The Xiaomi Mi Pad 4 is the latest generation of the tablet series: the affordable (187$) 8-inch device focuses on web, multimedia and the user’s pastime coupled with the power of the Snapdragon 660. After the Xiaomi Mi Pad 3 sold out much too fast, the Mi Pad 4 should now give new impetus to the sector. The low price easily convinces undecided people and even in India, where Xiaomi is now the market leader, the inexpensive tablet is likely to take its credit. The Mi Pad 4 is available in black and white/rosé gold as well as with 3+32GB or 4+64GB memory. There is also the variant with mobile Internet and LTE for the around 223$.
The strategy is basically the same at Apple: the entry price for the cheapest iPad has dropped – so they can sell the expensive iPad Pro. But here we are talking about 10 inches, which can also be used quite well for working with a keyboard. The 8-inch format of the MiPad 4 is much better suited for the couch. If you are looking for a compact, large companion to your smartphone to play games with, surf the web sitting on the couch in the evening or watch movies on the go, you should take a closer look at the test for the new Xiaomi Mi Pad 4 – the small thing has it all!
|Xiaomi Mi Pad 2||Xiaomi Mi Pad 3||Xiaomi Mi Pad 4|
|Dimensions:||200 x 132 x 7 mm, 322g||200 x 132 x 7mm, 328g||200 x 120 x 7.9mm, 342g|
|Display:||7.9 inches 4:3 – 190cm², 2048 x 1536 – 326PPI||7.9 inches 4:3 – 190cm², 2048 x 1536 – 326PPI||8.0 inches 16:10 – 185cm², 1920 x 1200 – 283PPI|
|Hardware:||Intel Atom X5-Z8500 – Quadcore, 2+16GB||Mediatek MT8176 – Hexacore, 4+64GB||Snapdragon 660 – Octacore, 3+32GB / 4+64GB|
Design and build quality
The Mi Pad 4 continues what the predecessors started. The tablet is still small and compact with the 8-inch display – you could almost confuse it with a phablet like the Xiaomi Mi Max 3. This makes it easy to hold with one hand and you can operate it with the other. Fortunately, the 18:9 format did not end up in the serial model, instead you get a 16:10 format, which is also much better suited for movies, YouTube and media than the 4:3 format.
The Xiaomi Mi Pad 4 measures 200.2 x 120.3 x 7.9mm and weighs 342.5g. On the rear, the camera protrudes almost half a millimeter, otherwise the rear and front are completely flat. The Xiaomi Mi Pad 4 is available in two colours: black with anthracite-coloured rear and our white with rosé-golden metal rear. The pink-golden rear gives the device a feminine touch and my female friends liked it a lot. I would rather reach for black – a matter of taste. The color combinations can be found on almost every Android device from Xiaomi.
Design, materials and build quality are typical, if not decisive, for Xiaomi devices. The Xiaomi Mi Pad 4 features a matt metal unibody and a glass front. The front is either white or black. The edges around it are nicely narrow and match the zeitgeist of the 18:9 display. They are narrower on the left and right so that you can type with both thumbs. Above and below you have enough space to grasp it in landscape mode. Next to the front camera there is a small, invisibly notification LED that lights up in white.
The transition to the frame is covered with 2.5D glass, but only slightly – the frame clearly sets in, which is less disturbing when using the tablet than it is with a smartphone. The metal unibody, on the other hand, lives up to its name. It is only interrupted by the openings, as well as by the plastic reception strip at the upper end. At the bottom of the frame is the USB-C connector, on the right you find the power button and volume control, on the left on the opposite side there is the SIM slot and above the 3.5mm jack port. The rear is only interrupted by the Mi logo in the middle, the reception strip and the camera.
The build quality is impeccable. The glass on the front feels good and the metal rear provide a premium feeling. You won’t find any sharp edges, only the display could merge even more seamlessly into the unibody. There’s nothing to complain about the design either, the tablet even fits into the pockets of some trousers. You only miss a fingerprint sensor if you are used to it from your smartphone.
The scope of delivery of the Xiaomi Mi Pad 4 only contains a power supply with Chinese plug (5V/2A) and a USB-C cable in white. A protective cover/case would be very practical, with which the Mi Pad 4 could also be set up for watching videos or typing on the keyboard – similar to the Smart Cover on the iPad. You can get such a case either original from Xiaomi for 23$ at Gearbest or from a third party manufacturer for 8$. Both use the device’s Hall sensor and send the device to sleep when you close the case or automatically wake it up when you open it.
The Xiaomi Mi Pad 4 has a display with 8-inch display diagonal, but this time it is in a much more practical 16:10 format. The display has a resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels, which corresponds to FHD and 283 PPI. Xiaomi indicates the contrast with 1200:1. The technology behind it is an IPS LCD panel that shines with up to 600 Lux. The touch display recognizes a total of 10 points simultaneously.
