Friday, July 4, 2014

Initial Impressions: Xiaomi Mi 3

Bang for your Buck is an understatement

Xiaomi has finally reached Philippine shores and it’s leading with its best foot forward – the Mi 3 smartphone. The flagship has been welcomed with much gusto – selling a whopping 3,000 units within just two hours during its debut flash sale at Lazada Philippines last 26 June.

After playing around with it for a few days, I got a first-hand take on why it has been selling like pancakes not just in the Philippines, but also in other Asian countries like Singapore and Malaysia.
I’ll start off by saying how hard it is to believe that Xiaomi has been able to bring the price of the Mi 3 to a jaw-dropping P10,599 considering its impressive spec sheet on par with today’s popular flagships. And if the flash sales are any indication, its rivals should start paying attention.

Xiaomi Mi 3 Philippines

The Xiaomi Mi 3 greets you with 5-inch full HD 1080p IPS LCD screen with a pixel density of 441 pixels per inch. The color reproduction is fairly neutral but can be tweaked in the settings menu. However, the phone is on the tall side. The Xiaomi logo is embedded behind the screen on the top left corner.

Xiaomi Mi 3 Philippines

At a mere 8.1mm, the Mi 3 a fairly thin device as thick as a Samsung Galaxy S5 but not as thin the 7.6 mm iPhone 5s. It’s not feather-light, weighing in at 145g, but the added heft gives it a more premium feel.

Also giving it a premium look is its faux aluminum body which bloggers globally have mistaken to be actual metal. The design is reminiscent of the boxy Nokia Lumia series smartphones. It comes in two colors - metallic grey and black - but the former will be the only variant that will be introduced in the Philippines initially.

Xiaomi Mi 3 Philippines

On top of the Mi 3 is a SIM tray slot that accommodates old-fashioned standard SIM card, since it comes from China where the form factor is still use. The phone does not come with an adapter out of the box so be sure to have one if you're switching from a micro- or nano-SIM.

Xiaomi Mi 3 Philippines

The only physical buttons on the device are its volume rocker and the power button on the right hand side of the device in that order. The home, back and menu buttons are all capacitive.

Xiaomi Mi 3 Philippines

At the bottom is a standard micro-USB port and speaker grills that seem to have been meticulously drilled. The Mi 3 has a matte finish all throughout, making it especially friendly to users with greasy hands.

The back of the phone is fairly plain where you’ll find an f2.2 13-megapixel rear camera with dual-LED flash. The back cover can’t be removed, making its 3050mAh battery non-user replaceable.  Also absent is a memory slot, leaving user stuck with 16 gigabytes worth of onboard memory. A 64 gig model does exist but has yet to be offered in the country.

Xiaomi Mi 3 Specifications and Features
5-inch full HD 1080p IPS LCD display
2.3GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800
Adreno 330 GPU
16GB internal storage
13MP f/2.2 main camera; 2MP front facing camera
3050mAh battery
Bluetooth 4.0
DC-HSPA+ up to 42Mbps

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