• Compact and a Form factor I like with IP68 of course
  • Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is pretty impressive
  • Good display and Experience
  • Definitely Decked out and worthy of the "Flagship" Title
  • Price-wise, expect it to be pretty good for the Malaysian Market


  • The Glossy Metallic rails really do frustrate me
  • It lacks the "Magic" in the experience
  • HyperOS feels the same on the foreground
  • Ads and Bloatware on this phone is ridiculous

Okay, confession time, the last time we reviewed the Xiaomi flagship was the Xiaomi 12 – and when Xiaomi entered the “Leica” Era, we did not get the chance to check them out. This was supposed to be the turning point for Xiaomi, in offering that “close to camera purist” experience on a smartphone. While we couldn’t confirm then, we can share our thoughts now because since the beginning of February, we used it for about two weeks, and we sure do have a lot to share. So, here’s your Xiaomi 14 Review.

Xiaomi 14 Review

Design and Build


Right out of the box, the Xiaomi 14 feels interesting – gone are those days when the phone “tries” to feel premium and comes a time when it sure does scream premium in more ways than one. Covered in Corning Gorilla Glass Victus on both front and back and sandwiched between the flat frame, once you hold it in your hands, you’d immediately go “Why does this feel familiar?”. Because the feel of the phone felt close to holding an iPhone 14 Pro. The Xiaomi 14 is on the heavier side, it weighs about 193 grams and I do like my phones to have that weight I need.


However, the Xiaomi 14 doesn’t have a matte texture on the back, so, the phone is mighty slippery and I wish anyone good luck in keeping that metal rails fingerprint-free or smudge-free. But they did include one of the nicest cases I’ve ever seen with a phone – so, that’s quite the nice touch.

With IP68, you don’t have to worry much about water and dust because the phone can handle them very well. One that bothers me a lot is the humongous camera bump that irked me a lot. The bump on the Xiaomi 13 was a lot smaller. So, with or without the case, the phone will never sit flat on the table.

Display and Experience

The Xiaomi 14 uses the same dimension display as the 13, which is a 6.36” inch AMOLED display, but there are some better improvements. For one, the resolution has gone up to 2670 x 1200 with 460 pixels per inch. It is an LTPO display, so it does have that variable refresh rate. It still uses an AMOLED panel, however, it utilizes a new Light Emitting Material called C8 which supposedly hits about 3000 nits brightness.

Spec aside, the experience using this display is pretty nice – the text is tack sharp, its buttery smooth and I have not witnessed a single moment of frame drops throughout my use. The experience is the same as I plan to game and even watch shows on my preferred platform.

To be frank, in today’s time and age, it’s pretty hard to get a display experience wrong, granted how many smartphone manufacturers are opting in for AMOLED Panels for those punchy vibrant colours. You can of course change the colour profile of your display in the Colour Scheme option – which is a nice control to have but for the most part, I left the phone on Original Colour Pro, which produces a neutral tone with nice colours.

The only big deal breaker for me with the display is that the 3000 nits brightness doesn’t feel like one – and under bright sun, phones with 2000 nits tend to feel a bit brighter. Unfortunately, we don’t get the Gorilla Glass Armor which we saw on the Samsung Galaxy S24 series which handles reflections so well.

Unfortunately, due to some exclusivity between the two brands, I do hope to see that glass in the next generation of Xiaomi phones, we get to see those glasses. It does come pre-applied with a screen protector which is nice – but if you do plan to change them, by all means. And I have to say, I do appreciate the flatter display more than a curved display.

Specification and Performance

Flagship smartphone gets Flagship treatment and the Xiaomi 14 is no exception: it’s powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, 12GB LPDDR5X RAM with UFS 4.0 storage (with the option of 256GB or 512GB). Also, the best part about the USB-C port on this phone is that it uses USB 3.2 Gen 1 which hits a maximum of 5Gbps. We received the 512GB variant, which only comes with a bigger storage and as for the rest, it shares the same with the 256GB variant.

Truth be told, there’s not much to comment on the performance as the phone seems to handle everything at a breezy rate. Day-to-day use was pretty good, apps were snappy and responsive and we did try games on this phone to see how well it handled. For something light, we went for Marvel Snap! which was quite alright, it ran with no hiccups whatsoever.

Then we tried Hoyoverse’s new Honkai: Star Rail at the maximum setting with graphics set at Very High and Frame rates set at 60 fps. I have to say the performance was buttery smooth.

However, on the thermal side, things weren’t pretty – granted the game was at the highest settings, but it did get hot in about 20-30 minutes of gameplay at an ambient room temperature (28 degrees Celsius). The important factor was how well it dissipated the heat. From starting the game and about 3 minutes in, we felt the frame on the left side horizontally (closer to the camera) get warmer. Interestingly, the frame is the first thing to get warm with the phone.

7 minutes 40 seconds in, you can feel that the entire frame of the phone is warm already. About 10 minutes in, the top part of the phone is now completely warm and gets a little uncomfortable to hold – with temperatures hitting about close to 60 degrees. Right after quitting the game at the 11-minute mark, the temperatures went to 46 degrees in about 2 minutes and hovered in that range.

To be honest, this isn’t a gaming phone to begin with but it does have the hardware for it to handle. Thermal performance was a little bit on the discomforting side, but if you plan to do some heavy gaming, then expect to deal with the thermal heat-up. We did notice some frame drops but it wasn’t significant enough for us to go “Oh this is pretty bad”.

Is anything Interesting about the Xiaomi 14?

