Xiaomi Mi 3 specs review: Excellent hardware at affordable price, but can Xiaomi woo India?

Putting an end to all the speculation around entering the budget Indian market, Xiaomi has finally made a grand entry with the Mi 3. It is a slightly older Xiaomi phone, but a best selling device that was launched last year in September. Keeping in view the insatiable consumer demand, the Mi 3 comes with a nifty specs sheet at a jaw-dropping price. Priced at Rs 14,999, it brings some premium specs to mid-range segment such as a 5-inch 1080p display, Snapdragon 800, 2GB RAM and 13-megapixel camera. Here's a quick specs review of the Xiaomi Mi 3.


Display -  5-inch Full HD 

Keeping up with the phablet trend, the Mi 3 sports a large 5-inch display featuring a 1920 x 1080p resolution. The full HD display ensures that the pixel density goes all the way up to 441ppi. The company says that 'Mi 3's backlit display is fused directly to the touch screen', ensuring deeper colours which pop up for a great visual experience. Moreover, Xiaomi has also put in some thought when it comes to the pressure sensitivity of the display. It allows users to operate the phone even when the hands are wet or the user is wearing gloves. 

 Xiaomi Mi 3 specs review: Excellent hardware at affordable price, but can Xiaomi woo India?

Xiaomi Mi 3 is sleek at 8.1mm


OS - Android-based MIUI

The Mi 3 runs on Xiaomi's customised UI called MIUI that is built upon Android. The Mi 3 runs MIUI V5  that is based on Android KitKat. It is a highly customised UI that lets users choose from a plethora of themes for almost everything from homescreen to boot animations. It supports all the popular games and apps found on the Google Play store too.


Form factor  -  8.1 mm sleek

Xiaomi hasn't compromised on the build quality either, the 8.1 mm thin body is built using magnesium alloy frame coated with three layers of thermal graphite. It measures 144 x 73.6 x 8.1 mm, and weighs a mere 145 grams. The device also comes dipped in several colours including black, silver, yellow and pink. Xiaomi has also bundled a waterproof  cover with the Mi 3.


SoC - Snapdragon 800, 2GB RAM

The Mi 3 comes powered by a quad-core Snapdragon 800 with four Krait 400 CPUs. Not the latest breed, but good enough at that price. The processor clocks at 2.3GHz and also supports an Adreno 330 GPU. It includes 2GB of RAM, which is good enough to handle all those apps and services. however, Xiaomi has released some benchmarks claiming that the Mi 3 is faster than some devices from big brands such as the  Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One.

Benchmark speeds

Benchmark results according to Xiaomi


Storage – 16GB
In terms of on board storage, the Mi 3 is available in 16GB and 64GB variants, but it has launched only the 16GB model in the Indian market. There is no room to further expand the storage due to the lack of microSD card slot. It also offers access to MIUI Cloud to store data.


Camera – 13MP rear and 2MP front cameras
Xiaomi will not disappoint when it comes to cameras too. It comes with a 13-megapixel rear snapper and a 2-megapixel front shooter for selfies. Besides, it features some other standard features such as dual LED flash, f/2.2 aperture and 28mm wide angle lens. Both camera support 1080p support for video recording.


Sensors – The usual
There is no dearth of sensors in the Mi 3. It is loaded with a gyroscope, accelerometer, barometer, proximity, and ambient light sensors. It also comes with a barometer.


Wi-Fi – 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 

The Mi 3 is Wi-Fi-enabled and comes with support for ‘ac’ draft along with a/b/g/n. It also supports Wi-Fi Direct.



Other connectivity options – The usual

The device supports NFC as well as GPS with Assisted GPS and GLONASS. It features the latest Bluetooth 4.0 and Bluetooth with Human Interfaces Device (HID) profile.


The device is fuelled by a 3050mAh lithium-ion battery that promises 25 hours of talktime on 2G, 21 hours of Internet use on 3G, 50 hours of playback music and 500 hours of standby time. "We've integrated power management from operating system all the way down to the CPU, which means you can stretch every last drop out of the 3050mAh battery," claims the company.


The bottom line

Xiaomi 's entry has only further intensified the competitive budget market in India. It brings some really high-end features to a budget device. In a nutshell, the Xiaomi Mi 3 comes with an extremely good specs sheet at that price point. With absolutely no competitor in the same price bracket, the smartphone directly competes with the Nexus 5 that is selling at a way higher price of around Rs 27,000.  Going by the specs, at least on paper, the Xiaomi Mi 3 comes across as the best value for money device not only under Rs 15k, but also under Rs 20k and Rs 25k. The only hiccup could  be that Xiaomi is an unknown Chinese brand, so its quite likely that people would have their inhibitions before buying it.

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