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IT News, Tech Information and Analysis News

Xiaomi strikes gold with Mi5 at the MWC 2016 Today

Xiaomi today unveiled the Mi5 phone at MWC Today. The Mi5 goes by the mantra it was promoted on being ‘Fast’. It powers on a Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB RAM and a 128 GB Flash Drive; which results on a high Antutu score of 142,084.  The snapdragon 820 has a KRYO CPU architecture change that gives the device a 200% performance increase with a 50% less power consumption when compared to the Snapdragon 810. The new LPDDR4 dual channel RAM gives a 100% performance improvement over the older one.

The Mi5 also comes with a UFS 2.0 Flash storage which gives 87% faster read and write speeds than the EMMC flash storage. The Mi5 also comes with a 3000mAh battery;  a USB Type C and supports Fast Charging (Quick Charge 3.0). The Mi5 supports VoLTE and 4G+ (LTE advanced) similar to the Gionee S8 which was announced couple of days back.

For the first time, Mi5 has come up with a hardware home button which also doubles as a finger print scanner. The Mi5 is a 5.15″ inch device and a 3D ceramic back on the top of the line variant, Mi5 Pro. It gives you a texture of a marble, but without the weight of it. The phone weighs about 129 grams.

The Mi5 also comes up with the latest Sony IMX298 16-megapixel camera sensor on the rear which shoots 4K videos; and 4MP 2 micron large pixel shooter on the front. The Mi5 also comes up with first of its kind, 4-axis OIS which would give you a far less shaky images and videos.

4-axis-ois-mi5

Here are some of the top features of the Mi5.

mi-5-features

The phone is going to be available in Gold, White and Black shades starting March 1st in China and will be available in India soon. The top of the line MI5 which is called MI5 Pro is priced at 2699 Yuan (354 USD). The rest of the models are listed below.

  • 1.8GHz SD 820, 3GB + 32GB, 3D Glass back – 1999 Yuan (262 USD)
  • 2.15GHz SD 820, 3GB + 64GB, 3D Glass back  – 2299 Yuan (300 USD)

At the event, Mi also announced that 70 million phones were sold in the year 2015. According to IDC, Xiaomi was the #1 trending smartphone brand in China and is also #5 worldwide. Mi had also filed 3600 patents last year. Further, Like every Mi event, there was a good amount of mention about the software, the MIUI which is one of the top reasons why one buys a Mi phone. MIUI now has about 170 million users worldwide. The Mi5 is going to be available with MIUI v7 which will be Mi’s first device running Android Marshmallow.

 

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Microsoft News

Microsoft is going to work with Xiaomi to test Windows 10

Microsoft is taking some fantastic steps to make Windows available to larger markets. While they forecast, they also understand the need to reach out to markets where pirated consumer computing exists. Its not just piracy, but also the brand association. Microsoft announced that, its going to work with Xiaomi to test Windows 10. Its indeed a very smart move that.

During the Windows Hardware Engineering Community conference in China, they announced a new program together with Xiaomi to test out Windows 10 on the Xiaomi Mi 4. This opens up a new mobile platform for Xiaomi and the preview is open to a selected group of Xiaomi Mi 4 power users. Those eligible will be invited to download Windows 10 Technical Preview and are encouraged to pass-on their feedback to Microsoft for improvements.

This is definitely a baby step but a very significant one. If it becomes a success and the ecosystem builds up, we can even see Xiaomi get into the Windows Tablet segment; affordable and quality work PCs.

Through a new program with Xiaomi, one of the top smartphone distributors in the world, a select group of Xiaomi Mi 4 power users will be invited to help test Windows 10 and contribute to its future release later this year. These power users will have the opportunity to download the Windows 10 Technical Preview – installing it and providing their feedback to Microsoft.

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News

Xiaomi Price MI4 for Rs 19,999 in India; Available on Feb 10

Mi India, one of the fastest growing mobile Internet companies in India, announced today the launch of its new flagship device, the Mi 4, for Rs. 19,999.

Mi 4 is a beautifully designed 5-inch device that is packed with powerful specs. It is powered by a 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor, comes equipped with 3GB of RAM and 16GB of internal memory and runs on a 3080 mAh battery. Mi 4 also includes a 13 -megapixel rear camera, and an impressive wide-angle (80°) front-facing camera of 8 megapixels, both with an unprecedented f1.8 aperture.

