Note: This article is primarily for our visitors from India, where Xiaomi Mi 3 was recently launched. But the device is available in many other countries as well and it probably wouldn’t be a waste of your time to read this if you are not in India.
Xiaomi Mi3 is finally here. And you’re probably wondering if it’s too good to be true. Looking at the specs and the price, I don’t blame you. As your punjabi uncle would say, it is “too good, yaar!” and it exists in physical space so that makes it true as well.
But if you’re looking for a more sound explanation than me hammering down on Indian stereotypes, read on.
1. These Specs And This Price
The spec sheet on this phone is amazing. Top of the line Snapdragon 800 processor, Adreno 330 GPU, 2 GB RAM and a gorgeous 5 inch 1080p display running Android KitKat 4.4. At Rs 13,999 ( ~$220). That’s Galaxy S5 hardware for half the price.
And it’s not just about the numbers. The phone performs well, it’s incredibly fast to use and has a good enough camera for the price.
To know more about just what makes this phone so good, check out our video review below.
MIUI is surely the tip of this gigantic iceberg. HTC and Samsung just skin Android to make it look different but MIUI goes a step forward. That’s because MIUI started life as a custom ROM and it still is. You can get weekly updates for developers and stable builds a little less often.
The community aspect in MIUI is a strong one. Where users help in testing new features, report on bugs and even suggest changes. That gives MIUI something no other Android OEM skin has: a heart.
Also, MIUI looks different than anything on Android you’ve ever seen. And to a lot of people that matters. You’ll also find a boatload of features and apps built-in to the OS. Check out our feature on MIUI ROM and the video below to know more about them.
1. The Deal With Xiaomi And Flipkart
Before parading around with Xiaomi’s head on a stick, it’s important to know how the company operates. Xiaomi doesn’t have a large scale production line like Apple or Samsung. They also don’t have any advertising budget or distributers. They only produce enough units to sell via their website, from them to you.
India isn’t used to this and its people responded in the only way they know how – angrily on social media.
It’s important to remember that it’s not like Xiaomi is creating “artificial” demand or this is all just a “publicity stunt”. For an upstart like Xiaomi, selling you that phone is more important than receiving angry tweets about it.
Either way, as of now the Mi3 isn’t readily available, so you need to spend a couple of hours every week on Flipkart and quite a bit of luck to be able to buy one.
2. Service Stations
As of writing, Xiaomi only has 32 service centers across the country. 32 is a small number and some pretty big tier 2 cities are missing from the list. Here’s the full list if you’re curious.
I’m sure more service stations will be added with time.
No SD card slot. Mi3 only has 16 GB of internal memory and no SD card support. To some people that can be a big deal breaker.
Slippery in hands. The smooth back and rounded corners make this phone really slippery. You’ll have to get a case for it.
Too big for some. Unlike Nexus 5, Mi3 doesn’t have on-screen navigation buttons. It has capacitive touch buttons below the screen. That and the thick bezels make this phone look ginormous. It’s a bit wider than the N5 and way taller. It’s almost the size of a Note 2.
Non-removable battery. Android fans love their removable batteries. Really, removable batteries don’t matter as much as they used to, and Xiaomi has a big 3080 mAh battery so you won’t be needing to charge it in the middle of the day. But for some, they are a still a must-have.
Overheating. Like any other phone, the Mi3 overheats when you’re performing an intense task like gaming for a long period of time. But it doesn’t happen at an alarming rate. You won’t start noticing it until you’re half an hour in. So yes, it overheats, especially the top and bottom edges, but no more so than any other phone.
Doesn’t support 4G LTE. If you’re living in an area that has 4G LTE connectivity, you should know that Mi3 doesn’t support it. In India, this isn’t so much of a problem, as in many areas of the country it isn’t provided anyway. But if you’re looking for a new phone in the U.S. for example, this might be a major deal breaker.
Noted: Some users are reporting call drops as well but in our testing, no such instances occurred.
How do you feel about this phone? Have you bought it? Trying to buy it but just can’t? Share with us in the comments below.