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[electronic] Xiaomi Mi3

Official site : http://www.mi.com/en/mi3

Part 1 – Why?

From my previous posts about my handphone history (click here and here for my review), I have used Symbian phone (Nokia), Blackberry, and Android (Sony), plus an IOS tablet.

Decided to stay on Android (long story), an exploding brand of Xiaomi catched my attention. It all started when I noticed Lazada Redmi 1S promotion.

So I tried to find out more about the brand, and then this video really had me.

People may be intrigued to comment how similar the setting compared to Apple event, but for me, the video is a very good and simple presentation :
a. Xiaomi uses the same component as any top tier Android phone at that time.
b. Xiaomi builds their own MIUI, an amazing differentiation to other Android phone.
c. Xiaomi sells at less than 50% of other top tier Android phone price.

Lei Jun (CEO) had me when he said “The most important thing is that we sell them with the most honest price.

Cheap has been common strategy for every manufacturer who cannot be giant like Samsung or Apple. But I think Xiaomi does this in a remarkable way. They sell at a very cheap price.

Quality? Dumping? I think it’s distribution and branding cost. In Indonesia, Xiaomi has sold at least 25,000 units of Redmi 1S in three sessions, each lasted below 20 minutes.

They did it without marketing cost (no ads, no event).
They use online store (no rental cost, no salesman).
Only two tier reseller (the national distributor and Lazada).
They do bulk buying and via online (no inventory keeping).
No discount, no gimmick. Just a simple (and very low) price tag.

But what about the spec?

Look at the spec comparison between Mi3 vs Galaxy S5 from GSM Arena here (http://www.gsmarena.com/compare.php3?idPhone1=5678&idPhone2=6033). Not so different.

And now, the price. I bought my Mi3 at IDR 3.0 millions, while S5 (at this very moment) is at IDR 6.6 millions.

Some highlight on differences that are worth mentioning :

  • Mi3 battery3050 mAh, while S5 has 2800 mAh
  • Mi3 cannot have MicroSD card expansion (you have to live with built-in capacity). But for me, 16 GB is more than enough, because I don’t use my phone as storage.
  • S5 has capability of UltraHD recording, Waterproof, and LTE. But I don’t need them.

Part 2 – Is It Good?



I agree to this reasoning : spec does not matter – in the end, what matter is the experience.

First of all, maybe it’s part of experience, but for now, let’s forget about pride.

After two weeks, I am very impressed  by Mi3 performance.

If I compare to my previous device (Sony Xperia SP), Sony puts too much attention to apps and entertainment. While Xiaomi uses the MIUI to create a unique and integrated performance with the device. MIUI provides the launcher, basic apps, and most importantly, advanced setting on hardware. Even ROOT is an option!

Here’s other fun details.

a. Battery

In Mi3, I don’t install any battery optimizer. In two weeks, the 3000mAh battery never fails me. Even in the worst condition when I abused the data usage on the way to Jakarta office, and made a lot of calls. The battery can survive until the very near of office hour end of day.

b. It’s Fast

The main screen menu, the camera, the messaging, the music player… very sleek.

c. Theme Customisation

The theme customisation is very modular. The lock screen type (how you unlock the phone). Icon, font, boot animation, favourite, alarm, even the dial pad, you can customise.

It’s fun, because, in the end, phone is very personal item.

d. Little Great Things from MIUI

  • The selfie mode can detect your gender and age.
  • The contact can be shown in Outlook group AND Google contact group. The same contact name can be merged.
  • From the lock screen, you can directly access your camera, messaging, call mode, music player, and torch.
  • MIUI gives you security module that can track your data usage, manage blacklist, manage security permission of each apps, and do clean up. No more searching for the best Android utility apps.


VERDICT : If you have used both Android and iPhone you will feel that Android is a raw platform. You are required to find the RIGHT apps, even to optimize the device.

With Mi3, that feeling is gone. You feel that you own AN INTEGRATED DEVICE. I discarded almost all utility apps I used in my previous Android device.

A great product. A promising brand. Other top tier, beware!


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