Tag Archives: XIAOMI

Torn Between Wheel Brothers!

Torn Between Wheel Brothers!

A commentary between Xiaomi’s electric transporters Xiaomi M365 Scooter and Xiaomi QiCycle

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I’ve previously reviewed the Xiaomi QiCycle and commentareviewed the Xiaomi M365 scooter. The past few weeks both have had niche uses. And although, I’m pretty sure nobody asked, I now write before you. A probably unfair, unscientific and purely subjective comparison of these two transportation device from Xiaomi. One of the best and reliable Chinese brand out there. So, without further ado, here it is.

 

Why Purchase either?

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Initially, the main reason I bought the QiCycle is solely as a substitute for my car on coding. Why bicycle and not a motorcycle? Well, getting a bicycle is much cheaper, it does not need any license (or modification of your existing license) and the bicycle is a proven and tested transportation device with a surprisingly large community on Facebook.

Relating to the Facebook page which is Bike to Work Pilipinas, An unsolvable problem in Manila is definitely traffic. And while this isn’t actually my main reason for buying the QiCycle, it became a retroactive smart decision that I did. Since January 2019, I’ve used my bicycle more times than I’ve used my car. It has saved me tons of gas money, though the saved money went to other frivolous spending, and it has made travel time a little bit faster much more consistently. For reference, I live about 8km from work, it takes me about 30 to 40 mins on car (60mins on a very bad day). On bicycle, it has been a consistent 27mins to and from work. I can’t comment that I have become healthier because this bicycle has Electric Pedal Assist which substantially cuts the effort and smoke is smoke regardless of mask used.

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If that would have been the case wouldn’t buying the Xiaomi M365 in the first place be the more economical route? Wouldn’t having both be redundant? Yes. Definitely. But, as mentioned from my M365 commentary, I don’t really purchase gadgets for economic reasons. I bought the M365 because I wanted to try it. I wanted to experience it for myself. Barring cellphones, I tend to fall into the  latter part of early majority in the Technology Adoption Life Cycle. I tend to purchase gadgets way beyond its release date. What I am into is experiencing them. On gaming (read on Sony gaming consoles), barring Nintendo consoles, I tend to get the latest consoles at the end of their lifespan. That way, I am able to assess if it would be worth it. My dad bought us the PS1 at 2000, I was gifted the PS2 at 2008, I bought the PS3 at 2013 and the PS4 and PS Vita at 2018. I have had no regrets since then. But I’ve digressed long enough.

I don’t know what stage are Electric Kick Scooters are in but as far as M365 goes, it has been a couple of years since its release. Today, there is a relatively big community of EKS enthusiast here in the Philippines and it is not surprising that the M365 group has about 4.2k members. The M365 has had multiple good reviews as well as good feedback months after use and I felt like this is a good time to try it out.

 

Riding in QC

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There is a familiar joy in riding a bicycle. Back in high school (2007), I used to bike to school every day. So the moment I biked to work some 12 years later, was truly awesome and nostalgic. Add the fact that the Pedal assist is nothing short of spectacular. Riding the QiCycle, is stable, fun, fast and effortless. Unfortunately, locking the QiCycle can be tricky as there are only a few spots you can safely lock it. It is too much of a hassle to lug around and it is quite heavy at 14.5kgs. Whenever I bring my QiCycle to work, I fold it and keep it in my workstation. I don’t think this is applicable to all companies so this is definitely something to look out for. Sadly, having the M365, massively dropped usage of my QiCycle.

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Other than trying it out, I initially had no use case for the Xiaomi M365 given the QiCycle. But damn, the day I got it to work properly, I felt like this was it. If QiCycle was effortless. This was, well, more effortless. Kick start it and press the throttle and that is it. It is that much easier. It is much more portable than the QiCycle and much less of a hassle to carry as well. As previously discussed on my M365 commentary, I thought to use the QiCycle to go to the gym, but I did not want to risk being victim blamed if I leave my LOCKED QiCycle on the first floor of the gym and it gets stolen. Even if I use 10000 locks, if my bike gets stolen, I will get victim blamed and get tagged as stupid for leaving the bike unattended. A solution would be ‘Then carry the damn bike to the gym’ yeah no. Carrying the 14kg Qicycle up and down 3 flights of stair is exhausting.