So why an 8-inch display in 16:10 format? On the one hand, an 8-inch tablet is much more comfortable to hold – a 10-inch iPad gets difficult to hold with time. But it’s hard to work on the small device, because text, web and presentations are more comfortable to work on the large screen. However, also websites are no problem with the Mi Pad 4, because the Full HD resolution displays everything well and it doesn’t jerk even with complex/advertised pages. Apple still uses the 4:3 format, but I like the 16:10 format much better after the test time. Most contents are designed for this format: e.g. you have no (or very narrow) bars at the top and bottom of video material.
We already know from Xiaomi that they know very well how to make even an IPS display shine very brilliantly – during the test period we never found ourselves in a situation where we would have wanted a better display. The colors are strong enough to make even high-resolution videos fun, which also applies to the black levels as well as to the viewing angle stability, which is typically good for an IPS panel. If the tablet is held at an angle, the glass only reflects at extreme angles. If you don’t like the color representation, you can adjust the settings of MIUI here. The possibility of automatically controlling the contrast has also been successful – but in “Boost Mode” it seems unrealistic.
No extravagant features, no expensive 2.5K AMOLED panel – the Mi Pad 4 focuses on the essentials: an inexpensive tablet that can cope with any situation. This is where Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 660 comes in. The CPU belongs to the upper middle class and during use you wonder why you should need more. The Octa Core consists of a total of 8 Kyro 260 cores: 4 of them clock at up to 2.2 GHz and 4 at 1.8 GHz as energy saving clusters. The graphics calculations are done by the Adreno 512. On top of that, the Mi Pad 4 has up to 4GB RAM and 64GB memory. Although we cannot measure flagship values for these, none of them slows down the performance during the use. The RAM can store data at 7GB/s and the eMMC memory can read 280 MB/s and write 200 MB/s.
The complete setup can also be found in the Xiaomi Mi 6X or Mi A2. The tablet will be able to cope with any situation that is demanded! Be it gaming, surfing the web or other performance-intensive applications. With the “low” resolution of Full HD, the Mi Pad 4 currently manages to play any game on the market with the highest graphic settings (PUPG or Asphalt). No noticeable warming of the housing can be found either. After the obstacle run consisting of benchmarks, installing all possible apps and testing, the Mi Pad 4 was at maximum hand warm at the top right. In normal operation, there are no jerks or charging times; you don’t really notice any difference to current smartphones with Snapdragon 845 like the OnePlus 6 or Xiaomi Mi8. Particularly pleasing is the fluid display of desktop web pages: on the tablet you won’t be satisfied with the mobile version of a page and the “big” page is often full of advertising and Java – fortunately no problem for the Snapdragon 660. The Mi Pad 4 is currently one of the fastest tablets on the market! Other flagship tablets may score more points in benchmarks, but the new Xiaomi tablet can compete with them at eye level in terms of reaction speed, user experience and gaming performance – MIUI also contributes its share.
|WiFi Version||WiFi Version||LTE Version|
|1099 Yuan, 168$||1399 Yuan, 215$||1499 Yuan, 230$|
We’ve tested the 4+64GB version, but in general you get along with the 3GB RAM – MIUI always has enough resources available to prevent it from jerking. Only if you want to do a lot of multitasking, the 4GB RAM version makes sense. 32GB of storage space is not exactly ample, but a MicroSD card can be used for memory expansion. So you can actually do without the expensive version, but if you can’t, rather choose directly the version with mobile Internet (depending on the price).
System – MIUI on the tablet
The Xiaomi Mi Pad 4 comes with MIUI 9.6, which is based on Android 8.1. The security patch is up-to-date as of June 2018 and was also improved once during the test period by update. The announced MIUI 10 will soon be available on the Xiaomi tablet – we expect it to be released by the end of 2018. If you know MIUI from the smartphone, you won’t be surprised by the tablet version. Not much has changed: the layout and dimensions have been adjusted to show the advantages of the larger display (maybe an idea for the Mi Max 3). There is also a home screen on the far left, on which widgets may be placed. The rest can be compared to an Android/MIUI smartphone. That’s fine for an 8-inch tablet, as it’s more of an entertainment item anyway. For a 10-inch tablet I would have liked more options for customizing and also more optimization, so that it can be used for efficiency / work / learning – but for an 8-inch device everything is all right.
MIUI vs. Android vs. iOS especially for tablets: In a comparison of the systems, MIUI is a big advantage for Android tablets! Google themselves no longer adapt their Android for tablets, as they are convinced of their Chrome OS for ultrabooks, detachables and convertibles. “Android for Tablets” has already been partly thrown off their own website. The saying: “Too little to live, too much to die” describes the situation quite well. Xiaomi and MIUI can therefore be expected to provide longer support than Google itself.