Mi 4 will be on sale on February 10, and pre- registrations for the device will start at 6pm on January 28 exclusively through its e-commerce partner, Flipkart.

IMG_2576

Mi India also took the wraps off MIUI 6, a major update to its Android ROM. MIUI 6 is MIUI redesigned in its simplest form, with beautiful colour and motion graphics throughout, and all unnecessary distractions stripped away so you can focus on your content. It is visually stunning, and amazingly simple. MIUI is one of the world’s most popular Android-based platforms with over 85 million users worldwide.

Hugo Barra, Vice President, Xiaomi Global, said: “I am truly excited to be bringing the Mi 4 to India, after listening to the feedback of so many fans. The Xiaomi team has put a lot of effort into designing a gorgeous device packed with powerful specs, and I trust that Mi 4 will be warmly welcomed by all our Indian fans. I believe India Mi fans will love MIUI 6, the most exciting update to our software platform to date.”

Manu Jain, Operations Head, Mi India, said: “The Mi 4 re-affirms our commitment to bring more Mi products to India. We will continue to work on offering our Mi fans incredible value as we introduce even more great devices in the coming year, and the best user experience ever.”

Mi 4 Specifications

  • 5-inch HD IPS LCD display, 1920 x 1080p Full HD (441 ppi)
  • 2.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor
  • Adreno 330 GPU
  • Super-slim Corning Glass with One Glass Solution (OGS) technology
  • 3080 mAh Lithium-ion polymer battery, Quick Charge 2.0
  • 3GB LPDDR3 RAM, 16GB eMMC 5.0 flash memory
  • 13MP rear camera (f1.8) and 8MP front camera (80° wide-angle, f1.8)
  • MIUI 6 based on Android 4.4.4

The Mi 4 will be supported by Mi India’s 66+ service centres, including five exclusive Mi service centres in Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Cochin to ensure a robust after-sales service and a hassle-free customer experience.

Source: Press Release

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IT News, Tech Information and Analysis Smartphones

Redmi Note 4G Review: Best Entry Level LTE Android Smartphone

I had a chance to review the Redmi Note 4G last week, which feels like the best entry level 4G Enabled Android SmartPhone in the market today. This phone is priced at INR 9999 (around 160 USD) in India and is available for sale on Flipkart and at Airtel Outlets.

Initial Impressions: The phone has a great build; however, it does feel slightly heavy though. The Redmi Note 4G has a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, supports microSD cards up to 64GB, and of course, you can use 4G networks. Redmi Note 4G runs on Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box. The back-panel of the phone can be removed; and that’s where you find the dual sim and the micro sd slots. The Note 4G supports 4G FDD-LTE (1800/2100MHz) & TDD-LTE (2600MHz) as well as 3G WCDMA (850/900/1900/2100MHz).

The display is only a 720p screen. However, its not much of a concern. It’s bright, the color reproduction looks neat and viewing angles are excellent too. Unlike the OnePlus One, the Redmi Note feels big and slightly heavy for its 5.5-inches size.

The phone is pretty neat in the camera department. It has an impressive 13MP rear camera and a 5MP front camera for selfies and video calls. The camera app is simple to use and its pretty fast at focusing & clicking. I will upload some samples in a couple of days. 

The software is what makes the phone more compelling a choice than others in this segment. The MIUI is very customisable and offers loads of themes if you would like different looks on your phone. I have already spoken about the MIUI software in my earlier reviews of Redmi 1S and MI3; this should give you some details on simple the UI feels.

Summing up the hardware feels good, the software is neat, the camera and display is fantastic in this range. If you’re looking for a phablet with good battery life and future-proof 4G support, then this device is definitely one of the great options you have. I can even say, this is one of the best entry level 4G powered Smartphones in India available today; If you are looking at an alternative, then Nokia Lumia 638 can be a good option too.

Experience at the Airtel Store: As a part of the feedback, I did go to their Indira Nagar outlet to try out the Redmi Note 4G.

Xiaomi has always been selling devices directly to customers thereby avoiding the additional costs in distributers/re-sellers and advertising. This time, they worked out a strategy to partner with Airtel who have also been aggressively advertising their 4G capabilities in the city (Bangalore).

