The Xiaomi launch event is over now, and due to internet problems we haven’t been able to post at the speed we hoped. We’re back now though with everything you need to know about the Xiaomi Mi3.
At today’s launch here in Beijing Xiaomi Co-founder and CEO Lei Jun took to the stage and announced the Xiaomi Mi3 Android smartphone and the 47-inch Xiaomi TV, sorry guys there was no Xiaomi Tablet, Xiaomi laptop, Xiaomi games console or Red Rice WCDMA announced.
So what can we tell you about the Xiaomi Mi3 flagship phone?
Xiaomi Mi3 Design
The tipsters, insiders and sketchers got it right! The Xiaomi Mi3 does have a kind of Nokia Lumia look to it. It’s a design I secretly hoped for and I have not been disappointed when the final design flashed up on screen or I finally got the phone in hand!
The body of the Mi3 is alloy and measure in at 144 x 73.6 x 8.1mm. A large 3050mAh battery is sealed in to the stylish body (it is not user removable) and the SIM card fits inside a tray in the top of the device.
Multiple colours will be available and there is also an iPad style Smart Cover available for the phone to which protects the front and rear and also acts as a stand while watching movies.
5-inch 1080 display
The screen size and resolution didn’t come as a surprise either, and measures in at 5-inch with a FHD resolution of 1920 x 1080 and a pixel density of 441ppi.
No mention of if Xiaomi have decided to use Gorilla Glass or similar, however the OGS panel will still function accurately with wet hands or while wearing gloves. This isn’t to say the phone is waterproof, but if you happen to have wet hands or it is raining you can use the phone.
After having some hands on time with the Mi3 I can tell you the screen is a bright and crisp as any other 1080 phone, but no more so.
We had heard that Xiaomi would use either a Tegra 4 processor or Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, what we didn’t expect though was for 2 versions of the Mi3 with choices of both!
International Xiaomi Fans will only be interested in the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 unit which works with China Unicom here, and will support most international bands. The Tegra 4 version of the phone will only be of use to Chinese customers who use China Mobile’s own brand of 3G.
Interestingly Lei Jun mentioned that the Mi3 uses the most powerful version of the Snapdragon 800 CPU (8974AB), and even mentioned that the processor Xiaomi has chosen is faster the the S800 Samsung will have announced they will use.
To show us how powerful Antutu scores of both Mi3 models were shown showing that the Tegra 4 model is the most powerful with a score of 36,582 while the S800 model get’s 36,026.
The Qualcomm version will run a 2.3Ghz processor with Adreno 330 graphics.
Both phones have 2GB DDR3 RAM and use faster 120mps memory for storage.
The rear camera on the Mi3 is a 13 mega-pixel sensor from the Sony stable with an Aperture of F2.2, 28mm wide angle lens. Images taken with the rear camera are really bright and crisp with tons of detail.
The front camera isn’t as great as we had hoped and is just a 2 mega-pixel sensor , but it has a larger 30mm wide lens, F2.2 aperture and the camera app features a more tuned version of the current ‘Beauty function’ to enhance facial features.
Speaking of the camera app, it has been updated with more adjustments than before allowing you to tweak every setting to get the perfect shot.
Other great features include the 3050mAh battery, Cirrus Logic and Dirac HD stereo sound, and a new immersion feature which changes the intensity of the phone vibration depending on what is shown on the screen (a great feature for games).
Like the Xiaomi Mi2A the Wifi has been updated to the faster 5Ghz frequency as well as 2.4G.
There is also built-in NFC, and enhanced GPS which will use the built in gyroscopic sensor to direct you if you loose GPS while heading in a tunnel.
USB OTG, Bluetooth 4.0, WIFI Direct, Mirracast and more are also included in the feature packed new phone.
Pricing and availability
The base model of the Xiaomi Mi3 with 16GB of memory will go on sale for 1999 Yuan ($320) while the top of the range model with 64GB is 2499 Yuan ($408). Both versions will be on sale in China for those of us with F codes from mid October.
There was no mention of an International release, but when Hugo Barra took to the stage he did say he planned spreading the word of MIUI and Xiaomi around the world, so it is likely still on the cards!