The Xiaomi 14 Is a Little Too Expensive for What You Get

As China’s largest phone maker, Xiaomi makes excellent Android smartphones, boasting some of the best hardware. If you fancy something different from the latest Samsung or Apple, the Xiaomi 14 might be for you. With a versatile camera, lovely display, and top-notch specs in a relatively compact package, this refined Android smartphone will suit most folks.

While Xiaomi reserves the truly cutting-edge stuff for its Ultra model (coming soon), the Xiaomi 14 is no slouch. More pocket-friendly in both senses, this is an elegant all-rounder with Xiaomi’s revamped HyperOS over Android 14. At first glance it looks much like last year’s Xiaomi 13, but improvements across the board make the Xiaomi 14 more tempting.

Elegant Design

Photograph: Simon Hill

Xiaomi 14 smartphone

Photograph: Simon Hill

The Xiaomi 14 is similar in size to my Pixel 8 and iPhone 14 Pro, but the design is closer to Apple’s phone, with flat edges around the frame. The dominant, square camera module at the top left of the back has a stepped design. It’s not too heavy at 193 grams and is a fine size for most folks to manage one-handed. The curved glass on the back is a fingerprint-resistant matte black on my review unit, but it also comes in white or a more interesting green.

The Xiaomi 14 feels durable and scores an IP68 rating for water resistance. Gorilla Glass Victus protects the flat screen. The USB-C port and SIM card tray are on the bottom edge, and there’s a power button with volume rocker above on the right spine. Overall, it’s a classy, refined design, albeit quite conservative.

The 6.36-inch AMOLED display has a camera cutout at the top and a fingerprint sensor under the screen at the bottom. I found the fingerprint sensor very responsive. The screen is a highlight. It sports a 2,670 x 1,200-pixel resolution, giving you a sharp 460 pixels per inch (matching the iPhone 15 Pro). It has a dynamic refresh rate capable of going from 1 Hz up to 120 Hz for smooth animations and scrolling, and to save on battery life where possible.

The display was bright enough for me to read outdoors in direct light and can reach 3,000 nits peak brightness for highlights. The Dolby Vision and HDR10+ support make this a solid phone for movie watching. The stereo speakers offer Dolby Atmos and boast surprising depth. I watched a few scenes from Dune and Blade Runner 2049 to put it through its paces, and it looked and sounded good enough on the Xiaomi 14 that I was quickly sucked in.

Solid Performer

Slick performance comes courtesy of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor, ably backed by 12 GB of RAM. You also get a generous 512 GB of storage, and it’s the latest, speedy UFS 4.0. The Xiaomi 14 has enough power to multitask or play the most demanding games without stutters or dropped frames. After almost two hours of Grimvalor and Defense Zone HD, it remained cool.

Playing 20 minutes of Asphalt 9: Legends used 4 percent of the battery. Rated at 4,610 mAh, you can expect the Xiaomi 14 to get through all but the busiest days, but you’ll want to charge every night. The 90-watt charger and USB-C cable in the box can fully charge the Xiaomi 14 in just over half an hour. This phone also supports up to 50-watt wireless charging, but you need Xiaomi’s wireless charger (£60) to get that rate.

Connectivity is top-notch. The Xiaomi 14 supports Wi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth 5.4. It also supports a good spread of bands across 5G and 4G. It maintained a strong signal here in the UK, and should be fine in Europe, but folks in the US should check with their carrier, and it does lack mmWave 5G bands.

Versatile Camera

Person pulling the Xiaomi 14 smartphone out of a pants pocket

Photograph: Simon Hill

One of the main reasons you might consider a Xiaomi phone is its photography prowess. The rear camera in the Xiaomi 14 combines three 50-megapixel lenses. The main lens boasts a 1/1.31-inch sensor, an f/1.6 aperture, and a 23-mm focal length. The telephoto lens offers 3.2X optical zoom with an f/2.0 aperture and 75-mm focal length. And there’s an ultrawide lens with an f/2.2 aperture and 14-mm focal length. All your bases are covered with this trio.