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The M365 has changed that. Lugging the 12kg M365 around is much easier than Qicycle. Please note that the folding mechanism of both are night and day. You can carry the M365 with one hand. If you can teach me how I can efficiently hold the QiCycle with one hand and I will take back everything I said.

This portability has extended my use of M365 further. Though both are electric and therefore not advised to be splashed with water, I have seen quiet a few who braved the rain on either. I am not one of them. Instead, what I do is I fold the M365, hail a cab, ride a jeep or hitch a ride from my officemate, and put it inside the vehicle. Now try that and use QiCycle. QiCycle is too big to ride into a vehicle. Try not to get bothered by rolling eyes on the jeepney, and the incessant rambling of the taxi/jeepney driver you put your QiCycle into.

The only downsides that I see on the M365 are the range and the performance. The heavier you are, the worse the M365 performs. Worse in terms of acceleration, max speed and max range. Where the QiCycle takes me to and from work for 2 days. The M365 can barely take me to and from work once. M365 is advertised at 30km range but a 7km ride from house to work drains the battery to 50-55%. This was infuriating at first as it means I have to bring the charger all the time and charging it takes a lot longer than the QiCycle. But I have grown to live with it.

Let me stop rambling and put on a summary list of each device against the other based on my personal subjective experience:

For Team QiCycle:

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  1. Longer range, faster charging time. 45kms on 3hours charge. I get about 35kms due to my heavier 87kg weight.
  1. Much more stable and comfortable ride.

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  1. For what it’s worth, little exercise when Pedal assist is on? Turn up the cardio by going manual (not recommended due to hellish experience)

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  1. Higher payload of 100Kgs. Unlike on M365, where the nearer you are at 100kgs, the worse the performance. On QiCycle, there is no performance degradation on heavier weight (Tested by riding both with and without a 5kg backpack).
  1. Faster at stock speed at 29kph M365 is 25kph. Note: NOT EVERYONE WILL BE COMFORTABLE with Custom Firmware regardless of how easy it is. 
  1. Bikes are recognized and therefore is actually allowed on some roads. You can argue all you want that EKS are allowed but unless you show me actual writing. Biking is definitely better in terms of road legality. EKS regulation is basically non-existent. From here, LTO clarified last January 2018 that E-vehicles which “can be propelled manually” or “run solely by muscular effort” are exempted from registration. Legally speaking QiCycle is perfectly legal. Why am I not surprised to see the late great Miriam Santiago introduce this Policy. 

 

For Team M365:

  1. Much more fun to ride. (Very subjective).
  1. More portable.

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  1. Better after-market support. I had a flat tire on M365 and it was fixed by an EKS shop in QC. I am yet to find a reliable QiCycle repairman.
  1. Better community due to abundance of different available EKS on the market. (A regular bicycle and a QiCycle is NOT the same.) 
  1. Cheaper. 
  1. Easier to use CFW. (International Version of QiCycle has no Bluetooth Support.)

 

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So where does that leave us with the M365 and QiCycle? For the past few days, I have been using M365 more. Maybe because it is the newer toy I have. Look this type of comparison can be akin to, stupid analogy incoming, both owning a Sony Playstation 4 (QiCycle), and Nintendo Switch (M365). I’ve played with the switch a lot more partly because it is much more portable (oh hey another similarity with the M365 LOL) but in no way will I say that the Switch is definitively better than the PS4. Just because I use the other more does not mean it is better. This is just personal and subjective preference. As far as M365 vs QiCycle goas, I hate to do it. I have to cop out on this one and say this is entirely up to you. Factors such as use case, road to be used on, budget, etc. are things only you could decide on. As for me, I like having choices to suit my mood.  I think a rain is coming? I’ll probably use the M365 because I have an officemate I can hitch a ride on and use the M365 for the last mile. It’s a sunny day! Do I want to get to and from work faster? I’ll take the QiCycle! Don’t want to pedal? I’ll bring the M365 and its charger. LOL.  Do your research well and I can guarantee you that neither the QiCycle and M365 will disappoint.

