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Xiaomi Mi 10 Revisited With MIUI 12: Faster, Smoother And Better Than Before
I am using the Mi 10 5G as my primary device for over a while now and the smartphone has rarely given me any reasons to complain about. It's loaded with powerful innards and clicks amazing pictures. And while the phone excels in hardware, the software was the major pain point. It didn't work in the way it should have on a flagship device and somehow restricted the Mi 10's full potential. With the MIUI 12, Xiaomi seems to have solved the issues.
Running on the latest MIUI 12 skin, the Mi 10 5G feels like an entirely new device. While it was already one of the fastest phones before the update, the MIUI 12 has made it even faster, smoother and a more exciting flagship device as a whole. Xiaomi has also added some nifty software tricks to the MIUI 12. Some of these features are exclusive to MI 10 5G but most of them will be extended to other handsets to enable better user experience at even lower price brackets. Moreover, the new UI gives better control in your hands to customize almost everything about your device.
Here' a quick review of the MIUI 12 and how it's going to change your user experience on the flagship MI 10 5G and other supported Xiaomi handsets.
Major Visual Overhaul
The MIUI 12 is a visual treat, especially on the Mi 10 5G which boasts a vibrant 90Hz AMOLED panel. The user interface has received a major overhaul and now feels more cohesive. The new typography, icons, and choice of colors for various UI elements are now simpler and more expressive, thus making the user interface look cleaner and more pleasing to eyes.
· The default font is now much more visible, thanks to better spacing and extra contrast in letters.
· The new ‘Weather App' shows real-time weather with all important information.
· The storage app shows information in the form of an interactive cylinder. The colorful pie chart inspired format conveys information in a much better way.
· The colorful icons against every entry in the settings app add visual flair.
· The interactive graphical representation in the battery settings app is mind-blowing.
· New battery indicators look much cleaner than before.
· Super Wallpapers are a visual delight as they showcase planetary landforms using NASA's official imagery. I wish Xiaomi adds some more wallpapers, especially one for Saturn as the planet's rings will simply look phenomenal in an animated wallpaper format.
· Xiaomi has done a wonderful job with the Always-on display mode. You can choose from a variety of widgets and can even use images from phone' gallery to show on the lockscreen.
· Improved Dark mode on MIUI 12 extends to system apps and third-party apps.
· Intuitive animation appears when you complete a task in the Notes app.
New Control Centre And Notifications Panel
The MIUI 12 brings a redesigned Control Centre and a Notification panel. The iOS-inspired control centre looks slick and is more informative than the previous one. A pull-down gesture from the right side of the home screen brings down the control centre to let you access quick functions such as display brightness, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Mobile data, Location, etc. You can add or remove toggles as per your convenience. The icons are now bigger and have a new solid color scheme which gives them a better visual aesthetic.
Swipe down from the left side of the homescreen for notifications.. The MIUI 12 lets you choose the notification shade between the MIUI-styled shade and the regular Android one. Importantly, if you prefer the old MIUI style, you can simply opt for the previous layout from within the Display settings. Overall, I liked the fact that Xiaomi gives you full control to customize the layout the way you prefer.
Finally An App Drawer
The MIUI 12 brings a native app drawer to the Xiaomi devices. While it is essentially the same app drawer that's offered on the Poco devices, it's a much welcome addition that makes me appreciate the MIUI a bit more than its previous iterations. The app drawer comes with a good set of customizations. You can choose to see app suggestions at the top, manage app categories, tweak background color and transparency and customize apps layout. The app drawer also offers a search bar at the bottom to quickly jump on an application. If you are habitual to iOS-like layout, you can simply choose to disable the app drawer from Home Screen settings.
Smoother Animations Are A Treat
Smooth animations form the basis of the MIUI 12 making it by far the most enjoyable custom Android skin in the market. Right from the lock screen to apps launch/exit to the minutest of icons interactions, everything feels smooth and brilliantly optimized, thanks to the system-wide animations and visualizations. Xiaomi achieved the smoother interface by designing a new Mi Light Cone Animation Framework. The framework works on kernel-level and comprises of a new physics engine to deliver a 3-dimensional user experience. In addition to the super wallpapers, the MIUI 12 also features icon-level animations. For instance, the app icons (Gallery, Settings, Weather, etc.) show subtle animations when you exit an app.
It is worth mentioning that we have tested the MIUI 12 on the flagship Xiaomi devices and the performance on the budget and mid-range devices is yet to be tested in our labs so stay tuned.
The MIUI 12 brings further changes to several apps including Notes, Camera, Weather, Galley, etc. The new software allows you to create voice notes and folders in Notes app which come very handy. The revamped camera interface looks cleaner and gets some cool new features, like the Clone feature (Exclusive to Mi 10) that allows you to clone a human subject in the same frame. If used carefully, the mode allows you to create some interesting pictures. The Mi Fit app can now auto-track steps taken in a day and also brings a new Sleep mode to analyze your sleeping routine. The sleep mode requires a compatible device though.
The MIUI 12 also improves privacy by offering app-level control on permissions required by individual apps. The Privacy Protection in settings allows you to keep a tab on apps that request sensitive permissions from your device. You can choose to grant or deny location, contact list access, call logs, microphone and storage access to individual apps at any point of time.
In addition to the aforementioned features and UI optimizations, the MIUI 12 also introduces some nifty features such as Floating Windows, Universal Casting and an Ultra Battery Saving mode. The Floating Windows lets you run apps in tiny windows on the top of other apps to enhance your multitasking experience. It's somewhat like the Pop-up view feature available on Samsung's smartphones. The floating mode feature works wonderfully on the Mi 10 5G as it flaunts a big screen that serves well for multitasking jobs.
With Universal casting, you can cast your phone's screen on a big-screen that supports Miracast. The casting on the MIUI 12 also supports multitasking. You can minimize the window being cast on a big-screen to use the phone at the same time. The casting in MIUI 12 works even when the phone's screen is off. Importantly, the phone limits all floating notifications, incoming calls and private items while the screen is being cast to ensure privacy.
Overall, the MIUI 12 has been a wonderful update for the Mi 10 5G and the Redmi K20 Pro. We will soon start testing other Xiaomi devices to evaluate the MIUI 12's response on mid-range handsets. Notably, the list of devices to support the MIUI 12 includes- Redmi Note 9/9 Pro, Redmi Note 8/ 8 Pro, Poco F1, Redmi Note 7/ 7 Pro, Poco X2, etc.