Buying it at Airtel Store is going to be an easy solution for customers who aren’t e-commerce friendly, or believe in Flash sales. It also gives an opportunity for users to experience the device. This is an important deal breaker for many customers who always believe in seeing before buying it.

Further, there is no reason for them to wait for the shipment to arrive and have doubts whether they get a legitimate one. Buying the Redmi Note 4G at the Airtel Store means, you can just step in, feel the phone, experience the difference in between handsets running 3G and 4G; buy a phone and walk out with it. Airtel also offers a SIM adapter if you are already using a nano/micro SIM.

When I went into the store, the executives were very courteous and explained the device, like they would do to a layman. They were not just talking mere specs, but also the experiences. They also pitched in their 4G plans and features. They had a booth, where they had placed two Redmi Note phones (3G and 4G) and ran a speed-test, played a full HD video on YouTube etc to showcase the 4G speeds. No doubt, the speeds are top-notch. You get a consistent speed of around 35 Mbps.

Summing up, the Airtel experience was neat as well. Airtel is very keen to push 4G adoptions in India, and not every one can afford or be interested in buying an iPhone; they need some budget players and Redmi Note 4G is definitely one of them.

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IT News, Tech Information and Analysis News

Xiaomi’s Response to the recent Privacy and Security concerns

Xiaomi (now MI) was founded in 2010 and they have reached great heights in just 4 years. They’ve brought together some real smart people from Microsoft, Google, Motorola Yahoo and other big players in the industry with a focus of making great stuffs at affordable prices. They released Mi3 and RedMi 1S Smartphones in India this year.

Recently, they have been in news on some privacy and security concerns raised by few blogs where the Redmi 1S smartphone was sending back some data to servers in China. Ever since F-secure reported this, there has been various blogs/websites quoting the same and spinning different stories.

I did reach out to the leadership team of MI and this is what they have to say,

We are extremely cautious about protecting user data; we are 100% compliant with all local laws, including the ones related to data security.

We offer various internet based services such as Mi Cloud, cloud based message etc., which require data to be stored in the cloud. However, we take rigorous steps to ensure that the data is encrypted and secured while being sent to the server, and is not stored beyond the time required. In fact, we made changes to our system to ensure that Mi Cloud is by default deactivated, and does not send data to servers automatically. Only when a consumer consciously activates Mi Cloud services, the data is backed-up. We made these two blog posts in July and August, which explains the entire situation.

After we made these posts, various blogs updated their earlier stories confirming that there is no data threat from Xiaomi devices. This article confirms that the phones so not automatically send data to Mi Cloud anymore.

We are keen to clarify that Xiaomi is serious about user privacy and takes all possible steps to ensure our Internet services adhere to our privacy policy. We do not upload any personal information and data without the permission of users.

Earlier this year, Mi e-commerce Engineering teams started migrating their global e-commerce platforms and user data for all international users from the Beijing data centers to Amazon AWS data centers in California (USA) and Singapore.  They also began using Akamai’s global CDN infrastructure to speed up static page loads. This migration also includes Mi Account, Cloud Messaging and Mi Cloud services.

This migration process is expected to be completed by the end of October and will benefit users in all of their international markets — Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Taiwan.  Users are already experiencing website speed boosts of at least 30% in markets such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and as much as 200% in India. Hugo Barra explained the plans and schedule of server and data migration process in his post yesterday.

In India and Brazil, where Amazon AWS services aren’t yet available, Mi will be working with local data center providers to set up their service infrastructure.  Once that has been completed, users in these markets will be much closer to their data and enjoy even faster speeds by connecting to local servers; and most importantly, your data lives in your region.

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IT News, Tech Information and Analysis Smartphones

Xiaomi Redmi 1S Review: Is it the Best Entry Level Phone?

In this article, we review the Redmi 1S which looks like the best entry level Android SmartPhone in the market today. This phone is priced at INR 5999 (around 100 USD) in India and is all set to be available for sale on Flipkart. Xiaomi believes in the philosophy of selling devices directly to customers; that helps them manage to keep the prices competitive in the market.

This write-up concentrates on 5 key impact areas.