Xiaomi MiJia M365 My First EKSperience

Xiaomi MiJia M365 My First EKSperience

Disclaimer: This is not a review. This is a disjointed commentary on my experiences with M365.

A few months back, I decided to buy a Xiaomi QiCycle for coding days. I bought it not to save some gas money, not for exercise, but specifically for coding days. I drive Diesel cars so my gas consumption is substantially more bearable than Gas cars so getting a QiCycle was definitely not due to economic reasons.

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Now that I have a QiCycle for coding days and going to and from near places, why did I get a Xiaomi M365? Well, for one, is because it is soooo damn fun to ride.

Frustrations Before Bliss

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I got this M365 dirt cheap on Facebook. Someone was selling for Php13,000 and that was too enticing not to grab. YES I AM VERY IMPULSIVE. After buying, this was when I experienced two frustrations. One by my stupidity, the other by luck.

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First, I was initially very disappointed as M365 was not able to pull me uphill. I am obese yes, but I am barely 90kgs. I thought M365 was weight-ist. It was really frustrating I wanted to sell it. Then I read the label. Green Light is eco mode. Damn that was idiotic. When I used in normal mode. Zip zap! That was amazing! It was so fun that I circled our village multiple times. Even my dad got in on the fun and loved it!

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Here is the second frustration. A friend of mine has been scooting for quite some time now in Makati and he never had a flat tire once. On my first ride, boom, FLAT. This was incredibly infuriating as I had to get a grab to work (Php139), if I used the car it would barely cost me Php40. (Mileage of Hyundai Accent is about 13km/L).

That was when I decided once is more than enough and bought Honeycomb Solid Tires from Bee Store Lazada (Which costed me an astounding Php1,700) and additional Php1,000 for installation. Yes I could have installed it myself right? Yeah, no. I’d rather pay someone to do it than do it myself and risk destroy it.

After the tires were installed there is assurance now that Flat tires will no longer be a problem. I’d gladly sacrifice ride comfort over unexpected unusablitiy which then includes unexpected expense. I know my route and I know when to go faster and when to slow down so personally, solid tires is the way to go.

Use Case(s?)

As mentioned earlier, I typically don’t buy stuff for economical reasons. I’ve spent Php30,000+ for QiCycle solely for coding days and getting an M365 seems redundant. Yes and no. Yes it may seem redundant but for me M365 has some niche uses.

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I love MilkTea and this love has made me suspect to diabetes. I tend to forego going to the gym because the gym near me is 3 flights of stairs with almost always no parking. I can’t leave my QiCycle on the ground floor because the chain maybe cut and people will blame me, the victim, and offer me hindsight advise like ‘Dapat kasi nilock mo ng 1000 locks’ (you should have used 1000 locks for your bike), ‘Alam mo naman na maraming magnanakaw iiwanan mo pa unattended’ (You know it is dangerous to leave unattended why leave it?). Carrying a 27kg bike 3 flights of stairs sounds and is hard. Hence this is a use case of M365. Going to the gym. As of writing I’ve already went once! How devoted will I be going to the gym moving forward? I don’t know but currently, M365 is a much better option.

Actual Usage

As mentioned earlier, I replaced the pneumatic tires with solid tires. On plain roads, riding does not feel that much different. If the road is not plain, this is where the solid tires is a literal rattling ride. There is an ongoing road reconstruction near me and I go through it all the time and that thug thug thug thug thug rattling in your head is a certainty.

I’ve read that M365 is supposed to have about 30km mileage, unfortunately for me, for the past 3 times I used the scooter to work, from my house and to the office, I go from 100% to 50%. My work is only 7km away so this is a bit of a disappointment. But I then realize, this is probably due to multiple inclines, some steeper than others as well as my heavy weight. So, I understand this mileage and do not hold this against the scooter. Better hit the gym more than I planned, I guess. LOL.

