Xiaomi Mi Pad 3 Review: Compact Android tablet with solid performance

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Xiaomi is quite well-known for its feature packed Android devices around the globe. The company also enjoys a good market share in Indian in sub Rs. 15,000 price-point where it sells Redmi series for price conscious consumers.

Besides the Redmi series, the company also offers big-screen Mi Max devices that are aimed at multimedia lovers. Xiaomi's most recent device for Indian consumers is Mi A1 that sports a dual-lens camera setup and is developed in collaboration with Google to run stock Android UI.

While smartphones from Xiaomi are doing quite well, the Chinese tech giant has restricted itself from introducing the company's Mi Pad tablet line-up in India. The company has recently launched Mi Pad 3 tablet in China a price tag of 1499 Yuan, which roughly translates to Rs. 14,600 in Indian currency. Like the company's mobile phones, this mid-range tablet also comes equipped with powerful specifications and runs on Android 7.0 Nougat.

Mi Pad 3 is currently not available in the Indian market but we at GIZBOT managed to source one unit to inform our readers about the in and out of Xiaomi's big screen Android devices. You can source it from various Chinese e-commerce websites, Gearbest being one of the most reliable in our experience.

You can buy a Mi Pad 3 at a price of $205 (Rs. 13,300) after applying some coupons available on the e-commerce site. You should note that the e-commerce site ships the product to India at free of cost but you will need to pay some custom duty for your purchase. If you are not a Xiaomi and MediaTek fan, you can try out Lenovo P8 tablet. It sells at $150 on Gearbest. After applying a promo code, you can buy it at $139 on the e-commerce website making it a decent buy for tablet lovers. 

But now, let's find out what Mi Pad 3 has to offer.

Stay tuned to GizBot for more updates!

Design: Sturdy and Premium, just like an Apple iPad Mini

It is a well known fact that the look and feel of Xiaomi products is inspired from industry leader Apple. The company has a history of taking design references from Cupertino giant and the same can be said for the Mi Pad 3 as well. The tablet looks pretty similar to the 2015 Apple iPad Mini and also offers the similar in-hand feel. It's a bit heavier (by 50 g) and slightly thicker (by 0.9m) but is still very handy to use. And just like Apple iPad, the Mi Pad 3 is also made from a single block of aluminum that gives it a sturdy feel and a premium outlook.

The tablet comes with acceptable bezels around the screen and has a slightly textured look. While the compact size makes it manageable, I would still advice to use it with some sort of casing or with two hands as Mi Pad 3 can easily slip off from hands. The tablet weighs 328g and is just 6.95 mm thin.

The tablet has aType C port at bottom and a 3.5mm headphone jack at top. The volume rockers and power button are placed on the right side and offers a good tactile feedback. The rear side of the tablet has two speaker units at the bottom and a 13MP camera at top left corner along with a microphone.

Overall, Xiaomi has done a good job in designing this mini tablet, even though the design is not something we haven't seen before.

Display: 7.9-inch Retinal display is excellent for video playback and gaming

The centerpiece of Mi Pad 3 is undoubtedly its 7.9-inch retinal display that offers a 2048 x 1536 resolution delivering a pixel count of 326ppi. The high resolution and good pixel density results in crisp images and pixel popping graphics making Mi Pad 3 a perfect fit for movies and gaming sessions.

You can actually watch a whole series on Mi Pad 3's screen without any complains. The retinal display also makes Mi Pad 3 a great product for long gaming sessions where you can play vivid graphical extensive games like Asphalt 8, Modern combat 5, etc.

I also found the QHD IPS screen on Mi Pad 3 sharp enough to read eBooks, browse web browsing and for documentation. The good contrast levels and viewing angles makes up for an immersive screen viewing experience. To simply put, if you are looking for a compact yet big screen device with vivid graphics delivery, look no further than Mi Pad 3 in budget price-point.

Performance: Smooth multitasking and gaming performance

Design is not the only department where Xiaomi Mi Pad 3 rivals or seems inspired from Apple iPad Mini, the performance is also equivalent and quite impressive. Xiaomi Mi Pad 3 is powered by Mediatek MT8176 SoC, which is a hexa-core chip with three Cortex-A72 cores clocked at 2.1 GHz and 3 Cortex A53 cores clocked at 1.7 GHz. For graphics, the tablet relies on PowerVR GX6250 GPU that does an excellent job while you run intense gaming sessions.

While it would have been great to have a high-end Qualcomm Snapdragon chip inside, I don't have any complains with the MT8167 chipset running the show here. Apps fire up quickly and the generous 4GB RAM makes sure you run more than 10 or even 15 apps simultaneously without any performance issues. I mostly used the tablet for gaming and video playback and Mi Pad 3 performed really well. There were no frame drops and gameplay looks stunning on the 7.9-inch QHD screen.

There's an inbuilt storage of 64GB but sadly the storage cannot be further expanded due to the absence of a micro-SD card slot. Further, Mi Pad 3 does not feature a fingerprint scanner and you have to rely on password or a pass-code to secure your device from unwanted access.

Overall, Mi Pad 3 at its price-point is a good big screen device for gaming, productivity and multitasking.

Camera: 13MP rear and 5MP front camera

Tablets are not usually acknowledged for their camera performance but Xiaomi Mi Pad 3 features a decent pair of snappers. The tablet sports a 13MP primary camera with an aperture size of f/2.2, while the front offers a 5MP selfie shooter. As the aperture size of rear sensor is not that big, you need good lighting condition light to capture quality results. And when subjected to ample light, the rear camera can capture some really good pictures.

The images show plenty of details and colours also look very balanced. There are several filters and modes to help you enhance the images you capture. The Blur mode allows you to create software driven bokeh images that look good on 7.9-inch IPS screen. The performance is low light suffers to a great extent and you often get blurry images with noticeable noise. As far as front camera is concerned, it is good enough to capture selfies and for video calling.

Software: MIUI 8 over Android 7.0 Nougat

Xiaomi Mi Pad 3 runs on MIUI Global 8.2 version deployed on Android 7.0 Nougat. The stable MIUI ROM is slightly different from what you will find in Xiaomi's smartphones selling in Indian market.

It offers plenty of customization and useful tweaks, such as Reading mode, Monochrome mode, option to tweak screen's colors, customizable notifications and toggles, etc. You can restrict device's UI animation to bump performance and activate Child mode to make sure your children don't interfere with work and other important apps. The software performance in everyday use is devoid of any lags.

Battery and Connectivity: Long-lasting battery with fast-charging support

The battery performance on Mi Pad 3 is good. The large 6600mAh battery managed to deliver close to 9 hours of multimedia consumption. My usage mostly comprises of continues video playback, streaming music over Bluetooth, gaming, web browsing and social networking. The tablet performed quite well and another plus point for the device is the 5V/2A fast charging support.

As far as connectivity is concerned, Xiaomi Mi Pad offers WiFi 802.11ac dual antenna band, Bluetooth 4.1, and a USB Type-C port. There's no microSD card slot and NFC in the package.

Conclusion

Xiaomi Mi Pad 3 is a compact yet powerful Android tablet. It is priced reasonably and delivers an immersive multimedia experience. The QHD IPS screen works well for video playback, gaming sessions, web browsing, reading and multitasking. The battery can easily survive long video playbacks and you can also capture decent images with the 13MP rear camera. The weak points come in the form of absence of fingerprint scanner and expandable memory. If you can ignore these two things, Mi Pad 3 will not disappoint you at all.

Stay tuned to GizBot for more updates!

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