Exclusive: Full review of the Xiaomi MI3!

If you are going to buy the new jewel of Xiaomi, this is the review, deepened in every detail, that you were waiting for! Your personal "buying guide" on Xiaomi MI3 (Nvidia Tegra 4 version).

You might also like Xiaomi Mi3 Snapdragon 800 in Italy for GizChina.it

We thank the "surgical" review Eduardo of Gizchina.es!

This version is the one that features Nvidia's new quad-core processor, the Tegra 4, designed to support the China Mobiles TD-SCDMA 3G network. Our companion from Gizchina.es was therefore able to test the functionality of GSM and Edge, but not that of 3G: Eduardo also found some bugs, but we are confident since the model kindly granted him is a beta-version and we are sure that in the final one that will soon be in production, these small problems will be solved.

Xiaomi MI3 - Unboxing / Hands-on Italian video (subtitles)

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First impressions are exciting. MI3 is very fast, an excellent sensitivity, almost stunning. A bit of lag here and there (even on the camera) with the pre-installed firmware, but nothing special since with the update to the last available release they have been solved. However we believe that for official commercialization, MI3 will be so-called "in shape", without any problem!

Xiaomi MI3 - Display

The display of this MI3 represents the best the market can offer. A 5 inch Full-HD 1920 × 1080 produced by Sharp that guarantees very clean images; the great brightness allows use even in the most adverse situations without problems. The sensitivity is excellent, the screen will follow the movements of your fingers in an unexpectedly positive way. The viewing angle is the top and will allow you to see the screen in any position.

Xiaomi says that the display of MI3 is Ultra-Sensitive and does not lie, because it works even if we use a pair of gloves.

Resistance is guaranteed by Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection; therefore you will not have to worry about any falls.

Xiaomi MI3 - Camera

Many have asked me to thoroughly analyze the camera and so I did. However, given the problems with the pre-installed firmware and the beta-test nature of the phone, I was not impressed that it seemed not exactly flawless; some of the built-in features didn't work all the way. Some of the image filters were not working, the focus gave some problems and the panorama mode was perhaps a little too slow. We would like to underline once again that the tested model is not the one that will be marketed ... we have tried various Xiaomi smartphones in the past and none of them have ever presented similar problems.

Video example - 1080p

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Video example - 720p

The quality of the photos is at its best and absolutely does not fear the comparison with the sensors of competing devices. Still for the firmware problem, I preferred to shoot at 10 mega-pixels rather than 13. You can agree that the result is incredible. For the night photos I used a 2 second exposure to capture even more light!


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Here are some screen shots of the camera's MIUI graphic interface. As you can see, there are many features to edit shots and make beautiful photos.

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Xiaomi MI3 - Performance

As is known, Xiaomi will market 2 versions of MI3, one with Nvidia Tegra 4 and one with Qualcomm Snapdragon 800. The model with Tegra 4 is intended exclusively for the Chinese market given the limited support to China Mobile and will soon be on sale, while the one with Snapdragon 800 will work on the China Unicom 3G network and is the one to which interest those interested in purchase, as it will also work with most European 3G networks.

Both versions are super performing. However with the current firmware, the phone did not reach on Antutu the score claimed by the company.

Xiaomi MI3 (Nvidia Tegra 4) - Antutu Benchmark

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The Antutu result with this firmware has reached a score around the 30000 points but after the update the result has changed, up to touch the 35000. The company has announced an "unreachable" 37000, which makes us assume further improvements from future updates.

Xiaomi MI3 (Nvidia Tegra 4) - 3D Mark

Ice Storm

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I had to run the Extreme version, which requires Full-HD resolution, to make the GPU work properly, since the standard did not allow a thorough analysis.

Ice Storm Extreme

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Quadrant Standard Test

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As for the standard Ice Storm, here too the test is too "light" and always shows the highest result.

GFX Bench

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Here, however, the GPU is exploited to the maximum, so I can not tell you if with the firmware update, the results will be better!


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With the NenaMark2 the MI3 did not struggle particularly and gave an average FPS of 59.9.

Xiaomi MI3 - Gaming

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For the test, I installed Real Racing 3 and the sensations are satisfactory: graphics and speed from 1 ° of the class.

Xiaomi MI3 - Software

Like all Xiaomi devices, MI3 also runs the MIUI rom, heavy customization of the Android system. In comparison with the basic stock, MIUI has a much higher attention to detail quality and makes some functions easier to use. I must admit, however, that what glitters is not all gold ... MIUI in fact translates only some parts, some apps, like most of the contents and themes, have menus exclusively in Chinese. However, this is only a problem of time, especially if Xiaomi really wants to start "conquering the world".

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Xiaomi MI3 - Design

The design of Xiaomi MI3 is a worry: many love it, others less. To see it is very reminiscent of the Nokia Lumia, to have it in hand, however, the similarities are much less evident.

On the display side, an 5 inch Full-HD 1920 × 1080, is the front camera.

The rear camera is located on the upper left side of the powerful dual LED flash. The sensor is perhaps a little too close to the edge and you will have to pay attention to where you put your fingers when taking pictures. This is particularly evident if your former smartphone has the camera in a central position, like MI2S or one of the Galaxy series.

24The base of the smartphone houses the main loudspeaker, an excellent position, which guarantees to hear its sound even when the phone is turned "back". Next, we find the MicroUSB port through which to exchange data, recharge the device or use the MHL technology (not active, however, on this prototype).

At the top we find: the SIM space (note to us positive that Xiaomi has opted for a SIM and not a nano or a microSIM) and the jack from 3.5mm for the attack of the earphones.

On the right side are the power button and the volume management button.

The management buttons, backlit capacitive, are located below the screen.


I want it, seriously! This smartphone is amazing! In this period I was reflecting on the right device that could send my Galaxy S3 into retirement ... I think there is no better alternative!
MI3 borders on perfection and the small problems I found are trivially solvable with firmware updates.
The only problem, so to speak, is that the phone is too powerful for my daily needs, and maybe I would not appreciate its potential!

The camera, albeit with some annoyances, is excellent. Take great shots, better than what you could get from most devices now on the market; nevertheless even the small bugs will be corrected for the international distribution and then your experience also from this point of view will be at the top. I would like to try the version with Snapdragon 800 as soon as possible to verify its performance but also to see if the camera bugs have been solved… So we just have to wait!

Do not worry, as always Gizchina.it will keep you informed!

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