China’s Xiaomi proves its mettle again with its Mi 3

Design & quality of manufacturing

On 5th September 2013, during the course of Xiaomi New Product Launch event, Xiaomi Tech made public its Xiaomi Mi 3 android Smartphone. Subsequently, during October 2013, this premium phone was introduced in China. The Mi 3 contains a quad core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8274AB system on a chip. The speed of its CPU is 2.3 GHz, which is significantly higher than average for a Smartphone processor. Its RAM with a capacity of 2GB offers lot more memory than other phones introduced during 2013.

Processor & Memory

Mi 3, a high tech phone and radiates coolness as soon lay your hands on it. You can’t tell that its back unit in silver color is made from plastic till you knock on it. The phone has a totally black face with just one cut on its top to attach the earpiece. This cavity, though smooth is somewhat deep, wherein dirt could easily settle. Its bottom contains 3 capacitive keys. Rather than the latest Recent Apps or multi tasking buttons, the instrument comes with the older menu button. However, you use every key for dual functioning.

Hardware

While polycarbonate is used for constructing body of Xiaomi Mi 3, its internal frame is made from an alloy of aluminum plus magnesium. It has is speakers plus micro USB in its bottom which also contains the tray for SIM card of normal size. You’ll find audio jacks on its top, while volume and power keys are positioned on your right side. Close to its top, you can find proximity sensors, camera as well notification LED. You get it in varying colors, including white, pink, black, silver and blue. It offers a larger display, compared to its earlier edition. Its touch screen with a coating of anti glare is all of five inches with 1080p IPS LCD.

The gadget has an internal storage capacity of 16 GB or 64 GB with a battery of 3050mAh, which is very impressive and prompts the manufacturer to advertise a talk time of 25 hours.

Software

Xiaomi Mi 3 has Android and Xiaomi’s MIUI user interface. Original operation through android 4.3 plus 4.4 has been revised, and an MIUI-customized edition of android 5 Lollipop is under development. Xiaomi’s developers have also incorporated additional Android ROMs for users of the Xiaomi Mi 3, who prefer not to make use of MIUI, designed by Xiaomi Tech. MIUI is among the latest software developed for smart phones as well tablets using the free software Android OS.

Xiaomi Mi 3 recorded a sale of 200,000 units inside of three minutes of its launch to become the quickest selling phone in the history of the company.

Other detailed features

The branding comes by way of a silver MI on left side of its top. You can also find it in its lower back part. The buttons, having been carved from the metal itself, are projecting out of its body and are easy to locate and operate.
The instrument has a flat bottom and top, different from the curved edges. Its top contain a jack of 3.5mm with a tiny SIM slit, which is quite big and may require adaptors if you have had a nano or Micro SIM. There is also a noise stopping mike. Its bottom contains a speaker grill, encompassing most of the room, though in fact it is only a mono speaker. By its side, you’ll locate the Micro USB port that accepts the cable hook-side. On the whole, it has a pleasant look, superior quality of manufacturing plus ergonomics. However, some users may miss a rubber case for getting firmer grip.

Display & performance

Detail of Xiaomi Mi 3
The display of five inches provides a pleasant view and delights the users. It’s live and bright and not over-saturated, offering good viewing angles. A harmonious setting of color and dispersion makes it perfect.
This Smartphone won’t stutter or freeze while in action. The Snapdragon 800 SoC plus 2GB of RAM bring the desired results. The whole gamut of operations, from operation of the camera to playing games plus changing over from one application to another is easy and hassle free. MIUI is a notoriously buggy OS, yet the performance of Mi3 is devoid of all such trivial obstructions.

Performance of multimedia is superb. The screen gives a splendid look to 1080p videos and delivers dark shots as efficiently as the colored ones. The audio quality is just as good, whether you are using headphones, earphones or only a speaker. The application of stock music is pretty professional and allows you to spot tagged lyrics as well change tracks easily while the album stands out.

