Xiaomi 14 review: The best compact flagship phone

Xiaomi 14 Review
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Samsung Galaxy S24 and the Galaxy S24 Ultra, iPhone 15, and the iPhone 15 Pro Max, you know what’s common in these examples? Every ultra flagship phone has a smaller and more affordable version, selling for a much lower price!

And this is the Xiaomi 14 which is a toned-down version of its top-end Xiaomi 14 Ultra! For a starting price of USD 800, this phone packs a lot of punch with flagship-grade performance and display quality, a nice set of cameras, and a bigger 4600mAh battery. It is also launching soon in Nepal by the way.

Xiaomi 14 Specifications:

  • Display: 6.36-inches LTPO OLED panel, 120Hz refresh rate, 3000nits peak brightness, HDR 10+, Dolby Vision, HLG, Gorilla Glass Victus
  • Resolution: 1.5K (2772 x 1240 pixels)
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 (4nm Mobile Platform)
  • Memory: Up to 16GB RAM, 1TB UFS 4.0 storage
  • Software & UI: Android 14 with HyperOS on top
  • Rear Camera: Triple Leica cameras (with LED flash);
    – 50MP primary sensor (OIS)
    – 50MP telephoto camera (OIS)
    – 50MP ultrawide unit
  • Front Camera: 32MP sensor (hole-punch cutout)
  • Audio: Dual stereo speaker setup
  • Battery: 4600mAh with 90W wired charging, 50W wireless, 10W reverse wireless
  • Colors: Black, White, Jade Green, Pink

I have been comparing it side by side with the more expensive S24 and I am excited to share my findings with you! Let’s start my Xiaomi 14 review!

Xiaomi 14 Review

It’s pretty compact!

  • 71.5 x 152.8 x 8.2mm, 188 grams
  • Glass front/back, Aluminum frames
  • IP68 dust and water resistant

Alright, first of all, I like its form factor! I wouldn’t exactly call it a compact phone, but it’s extremely handy, for sure. It’s slightly bigger than the S24 or even the Pixel 8, but these curves on the sides make it fit snugly in the hands. Although I would have liked it if Xiaomi had given a matte finish just like the competition, since this glossy attracts fingerprint smudges very easily and it can get quite slippery too.

Xiaomi 14 Rear Design

Xiaomi also hasn’t disclosed what kind of glass protection they have included at the back, but on the front, you get gorilla glass Victus 1st gen. I know, it’s not as good as the latest Victus 2 that we get with the OnePlus 12 or the S24, but it should endure a good level of beating.

But one thing I am not a big fan of is this huge camera module that sits on almost 25% of the phone’s back. Maybe they could have trimmed it better given this is a compact phone.


  • 6.36-inches 1.5K resolution, LTPO AMOLED panel
  • 120/240Hz refresh/touch sampling rate
  • 3000 nits (peak) brightness, Dolby Vision, HDR 10+
  • Corning Gorilla Glass Victus protection

The display on this device is, however, excellent. It’s almost as good as the Xiaomi 14 Ultra. It features a similar LTPO refresh rate mechanism along with a total of 3000 nits of peak brightness. Now, just a little piece of information, Peak brightness level only indicates the highest a smartphone can go in terms of brightness while displaying things like an HDR video.

Xiaomi 14 Display

The thing that actually matters in scenarios such as sunny outdoors is High brightness levels. In this case, the Xiaomi 14 can go up to 1000 nits in high brightness mode vs 1600 nits on the S24, so even though the Xiaomi 14 has 3000 nits of peak brightness, the S24’s display will look brighter in most scenarios. But again, 1000 nits of brightness is bright enough, so I am not complaining!

Xiaomi has included little perks here though, like this display has the TUF Rheinland flicker-free certification, so it flickers less in low lighting conditions like this, in comparison to the S24.

And it has Dolby Vision support too which is still lacking on the S24 series or even Samsung’s TV’s for that matter!

So, yeah, it’s fair to say that this is a solid 9 out of 10 display for me. There’s really not much here to complain about actually, the core quality is great, it can get bright, it’s very responsive, I can use it with one hand comfortably, and the in-display fingerprint sensor works well, so I am happy about it.