Hardware, Look and Feel:

The phone has a great build; however, it does feel plastic and doesn’t look a charmer like the MI3. It is 9.9 mm thin and weighs about 150 grams. This phone is powered with a 1.6 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor with Cortex-A7 core; 1 GB RAM, 8GB internal flash memory with external microSD slot that supports up to 64 GB and a dual sim support (WCDMA and GSM). The back-panel of the phone has a matte finish and can be removed; and that’s where you find the dual sim and the micro sd slots.

Please Note that this phone comes with Mini sim slot, and not the Micro sim one. According to the leadership team from Xiaomi India,  a sim-tray adaptor accessory would be shipped along, when you order the phone via Flipkart. If not the initial stock, the future ones would come along with a free adaptor. 

sim-sdcard-slots
KM9A0210-193x300Redmi 1S offers a 4.7-inch 720p IPS display which delivers superfine text and crisp photos. This is currently the only smartphone in this segment that offers a 720p HD display screen. The display is bright when used indoors and offers decent visibility on a sunny day. The front glass is also made with a AGC Dragontrail™ scratch-resistant material.

When this phone was announced last week, Hugo Barra, the Vice President of Xiaomi did boast about the display’s high resistance features and almost guaranteed protection from common scratches. He even tried scratching the phone with a scissors at the press-meet. This phone does take some decent stress tests and accidental falls; however, not sure, if the glass is shatter proof.

This phone also has a battery of 2000mAh. I personally love the idea of the replaceable battery. I don’t like tagging a portable charger along with my phone while I use. I would rather prefer swapping the empty one with a fully charged battery and recharge the other one. You also have an accessory (have to buy it separately) which can charge the battery when connected to power.

battery-charger-accesory

Redmi 1S also has a 8MP rear camera with ƒ/2.2 aperture for 1080p video recording and a front 1.6MP camera.

redmi-1s-camera

 

The specs are decent for an entry level smartphone and has a pretty good Antutu benchmark score above 21,000. The call quality is pretty good; the in-call volume could have been better. In the specs department, this scores a good 7 out of 10.

Software, User Experience:

Redmi 1S runs on MIUI (v5 as of now), An Android-based platform with a very user friendly experience and offering power users a high degree of customization too. If I can summarize the User Experience in one word, it would be integration. Just have a look at this feature where when you call someone you do have an option of taking a quick note and record the call integrated so well. The presentation mode is yet another killer option. You just need to pull down an app icon and you get a quick preview of the app for easy access.

selective-app-cleanThis simple trick of selective app kill is a slick one. You can pretty much choose which application to keep it running while you close the rest of them. You do have an option to clear app memory selectively or all together. There are tons of more features which make this UI special and its definitely worth spending sometime on this.

Many a times it happens, with most of the vendor customization of Android, the OS turns out to be too slow and less responsive. However, this one looks an exception; the phone is definitely much faster than the other ones in the market, especially in this segment.

securityThe MIUI gives you an option to control the data transfer on your mobile data; to add its not just about setting up the limit. You can pretty much drill down to specific applications and configure the data utilization in it.

A very simple interface which shows what type of media is using up the most disk space; its not just disk, but also provides an option with both Application and Hardware Level details on Power usage. Everything from what runs and what’s visible can be secured. Be it blocking application, or even secret messaging. This is a killer feature. If you scroll down your messages and keep doing it, it takes you to a secret messaging screen; It shows as a private message and sender when you add a contact as a secret contact.

The phone supports themes out of the box, so you can easily customise the look by downloading one of the many themes from the MIUI theme store. The MIUI is currently running on Android 4.3 and we can expect a software update in the coming days.

lite-modeThe company has added a new Lite Mode to this phone which makes things very simple for users. Lite Mode gives users access to large buttons on the home screen, with the most basic apps with a very tiled User Experience (similar to those of Windows Phones). Users can choose any app or quick contacts to be displayed on the home screen.

This feature is targeted at someone who is just switching from a basic phone or a feature phone to the smartphone segment; or for elderly users. For e.g.: You would buy a Xiaomi MI3 for yourself and get a Redmi 1S for your parents.
xiaomi-lite-mode

The UI is not as snappy as it was on the Xiaomi MI3; however, considering the segment of the phone and the use-cases, this definitely is worth the bucks. However, if you are planning to run CPU intensive applications/games, this phone is definitely going to lag and heat-up. On the software experience, I would rate it a 8 out of 10.