The single speaker at the bottom is fairly powerful and provides sufficient features for being used regularly. Despite the earpiece being prone to collecting dirt due the large cavity housing it, you’ll find the volume during calls, to be excellent.

There is no drawback in its performance. Though there has been a continued development of MIUI over so many years and it has been employed all through Android Gingerbread years, there has not been any significant change. A large number of these make it amusing to keep experimenting with the looks of operating system.

Yet, there is an out of the box feature that can’t be changed. MIUI doesn’t come with an application drawer, consequently all fresh and system applications need to be set up on an increasing number of home screens. Fortunately, MIUI gets support from local widgets, as a result of which you don’t wind up with duplicate of an iOS. The support of widgets surely allows users plenty of freedom for arranging their screens. For instance, a user may have all the video and music applications by way of music player widget plus all the productive applications with the magnificent Keep widget. Anyhow, if you detest MIUI, its Android support from Google Play, and go mad with launches.
Probably, it was MIUI that first used custom ROM to make a jam-packed page of toggles at the side of notification area. Eleven toggles are present at all times, though you may drag others. However, one is not likely to require more than eleven at any given time. You can set the brightness to its minimum level with help of brightness slider but the auto brightness sensor won’t go beneath that mark and that is very desirable for outdoor shots.

Settings & App Permissions

Depending on the arrangement of toggles, you get a number of settings for every feature, including sound and display. You can adjust sound as per the type of earphone to be used.

Moreover, you can also select the permissions that each application can access. It will not be wrong to add that as far as permissions are concerned, MIUI does a superior job compared to Android. It alerts users while applications try accessing the phone or contact information and allows them to choose that action and also decide if access to application should be allowed or not.

Except for the arrangement of home screen and widespread teaming via the UI as well in core applications like phone, contact and messaging, this Smartphone is similar to any Android phone. You can easily run all applications that you may run on Nexus 5 or another comparable Smartphone.

Camera

Detail of Xiaomi Mi3's camera and flash

The rear camera with 13-megapixel is again difficult to get in on most other phones. It is equally good for indoor or outdoor jobs. The front camera with 2 megapixels is also reasonably good for taking selfies and videos.
Xiaomi is becoming renowned for its use in HDR mode and is certainly snappy. You may not get highly impressive results, but the images don’t get oversaturated. It gives magical result when used in burst mode. You can surely take about fifty shots in matter of four seconds. Its built-,in camera incorporates local filters with a tool that adjusts skin tones. You also get it with a viewing mode.

Battery specifications

On considering speed of charging and battery life, you’ll find Mi 3 outstanding. You can use it for the entire day without any problem as it conserves power when not being used. Mi 3 won’t ever let you down while you are traveling back home. Xiaomi also comes with a built in feature that enables you to use it in power saving or high performance mode.

The best part is that it gets charged very fast. It gets charged to the extent of forty percent in nearly thirty minutes, which is of great help to users who frequently use it for data collection while on the go.

Verdict & price

The specifications of Xiaomi Mi 3 are just about the same as that of Nexus 5, but you get it at 50% of the price the latter. But there is hardly any normal ROM support in this device.
Then, MIUI is too old an edition of android wherein android and design didn’t match really.

But this fault finding shouldn’t discourage you from buying it, since an average Smartphone user need in no way, consider these factors. Mi 3 is exceptional, almost perfect. You can’t find another instrument of such good quality and performance plus features at a price of $219.99. The main limitation is that it doesn’t support 4G-LTE, necessitating OTG-USB for extensive trip and internal battery too takes a lot of space, leaving 1GB RAM available. It would be better to offer a lighter version of MIUI. Mi3 also lacks provision for an SD card and dual SIM. Most users agree that Xiaomi Mi 3 is an outstanding Smartphone that offers a combination of very smooth performance, long battery life, and excellent camera quality at a price tag that contradicts the notion that you get what you pay for. Mi 3 comes with a 5 inch IPS LCD screen, slightly bigger than that of any average Smartphone screen. It offers fantastic value for the money.

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