Great Haptics

What’s also great is the haptics! With the new Hyper OS, one of my beloved changes is how Xioami has made sure to include haptics not only while typing or unlocking the phone, but with other UI elements too, like while using the volume or brightness slider, or while interacting with the elements of the notification shade.

I will admit that even though the vibration feedback here is great, it’s not as refined as the OnePlus 12 or the S24, but it does not feel bad and I have enjoyed interacting with this screen a lot.

The speakers on the Xiaomi 14 are okay though. They are loud with a lot of focus on the highs, but I like the clarity and depth of the Galaxy S24 better.


  • Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 5G SoC (4nm)
  • 12GB LPDDR5X RAM, 256/512GB (UFS 4.0) storage

Alright, performance! And things get really interesting here. The Xiaomi 14 features the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, which is the latest and greatest in the Android world right now and apart from Ultra flagships, this is the only compact phone that has this chipset included.

Xiaomi 14 Gaming

This phone has a smaller chassis, so I was really interested to see if it could handle all the power of the 8 Gen 3. And for the most part, it does. It controlled the temperatures very well while gaming. I tested Genshin Impact and PUBG for around 30 minutes each and the phone didn’t go above 41 degrees, so that’s nice.

Ice Loop Vapor Chamber Cooling

Xiaomi says they have included something called an Ice Loop vapor chamber system, that has 3 times the thermal efficiency to that of normal Vapor Chamber cooling solutions.

But I think the limitation here is the smaller chassis because doing extremely demanding stuff like taking a 30-minute 4k 60 fps video in the sun makes the phone heat up badly. Once, I even got this pop-up saying the device had overheated. So, evidently, this small phone cannot handle extreme conditions or if you live in a hotter area.

While doing regular things though, there is no shred of heating, even charging does not heat the phone up, so I appreciate that!

Xiaomi 14 Charging

Which reminds me, you get a 90-watt adapter inside the box with the Xiaomi 14 that charges the phone in just 40 minutes. And the battery life here is good for such a small phone. Somehow Xiaomi has managed to fit in a 4610 mAh battery in this tiny body and it gave me around 5.5 hours on screen on time in regular everyday usage, which is great!


  • HyperOS with Android 14
  • 4 years of OS, 5 years of security patch updates

Moving on, software-wise, first of all, Xiaomi has upped the update game to 4 years of OS and 5 years of security updates which is nice, well, not as nice as Samsung or Pixel, but it’s acceptable, even OnePlus’s update commitment is the same, so I won’t complain!

And no 2, the phone boots on Xiaomi’s latest HyperOS which feels much lighter and optimized than MIUI.

Xiaomi 14 HyperOS

Plus, there are no bloatware apps. I mean there are apps like Facebook, Netflix Snapchat, and a couple of system apps, but nothing else that can actually be considered trash, so, I am really happy to see that. I turned off all the app recommendations while I was setting this phone up, so I’ve had a pretty much clean and bug-free software experience on this phone.

The Leica Magic

  • Triple camera setup at the back
  • (50MP primary, 50MP ultrawide, 50MP telephoto)
  • Leica professional optical lens
  • 32MP selfie camera (hole-punch cutout)

Alright, let’s get to the camera side of things and this is actually one of the strongest points about this phone. The Xiaomi 14 has a triple camera setup with a 50MP Omnivision light Fusion 900 primary sensor, a 50 MP ultra-wide lens, and a 50MP floating Telephoto lens capable of 3.2x zoom.

Xiaomi 14 Camera

The primary sensor does a great job of maintaining details and dynamic range. Sometimes, the dynamic range processing is a little too aggressive and the phone tends to crush the shadows, but other than that, you can get some pleasing images with this phone.

Color Modes

Like always, you get two modes to shoot from, Leica Vibrant and Leica Authentic. I shot mostly from the Vibrant mode because I found the colors matching Samsung’s image processing to a great instant. Like in this instance, I could barely tell the difference between the images, from the color processing to HDR to details, everything looks so similar.

The authentic mode also helps produce some good images, but I felt like the contrast was a little overbearing in them. But if you are someone who likes toned-down colors, you might find yourself using the authentic mode more often.

Macro Shots

I have loved clicking macro shots from the phone, they have a very natural depth and you can go very close to the subjects as well. The macro shots are possible via the Telephoto lens by the way. The phone does let you go close to subjects from the primary camera too, but not as close as the Telephoto lens, and the blur and everything are more natural from the Telephoto lens.

