Xiaomi 14 first look rear

Xiaomi 14 first look – Sleeker, slicker compact flagship

Fresh off its MWC 2024 debut and its Malaysia launch, we managed to get a sample of the Xiaomi 14 in for review. Featuring flagship-grade hardware including a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor and top-shelf camera hardware created in collaboration with Leica, it looks like an extremely promising prospect for those who want a premium experience in a compact package.

Xiaomi 14 first look 2

Here’s our Xiaomi 14 first look and unboxing where we get a gander at what their latest phone has to offer…

Xiaomi 14 First Look – What’s In the Box, Build and Design

Xiaomi has bundled quite a generous array of kit with the phone which helps add substantial value to its asking price of RM3,799 which is markedly lower than competing designs with equivalent hardware from some competitors.

Not only do you get protective casing, you also get a 90W fast charger with associated cable too which is considered generous circa 2024 as many phone vendors simply just issue a charging cable and aught else. You also get the usuals like a SIM eject pin and warranty guide paperwork. Interestingly enough, our Xiaomi 14 first look sample also has a pre-installed screen protector on the phone which is a nice touch.

Xiaomi 14 first look box contents

Compared to its immediate predecessor the Xiaomi 13, the Xiaomi 14 retains mostly similar dimensions but is slightly heavier and thicker due to the use of much tougher Gorilla Glass Victus on the display and generally upgraded hardware all around. The phone is also rated for IP68 dust and water resistance which is par for the course for a flagship phone.

Even with the similarities in dimensions to the Xiaomi 13, our Xiaomi 14 first look sample is easily identified on account of its larger, more pronounced, squarish camera housing which is almost double the size of its predecessor while also jutting out in a more pronounced fashion though this is justified with the improved imaging hardware on offer. 

Xiaomi 14 first look sides

This isn’t mere frippery as Xiaomi has leveraged their partnership with Leica to craft an impressive imaging platform for something so compact – you get a triple camera array, all of which have a 50MP sensor along with Leica’s colour science and tuning behind it for best effect. 

The main camera has optical image stabilisation and laser autofocus. The secondary telephoto camera also has OIS to stabilise its lenses which offer 3.2x optical zoom and up to 60x digital zoom. The ultrawide angle camera which typically uses a smaller sensor in many competing designs is a full sized 50MP sensor here which aims to offer plenty of detail.

Camera housing aside, the rest of the backplate on our Xiaomi 14 first look sample is a low profile matte black finish covered in glass that is relatively fingerprint resistant with rounded edges and corners though there are no official statements as to whether backplate is made of Gorilla Glass or some other derivative with similar properties.

Xiaomi 14 first look rear

Where the Xiaomi 14 subtly reveals its premium aspects is when you grasp it. Wielding it reveals its metal shod frame that is cool to the touch. Unfortunately, the sides are prone to smudges though this isn’t a deal breaker by any means.

The base of the phone hosts a speaker grille, a dual nano SIM card tray and a USB-C port while the right features a power button and volume rocker, with both sets of buttons also finished in metal. The left side and top are otherwise unremarkable.

Up front, you get a 6.36-inch LTPO OLED display framed by 1.71mm thin bezels which has improved resolution over its predecessor, featuring 1,200 x 2,670 pixels resolution along with improved peak brightness at a quoted 3,000 nits, a 120Hz dynamic refresh rate as well as Dolby Vision support. The use of an LTPO panel ensures more precise control of its refresh rate which ensures better battery efficiency. There’s also a tiny slit for the earpiece and second speaker which teams up with the one at the base to create a stereo pair.

Xiaomi 14 first look angled

Perched in a tiny punch hole at the top of the display is a 32MP selfie camera capable of up to 4K@60fps video capture. While not immediately obvious, the most practical improvement here is the use of the aforementioned Gorilla Glass Victus to protect the glass from nicks and potential drops. While it isn’t the toughest grade of Gorilla Glass currently in the market, it’s still plenty tough for most normal misadventures. 

Xiaomi 14 First Look – Specifications

Under the hood, our Xiaomi 14 first look sample hosts the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor which, short of brand-specific custom variants, is the best Snapdragon processor in current service. This is  paired with 12GB RAM that also has up to 8GB of virtual RAM selectable in 2GB increments to a minimum of 4GB off its onboard 512GB storage. A cheaper variant also exists with the same amount of RAM but with 256GB of storage for RM3,499.

The phone also runs the latest Android 14 with Xiaomi’s own spanking new HyperOS firmware. At launch, Xiaomi committed to 4 years of OS and 5 years of security updates which puts it on par with many contenders. Keeping the phone powered is a 4,610mAh battery that has 90W fast wired charging via PD 3.0, 50W wireless charging and 10W reverse wireless charging which puts it in a comfortable media for charging speeds where flagship phones are concerned.

xiaomi 14 first look daylight

As first impressions go, our Xiaomi 14 first look comes out of the starting gate strong with a remarkable polish to its build quality and initial user experience. The phone has a pleasant heft and feel with excellent tactility that makes it easy to wield one-handed. Bar the outlandishly large rear camera housing, the Xiaomi 14 looks and feels every bit the flagship it is and initial forays into gaming and other tasks offered a smooth and snappy user experience with its beefy hardware. 

The fact that they’ve managed to achieve all this at a sub-RM4,000 price point makes for a pleasant surprise indeed. Stay tuned for our full Xiaomi 14 review where we share if their compact uber phone is a solid yea or nay.

Xiaomi 14 first look sample courtesy of Xiaomi Malaysia. For more details please visit https://event.mi.com/my/xiaomi-14-series/