After a long wait Xiaomi has finally debuted in India with its current Mi 3 flagship smartphone. Priced at Rs 13,999, the Xiaomi Mi 3 boasts pretty high-end specifications that one usually finds in smartphones priced upwards of Rs 25,000. But will hardware specifications be enough to entice consumers to invest in a relatively unknown brand in India? We spent some time with the Xiaomi Mi 3 and here are our first impressions. Also Read - Qualcomm introduces Snapdragon 750 5G chipset for mid-range phonesAlso Read - Huawei files patent for another phone with under-display camera
The first thing we noticed about the Mi 3 is its build quality. The design looks very Nokia Lumia-like with curved edges and flat top where the SIM card slot resides. However, the build quality is nothing like Nokia’s Lumia’s polycarbonate plastic or anything we have seen from any other smartphone available there. The plastic body feels like anodized aluminum metal body looks premium, feels smooth and exudes a sense of high quality craftsmanship. It certainly doesn’t look like a sub-Rs 15,000 product full marks to Xiaomi for that.
The Mi 3 runs on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 chipset with 2GB RAM, 16GB of internal storage but sadly no microSD card slot. During the brief time we spent with the device, things moved at a pretty fast clip without any noticeable lag.
The 5-inch 1080p display also looks top class, with good viewing angles and color reproduction, especially considering the price point. We won’t compare it to the quality on the HTC One (M8), which in our opinion has one of the best displays on a smartphone at the moment, but the display on the Mi 3 is par for the course for smartphones priced double of what it is selling in India.
The Xiaomi Mi 3 runs on Android 4.4.2 KitKat with its own MIUI on top. We are not big fans of custom UI’s, though Xiaomi claims it is user friendly and keeps evolving with weekly software updates and tweaks. Thankfully, unlike some custom interfaces companies put on their phones, MIUI doesn’t seem to induce any lag. But we will have more thoughts to share about the UI once we get our review unit. Ditto for the 13-megapixel rear and 2-megapixel front facing cameras, both of which can shoot videos in 1080p resolution.
Overall, at Rs 13,999, the Xiaomi Mi 3 looks like a smartphone we might end up recommending pretty often. But now all depends on how successfully Xiaomi is able to satiate demand.
Photos shot using a Nokia Lumia 1020.
This post was updated to reflect the Xiaomi Mi 3 has a plastic body and not metal as originally reported.