Camera:

The camera on the Redmi 1S is decent and does click good pictures. The details of the photograph aren’t very sharp and they look a little low on contrast. There are better phones out there which sport a 8MP camera and are fantastic in image quality (they are priced high as well). This isn’t a bad performer but definitely not the best one either. The camera takes very good pictures under goodlighting; the low light performance isn’t very impressive. Again, considering the segment of the phone, this is indeed a good one.

In the camera department, I would rate it a 6 out of 10.

sample1

sample1

sample1

Pros and Cons, Value for Money:

This is a no brainer. The phone a definite value for money. Postives of this phones are the Price, Display and the Camera features in the hardware side. Like I mentioned earlier in the Xiaomi MI3 review, the software MIUI is definitely going to be one of the strongest differentiator when compared to other phones in this segment. If I have to talk about the negatives, we are asking a little too much from this phone. When you run CPU intensive Applications or Games, The device does heat-up and the performance is sluggish as well.

The Redmi 1S will be supported by Xiaomi’s 35+ service centres across India including two exclusive Mi service centres in Delhi and Bangalore to ensure a robust after-sale service and a hassle-free customer experience, with four more exclusive Mi service centres coming online in the next 2 months in Chennai, Gurgaon, Hyderabad and Mumbai.

If you are considering buying the Moto E, I would definitely recommend you to have a look at this phone as well. There are some minor software bugs which I’m sure, can be fixed via OTA updates. Following the MI3 model of Tuesday sales, this phone is also going to be available for at 2:00 PM IST for general public. As per the reports, there is going to be a total of 40,000 units up for sale tomorrow. Hope it doesn’t last in yet another ‘Fastest Finger First’ buy..!

The Redmi 1S gives you an exceptional value for money in a low-budget smartphone segment. Overall, I would rate this phone a good 8 out of 10. Now, I wouldn’t expect these numbers to be compared to my early reviews. These ratings are w.r.t to the segments they belong to. Hope this article was helpful. Do let me know your comments and thoughts below. If you liked this article, please do share and subscribe. Thank you!

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IT News, Tech Information and Analysis

Redmi 1S to Launch in India at Rs 5,999 on September 2nd

MI India today announced that its second smartphone release, the Redmi 1S, will be on sale from 2pm on September 2nd at Rs 5,999/- and pre-registrations for device will begin on August 26th at 6pm exclusively through its e-commerce partner, Flipkart. Similar to the MI3, The Redmi 1S will be available only to those who have registered by midnight on September 1st at www.flipkart.com/Mi and they will be eligible to purchase the phone from September 2nd onwards. Redmi 1S is going to be powered with –

  • 4.7-inch 1280 x 720 (HD) IPS display delivers superfine text and crisp photos.
  • AGC Dragontrail™ scratch-resistant glass.
  • 1.6 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor with Cortex-A7 core for amazing performance with great battery life with and an Antutu benchmark score above 21,000.
  • 1 GB RAM, 8GB internal flash memory with external microSD slot that supports up to 64 GB
  • Dual SIM – WCDMA slot for 3G data and GSM slot for 2G
  • 8MP rear camera with ƒ/2.2 aperture for 1080p video recording and a front 1.6MP camera.

For the complete list of Technical Specifications, read here.

Please Note that Redmi 1S comes with Mini sim slot, and not the Micro sim slot.

KM9A0169Talking about the Redmi 1S, Hugo Barra, Vice President, Xiaomi Global, said, “The Redmi 1S is the first phone of the Redmi family made available in India. It offers the best quality and user experience and at a very affordable price point. The device offers a great 720p HD screen, an 8MP camera that delivers superfine quality images, great battery life and a range of software features as part of MIUI v5 that will make every Redmi 1S owner very happy. ” The Redmi 1S will be supported by Xiaomi’s 35+ service centres across India including two exclusive Mi service centres in Delhi and Bangalore to ensure a robust after-sale service and a hassle-free customer experience, with four more exclusive Mi service centres coming online in the next 2 months in Chennai, Gurgaon, Hyderabad and Mumbai.

