Technolgy is not a constant object. It's moving. It's always moving, shifting form, changing and moving ahead with time. The same can be said about the current smartphone industry. You don't need an expert to tell you that the industry and thrived and evolved with so many big names involved.
But while this market grows, it's actually interesting to note which are the ones that are making most of the noise. Sure, we have our Sony Xperias and Samsungs around, but it's more refreshing to see the advent of the other so-called "small names" that are also doing comparatively good.
One such name that's only recently arrived in the market, but seems set to dominate it for a long time is Xiaomi. This isn't the first time that we have seen a Chinese brand carrying out its trade in India in the market. But it surely is the first time that we have seen one with so much potential.
Xiaomi recently unveiled and released its brand new Mi 3 handset in India. Backed by former Google hotshot Hugo Barra, the company has already made quite the name for itself in the country with the device flying off shelves like hot cakes.
While these are just early days for the company in India, early signs show that big things are set for the company going ahead. And if a note is to be made from the kind of popularity the company has already seen, Xiaomi is going to be big in India.
Xiaomi recently sent us a review unit of the Mi 3 handset. Needless to say, the handset created quite the stir among us when it first arrived. The experience was brilliant and left us wanting more. But that's not all, if you want to know the handset better.
Here's our review of the Xiaomi-made Mi 3 handset.
Xiaomi Mi 3 Review: Form Factor and Operating System
The Xioami Mi 3 comes in a carefully packed elongated cardboard box with only the Mi logo at one corner. While the packing seems quite minimalistic, the phone isn't. On the contrary, it's a refresh from all other Android phones around us.
The device itself seems preety well disguised. Actually, you will need someone to tell you that it's eventually plastic at the back of the phone. This is so since you can be easily pass it off as metal silver back. Which, apparently, it's not. Although the metal feel is quite apparent.
The front side of the phone is full black, apart from offering a single cut-out for the earpiece on top of the device. Also, the phone has three capacitive buttons at the bottom. Xiaomi here is making use of the old Menu button, rather than the current multi-tasking buttons that you see.
The phone's branding is taken care by a silver MI logo on the top left. You can also see it in the back in the lower portion. Apart from that, it's plane with the square camera sensor on top alongside the Dual LED flash offering.
The phone's volume rocker and power buttons have been placed on the right side, although it might seem a bit congested after a while. The buttons are crafted of metal and, as expected, have good tactile feedback. The buttons stick out of the phone.
The top has the 3.5mm jack, a mini SIM slot and a noise cancelling mic. The speaker grille is placed at the bottom, which takes up much of the space. Although, note that this is a mono speaker. Next to it is the microUSB port.
The handset's 5-inch full HD display is as impressive as it gets. The display is quite bright, clear and crisp with great color reproduction. Viewing angles are very good too, with Xiaomi also offering basic color saturation features for added experience.
While the Mi 3 is anyway a great handset, most of its greatness lies in the MIUI interface. The MIUI interface has been developed via Xiaomi Tech, and is basically a stock and aftermarket firmware meant for smartphones and tablets. The big difference here is that the interface features a heavily modified and hard-coded user interface.
This new hard-coded user interface takes away the Android app drawer, while visual comparisons can be easily made with Apple's iOS and Samsung's TouchWiz UI. But most importantly, it offers that fresh new look at Android that the OS has been crying out for so long.
As we mentioned before, MIUI does not have an app drawer. This means all your new and system apps will laid out on the number of homescreens across the handset. However, the interface does have a dedicated support for widgets that offer you more freedom to categorize your phone's screens.
Also, Xiaomi packs a host of settings for each aspect, right from display to sound, and everything else in between. You can also tweak long-press actions for the capacitive keys present for the phone.
But reading this piece will only give you the slightest idea about the UI. So do yourself a favor and check out the interface for yourself. We highly recommend it.