The features exclusively reserved for the tablet are limited at MIUI. The system / launcher on the Mi Pad 4 is very well adapted and the tablet lives on its apps. You get a nicely tidy interface and all settings / features are easily accessible. Of course, the MIUI for Mi Pad could offer more, but we are satisfied with the current status and device. The language settings is currently restricted to Chinese and English, but with the Global Version you will be able to choose also other languages. Our instructions will show you how to (easily) install the Google Play Store. You can get any language for the Play Store and all installed apps with the instructions and the app “Morelocale 2”. The Global ROM is already announced and should be available soon – the beta version of MIUI 10 can already be tested for the Mi Pad 4.
Yes, even if the Xiaomi Mi Pad 4 with its 8-inch display and “compact dimensions” fits in one or the other pocket, a tablet is not intended as a camera replacement. On the rear you find a single sensor without flash, the OmniVision OV13855 with 13MP and a f/2.0 aperture. Macro shots and photos of close objects turn out very well. Here the color scheme is right and the areas remain detailed. Landscape photos don’t look so good. Here an area (trees, meadow) likes to blur into a green pulp or colors are depicted unrealistically. In general: if you put the focus on a closer object, then the image turns out quite well. You can also record videos in Full HD, but without any stabilization.
On the front there is a s5k5e8 sensor with 5MP and an aperture of f/2.0. The sensor clearly lacks details, but it absorbs colors and contrasts well. It doesn’t know how to deal with direct sunlight and overexposes the image. At the beginning the beauty mode is still activated, which you better switch off.
The camera of the Mi Pad 4 could have been made better. I don’t mean better sensors, which would drive the price up, but the software: The cheap smartphones of the Redmi series get an incredible amount out of the camera software – with the Mi Pad 4, the software is visibly castrated. But don’t forget, it’s a tablet! For me, the cameras are nice to have for applications or video telephony and for everything else the smartphone is always there anyway. The camera quality is fine for the purpose.
The Xiaomi Mi Pad 4 is available in both WiFi and mobile Internet versions. Based on Xiaomi’s EIA, the 100 yuan surcharge is extremely fair. Apple gives you a lot more LTE bands, but you have to pay 150$ for it! The following frequencies are available:
LTE: B1, B3, B5, B7, B8, B34, B38, B39, B40, B41
We have the WiFi version and unfortunately can’t say anything about the reception. However, the mobile Internet can still be used conveniently when you are on the go with your smartphone. Simply select the tethering function on the mobile phone and use the data connection via WiFi. In the SIM card slot, only one Nano SIM can be used in addition to the Micro SD. The WiFi reception is very solid: 2 floors down in the garden, half of the bandwidth still came through.
Dual Band 2.4 & 5.0 GHz as well as the a/b/g/n/ac standard are supported. To ensure even higher data throughput, 2 antennas are built into the 2×2 Wi-Fi MIMO technology. Bluetooth is available in the latest version 5.0. There are hardly any differences between the two versions, but the WiFi version cannot navigate. The 4G version supports GPS, AGPS, GLONASS, Beidou and has an electronic compass on board. Both versions also support the following sensors: acceleration, light, gyroscope and a Hall sensor.
Besides the USB-Type-C connector on the bottom side there is also a 3.5mm jack connector on the top side, which I will remember very positively. With MIUI you can improve the sound and, if you connect Xiaomi headphones, increase the sound experience. This worked very well with both the Xiaomi In-Ear Pro HD and the Xiaomi Headphones Pro. The newer models however are not yet available on MIUI.
The Xiaomi Mi Pad 4 offers a stereo setup on speakers. Both speakers are at the lower end. It sounds very spatial: it sounds as if the drivers are in the device and the sound already has a little room to unfold up to the opening. The loudspeakers are completely sufficient for an 8-inch tablet and are also suitable as a replacement for headphones. 1/3 of the volume is enough for YouTube – while 2/3 is almost too loud.
Unfortunately, there is no fingerprint sensor available for unlocking. So you always have to look for the power button on the side of your Mi Pad 4. Face ID is available for biometric unlocking. The front camera activates it in less than a second. But beware, it is not the safest method. You can trick it with a photo and the camera even fall for siblings. The camera is not the best in low light conditions and so you cannot use Face ID when it is too dark either.
The Xiaomi Mi Pad 4 contains a 6000 mAh battery, which is slightly less than its predecessors. But it doesn’t matter – the new Mi Pad is a marathon runner. Instead of Intel or Mediatek, you now have a Snapdragon by Qualcomm and Xiaomi knows how to use it. The Mi Pad 4 achieves a very good 11 hours in the PC Mark battery benchmark test. And not much power is consumed in standby either. After the first week, the display was switched on for less than an hour a day (plus a little Spotify and Skype) – the result: after 4 days 50% of the battery were still left. According to my calculation, 8-9 hours of display-on-time are also possible in one day. Streaming videos, the tablet only needs 6-7% per hour.
The Mi Pad 4 is charged with 5V/2A using the included charger. We have a USB-C port in version 2.0, but the device does not respond to a Quick Charge or Power Delivery power supply. In the end it took 3:05h to fully charge the tablet.
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*Prices include shipping and toll. Intermediate changes of prices, ranking, delivery time and costs possible. Prices last updated on 21.01.2019