Update 16-7-2014: Xiaomi Mi3 comes with Android 4.4 Kitkat based MIUI ROM in India out of the box

Another Chinese manufacturer has forayed in Indian market and plans to take it by storm by labeling a budget  price tag on high end hardware. You guessed it right, it is Xiaomi – and they did this with their latest gun in the arsenal, the Xiaomi Mi3. True to it’s name, the device is the third iteration of the Mi series from this rather popular Chinese manufacturer.

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Xiaomi to China is like what Apple is to the US. There were numerous leaks and rumours prior to the launch, some said that the device would feature a Tegra 4 processor, while others leaked that the phone would feature the latest international favourite, the Snapdragon 800.

Camera and Internal Storage

The phone comes with a 13MP rear camera like you would expect. Again, the sensor comes from none other than Sony, and with an aperture of f/2.2, you can expect it to be a very good performer. The camera is also aided with dual LED flash for low light photography.

The front of the device features a 30mm wide 2MP image sensor, which is in line with other devices which have found their way through of late. The unit is expected to perform to satisfy, since it has the same aperture as the rear unit, i.e., f/2.2. Both the front and rear camera can record full HD 1080 p videos. Camera specifications are the best that you will find in Indian market at this price range.

Xiaomi give the popular 32GB storage option a miss and feature only 16GB and 64GB variants of the Mi3. The reason apparently being the minimal difference in price that would’ve been if they offered a 32GB variant. The 16GB Mi3 costs 14,999 in India and the 64 GB variant is expected to be available in vicinity of 20,000 INR.

Processor and Battery

This category is where the device’s USP lies. The phone comes in two variants as far as the processor/chipset is concerned. The TD-SDCMA variant (China Mobile only) comes with the Tegra 4 chipset, while the WCDMA (Worldwide) variant comes with the uber popular Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chipset. The power efficient chipset comes with 4  Krait 400 cores clocked at 2.3 GHz will give you great high end experience.

However, both variants come with 2GB of RAM which would ensure fluid UI and great processing abilities, along with snappy app loading times. At the event, the company showed off benchmark scores of the device, and both variants scored over 36,000 in the popular AnTuTu benchmark, which matches what we have seen on present generation flagship phones.

Xiaomi have done exceptionally well to include a massive 3050mAh battery into the thin 8.1mm shell. With moderate usage, You can expect backup of up to 2 days with this unit

Display and Features

The device comes with a 5 inch display that packs a full HD resolution of 1920×1080 pixels. This is exactly what we’ve seen on most other flagship devices including the Samsung Galaxy S5, Sony Xperia Z2, etc. The device returns a PPI of 441 which is more than enough to enjoy movies and other forms of multimedia on the 5 inch screen, making it a perfect companion during travel and otherwise.

The phone comes with OTG and NFC like any other top phone at the moment. The USP of this device is the full-alloy build and the fact that it is the cheapest Snapdragon 800 phone to go on sale.

Looks and Connectivity

The phone looks like it’s taken a little inspiration from the Lumia series by Nokia. However, the phone is cast in an all alloy body making it extremely strong and sturdy. However, it might be a little too heavy for some, weighing 145g.

The phone does not feature 4G/LTE, but comes with other features like WiFi ac, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, etc.

Comparison

At this price range, Xiaomi Mi3 stands pretty much alone its its league. The phone will compete with mid range octa core challengers like Gionee Elife S5.5, Alcatel One Touch Idol X+, Micromax Canvas Knight A350, Canvas Gold A300, etc. The phone however, even being a year old poses better hardware than most of its mid range rivals at a lower price.

Key Specs

Model Xiaomi Mi3
Display 5 inches full HD
Processor Snapdragon 800 2.3 GHz quad core (WCDMA)Tegra 4 (TD-SCDMA, China only)
RAM, ROM 2GB RAM, 16/64GB ROM
OS MIUI ROM (Android 4.4 Kitkat Based)
Cameras 13MP rear, 2MP front
Battery 3050 mAh
Price 14,999 INR

Recommended: Xiaomi MIUI Express App Review, Top Features, Tips and Updates

Conclusion

Xiaomi has priced Mi3 at a highly competitive price inline with their strategy in other markets. We can expect a big number of registrations in matter of minutes when the phone goes live on 15th July 2014. The segment was till now being dominated by Moto G, which promised a premium experience at the same price, will Xiaomi success story run uninterrupted in Indian market? Answer to that lies in how appealing their MIUI ROM is to Indian users.

Xiaomi Mi3 Video Hands on Review