Lastly, justifying my purchase, riding a bicycle and riding an electric scooter are vastly distinct. There is a familiar joy in riding a bike (I bike to school back in the day) whereas riding my M365 is like riding a toy. A fun big boy toy that puts a smile on my face whenever I push the throttle. And I don’t know about you guys but I personally think that as long as that frivolous thing I bought makes me happy. I’m ok with it. And riding in our village, riding to work and from work, bike or scooter, devoid of traffic with extra time to spend to play games, play with your dog, chatting with family, or whatever you do is definitely worth the premium.

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I don’t want to give too much comparison between the QiCycle and the M365 as I intend to make a comparison on it in the future. So for now, Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

Xiaomi Mi Air Purifier 2S CommentaReview

Xiaomi Mi Air Purifier 2S CommentaReview

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Disclaimer: I have no way of verifying my room’s AQI on my room except for the display on 2s. This is purely what experienced I had over the past month. Buy at your own discretion. This is not really a review. More of a commentary.

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I recently purchased Hisense AS-09TR2S 1.0 HP Split Type Air Conditioner, and immediately I was not able to enjoy it. Why? Because there is an ongoing construction at our house and using aircon on an air polluted 5sqm room is a moronic idea. The first night I tried it, yes it was cold, but damn was it suffocating. Then and there, I was caught between a rock and a hard place. Do I stop using my aircon and revert to my loud electric fan on my very hot room? Or push through with the aircon and breathe dust particles? That night I decided on the former and looked for ways to remove dust in the air.

As I went to work, the Xiaomi flyer on my desk called to me (yes I keep a Xiaomi flyer on my desk at work LOL). My browsing led me to Xiaomi Air Purifier 2s. At Php6,999 that was kind of steep. But then I searched for alternatives online and found that this was actually one of the cheapest.

Luckily, as I asked for friends’ opinions one of them actually has one. He told me that this was sulit (worth it), and it has made his sleep substantially better. I read reviews online as well and sans this review from smartairfilters.com, it seems to work.

After work, I went to Trinoma to buy a 2s. Unfortunately, they were out of stock.  SM North had no stock as well. I decided to call Xiaomi Gateway before going there, finally, they responded with available! I went there, bought it and went home immediately.

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I was very eager to use it and, after assembly, without cleaning my room, I turned it on. AQI was 39. Initially, I thought this was not that bad. As airnow.gov points out 0-50 AQI is good. I think to myself, ‘Inatake nanaman ba ako ng kaartehan?’ (Was I attacked by artistic?). Then I rationalize and defend my impulse buy. The 39 Dust particles are probably more dangerous than outside AQI due to the fact that these come from wood, cement, marble chippings, and other house construction dusts.  And so I slept. And boy was that the best night sleep I have had in my room for eleven years. I started living in Quezon City way back in 2008 and that night April 30, 2019. That was the best sleep yet.

 

Labor Day, May 1, 2019, since I woke up fresh and energized I took out all my stuff in my room, sweeped the room, wiped my electronics and mopped my floor. I wanted to have a very relaxing Vacation day and after cleaning, that was what I had. Breathing deeply in and out on ‘purified air’ is something you have to experience for yourself. It was amazing. Before I go, let me give you a few more things to know about the Xiaomi Air Purifier 2s.

  1. You only have 3 modes to choose from: Auto, Manual, Night.

 

  1. You can connect it remotely via Mi Home App.
  2. It actually removes unwanted smell. Or at the very least lessens unwanted smell. My room sometimes smell like my dog but when I turn the purifier on, the smell goes away.
  3. There is no substitute for cleaning your room. Think of the Air Purifier as a maintainer. Though I can confidently say that the dust settlement on my soundbar when the purifier is on for two days vs off is very substantial.
  4. It gets very loud. As per Sound Meter, it gets to as loud as 60dB on my room which is typically only 20-30dBs

 

  1. It is suggested to have your filter replaced every 3 to 6 months. As of May 25, 2019, my Filter is at 85% already. I tend to leave my Purifier on for more or less 12 hours a day. This can get expensive quick as filters costs Php1300.

