It was in 2013 where the concept of future proof phones was really introduced. The idea that smartphones would actually start to seriously transcend past the year that they came out and not be completely obsolete by the time the new edition of the model came out.
Now with some of the smartphone makers guaranteeing at least 2 years worth of updates vs some OEM’s who have yet to make the claim, they are essentially giving your device a 2-year lifespan while trying to make you upgrade without support past the 2 years.
So one of the major questions I always get is, does it make sense to purchase a product that came out in the previous year, knowing that I have just about 1 year left of support for software from the manufacturer. The answer is yes and no.
Yes, if you are able to get some of the best devices of the past year at some firesale prices, No, if you are still spending upwards of $4000ttd/$600usd and above. Which leads me into one of, if not the best steal for 2017, the Xiaomi Mi 5s.
Let me get the specs out the way.
This bad boy packs the 2.15ghz Snapdragon 821 CPU, 5.15” 1080p IPS LCD, 64/128gb storage with 3/4gb of RAM, dual sim, Ultrasonic fingerprint sensor with 3D touch, 12mp Son1y IMX378 rear sensor, 4mp front camera sensor, 3200mAh battery with Quick charge 3.0.
Let me put some of this into perspective. The ever-popular Samsung S7 uses the Snapdragon 820cpu, so the Mi 5s is running the upgraded and more powerful CPU. It is rocking the Sony IMX378 sensor which was ranked as the best camera sensor for 2016 and is the exact same one that is on the Google Pixel device.
A good size battery with Quick charge 3.0, it is LTE ready for Bmobiles speeds, a fingerprint sensor with 3d touch. It packs A LOT to like.
This is where things get very very very interesting. The Samsung S7 still goes for on avg $4000ttd here in Trinidad & Tobago, the Huawei P9 is still $3000 plus, the HTC 10 is $3100 plus, The LG G5 SE is still $3000 plus (with all their bootloop problems and running the slower Snapdragon 652). The Xiaomi Mi 5s can be had for a whopping $2800ttd.
If you guys decide to hit GSMarena and compare all the top devices of 2016 you will see that spec wise, the Mi 5s comes out usually on top or on par, the closest run for your money would be the Oneplus 3T and that device is still selling for $3200ttd plus.
Now the reason why the Xiaomi Mi 5s is one of the steals of 2017, is also due to how Xiaomi treats their updates. Updates for bug fixes usually happen weekly and they like to add a lot of functionality to their own MiUi software.
So even when you could potentially stop getting O/S updates, you would still be getting security patches and updates to their own interface that may include a lot of the new features of the latest O/S.
All that being said, the Mi 5s is a steal in 2017. While some of the top mid-rangers are closing in on $3000ttd, getting a device with a Snapdragon 821 CPU, a Sony IMX378 sensor for less than that is more than enough reason to go out and grab one. If you want to grab one from Droid Island, click this link. (Xiaomi Mi 5s)