Xiaomi Mi3 review – Awesomely Awesome!

Mi3 comes with 3 things that makes it awesome – the hardware, build quality and the price. For Rs. 13,999 you get the same stuffs that you would usually find on a premium handset for almost double the price tag. The Xiaomi Mi3 clearly beats all handsets in this price rage.

Box pack
The moment you look at the box and hold it in your hand, you get the sense of satisfaction and the unboxing excitement doubles up. The box itself is of a premium quality, it is simple and really tough. Inside the box you will find the Mi3, travel charger, data cable, SIM tray ejector pin (that is very cleverly packed), user guide and warranty statement. Earphone is not included.

Design, Display and OS
The Mi3 is impressive, build quality is just too good – it’s of the kind that you would get on a premium handset. The handset is light weight at 144 grams and dimensions are 73.95 x 144.29 x 7.96mm. The SAR Value are mentioned on the back it is 1.1W/Kg Max well within the 1.6W/kg limit.

The back is with metallic finish, it’s shiny silver colour and is a little slippery, so be extra careful with that. The back panel completely covers up the handset (non-removable), it is made of plastic, but don’t feel like one. The front, back, top and bottom are flat. The left and the right sides are curved. There are no sharp edges.

Xiaomi Mi3 box pack

Volume rockers / power button are on the right. Micro USB and speaker vent are placed at the bottom. 3.5mm audio jack and SIM tray are on the top. You will need to use the ejector pin to eject the tray, it is a bit hard, and you will need to apply some extra force.

There are dual Mic for noise suppression and I believe there are 3 microphones. One is placed within the speaker vent, another near the SIM tray (the 4 tiny holes) and another one dedicated for the rear camera.

Xiaomi Mi3 review and unboxing

The capacitive touch screen is 5 inches IPS Retina display with 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution. Viewing angles, touch response is just great. Make sure you remove the protective film (it is mentioned on the film – some users were actually using it with the film). The screen is visible under direct sunlight. At certain angles you will see some dotted matrix on the screen – it is normal, it is easily visible when you are viewing the screen under direct sunlight.

There is LED notification and you can also select the colours – check video review.

Xiaomi Mi3 review

Does Xiaomi Mi3 comes with Corning Gorilla Glass protection?
Well it is not mentioned on the box, but I did a scratch test and yes it does have some kind of scratch protection to certain extent.

There are a lot of sensors – accelerometer, magnetic, gyro, light, barometer, temperature and proximity.

The Xiaomi Mi3 sails on MiUi Version 5 based on Android 4.4.2. The handset was launched a few days back and there is already and upgraded MiUi 5 version – make sure you update to the latest version.

Xiaomi Mi3 SIM tray

Memory and Storage
The Mi3 comes with 2GB RAM and 16GB storage. Of the 16GB storage you get about 11 GB free and of the 2GB RAM you get around 1GB free. There is no external card slot, so you are left with just 11 GB of space. The good thing is that OTG works and you can connect an external pen drive using the OTG cable.

Xiaomi Mi3 Mic (4 dots), SIM tray and 3.5mm audio jack

Performance
The box pack clearly says it is 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad core 8274AB processor; however some of the apps might report it as Snapdragon 801 which is incorrect. Actually Snapdragon had launched 8274AB, 8674AB, 8974AB – 8x74AB series and some benchmark apps will report it as any of these. Antutu Benchmark however shows the correct chipset MSM8274AB with Adreno 330 GPU.

The performance is buttery smooth and the MiUi is another highlight. It is new interface and will take some time getting used to, but it completely changes the user android experience. The hardware is powerful and can easily play many high end games.

By default the battery is set to balance power setting, if you change it to high performance the benchmark scores improve a little bit.

Benchmark scores

AppResult
Quadrant17049
Antutu27835 (with high performance mode   = 30609) with high performance mode and reboot = 34507.
VellamoBrowser (1807) Metal (1208) Multicore (1485)
Nenamark 260fps
Multi Touch10 point

Gaming – Asphalt 8 on Mi3
I installed the Asphalt 8 and could play this game easily in the highest visual mode. Game play is very smooth. When playing this game make sure not to completely cover up the speaker that is on the bottom, or the sound volume will suddenly drop.

