Here are our initial impressions about the Xiaomi Mi 3

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Xiaomi launched their Android smartphones; Mi 3, Redmi Note and Redmi 1S in India with huge fanfare and media hype. Xiaomi surprised or say, shocked everyone with an extremely aggressive pricing. They released the smartphones in India at a price lower than that in China. The star of the show was the Xiaomi Mi 3 which was priced in India at Rs 13,999, which is less than half of what other brands charge for their similarly specced devices.

Xiaomi Mi 3 Specifications

  • 5-inch IPS LCD display, 1920 x 1080 pixels, 441 PPI, Gorilla Glass 3
  • Android 4.4.2 KitKat, MIUI v5.0
  • 2.3GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, Adreno 330 GPU, 2GB LP-DDR3 RAM
  • 16GB internal storage, no microSD card slot
  • 13MP primary camera (1/3 inch Sony IMX 135), 5-element autofocus lens, dual LED flash, 1080p videos @ 30 FPS
  • 2MP front-facing camera, 1080p video recording @ 30 FPS
  • Accelerometer, Proximity, Compass, Gyro, Ambient Light Sensor, Barometer
  • 42Mbps HSDPA 3G, dual-band Wi-Fi ac/b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, Miracast, DLNA, Bluetooth v4.0, NFC, GLONASS A-GPS, microUSB v2.0, USB OTG, 3.5 mm headphone jack
  • 3050 mAh Li-Ion non-removable battery

Xiaomi Mi 3 Box Opened

Xiaomi Mi 3 Box Contents

Xiaomi Mi 3 Instruction Manuals

Xiaomi Mi 3 - 2 Amp Charger

Box Contents & Accessories

The box package consists of the device itself along with AC wall charger adaptor, microUSB cable, SIM card tray removal tool and some instruction manuals. The box is quite strong, as Xiaomi claimed. The accessories are of good quality, unlike the ones which come packaged with smartphones from Indian brands.

Xiaomi Mi 3 - Front Held In Hands Xiaomi Mi 3 - Back Held In Hands

Appearance & Build Quality

Xiaomi Mi 3 - SIM Card Tray Removed

The device is very slim but due to its flat back, it slips from the palms quite easily. The power and volume buttons are quite tactile and the mini SIM card tray is very easy to access. The placement of the loudspeaker is very thoughtful as it has been taken care that they don't get covered by your hands while holding the device. The camera lens is too close to the edge of the device so there are high chances that your fingers might be visible in images shot with the device.

Display & Audio Quality

Xiaomi Mi 3 - Front Half

The 5-inch IPS LCD screen with 1080p resolution is bright and has wide viewing angles. The black levels are satisfyingly deep and you won't have any problems with the screen. The loudspeaker isn't that loud but the audio quality through headphones is good.

Camera - Image & Video Quality

Xiaomi Mi 3 Camera Sample

The 13MP camera from Sony (IMX 135) comes with 5-element autofocus lens and dual LED flash. It is capable of recording full HD 1080p videos. Images and videos captured have good amounts of detail and the colours are slightly over saturated. Also, images tend to feature a slight bluish tinge outdoors.


Thanks to Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, Adreno 330 GPU and 2GB of RAM, the UI was very fluid and even heavy games like Modern Combat 4 ran very smoothly.

Battery Life

Xiaomi Mi 3 - Volume Rockers

After a full charge, I was able to use the device for a day with about 5 hours of active screen usage (screen on time). This means that even if you are a heavy user, you don't need to care about its battery life.

Verdict - Must Buy

The Xiaomi Mi 3 is a great device to own due to its extremely high value for money. Some might not like the plastic build or the UI design but you'll have to admit that it is undoubtedly the best smartphone in its price range. Currently, the only worthy competitors to the Mi 3 are the OnePlus One and the Asus Zenfone 5.

Reported By

Computer science engineer turned technology blogger. Following consumer electronics industry closely from 2006, he can now predict pretty much where the market is heading. He has a dream to own Android, Windows Phone and iOS smartphones all at the same time.

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