You also have the option for a couple of AI features like an object eraser or you can edit the sky like this to get some cool pictures, which are nifty little features that are fun to use.


The thing I think Xiaomi needs to improve upon is the ultra-wide images. If you look at these images, you can see how Samsung has optimized the overall shot better, from the edges to the colors, everything. Plus there is no autofocus in the ultra-wide mode, which I think is a little miss.


Especially during nighttime, the S24 tends to do a much better job than the Xiaomi 14! Night-time photos from its primary camera are good though – they are bright, brighter than the S24 in many instances. Then again, in extremely low light, the S24 is able to pull out details better and exposure handling is also superior on the S24.


I liked the portraits from the Xiaomi 14 though. There are just so many options when it comes to focal lengths and effects that you can choose from and almost all of them will give you unique looking images. I love the B/W filter in particular which uses the 75mm telephoto lens to take pictures and it just looks amazing!


Likewise, the 75mm Leica portrait mode is another effect that I absolutely adore, I love the background bokeh and the skin tone processing, you know, it just gives you the classic Leica camera Vibe.

And for those who are wondering, yes, I shot a couple of comparison photos with the S24 as well and I found the S24 managing the skin tone, finer details, the background bokeh, and edge detection better in most instances, but, to be fair, Xiaomi’s processing is a bit different and looks pleasing to my eyes. Let me know your thoughts in the comments.


Even in selfies, you will find better details from the S24, but the Xiaomi 14 is not far behind too. I wouldn’t mind uploading a few selfies from this phone to my social media account at all!

Front Videos

Talking of the front camera, finally, a Xiaomi phone is able to shoot at 4k 60 fps from the selfie camera, and love that it has a better field of view than the S24 itself. The stabilization and everything is also very similar between the two. The only thing that Xiaomi needs to work on is exposure management in the background at times, but other than that, the selfie videos are good.

Main Camera Videos

And so are the videos from the rear camera. You can take up to 8K videos from this phone, but let’s be honest, 4K is more practical and I like that the 4K 60 fps videos are almost as good as the S24. There is a little bit of movement jitter when shooting in motion, but besides that, the videos are quite reliable.

Weirdly, you cannot switch between the lenses while recording on the Xiaomi 14! So, I hope Xiaomi works on that in the future.


Overall, Xiaomi has improved on the camera side of things this time, especially on the video front. There are a few things that they still need to work on apart from the things that I mentioned before, like switching between the lenses in the video mode, a little bit of optimization and consistency when it comes to dynamic range, and also the camera UI.

Xiaomi 14

What I found is, that it can get a little confusing while shooting portraits, like, you have the option to shoot a 75mm portrait shot here, but you also get a similar option inside the master lens system and the output is slightly different and better. So, maybe Xiaomi could simplify things a little bit here.

Xiaomi 14 Review: Conclusion

Overall, I have loved using the Xiaomi 14. It is a very balanced offering from the company that ticks almost all boxes starting with the compact, well-built design, a nice display, good haptics, flagship performance with a stable software experience, and reliable enough cameras. And, if you look at the global launch price, it definitely is a pure value-for-money compact phone.

Xiaomi 14 Rear

If it launches here at 1 lakh periphery in Nepal, the Xiaomi 14 will get no competition. If you are willing to spend more though, there is the Samsung Galaxy S24 with a slightly better camera optimization.

But, I believe Xiaomi is on the right path with this phone! It just feels like we are getting a nice year-on-year improvement with the Xiaomi flagship lately, and slowly catching up with its competition!

Xiaomi 14 Review: Pros and Cons


  • Compact form factor
  • Solid display
  • Great performance
  • Leica camera magic
  • Fluid HyperOS


  • Camera needs slight optimization
  • Can’t switch lens while video recording
  • Slight heats up during intensive tasks
Design and Build
Back Cameras
Front Camera
Software and UI
Audio and Haptics
Value for Money
xiaomi-14-reviewXiaomi 14 is easily the best compact flagship currently. It packs a great overall Leica-camera experience, top-tier performance and fluid software. The haptics and battery life are equally great too. You have a few shortcomings such as the inability to switch lens during video recording, but still, it offers a great value for the price!