It is a Decked out Phone After All

I love the fact that the Xiaomi 14 is completely decked out right out of the box – with WiFi 7 Ready, Bluetooth 5.4, 50W Wireless Charging, NFC for Google Pay-related stuff since we do have the support for it here in Malaysia, USB 3.2 Gen 1 for fast transfer and if you care about the fast charger, then the 90W Turbo Charging is ridiculously fast.

It’s nice to see Xiaomi decking out features on their phones more than ever – giving users the versatility to use however they want.

The “Improved” Leica Camera*

The biggest focus for their numbered Xiaomi phones is the camera, well more specifically the Leica co-engineered camera. One of the biggest changes happens to be the Light Fusion 900 Image Sensor which as it turns out has dual-native ISO function and better low light capabilities this is the primary 50MP f/1.6 sensor which emulates as if you are shooting on a 23mm focal length.

The second sensor is the 32MP (effective) Telephoto sensor with f/2.0 which gives a 75mm focal length and finally the 50MP ultra-wide sensor with f/2.2 provides a 14mm focal length with 115 degrees of FOV.

Now, one might wonder, where is the “Leica” element in this camera? Because we did, and as it turns out, that experience is in the app under “Photographic Styles” – you have the Leica Authentic Look and Leica Vibrant Look.

And then you have the Master-Lens System which offers 4 specific modes: B&W 35mm, Swirly Bokeh 50mm, Portrait 75mm and Soft Focus 90mm.

The camera experience this phone offers deserves a completely separate review which is why you can read about the cameras soon. Trust us, it’s worth it.

Xiaomi HyperOS has that Love-Hate Experience

The last time I used a Xiaomi phone, it was still running MIUI – A UI that I knew at the back of my hand. But things changed post MIUI 7 and we have something completely new, called HyperOS. From the looks of it, HyperOS, while the name is different, the entire functionality and feel of the phone feels “MIUI”. However, the biggest change with HyperOS isn’t in the foreground but in the background – making sure your experience while using the phone doesn’t take more time than it should.

This is impressive on paper and from the looks of it, it is working, I hope. However, since we got the Xiaomi 14 before the phone was even released globally, our review sample was running the early build of HyperOS – more specifically, build number

This did give us a bit of an issue to deal with this review because we sure did encounter some bugs and Xiaomi did confirm that there is an update which is yet to be made available. So, expect us to revisit the HyperOS with the Xiaomi 14 soon because I am very curious to find out what’s going on underneath.

HyperOS customizability is pretty neat, like making the lock screen truly yours and so on – and there is some stuff which is not properly organized, which needs to be improved as I still find some of the settings under a different category. I am sad about the fact that, in HyperOS you cannot combine both the Quick Settings and the Notification panel. Certain video apps tend to stutter as well.

But my biggest frustration with HyperOS isn’t the experience but the god-awful amount of bloatware and ads riddled in the phone. Again, we don’t know if the updated build of HyperOS will get rid of it, but it does genuinely frustrate me seeing ads while trying to access the Game Turbo while playing games. It’s ridiculous. There are so many tricks to make the ads go away but everyone on Reddit seemed to have failed. And that includes the bunch of users who are trying to get rid of Xiaomi GetApps.

As for the rest

Battery and Charging Speeds

So, the Xiaomi 14 does charge super fast from 1% to 100% with the included 90W Charger in just 53 minutes from our test. But the battery drain is just as fast at charging it. So, under the hood, they have equipped a 4610mAh battery which is, pretty good for a phone this dimension. However, since the phone does put up a punchy performance, it only lasted close to a day.

Nevermore and I’d have to charge it every single day. With moderate use, I did get a total of 11 hours of total time disconnected from the charger.

But things get dicey the moment you start using it heavily. An hour of Honkai Star Rail, “railed” the battery from 50 per cent to 23 per cent – which is a whopping more than 50% consumption. But given that it does come with a 90W charger, you can get it to 100% in just a few minutes. However, this raises a bigger concern.

Xiaomi 14 uses a Li-Po Battery and we all know fast charging the phone’s battery to 100% will deteriorate the cells.

My recommendation would be to charge the phone on low-speed chargers and only use the fast charger when you need it. But to be honest, with the battery life and capacity we have seen here, it’s safe to say that this is a “day-in-day-out” phone and not one to offer that endurance you need while you are out. Although the battery-saver mode was effective.

The Hardware feels Underutilized

Xiaomi sure does take a lot of pride in giving that crème de la crème hardware to consumers at a price point that challenges the other smartphone brands. But after years of chasing after the best hardware, the software part of the Xiaomi 14 seems to be lacking and underutilized. You have all this power from the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, even the new AINPU – which doesn’t seem to see a lot of action.

The only area we noticed the “AI” implementation is in its camera – but we didn’t get to test this – which we will do it later. But that said, it’s about time Xiaomi starts focusing on better software experience, making HyperOS truly deserving of its name.


The Xiaomi 14 is a pretty interesting phone with a unique proposition: it aims to be that daily phone for mass consumers without the need to tinker a lot – and it does do that. The improved Leica Camera System, does shoot like one – but not like the M, S or even the SL Series but more like the D-Lux series.

While there are some questionable choices here and there: like ads in HyperOS and bugs, which would be fixed right after the global launch (which has not happened at the time of writing this review), it does feel like a step ahead in the right direction with more polishing and tweaking that needs to be done.

But you know what, Xiaomi Malaysia got the pricing right for the Xiaomi 14 with the base 256GB priced at what it is and the 512GB priced at what it is (which we can’t share till the 7th March, 2024)  – trust it, it is completely palatable. Worry not, the Xiaomi 14 Malaysia Launch is happening soon, so, you know what to do.

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