If you still thinking of buying a Xiaomi MI3, this review will help you take a decision!

 

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IT News, Tech Information and Analysis

Planning to buy a Xiaomi MI3? This Short Review might help you!

Welcome to this review of the Xiaomi MI3. Before I get to the device, let me start you a quick overview on this company.

Xiaomi was founded in 2010 and they have reached great heights in just 4 years. They’ve brought together some real smart people from Microsoft, Google, Motorola Yahoo and other big players in the industry with a focus of making great stuffs at affordable prices. Mi 3 is Xiaomi’s highest performing smartphone and has been in news for a while now. They have a philosophy of selling devices directly to customers; that helps them manage to keep the prices competitive

leadership-team
Hugo speaks about the strength of the leadership team at one of the press meets.

Alright, lets look at the device. First, through the specs.

1. Technical Specifications:

This phone has a 5-inch Full HD 1080p IPS display. Inside the box, you have a 2.3 Ghz Snapdragon processor and a 2GB RAM to match the processing needs. It has a 13-megapixel rear camera with dual-LED flash and a 2MP front camera. Let’s talk about the camera functions and Battery life in a while. Other bits include a 16GB for storage (with a very good read speed), dual-band WiFi and NFC too. Given the 8.1mm body thickness, the 3,050mAh battery is quite impressive. – For a detailed Tech Spec Sheet, download this PDF.

xiaomi-mi3

The specs looks really brilliant; almost in the lines of any top end Android Smartphones. So in the specs department, this scores a good 4 out of 5.

2. User Experience:

This phone runs on MIUI, An Android-based platform with a very user friendly experience and offering power users a high degree of customisation too. If I can summarize the User Experience in one word, it would be integration. Just have a look at this feature where when you call someone you do have an option of taking a quick note and record the call integrated so well. The presentation mode is yet another killer option. You just need to pull down an app icon and you get a quick preview of the app for easy access.

selective-app-cleanThough KitKat has a great feature of Garbage collectors, this simple trick of selective app kill is a slick one. You can pretty much choose which application to keep it running while you close the rest of them. You do have an option to clear app memory selectively or all together.

There are tons of more features which make this UI special and its definitely worth spending sometime on this.

Many a times it happens, with most of the vendor customizations of Android, the OS turns out to be too slow and less responsive. However, this one looks an exception; the phone is definitely much faster than the other ones in the market, especially in this segment.

security The MIUI gives you an option to control the data transfer on your mobile data; to add its not just about setting up the limit. You can pretty much drill down to specific applications and configure the data utilisation in it.

A very simple interface which shows what type of media is using up the most disk space; its not just disk, but also provides an option with both Application and Hardware Level details on Power usage.

Everything from what runs and what’s visible can be secured. Be it blocking application, or even secret messaging. This is a killer feature. If you scroll down your messages and keep doing it, it takes you to a secret messaging screen; It shows as a private message and sender when you add a contact as a secret contact.  You will see a review video in a couple of days. 

The phone supports themes out of the box, so you can easily customise the look by downloading one of the many themes from the MIUI theme store. The MIUI is currently running on Android 4.4.2 and we can expect a software update in the coming days.

In the UX department, I would rate it a 4 out of 5.

3. Camera

The Mi 3 comes with a 13-megapixel rear camera with f/2.2 aperture and dual-LED flash as well as a 2-megapixel front camera. The camera is pretty decent and does click pretty good pictures. The details of the photograph aren’t very sharp and they look a little high on contrast. Hugo was a big fan of the HDR results from this camera and I am quite happy of this camera.

Here are some sample pictures clicked out of this phone.

picture_1

picture_2

The details are pretty impressive.

details

In the camera department, I would rate it a 3 out of 5.

4. Display, Look and Feel, Call Quality:

With a 5-inch Full HD 1080p IPS display. The screen is really crisp and has some great viewing angles as well. The device feels very light; and though its made of plastic, it doesn’t make it look cheap at all. The quality still matches with premium smart-phones from other vendors. Most importantly its portable and the 5 inch screen doesn’t feel too big too. The call quality is pretty decent and the music on loudspeakers are good too. Its strange that the headset doesn’t come in the box; you will have to buy one separately for the same.

On the Looks, feel and Display, I would rate it a 4 out of 5 again.

