Xiaomi Mi3 India LongTerm Review

Xiaomi is bringing premium phones to the masses by setting super low prices for their current generation Snapdragon 800 device Mi3.



Spec wise, Mi3 is among the top league of Android smartphones like Nexus 5, Xperia Z1 only slightly shy of phones like Xperia Z2, Galaxy S5, Htc One (M8) and yet costs 1/3rd the price. Mi3 retails at around $240 or Rs. 14,000 in India through Flipkart. Even though bigger and better Mi4 is out with Snapdragon 801, its not a much of an improvement on Mi3.

So what do you get in MI3?

Mi 3 Tech Specs

  • Snapdragon 800 Quad-core 2.3Ghz CPU (same as Xperia Z1, Nexus 5, others)
  • 2GB RAM
  • 2MP front, 13MP rear F2.2 Sony camera ~ quality matches that of Galaxy S4
  • 16GB internal storage (non-expandable), supports OTG cable for pen drives.
  • 5″ 1080p IPS display, with Gorilla glass 3 protection.
  • 3050mAh battery, lasts 2 days of usage.
  • 3.5G HSDPA, Wifi 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.0

We had been playing with Mi3 for over a month now and we can’t believe how it achieves such a low price mark.


Design is great. Its a typical wedge design that you originally saw with LG cookie, then later with Sony Xperias and Nokia Lumias. Sides are curved and champhered to remind you of Lumia, the form factor is square enough to not forget Xperias.




The back is all premium plastic that you would easily confuse with metal. Overall, device is well built yet thin and lighter than most smartphones out there.

Update: Even though the device feels delicate in hands, it could handled 2 falls straight to the cemented floor without any significant scratches on the front glass or hybrid plastic on the back. Still, we recommend getting a good case for the phone.


No surprises here, it bright and neutrally natural. Its not as contrasty as Nexus 5 or Samsung OLEDs but more natural. 441pi makes this device crisp and joy to read from. Viewing angles are great. Screen doesn’t have too much of visibility in direct sunlight but is not bad, its perfectly readable.


Camera & picture quality

Camera clicks fair photos in good light with its Sony 13 Megapixel sensor, better than Nexus 5 any day. However, you cannot compare it with other flagships like Xperia Z1, Z2, or S5. Even though it has decent F2.2 aperture, low light performance is average, it won’t impress you much in that department. But the Dual LED does a fair job in getting good photos in low light.




Compare the camera to S5 or Z1 and you’ll be embarrassed, but compare it to Note 2, HTC One, or Xperia Z, this phone is a stunner. Macro performance of the F2.2 aperture camera is decent, at ISO 800, there was tolerable noise, which becomes horrible at ISO 1600.


Here is another one shot with ISO 200 and details are well-preserved.


It shoots video at 1080p at 30FPS, no 60fps or 4k support, but you can’t really ask for them at this price. The video is stabilized to some extent using software to reduce shakes, but its not as good as competition.

Audio Quality

Audio quality from 3.5mm audio jack

Where other Snapdragon phones like Galaxy S5 sport Wolfson DAC, which produces amazing sound for a portable, Mi3 uses Cirrus Logic CS42L73 DAC, same as one used in iPhone 5. But we found audio to be not even near to that iPhones. May be they didn’t use a good preamp, or the audio driver is screwed, its not on par with competition.

We would rate the audio quality below all 2013, 2014 Android flagships. But its still better than other chinese based smartphones like Gionee. Its a no go for Android Audiophiles.


The audio from loudspeaker is decent enough to meet anyone’s needs. It’s as loud as S4, not as good as S5 or HTC One.

Interface & User experience

MIUI is one of the most powerful and customizable ROMs on android ever. Enthusiasts will have fun with themes and gazillion settings to play with. e.g. MIUI has million features from avoiding accidental pocket touches, to active real-time network usage.

Had it been typical samsung loaded with features, you would have seen lags all around. On Xiaomi, all of that doesn’t affect performance of this device, its always slick, we didn’t find any lags whatsoever during our prolonged usage.


Mi3 runs latest iteration of MIUI based on 4.4.2 Kitkat and MIUI v5. Its more like iOS mingled with the best of Android.


Battery Life

Battery is rated at 3050mAh, with power save mode ON, it can easily last 1-2 days depending on your usage. With heavy browsing and calling, the phone lasts 4.5 hours of screen, 3 hours calling and more and still it lasts slightly over a day.


The built-in charger is rated at 2Amps, which means it should charge the device pretty quickly. Mi3 charges from zero to 80% in under an hour, which is quiet nifty.


Mi3 is exclusively available on Flipkart in India and is worth every penny. Checkout the complete Mi3 Photo Gallery.

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Rating: 9.3/10 (3 votes cast)
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Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
Xiaomi Mi3 India LongTerm Review, 9.3 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
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