Sound
I have added this section especially for the Mi3, because there is a lot to talk about. The earphone is not included in the box, however you can use other earphones or headsets. I tried my Samsung earphone and surprisingly the volume buttons on the earphone worked.

In fact there are options to enable dirac sound that gives awesome audio quality – it works with earphones/headphones only. The in-call sound with dual mic suppression switched on is just unbelievably. I have never experienced such great in-call sound quality during a call even in noisy environment (can other users confirm this?).

The speaker sound is loud and clear.

Camera and Entertainment
There is 13MP rear camera and 2MP front camera. Both cameras are with BSI sensors and can shoot 1080p videos. The dual LED flash doesn’t really help. The camera quality is very good, though at times it is not able to focus close objects.

I am not particularity happy with the HDR mode, but overall the camera is really good. 1080p videos are also very good. I shot these images / videos on a cloudy day, probably under direct sunlight the output will be even better. The front camera can detect face, age, gender and can enhance skin tones.

The handset can play full HD videos with ease using MX player. I even tried a 4K video and it worked in both H/W and S/W mode, probably because of EMMC 16GB storage that is very fast. If you are copying data from PC to the Mi3 it will copy much faster. You can also play 4K video via the pen drive connected with an OTG cable.

Xiaomi Mi3 13MP rear AF camera with dual LED flash

Others
This handset comes with a single SIM slot, you need a normal SIM. 3G (H+), Wi-Fi, GPS, NFC (Android Beam) and Bluetooth worked well. GPS is with A-GPS and GLONASS – got the lock instantly (It did not work indoors on my Mi3 handset.)

MiUi is cool and it comes with lot themes that you can download. The themes are awesome and some completely changes the looks and the way it works.

Another interesting thing is in the data usage option, you can enable / disable data usage using 3G or Wi-Fi or both. For example you can enable data usage using 3G / Wi-Fi for WhatsApp and disable both for MX Player. So next time you are watching movies on MX player (with 3G / Wi-Fi switched on) there will be no ads.

This option will help save bandwidth on unwanted data usage a common issue faced by many users.

Battery
There is built-in battery of 3050 mAh capacity. The handset did get heated up but that is within the normal limits. The max temperature I encountered was 42 degrees. Heat up is not a big issue make sure you keep the battery power setting to balanced.

TaskTimeBattery drop (%) (max temp)
Running Benchmark apps23 minutes8% (37)
1080p video with Wi-Fi on + full brightness27 minutes8% (36)
Asphalt 811 minutes4% (38)

Looking at the above stats you can easily expect a usage time of up to 5 hours or more from a single charger. When the battery was at 4% I put it on charging (wall charger), it got charged to 42% in 1 hour 4 minutes and at 97% in about 2 hours 2 minutes. 97% to 100% took about 20 to 30 minutes. The handset can be fully charged via wall charger in less than 3 hours.

Xiaomi Mi3 hands on

Verdict
Without any doubt, Mi3 with Snapdragon 800 quad core chipset @ 2.3GHz clearly is a winner in this price tag. The product quality and finishing is just too good. Mi3 beats the Motorola Moto G and is near about the same as compared with the Alcatel OneTouch Idol X+. Though I think the Idol X+ camera is a little better but look wise the Mi3 clearly wins. Plus there are many other things that go in favour of Mi3.

Getting your Mi3 may not be that easy, but you will get multiple chances, for now try booking via FlipKart on 29th July 2PM.

Xiaomi Mi3 rating - 4.5 out of 5 (Decimal not allowed in the rating box below).

Update: Those facing network issues try this go to settings – mobile network – preferred network type – and either choose 2G network only or 3G network Only. Restart the phone and it should work.

Mi3 Handset Gallery


Camera Sample – shot using the Mi3 handset


Front Camera Sample


Xiaomi Mi3 full Review

1080p video shot using the Mi3 handset

Xiaomi Mi3 can play 4K video from internal and from a pendrive (OTG)

Summary
Reviewer
Gogi Rana
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Xiaomi Mi3
Author Rating
4

{ 611 Responses }

  1. Sandeep says

    Dear sir, my problem is that my mi3 is not showing accurate gps position. This is my second mi3. I had no problem in 1st one. The first was running on miui 23,this on is miui 34.

