Water Purifier systems have to be one of the most commonly found items in Indian households. And, with potable tap water still being a distant reality, they are here to stay. To be very honest, I didn’t think the water purifier industry has “evolved” a lot in the last two decades that I’ve seen them as a part of our kitchens. Until very recently, I assumed that buying a new Water Purifier just meant picking up a system that fits your budget out of all the Hema Malini endorsed options. Hey, don’t judge me. I’m sure your parents have gone on about Hema Malini being everyone’s “Dream Girl” back in the day too.
But two months ago, while shifting to a new home, I was presented with the opportunity to choose a water purifier for my kitchen (adult life, huh!). And, just when I’d finalised a model from the aforementioned Hema Malini brand, Xiaomi India reached out to me to review their Mi Smart Water Purifier.
You can imagine my happiness, as it got delivered to my place within a week. And, the very next day, there was a technician to get the installation done. Anyway, it’s been exactly 48 days since that happened – and more than a year since it launched. The long and short of this is: the Mi Water Purifier is probably the easiest product recommendation for anyone looking for a water purifier right now. If you want to know the details of what it’s like to use this product or a “Smart” Water purifier in general, well read on.
Mi Smart Water Purifier: Build, Design and Installation Process
The installation process for the Mi Smart Water Purifier was pretty simple. In the box, you get the main body of the water purifier with an attached power cord, the inlet/outlet tubes and three filter cartridges, which we’ll get to in a bit. The overall design of the Mi Smart Water Purifier is very minimalistic in nature.
Once you get over the fact that it doesn’t look very snazzy or “tech-savvy,” you’ll begin to appreciate the clean design aesthetic and the subtle curves all around the plastic matte finish body. There’s a single “Mi” Logo on the front and two small buttons to be used for filter reset and switch, respectively. The two-step side profile and the all-white design, means this water purifier is going to look good in almost every kitchen setting.
The bottom half of the purifier has a removable cover, which opens up to reveal the three filter cartridges. These are super simple to install/remove and this design element will go on to become one of the key USPs of this water purifier. For output, you get a typical water purifier faucet with both ‘hold to dispense’ and ‘continuous dispensing’ options. Before wrapping up the design section, there are two potential downsides that you might face with the device.
Firstly, this water purifier wouldn’t be suitable for ‘under-the-sink’ or ‘sitting on a countertop’ installation. This placement setting is becoming more commonplace in Indian households now. And secondly, there is no transparent portion in the filter’s body. So, you can’t see the condition and level of water inside the water tank. It’s not a deal breaker if you ask me, though.
Mi Smart Water Purifier: Purification Process and Water Quality
Coming to the most important part of a water purification system, the actual filtration and purification process. I’ll be very honest, I didn’t know a lot about the technicalities involved in water purification before this review. But, as a tech reviewer, I did my research and here’s what I’ve gathered so far. The tap water which we get in most of our houses has some dissolved impurities. This might include really harmful stuff like viruses, bacteria, chlorine, etc or some other solids like minerals, salts etc. These aren’t harmful if their concentration in the water is regulated.
These are generally referred to and measured as Total dissolved solids (TDS), which comprise of “inorganic salts (principally calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, bicarbonates, chlorides, and sulfates) and some small amounts of organic matter that are dissolved in water.” In my society, the TDS from Tap water is around 450-500mg/L, which is higher than the 300mg/L standard, generally accepted as potable.
But wait! Not all dissolved solids are bad, as you might have guessed by now. Fun fact: the “Mineral Water” that most brands sell, has additional dissolved minerals which is actually beneficial for our body. Also, a lot of Water Purifiers nowadays come with features like “Copper Shakti” or “Ayur” advantage, where it promises to dissolve the right kind and quantity of minerals into your purified water.
