Update 20-7-2014: Xiaomi has officially confirmed that Mi3 will ship with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 in India.

Update 18-7-2013: Xiaomi Mi3 doesn’t come with Gorilla Glass 3 as initial reports suggested. We are still waiting for official confirmation. We have received our review unit and it doesn’t mention Gorilla Glass 3.

Update: In India Xiaomi Mi3 is running Android 4.4 KitKat based MIUI ROM out of the box, the article has been updated

Xiaomi has unleashed its flagship Mi3 (Quick Review) in India for only 13,999 INR (1K Lesser than what was initially announced). The price tag is same as that of Moto G which presently dominates in this price range, and hardware is far more premium. We got to get our hands on Mi3 at the New Delhi Launch event, today. Let’s take a look.

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Xiaomi Mi3 Quick Specs

  • Display Size: 5 Inch  IPS LCD, 1920 X 1080p Full HD resolution, 441 PPI, Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection
  • Processor: 2.3  GHz Quad Core Snapdragon 800 processor with Adreno 330 GPU clocked at 320 MHz
  • RAM: 2 GB
  • Software Version: Android 4.4 KitKat based MIUI ROM
  • Camera: 13 MP, 1080P Video recording
  • Secondary Camera: 2.1 MP, 1080p video recording
  • Internal Storage:  16 GB
  • External Storage: No
  • Battery: 3050 mAh
  • Connectivity:  HSPA+, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP, aGPS,  Micro USB 2.0, GPS, USB OTG

Xiaomi Mi3 Video Hands on Review

Design, Build and Display

Xiaomi Mi3 is one of the best build phones you can find below 20,000 INR. It looks like a meticulously crafted slim Lumia device at first glance, perhaps because of the rounded side edges which also help with a firm grip. Mi3 is very sturdy and once you hold It in hand, it feels much different and nicer than what you would expect.

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Xiaomi Mi3 is built from A Aluminum- Magnesium chassis and is only 8.1 mm thick. Outside is mostly plastic and vertical bezels on the front are slightly taller than what we like, but nothing that will upset you. The weight is also very well balanced.

Speaker grills and MicroUSB port are present at the bottom, headphone jack is at the top. Reaching power key is also quite convenient- good thing Xiaomi didn’t place it on the top. The front is mostly glass. The 5 inch full HD display confirms the brilliance you expect from it. The sharp 441 PPI display shows great responsiveness, excellent viewing angles, good colors and ample brightness.

Processor and RAM

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Processor used is Snapdragon 800 quad core clocked at 2.3 GHz. This is one of the best chipsets available and packs enough might to handle high end gaming and day to day tasks smoothly and in a power efficient manner.

Recommended: How Snapdragon 800 Makes Your Smartphone Special and Different From Others

The 4 Krait 400 cores are also assisted by Adreno 330 GPU clocked at 320 MHz and 2 GB RAM which will suffice for smooth performance and multitasking.

Camera and Internal Storage

The camera comes with a 13 MP sensor underneath a F2.2 aperture lens. The camera interface is simple to use, but advanced users can dig deeper for more options. This looked like a very good 13 MP camera in this price range.

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The details and color was pretty good in low light condition but the brightness didn’t seem too great. Overall, it’s not the best when you compare to flagship phones, but it is one of the best in this price range and won’t disappoint casual photographers in anyway. The camera App is loaded with options which we will test in our full review. The front camera is also more than decent for selfies and video chat.

Internal storage is 16 GB which cannot be extended. Xiaomi isn’t likely to launch 64 GB variant in India. This means you will be stuck with around 11 GB user available storage. You can also use USB OTG to carry multimedia files in secondary storage.

User Interface and Battery

The user interface is MIUI ROM which will feature several India specific themes and loads of features. You can sideload MIUI express launcher to get the look and feel on any Android phone with 1 GB RAM, but the actual MIUI works smoother and isn’t as buggy as the launcher. You can easily move apps across the home screen and search for apps with swipe up gesture. Whether you like it or not, is a matter of personal taste.

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Battery capacity is 3050 mAh, and with power efficient Snapdragon 800 at the helms, we are optimistic about the battery backup that you can get from the large battery. On paper, 3050 mAh is a pretty sweet deal at 13,999 INR. Most domestic branded phones fall behind in this regard.

Xiaomi Mi3 Photo Gallery

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Conclusion

Xiaomi Mi3 is definitely a great value for money device and is one of the best you can hope for in this price range. Only downside is non expandable storage. Well, nothing is perfect but Mi3 comes very close.  We really liked what we saw with Xiaomi Mi3. The device will be available for purchase for 13,999 INR on 22nd July, same day Xiaomi announces Mi4. Only those who register on flipkart till 21st July will be eligible for purchase on launch day.