Most of the time, we all get excited whenever a new smartphone comes to town. But Xiaomi's superphone, the Mi 3, got so many Filipinos talking, not to mention reaching for their wallets—faster than what happens when other smartphones hit the market, it seems. (Well, except for Apple and Samsung phones, but you get what we mean.)
It was such a hot item that it was reportedly sold out in less than two hours after it was made available here less than a month ago. It helped that Xiaomi did two flash sales with Lazada (the online store where you could currently buy the device) and made limited stocks available for those initial runs. But we think it's not just the “dali, bili na bago maubusan!” factor that contributed to the buzz.
And because we're such curious cats, we said “show me” and managed to get a Mi 3 unit to play with. Let us say this: We now totally get why everyone went crazy over and called dibs on this little bugger!
One can say the Mi 3 depends on the classics when it comes to japorms. It has a candybar form factor, with its 5-inch Full-HD IPS Retina display taking over most of the front section; and with the controls at the bottom. It's the same story at the back: 13-megapixel camera and LED flash at top left; logo, manufacturing deets, and warranty sticker at the bottom
Its size deems it pocketable, a plus for dudes who want their smartphones on them at all times, and don't mind having an extra bulge in the pockets, front or back *wink wink*. It's also lightweight at 145g—excellent news for the one-handers.
As for controls, aside from the touch-sensitive buttons below the screen, you also have both the physical Power button and Volume toggles on the right side, making for easier operation. Speakers (and micro USB port) are on the underside, another plus for chronic soundtrippers who hate having muffled playback when the phone's front-side up.
A FEW PA-POGI TRICKS
The Mi 3 sports Xiaomi's MIUI OS, which is a customized version of Android and is different from stock Android in several ways. First, it puts all apps on the Home screen. This is awesome because you don't have to go to a separate menu for all your apps and search for the one you want. We've seen this done before in other phones (like the Lenovo Vibe X), but we think the MIUI offers more cool transitional effects and looks more polished.