For starters, the Mi Smart Water Purifier can’t add anything to your water. It does however reduce the TDS quite significantly. During my usage for an input TDS of approximately 500, the output that I get is always below 20-30. The best part about this is you get to keep an eye on the TDS levels of your water in real-time via the app. Now the filters that I mentioned in the beginning, there are three of them and here’s a useful graphic to learn about what each one of them does:
All in all, it’s a 5-step Purification process, including the usual RO filtration and even UV sterilization, which happens every four hours. So, even if you have filtered water stored in the tank for days, there’s no worry of it getting bacteria. By the way, the storage capacity of the filter is seven litres. And, if you’re wondering, it wastes about two litres of water for every litre of purified water that it produces.
As far as my experience goes, we have been drinking water from the Mi Smart Water Purifier for almost two months now, and we’re all healthy. So that’s something, right? Plus, there’s hardly any taste to the water that it outputs, which is a good thing. However, it might feel a bit weird to people accustomed to their water tasting a certain way.
Mi Smart Water Purifier: Smart Features
So, all of this is good, and there’s little to nothing this water purifier can do and Basanti’s can’t. But, that changes now. Starting with the three filters I mentioned earlier, they are fitted in such a way that it is a child’s play to remove/replace them. What this means is you don’t have to call the service centre a thousand times every time your filters run out.
On the purifier, it’s as simple as ordering the filter you have to replace, and plugging it into the purifier. The whole process takes a few minutes. I am yet to reach the stage where I need to swap my filters out, but here’s a quick demo in case you are curious:
But that’s not even the best part. The true ‘smartness’ of this water purifier lies in the fact that it connects to your home’s Wi-Fi network and you can use the ‘Mi Home’ app to make the most out of it. To begin with, it shows you the live TDS for your tap water and the purified water. I can even look back at what was the TDS of water that I had on the 1st of October, which is when the MSWP got installed at my place.
Additionally, you can keep a tab on the total purified water quantity for the day, week or month. Pretty handy if you’re trying to drink a certain quantity of water for your fitness/health regime. Lastly and maybe the single most important use case, is that you get a real time health status of all the three filters. So, you’ll always be well prepared in advance for when it’s time to switch a particular filter.
Notice the ‘Buy’ button at the bottom? That’s another neat touch, making the overall usage experience for the end user extremely intuitive and hassle-free. The filters themselves range from Rs. 899 to Rs 1799. And based on my current usage, I think they’ll need to be replaced not more than once every 1-2 years. However, that will also vary based on the water condition in your area.
And, for those wondering, you don’t necessarily need a constant Wi-Fi connection for the water purifier to function. I’’ll still do its job, but you won’t be able to monitor the real time status or filter health. Although, you can probably do with just a monthly update on that too.
Mi Smart Water Purifier: Pros and Cons
So that’s basically everything you need to know about the Mi Smart Water Purifier. I’ll quickly summarise my experience in a pros and cons list. Starting with the things that I liked about the purifier.
1. It has a classy, elegant design and it does the work it is supposed to do.
2. The purifier offers some really convenient smart functionalities such as real-time monitoring of water quality and filter health.
Now, I don’t have any big complaints with the Mi Smart Water Purifier so far, but here are some things which might be important to your purchase.
1. It’s a completely opaque design.
2. There is no option to set a TDS level for your water
3. And, it doesn’t give you any additional benefits like dissolving healthy minerals into your drinking water, which a lot of traditional water purifier companies have now started to offer.
Mi Smart Water Purifier: Pricing and Verdict
The Mi Smart Water Purifier has been around for almost a year now, and it has seen some fluctuations in its price. As of writing this review (Nov 2020), it’s available for Rs 10,990 on Mi India’s website. And, I think it’s definitely worth the money. Especially if you’re the kind of person who has started experimenting with smart products in your home. And, even more so, if you have an assortment of other Mi Smart home products already.
I tried to search for “Smart Water Purifiers” online and I couldn’t find a lot of options. Just one each from Aquaguard and Livpure, and both of them seemed to be priced above 20K. Now you might not need a Smart Water Purifier at all, and around the 10-12K range, you’ll get plethora of options for regular water purifiers. But, I am convinced that choosing the functionality and added convenience on offer with the Mi Smart Water Purifier, without any sort of “premium” being charged for it, is definitely the ‘Smart Choice’ to make.