 

  1. It does not cool your air. This is an air purifier not an air conditioner. There is air that comes out the top on Manual mode but don’t expect it to replace your fan/aircon.
  2. Its power consumption is barely noticeable. This is one of the best feature of this device. It barely made dent on my electric bill. I expected my bill to shoot up by Php2,000+ due to my extensive aircon use and this but my bill this month was barely Php2,000!
  3. It works. Now as stated earlier, I have no other way to measure Air Quality Index. The reason I say it works is because I have had better sleep ever since I bought this and I don’t have clogged nose when I wake up even if my dog is sleeping beside me (Irish, my dog, is a Pomeranian)

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Xiaomi Mi 3 – The Better in the Lesser

Xiaomi Mi 3 – The Better in the Lesser

 Xiaomi, a brand new and relatively unknown especially here in the Philippines, but as they released the monster Mi 3, they have taken over by storm, and amidst being a Chinese Company, some of our patriots continue to push boycotting china products, it has grown critical acclaim and their products are having great clamour.

Xiaomi Mi3 was sold out shortly after it became available and the Xiaomi Powerbank sale sold out in seconds! As much as we want to hate China, there is no denying that they are here to stay and here to challenge Rebranders, which, to the best of my knowledge are also Chinese made branded as a Philippine Product.

Today, we take a late look at the Xiaomi that started it all. Xiaomi Mi 3. Packed with Quad-Core 2.3 GHz Snapdragon 800, an Ardeno 330 GPU, 2GB of Ram and a surprising 5 Inch Full HD 1920×1080 Display, Xiaomi Mi3 is still an absolute beast 1 year upon its announcement and subsequent release.

With Monster Specs and a surprising price, does Xiaomi Mi 3 live up to the tremendous hype? Or is it another China Phone to avoid? Read on and Find out!

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  1. Design and Build

 

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Xiaomi Mi 3 is a 5 Inch phone protected by Gorilla Glass 3 and Polycarbonate body. The choice of material used makes it feel premium to hold and unlike some plastic and/or glass enclosures, you can be sure that this phone will not get any fingerprints, keeping its premium feel intact even after continuous use. The phone looks rectangular but its top and bottom sides are curvy. Along with the 5 Inch Screen, the front houses the front camera, capacitive Menu-Home-Back buttons and the Mi Logo. One side both has the volume rocker and power button. The top has the 3.5mm jack, sim tray, a mini-speaker. The bottom has the speaker and the USB port. The back houses the 13MP camera and another Mi logo.

Xiaomi Mi 3 feels comfortable to hold, and, unlike its same priced rebranded competitors, it does not look cheap. Its look can even pass up for a higher tier device.

  1. Display

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Sporting a 5 Inch Full HD 1920×1080 display, Xiaomi Mi 3 pushes its boundary further. Icons and text look vivid, crisp, vibrant and sharp. Viewing images, zooming in and out, watching Full HD movies will definitely be a pleasurable experience. One thing I did notice is the viewing angles. Tilt the device a little, even at maximum brightness, you will see deterioration of the screen. Sunlight contrast is also an issue as, again, even on maximum brightness, your screen will be hard to look at. This may be due to its highly reflective screen. It’s so reflective, you can use this as a faux mirror.

 

  1. Entertainment

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After having an amazing body and display, one flaw Mi 3 has would be its speaker. They are not bad but they definitely do not perform as well as higher tier phones he hopes to challenge. Put it head to head with Rebranders, Xiaomi Mi 3 most definitely perform much better. Mi 3 offers ok loudspeakers, headsets attached, it has decent sound, though it is not as clean as its higher tiered competitors. It is not that noticeable but on max volume, there are some distortion. Again, they are rarely noticeable.

Sporting that beastly Full HD 1080p display, Xiaomi Mi 3 proves to be a very reliable video player. Partner it with Mx Player Pro and there is nothing that it can fit that it can’t play. Yes even 3GB 1080p Files will play smoothly. Your eyes are in for a treat!

