Video: Xiaomi Hongmi Unboxing and hands on

Interested in the entry-level Xiaomi Hongmi Android smartphone? Then we have the unboxing and hands on video for you!

I always fancied the idea of getting a Xiaomi Hongmi to test, but as there currently isn’t a China Unicom edition, aka WCDMA, I decided it wasn’t worth it. However, as Xiaomi gave us a could of these entry-level MIUI phones for FREE yesterday then it would be rude not to give them a go!

Xiaomi Hongmi Design

After having our hands on the Xiaomi Mi3 yesterday and being very familiar with the Mi2 and Mi2A, it is clear that the Hongmi sits between the old Mi2 style and new Mi3 in the design department.

xiaomi hongmi hands on

From the face of the Hongmi it looks more square and edgy than the Mi2 phones, and more similar to the new Mi3. Even the silver buttons on the dark grey body is similar to the new flagship phone.

xiaomi hongmi hands on

The rear is similar to the Mi2A with the camera in the center and LED flash below it. It’s a good look for the phone and one which would look good on a handset costing much more.

xiaomi hongmi hands on

Moving back to the front of the phone we have a 4.7-inch display with 3 capitative buttons sitting below on the chin. The buttons have red icons but are not back-lit (just like the Mi2).

xiaomi hongmi hands on

The 3.5mm head phone jack is placed at the top, the power button and volume rocker live on the right side of the device and a micro USB port in the base. If you are already familiar with current Xiaomi phones everything is where you would expect it to be.

xiaomi hongmi hands on

A plastic rear shell is removable and allows for access to the dual SIM slots, micros SD card reader and removable 2000mAh battery.


xiaomi hongmi hands on

As mentioned above the Hongmi has a 4.7-inch display, making it the second largest phone in Xiaomi’s lineup. The display has a resolution of 1280 x 720 and is an IPS unit for improved viewing angles.

xiaomi hongmi hands on

First impressions of the screen are that it is great for use indoors, but it is an extremely glossy finish and is quite tricky to see when used outdoors. I think a matt clear screen protector is in order!


xiaomi hongmi hands on

Above the glossy display sits a 1.3 mega-pixel camera, and on the back we have an 8 mega-pixel Samsung sensor. I’ve not had chance to check the quality but the speed of use on both and the interface is the same as the Xiaomi Mi2 and Mi2A.

Similar priced phones from Chinese phone makers would have a 1.2Ghz quad-core MT6589 processor, or possibly even a dual-core chip, but Xiaomi have gone the whole hog and given the Hongmi a 1.5Ghz MT6589TT, that’s not a typing error this is a TT chip. The first T stands for Turbo and the second T stands for TD-SCDMA (China Mobile 3G).

xiaomi hongmi hands on

Helping the processor is 1GB RAM, there is also 4GB of built-in memory and a micro SD card slot for 32GB SD cards.

Other features include GPS, AGPS, FM radio, WIFI, Bluetooth, 3.5mm headphone jack, 2000mAh battery and support for OTG!


A Xiaomi isn’t a Xiaomi without MIUI and the Hongmi get’s the latest version MIUI V5 built on Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean. MIUI is a highly modified version of Android and features some excellent features including HDR photo, Panorama photos, 1080 video capture, MiCloud cloud storage, Game Center, Xiaomi market and more!

The Hongmi, like other Xiaomi phones doesn’t ship with Google apps or the Play store but installing them couldn’t be easier as there is an installation app available in the Xiaomi app store!

Video: Xiaomi Hongmi Unboxing and hands on

First Impressions

First impressions are very good! For a phone costing 799 Yuan you really should expect such a great specification, let along a well supported ROM with weekly updates and all in a chassis which makes Zopo phones look like a wet noodle!

Previous First drawing of Zopo’s 8-core MT6592 published
Next Purported 6-inch iPhone prototype leaked photos


  1. gazoz kapagi
    September 6, 2013

    Hi andy, do you know when the WCMDA 900/2100 version will come out?

    • September 6, 2013

      I have already seen the spy photo so hopefully soon

      • Simon
        September 7, 2013

        China Unicom smartphones are WCMDA 900/2100 compliant and would work in the UK, is that right ?