Pros and Cons:

Great hardware, a fantastic User Experience and most importantly an attractive price are the Pros of this device. Talking about Cons, well, one thing which stands out is the lack of the external micro-sd cards and only 16GB version is available in India right now. With 16GB storage, the usable memory is just about 12 Gigs. I dont see this to be too big a problem, considering the options of OTGs and Cloud Storage. However, if you love using lots of apps and end up installing the same on this phone, you may see a little lag or disk space issues.

Value for Money:

Well, if you do a list check on the specs and the price, this phone sounds fantastic. Ofcourse, the bench-mark scores are also in its favour too.

The USP of this device is not its price; but the User Experience what the MIUI has to offer!

However, You can never buy a phone just because it has great specs. You buy it for its reliability, design, style and most importantly, the user-experience. I would say, the USP of this device is not its price; but the User Experience what the MIUI has to offer. Xiaomi has made a great hardware which runs their MIUI better; and they have managed to make something at a lesser price. I wont call it cheap, because the phone definitely doesn’t feel cheap at all.

So Summing up, this device scores a good 3.5 out of 5. If you are considering for more options, then OnePlus One is definitely another great device which you should look at. Read the detailed review of the OnePlus One to understand why its called a Flagship Killer.

Suggestion to Xiaomi:

  • In India, Most of us love to experience the device and then buy it. It becomes hard for people to just buy a cell-phone online with just its vibes or reviews. As much as I understand the users can be the best evangelists for Xiaomi, we will need to see more experience zones/stores where people can try these phones.
  • Smart Marketing of having a fixed set of units/slots is pretty good in creating a strong vibes and curiosity in the market; however, in a country like India where we have new devices coming in market almost every other day, people may lose interest in waiting to buy a Xiaomi MI3. So heaping up the stocks may certainly help.
  • Would love to see a Micro-SIM than a standard one in the next versions; and preferably a dual sim.
  • With the news of MI4 already in rumours, some people may just end up waiting for the next version to come up in the market. We need a little more focus on product launches and their timelines so that, it matches the global market.
  • We will need to see more service centers coming in different parts of the country to manage the problems if any. I would also love to see some statistics on how safe this phone is going to be.
  • Somewhere the entire product lines is impressed with Apple; be it the design, names or even the fonts. You need to have a differentiator to stand out in the market; that cannot be just the price. It has to be something more which you folks have to come up with. Otherwise, people are just going to call you, ‘Afforable Apple’.

btw, here are some questions which you folks had posted on Facebook.

  1. Native Fonts:  We are going to have support and translation for various Indian Languages. The forum has lots of information on that and how can you contribute in this effort. So if you are a language expert, you may be of a help there.
  2. Service Centers: Xiaomi has also set up 35+ service centers, with a quite a few more to come, across India including two exclusive Mi service centers in Delhi and Bangalore to ensure a robust after-sale service and a hassle-free customer experience. For the complete list of Service Centers, click here
  3. Updates – Android L :The Company is working on the latest kitkat update for their MIUI; and they are going to roll it out as soon as possible. They did accept that, they aren’t in the front seat on OS updates; but they are not behind.. when you compare it with other vendors.
  4. When are we getting 32gb and 64 GB versions of Mi3 in India?: NO, for MI3 we may just see the 16GB models. However, on the future releases we may see more variants coming up.
  5. Does the Phone have a Gorilla Glass? – Yes, the MI3 in India is going to come with a Corning Gorilla Glass.
  6. Chinese Texts in Presentations: The product team is now notified and they would update their presentation materials and videos to other languages to match the audience.
  7. Flipkart only or retail markets?: Well, if you are in India, you can buy a MI3 only through Flipkart. Flipkart is the launch partner for Xiaomi in India and I’m not sure if Xiaomi will be keen to have some retailers in India. at least, not right now. You can buy it from Flipkart here.

Here are some of the accessories for the MI3 and other phones from Xiaomi. Not all of them are available in India at this point of time.

back-covers

Additional Lens attachment for Wide Angle and Macro pictures.
Additional Lens attachment for Wide Angle and Macro pictures.

mobile-stand

Hopefully this quick review would’ve helped you in making a decision about this phone. Do let me know your thoughts and questions if any.