Xiaomi has launched the Mi 3 in the Indian market with the intent to challenge the established vendors in the country. Available for just Rs. 14,999, the Mi 3 offers great value for money, even more so than the Moto G, long considered to be the standout device in the budget segment.
As far as the hardware is concerned, the Mi 3 boasts a 5-inch
full-HD display, Snapdragon 800 SoC which has a quad-core 2.3 GHz CPU, 2 GB RAM
and 16 GB internal memory
. If that configuration looks familiar, it is because high-end devices like the Nexus 5 feature the same internal hardware.
With every device in the budget segment, there have been tradeoffs undertaken to ensure that the costs can be brought down. With the Nexus 5, it was the camera sensors. With the Moto G, it was the internal hardware, which while decent, could not hold a candle to the likes of the Galaxy S5 or the HTC One M8.
That isn't the case with Xiaomi's Mi 3. The device can match anything that is currently available, even taking on the Galaxy S5. With a 13 MP camera at the back with dual-LED flash and a 2 MP shooter at the front
, the Mi 3 can record full-HD videos from both cameras and offers a host of shooting modes and settings for imaging enthusiasts.
If you're concerned about connectivity, the Mi 3 has dual-band Wi-Fi, HSPA+ (42 Mbps), Bluetooth 4.0, GPS + GLONASS and AGPS. While the lack of 4G LTE is an issue, the state of the 4G rollout in the country is yet to reach mainstream users anyway.
Even battery life is an area that the Mi 3 excels in, thanks to the 3,050 mAh battery which is more than what is included in the Galaxy S5 or the HTC One M8. The larger battery ensures that the device stays switched on for more than a day, alleviating a major concern for consumers these days.
Considering that the Mi 3 does not have any deficiencies in the hardware front, you must be wondering whether software is an issue, as is often the case with Chinese vendors. Usually, we would agree, but in the case of Xiaomi, who develop the MIUI custom ROM, this isn't a factor. The Mi 3 comes with the latest version of MIUI, which is in its fifth iteration.
MIUI is one of the most widely downloaded custom ROMs in the world and is available for most major devices. MIUI 5 on the Mi 3 is loaded on a base of Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, with an update to Android 4.4 KitKat arriving shortly.
If you're making a checklist of all the things you would want in a mobile, at this stage you would have ticked most boxes.
The Mi 3 is easily one of the better devices we've seen thus far. If you're looking for a handset that doesn't break the bank and offers the same amount of features as a high-end flagship, look no further. The fact that it is available for Rs. 14,999 is just the icing on the cake.