14 Pro “hasn’t changed”.

It’s still an imaging flagship, it still has a large-bottomed main camera (though not a one-inch one, but a ‘Light Hunter 900’), and it still applies Leica colors and optics. Compared to the Xiaomi Mi 13 Ultra, it even has more floating telephoto with its equivalent 75mm lens.

In terms of actual results, the overall style of the Xiaomi Mi 14 Pro remains the same. The “Leica True” style still has a tendency towards vibrant, thick hair colors, and there is a clear stylized color bias for different colors in different scenes.

At the same time, the Xiaomi Mi 14 Pro’s exposure approach protects against contrast in scenes with large light ratios, moderately boosting contrast and reinforcing the relationship between light and dark. However, I have a vague feeling that the stylization of the Xiaomi 14 Pro’s finished film seems to be slightly more restrained than that of the Xiaomi 13 Ultra, which is no longer so much in pursuit of exaggerated saturation and explosiveness, but is more realistic and natural. Unfortunately, I haven’t used the 13 Ultra recently, and I didn’t have a chance to do a comparison test of the same scene, so if you have both machines in your hands, you can talk about the similarities and differences in the comments section.

In addition, the telephoto macro is practical and useful. At the 75mm end of the telephoto range, the Xiaomi 14 Pro can already deliver true optical bokeh, and the telephoto macro allows the lens to easily capture the details of life’s small objects and objects, increasing the diversity of the subject matter. Not only that, the Xiaomi 14 Pro’s ultra-wide, wide-angle and telephoto lenses have great color and white balance consistency, so you can also use different focal length lenses to present different aspects of the same scene in your daily photography.

The new infinitely variable aperture is actually hard to perceive in still photo shooting, and the main way people are showing it off at the moment is just by narrowing the aperture for starbursts. In fact, using a smaller aperture can alleviate some of the optical defects such as spherical aberration and coma, which can be useful in scenes such as close-up text. But overall, neither the stepless variable aperture nor the variable aperture feature itself has yet to make a decisive difference to cell phone photography. The phone also decides on its own aperture size when shooting on a daily basis, so it’s pretty painless to use, and it works just fine for normal use.

It really hasn’t changed either
Compared to the Xiaomi 13 Ultra, the camera interactions and features on the Xiaomi 14 Pro haven’t changed much. I would have liked to see the addition of 28mm and 35mm focal lengths to the main camera, so that the premium Light Hunter 900-equipped main camera could capture more scenarios and show off the power of the big-bottomed, high-megapixel lenses.

Since the system underlying this generation of Xiaomi phones has been significantly upgraded, it is understandable that there is no major action at the interaction level. But hopefully, after completing the smooth transition from MIUI to Surge OS, the Xiaomi team can continue to bring us more surprises in some gameplay innovations.

Performance, power consumption and battery life
Those who are familiar with the configuration of cell phones must have a clear idea in their hearts: with Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 at the bottom, the power consumption and endurance of the Xiaomi 14 Pro will most likely not collapse. It’s not, it’s good.

The Snapdragon SoCs have been impressive in the last two years, with a lot of performance and good power control. I don’t like to run the score, I also simply go through the scene, equipped with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 Xiaomi 14 Pro AnTuRabbit running score of more than 2 million, running the score of the front of the highest temperature can reach 47 degrees, the back of the highest in 44 degrees, the performance of the release can be seated in this year’s cell phone in the first echelon.

From the point of view of actual use experience, the performance of Xiaomi 14 Pro is also very solid. Take the photo scene as an example, I shot for an hour in the middle of the afternoon in Shenzhen, the phone is almost always in the direct sun, but the phone is still in a controllable state, there is no burning and hot hands. At the same time, the phone has been taking photos at high intensity, but after the photo is taken, you can still see the results almost immediately without having to wait for the calculation, which also reflects the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3’s powerful arithmetic.

On top of that, the Xiaomi Mi 14 Pro has a very good battery life. The Xiaomi 14 Pro consumes about 10% to 15% of power per hour when the screen is constantly on and photos are taken, so if you go out with a full charge, you’ll still be able to go home with 20% or even more than 40% of power after an afternoon of heavy shooting, so this kind of battery life shouldn’t make you anxious. If you need an emergency, the Xiaomi 14 Pro also has a 120W fast charger, which can replenish more than 40% of the battery in the time it takes to drink and eat. Regardless of how you use your phone, its battery life and replenishment will certainly stand up to a lot of abuse.

Xiaomi HyperOS

Xiaomi 14 Pro has changed its system. Xiaomi 14 Pro is equipped with Xiaomi’s self-developed system Xiaomi HyperOS, from the beginning of this generation of systems, Xiaomi officially enabled the system kernel layer of self-developed for many years Vela, and retained Android in the framework layer in order to be compatible with the Android ecosystem, and completely based on the Android magic MIUI will gradually bid farewell to the stage of history.

However, Android users don’t worry, all Android apps on Surge OS run no differently than MIUI, and the Google Play store and apps that rely on Google’s framework work well.

At the same time, the UI and interaction level of the system is not much different from that of MIUI, and the interface of the two systems has a high degree of similarity, which also gives users a cushion for a natural transition in the experience of using the system. Of course, at a closer look, there are still a lot of differences between the two, such as the interaction animation transition of Surge OS is more delicate, and all kinds of dynamic blurring are more natural; the built-in fonts of the system have been replaced with the new version of MiSans; the built-in icon design has been fine-tuned, and the lock screen interface has been added to customize the style settings, etc. I can understand the current situation of the UI and interaction level of the system and MIUI.

I can understand the subtle state of “something seems to have changed, but it seems to have stayed the same” in the current Surge OS. Changing the kernel of the system is not a small move, and both developers and users need time to get used to the process of change. Both developers and users need time to get used to the change. Whether it’s retaining compatibility with the Android ecosystem or minimizing UI and interaction overhauls, it’s all about making the system migration process smoother. At present, the products that have used the Surge OS are still few and far between, and we will only be able to feel what kind of experience Xiaomi’s seamless multi-platform linkage will bring when all of Xiaomi’s new products are equipped with the Surge OS in the future.

In conclusion: the next step, Xiaomi 14 Ultra

Because I’m quite familiar with Xiaomi phones, my experience with the Xiaomi 14 Pro didn’t bring me too many surprises, but this generation of products from the hardware configuration to the system features are clearly felt to be improving steadily.

But freshness aside, the Xiaomi 14 Pro is a good choice as a new phone, it has no obvious shortcomings in all aspects, and also has the exclusive Leica imaging system, Xiaomi 14 Pro is a good choice to add to the wish list.

And after seeing a preview of Xiaomi’s new system and Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 on the Xiaomi 14 Pro, I’m already looking forward to the Xiaomi 14 Ultra.

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