Gaming is another strong suit of this Mammoth, NBA 2k14, Dead Trigger and Injustice are just some of the games which play smoothly. NBA 2k14’s multiplayer mode also plays smoothly. A truly amazing feat. Obviously, for non-HD Games, Xiaomi Mi 3 will breeze through them.

Web Browsing and Streaming is also a good experience on Mi 3 as its powerful specs makes the former and the latter an experience to be proud of on Mi 3.

  1. Camera

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I may have finally found a flaw with Mi 3! It’s Camera! The Camera’s interface feels slow and laggy and focusing takes some time. Image quality on normal lighting conditions are ok, but throw in a little darkness and/or a little low light, images will result with some noise. Front camera also looks noisy and washed out. That’s not to say Mi 3’s camera is completely useless, it can be used on normal lighting and some selfies here and there, just don’t expect Super Brand (Sony, Samsung, Apple) Camera performance. The extras also feels like a toned down version from various camera apps.

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  1. Software

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As mentioned earlier, Mi3 comes packed with Quad-Core 2.3 GHz Snapdragon 800, an Ardeno 330 GPU, and 2GB of Ram. It runs Xiaomi’s custom Launcher MIUI is a mock of Apple’s OS. Unlike other custom skins, ehem TouchWiz, MIUI feels fast, smooth and very responsive, it’s a great feel to almost Apple. If you are an iOS launcher fan, MIUI will certainly appease to your taste. Even notifications feel vastly different from Android.

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Even if Xiaomi feels like a hybrid of iOS and Android, it is still easy to use and very user-friendly. Functioning as a phone, call quality is ok. The SMS app runs fine but its keyboard is stock, which maybe good or bad depending on your preference. It has NFC Chip but no LTE. I don’t mind the lack of LTE as you wouldn’t enjoy it anyway here in Philippines.

As for software support, I hope Xiaomi continuous to give life to it by giving it the latest for as long as possible. A good sign maybe the increasing dev support as it finally has a page on xda forums!

 

  1. Battery

 A big question for power users. How is the battery life? Actually, I am very impressed as I expected bad battery life. Standby time is very long and on an average use it CAN PROBABLY last you two full days. As for heavy users, lasting through a typical 100% from house to after work to back to your house with a little battery life left is attainable on some occasions. A truly good, if not great, feat! Take note that continuous heavy use will result in heating up of your device.

 

Executive Summary

SCORESESE

CONS:

  • So-so camera
  • Non-expandable storage
  • No LTE Connectivity
  • Soft Loudspeakers
  • Distortions at Max Volume
  • Bad Sunlight Contrast and viewing Angles
  • Limited availability
  • Heating up on continuous heavy use

PROS:

  • Feels and Looks expensive
  • 5 Inch Full 1920×1080 Display
  • MIUI Feels fast
  • Web Browsing and YouTube Streaming is Good
  • Gorilla Glass 3
  • A Good Gaming Phone
  • Good Battery Life
  • CHEAP

STAYTUNED

No question. At P10, 599 SRP Xiaomi Mi 3 is the BEST and the PHONE TO OWN. Hate the Chinese all you want, they did an amazing job with Xiaomi Mi 3 and they did it without breaking the banks. The cons of so-so camera and bad viewing angles seem a pretty minor trade-off for a beautifully crafted device that offers buttery smooth performance, amazing display, and a good multimedia driver. Xiaomi may not be a well-known brand but it certainly is the better choice if you are on a budget. If you are on a budget and other choices in your list consists of Cherry, MyPhone or a crap-speced Branded phone, I would recommend getting the Xiaomi Mi 3 instead.

Xiaomi Mi 3 packs a enough specs to challenge High Tier Branded phone and makes Rebrander Kings Cherry and MyPhone look cheap, unimpressive and overpriced!

I am that impressed with this phone and very excited to compare it to a Branded Phone with similar specs. Can you guess what Phone I am referring it to? Well, Stay tuned to find out! 😛

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