Xiaomi Mi3 India review and unboxing

By Sanchit on Saturday, July 26, 2014

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Xiaomi (pronounced Shao-Mi) has come to India with the launch of the Mi3. The phone is creating quite a buzz in tech circles and the features for the Rs 14,000 phone are easily comparable to features of phones in the range of Rs 30,000-35000 phones.

There are many ways in which Xiaomi is able to achive this-

1.) No print or tv advertising- Xiaomi markets its phone through tech blogs, strong community of Miui users and doesnt spend money on advertising resulting in lesser costs.

2.) Exclusive partnerships- The company sells the products through exclusive partnerships with ecommerce companies saving money on distribution channels.

3.) Selling products at cost/little above cost- There are theories that Xiaomi sells the product at cost or little over it and earns money through the ecosystem by selling themes etc which the user purchase to customise the phone.

Anyways so getting back to the review I had registered for the sale on Flipkart which was to start on 22nd July at 12:00 P.M. I tried buying the phone at about 12:30 P.M. and was successful. The phone was delivered on 26th July.

Tip: If you want to buy the phone try via flipkart app. There are more chances the transaction would be successful.

Packing and Unboxing-

The Mi3 comes in a very minimal cardboard packing.

Inside the box is a phone, a travel adapter, Usb cable, a short user guide explaining features of phone and the Miui, warranty information and a pin to eject the sim tray.

The charger is a 2amp adapter which shall charge the phone fast. However I found the quality of the adapter quite average. It looks like a cheap chinese adapter though the functioning was quite ok.


Mi3 unboxing

Mi3 travel adapter

I have used the phone for 4-5 hours so this is just a basic review as I could not check all the features. The first thing you notice is that the Mi3 has got excellent looks. The look and feel of the phone is premium.

I put My Samsung Galaxy I9500 S4 side by side and the Mi3 was easily looking the better of the 2.


The display is a 5 inch 1920X1080 full hd display and the screen quality is excellent. The display was fast and responsive and both the screen and the touch were comparable to premium phones unlike the other 15-20k range phones where you feel that the touch quality of the screen is not good enough.

Mi3 display

Mi3 lockscreen

Camera quality-

Havent been able to test the camera in detail. Took 2-3 photos and the camera quality looked excellent. Also what was noticable was the camera speed was quite fast even when taking multiple photos. No lag at all.

Sound quality-

There was no music preloaded on the phone so havent listened to any song. Though the ringtones sounded pretty feeble. If that is the maximum sound of the phone then I would have to say I am a bit disappointed. With that sound listening to incoming calls might be an issue in very noisy areas.

 Call quality-

 Didnt make any call so cannot say about the voice clarity or call drops if any.

Miui interface-

The interface is similar to Apple where there is no app drawer and all the things are placed on homescreen whether it be icon, apps, widgets or folders. I believe both users of Android and Apple would be able to make easy transition on Miui as it is similar to both.

Miui has some interesting features such as double tap on lock screen launch the music player which I found very good. Also a long press on the Home button activates the torch which is another handy feature. The other interesting features which I saw but havent tried are the ability to record calls, create a block list, do not disturb mode. 1 interesting feature I saw for missed calls was that it showed how many number of rings were there before the phone was cut! So if you are not around and see a missed call later you can find out whether it was by mistake or the person actually called.

As of now the phone looks very impressive with excellent tech specs and no real issues. The only complaint I have till now is that the ambient light sensor seems to be very very average. It is so slow in detecting light changes that initially I thought that it is faulty in the unit until I flashed a led torch right onto the light sensor and watched the screen dim very very slowly. I am surprised that this has been missed by other reviewers which makes Me wonder if it is an issue with My phone.

Apart from that the phone looks is totally value for Money and in the price range nothing comes close to the Xiaomi Mi3. Whether this phone would be a game changer in the Indian market would have to be seen but it has every chance of becoming one if there are no hardware issues and the service is good.

Mi3: The game changer