  2. dheeraj says

    Hi gogi sir.m using mi3 from last 10 days.when m going to switch on the phone it show redline on the screen(below).plz help

  3. George` says

    Hi Gogi, I recently got an Mi3. Overall I am very happy with the handset. Right now the handset running MIUI-KXDMIBH34.0. Sometimes during browsing the net, I am getting the message the OS stopped working. Also the images are very hazy when using flash. Any pointers to solve these problems?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Gogi RanaGogi Rana says

      George, try downloading some other browser and see if you are facing the issue, you can try clearing the browser cache in settings, apps. The LED flash on mobile phones are not that great, avoid using it if the results are not that great (sometimes it looks good some time it does not).

      • George says

        Thanks Gogi for taking time and replying. I have the same issue with Google Chrome as well (this I experienced before writing the first comment). Anyway I will check the other options.

        Regarding camera your observations are perfect.

  4. sai kiran says

    Hi Gogi when I am using a back cover the sensor provided beside the camera gets covered, what is that sensor and will there be any problem.

  5. pankaj says

    Gogi sir my mi3 showing qualcom snapdragon 801 msm8974pro-AB chip set but company box show Qualcomm snapdragon 800 msm 8274AB chip set.wht is the difference 801 8974 and 8274.my mi3 antutu benchmark 38238 high performance mode.

  6. pankaj says

    Gogi sir my mi3 showing chipset is qualcom snapdragon 801 msm8974pro-AB. But company mention on box 800 msm8274AB. what that difference 8974 and 8274.

  7. Shubham says

    Sir, i got my Mi3 today and i am noticing that it gets hot at the earpiece. Is it normal or is it a defect in my phone?

    • Gogi RanaGogi Rana says

      Yes, but if it gets too hot then it could be a defect. Use CPU Z app and check the battery temp. If you are outdoor then consider the outdoor temp. And if this is happening with specific app then use that app with frequent breaks.

  8. ks says

    Hi Gogi
    just got and update MIUI KXDMIBH34.0 STABLE. Should I update? i am asking because i have ready somewhere that after updating having problems? please suggest.

    • Mohan says

      You Are lucky that you did not got MI 3……. I am banging my head on wall…
      (1) no driver….. and now it is showing it as CD Rom in my PC
      (2) PC suit is only in chinees……… GRRRRRRRRR

      Neither I can transfer any file in it nor the Address Book……….about 1000 + in numbers

      Every time ihad to copy it from my old phone and exporting to mi 3

      our own products are better, at least we can use it

  9. Sandeep says

    Dear gogi brother , My problem is, I had updated my apps from playstore through wifi network,
    but now I can’t download any apps from playstore using Mobile data network.
    What’s the problem,
    can anyone Slove my this problem ?

  10. rahul says

    Sir xiaomi mi3 will be again available in india before this diwali via flipkart?? This is now a golden chance to grab this phone??

  11. madhu says

    Can anyone help me? I m unable to download songs from any of the sites, even from WhatsApp also,(like if anyone sent me), why is that so?

  12. Rajendra says

    Gogi ji sir it’s mean moto g.’s battery is equal to mi 3. How is it. 3050mah vs 2070mah and full HD video playback is more on moto g?

  13. kishor says

    Hi Gogi,
    100 Beta Testers Wanted for MIUI 6 International Version!

    Any body wants to register for testing shall apply for this.

  14. Raja Sekhar says

    Hi gogi. Regarding MI3, While recording videos the quality of the video is very good. Voice is good when i play it in phone but when i played the same video in laptop the voice is not that great.. lot of fluctuations are there.. I guess it has dual noise cancellation mic, then why is this problem?? Can u help me regarding this. How can i improve this??
    Note: I recorded the stage performances where lot of speakers were surrounded.

      • Raja Sekhar says

        Thank you for the reply gogi. I tried both ways and the sound was same… In normal environment (like recording a normal speech without mics and speakers) it works fine, the sound is decent..

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