Last June 26, 2014, Xiaomi finally launched its flagship phone through Lazada Philippines. They initially released 3000 units which sold like hot pancakes. After the successful launch they announced a follow up selling day to accommodate other fans who wasn't able to buy the Mi3 on the launching day.

Xiaomi Mi3 Review: The Monster Budget Friendly Flagship Phone

On July 10, Mi Philippines announced the open sale for the Mi3 16GB version, but the available color is still metallic gray.

Specifications

  • Display: 5-inch Full HD IPS display, 441ppi, Gorilla Glass 3 (TBC)
  • Processor: 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core CPU
  • GPU: Adreno 330
  • RAM: 2GB 
  • ROM: 16GB 
  • Rear Camera: 13 MP with dual LED flash
  • Front Camera: 2 megapixel
  • Battery: 3,050mAh 
  • OS: MIUI v5 (Android 4.4.2 KitKat)
  • Connectivity: HSPA+, 3G, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, WiFi Direct, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0 w/ A2DP
  • Others: GPS, AGPS, GLONASS, USB OTG
  • Price: PHP 10,599

What's inside the box?

The package includes the unit itself, a 1mAh wall charger, standard USB cable, manual and sim ejector. Unfortunately Xioami didn't include their premium Piston v2 earphones (maybe to keep the price low).

Xiaomi Mi3 Review: The Monster Budget Friendly Flagship Phone
Eco-friendly packaging
Design

Xiaomi did their best in creating Mi3. It has a solid built partnered with its metallic finish plastic body. Some says that it has Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for its screen, although the official website of Xiaomi didn't enclosed any details regarding the glass type (better to have your screen protector on it).


Xiaomi Mi3 Review: The Monster Budget Friendly Flagship Phone
Front panel with the out of the box screen cover
Xiaomi Mi3 Review: The Monster Budget Friendly Flagship Phone
Back of Mi3 with NTC sticker
Xiaomi Mi3 Review: The Monster Budget Friendly Flagship Phone
Bottom-Charging port, speaker grill and mic
Xiaomi Mi3 Review: The Monster Budget Friendly Flagship Phone
Top-3.5mm headphone jack (CTIA), sim slot (regular sim) and another mic
Xiaomi Mi3 Review: The Monster Budget Friendly Flagship Phone
Left side
Xiaomi Mi3 Review: The Monster Budget Friendly Flagship Phone
Right- volume rocker and power button
Display


One of the best part Mi3 is its display. It has a 5-inch Full HD at 16:9 ratio display with 441ppi. It uses IPS display which has a good viewing angles. Mi3 produce great colors, another thing is that you can set the color temperature and saturation of Mi3 from its settings.


Xiaomi Mi3 Review: The Monster Budget Friendly Flagship Phone
Such a beautiful screen
Performance

Xiaomi Mi3 is equipped with 2.3 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 8274AB Quad Core Krait 400 paired with Adreno 330 GPU. Same processor used on some flagship phones, so expect that Mi3 will fight neck to neck with other phones when it comes to performance. While the Adreno 330 will handle the gaming experience and will give you a satisfying performance. Mi3 also have a 2gb ram which is good for multitasking.


Xiaomi Mi3 Review: The Monster Budget Friendly Flagship Phone
Mi3's Antutu benchmark score ( It's a MONSTER!!)
I haven't experience any lags using Mi3, although some force close issue might be encountered prior to updating the firmware to the latest one. Overall the Mi3 will give you the performance you are looking for a price that wont hurt your pocket so much.

Camera

One of the most asked question about Mi3 is its camera performance. It has a 13MP back camera with f/2.2 aperture and 28mm wide angle lens, paired with dual LED flash. A 2MP front camera, 30mm wide angle and can take HD videos.

Having a dual LED flash is a good thing especially when using it in low light situations. The mail camera produces great image and good color production. While the front camera is good for taking selfies because it can take great pictures even in low light.


Xiaomi Mi3 Review: The Monster Budget Friendly Flagship Phone
Lowlight shot with flash
Xiaomi Mi3 Review: The Monster Budget Friendly Flagship Phone
Outdoor shot
Xiaomi Mi3 Review: The Monster Budget Friendly Flagship Phone
Indoor shot w/o flash (oh Glenda)
Xiaomi Mi3 Review: The Monster Budget Friendly Flagship Phone
Front camera low-light shot, light source only 
from netbook (sorry for the face :) )
It has two camera setting mode, first is the normal mode where you can set everything manually, second is the simple mode where it only shows panorama, audio, skin tones, filters and HDR.


Xiaomi Mi3 Review: The Monster Budget Friendly Flagship Phone
Simple mode
Xiaomi Mi3 Review: The Monster Budget Friendly Flagship Phone
Page 1 of 3 of normal mode
Xiaomi Mi3 Review: The Monster Budget Friendly Flagship Phone
Page 2 of 3 of normal mode

Battery

This is the part where everyone is worried about. The good news is that it can last a day or two with WiFi connected the whole day with casual gaming and browsing. Thanks to its 3,050mAh battery, you will no longer worry about charging your battery after several hours of usage.

Xiaomi Mi3 Review: The Monster Budget Friendly Flagship Phone
It lasted for 2 days in just one charging

Xiaomi Mi3 Review: The Monster Budget Friendly Flagship Phone
moderate to heavy use, battery down up to 1%

Xiaomi Mi3 Review: The Monster Budget Friendly Flagship Phone
moderate to heavy use, battery down up to 1%
Xiaomi Mi3 Review: The Monster Budget Friendly Flagship Phone
Total screen time from 100% down to 1% with moderate to heavy usage
Verdict

Mi3 is a monster phone on its own price range, it may not be a LTE ready phone but with its price and performance everything is acceptable. I can say that Xiaomi Mi3 is a good alternative for those who have a tight budget and for those who doesn't matter about special features.
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