      • liljohn
        September 7, 2013

        can it be used in indonesia? for 3g internet….

  2. September 6, 2013

    But I don’t really like the design of this phone. Looks like any other generic Chinese phone…

  3. Nathan
    September 6, 2013

    Andy thanks so much for mentioning the Google apps installer. I didn’t even think to check and thought I’d have to flash it on. Turns out it couldn’t be easier.

  4. foggyflute
    September 6, 2013

    How’s GPS catching speed with this one? Any better than average mediatek?

    • September 6, 2013

      That’s something I’m also interested in. I’ll test it tomorrow.

  5. September 6, 2013

    Beg me a pardon dear Andi , what’s the meaning of Hongmi and Honami ?
    thank you

    • September 6, 2013

      Hongmi is Chinese Pinyin which translates to “red rice”. I don’t know what Honami means.

      • Allanitomwesh
        September 6, 2013

        Honami is a girl’s name. It is japanese.

        • Airyl
          September 7, 2013

          Andi, what does Xiaomi mean? I Google translated it on Alibaba once, and it translated to millet. My cousin says it means small rice. Help?

          • Simon
            September 7, 2013

            I think Xiaomi translates as the “Apple of China”. Yes Ihave seen the word millet used in several places when referring to Xiaomi.

            • Marco
              September 7, 2013

              Xiaomi , 小米 , means little rice , or millet.

  6. J
    September 6, 2013

    Very, very glossy. You see only Your own face.

  7. adri
    September 6, 2013

    Man you really don’t like Zopo.and this is not from today….

    • September 8, 2013

      Rather uncanny marketing against zopo. Well its unfair when this device is heavily subsidized by Chinese industries that why its so good price and spec. It’s luring economical customers onto the cm network. So a snipe at zopo seemed unfair. Ok I do also think zopo could drop their price a bit to start winning more fans.

  8. temar
    September 6, 2013

    Can you add photo sample with camera? Is camera any good?

  9. jd
    September 7, 2013

    Hi Andi could you tell me if this phone (the china mobile version) or the mi2s china mobile version would work on a vodafone network?(their dutch network)

    I’m in china atm and would like to bring a phone back, just dont know if it would work in the netherlands. my dutch phone does work with a china mobile simcard but i dont know if thats a guarantee it will work the other way around aswell.

    • Robin
      September 8, 2013


      The THIS version will only work on GSM in the Netherlands. On other phones there will be no problem for 3G in the Netherlands.

      Ik heb al meerdere telefoons uit China gehaald(Waaronder de M1S en de M2A) die prima werken op onze 3G netwerken, vodafone, T-mobile en kpn.

  10. Simon
    September 7, 2013

    MIUI updates occur on a weekly basis:

    Are they OTA via Wifi and:

    Are they automatic (and are u told when an update has taken place) ?


    Are you given a notification on the home screen to prompt you to update ?

    Thanks for clarifying

  11. shikhi
    September 7, 2013

    hi Andy,
    Can you please arrange the processors in the order of their performances. tegra4,sdragon600,sdragon800, s4 , mtk589T and other commonly found ones you have come across.

    • September 8, 2013

      From my own experience it t4 and 800 series. T4 may be better for game graphics. Then 600 series then s4 pro then 6589t. 6589t 2 gb ram is comparable to s4 plus series or these days mid range 400 series. Good for their price and highly usable except if you are a avid 3d gamer or need intense GPS applications.

  12. shikhi
    September 8, 2013

    and any comparision abt the dispalys??

    i see this one quite attractive.

    the guy in the comments says that its always on nvidia products. are there any other handsets that are saturated??

  13. Jackie
    September 9, 2013

    I plan on buying a new smartphone, and I’m having a hard time deciding between Jiayu G4 and Xiaomi Hongmi? Which one would you recommend? Also, is it true that Jiayu G4 has some problems with touch calibration? :/

  14. phandroid324
    September 30, 2013

    Is the screen of the Hongmi optically laminated? Is it an OGS display? Would be great if Andy or anyone else could confirm or deny.