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Xiaomi Mi 3: frequently asked questions [updated]

|August 6 2014 |Android Phones, Android, Xiaomi

“Any doubts lurking in your mind regarding the Xiaomi Mi 3? Read on to get the answers”

Update (August 6th): Based on the comments we received, more questions have been added such as the info about the SAR value of the Mi 3, the buying process and if other variants of the smartphone will be launched here. You can also read our review to know about our experience with the smartphone.

Ever since Xiaomi announced its entry into India, consumers are enthused to know more about the devices being launched and eventually get their hands on one, especially because of the impressive pricing of its devices. The popular Chinese brand will kick off its Indian operations with the flagship Mi 3, slated to go on sale next week. The budget range comprising of the Redmi 1s (first impressions) and Redmi Note (first impressions) will join the party later. We already brought you our first impressions of the Mi 3, and figured that you might have a lot of questions about the smartphone as well as the company, since it’s a relatively unknown brand in the crowded Indian smartphone space. Let's get your doubts cleared.

Xiaomi Mi 3 FAQs 02

How about you start with the specs of the Xiaomi Mi 3?

Sure. The smartphone flaunts a 5-inch IPS LCD display bearing a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. The pressure-sensitive display can be used even when your hands are wet or if you’re wearing gloves, and offers a rich pixel density of 441ppi.

Xiaomi Mi 3 FAQs 12

Inside the chassis, ticks a 2.3GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chipset (MSM8274AB) coupled with a generous 2GB of RAM. Storage is offered in the form of a 16GB memory module. For shutterbugs, the Mi 3 packs a 13-megapixel sensor at its rear aided by a dual-LED flash, and a 2MP front-facing camera. Both the cameras are capable of recording 1080p videos.

What all do you get inside the Indian retail box of Xiaomi Mi 3?

Xiaomi Mi 3 unboxing 02

The retail packaging of Xiaomi Mi 3 is unlike other smartphones, as mentioned in the Xiaomi Mi 3 unboxing. Along with the smartphone, you get a 1A wall charger, a micro-USB cable, a SIM ejector tool and a couple of manuals, but you miss out on earphones.

Can you comment about the build quality of the Xiaomi Mi 3? What about the colour it’s available in and does it have a metallic casing?

As mentioned in our hands on impressions of the smartphone, the device exudes premiumness and doesn’t look like a mid-range device at all. Furthermore, the smartphone has a unibody construction keeping it extremely sleek and lightweight. Its external frame does give away the indication of metal, but in reality it’s a plastic body with a metallic finish. However, that doesn’t means that the Mi 3 isn’t robust as it gets a magnesium alloy frame coated with three layers of thermal graphite inside.

Xiaomi Mi 3 FAQs 19

Although the device is available in multiple hues in China, it’ll only be launched in the metallic grey colour in India initially.

Update: As confirmed by the company, it has no immediate plans of releasing the Mi 3 in other colours.

Does the Xiaomi Mi 3 have Gorilla Glass protection?

There’s a lot of confusion regarding this aspect because of different versions of the device in China and the one meant for India. However, after checking with the company officials as well, we can confirm that the smartphone has a protective layer of Gorilla Glass 3 over its display.

How much storage is available? Does the Mi 3 feature support for a microSD card and USB OTG?

Xiaomi Mi 3 screenshot (1)

Out of the 16GB flash storage, users will be getting 11.95GB for installing apps and storing files. Unfortunately, the Mi 3 doesn’t support memory expansion, and there’s no provision of a slot. However, you can make use of USB On-the-Go capability to use an USB drive with the handset.

Update: While there’s a 64GB flavour of the smartphone in its home country, Xiaomi has no plans of launching it here.

Does the Xiaomi Mi 3 accepts dual-SIM cards? What type of slot(s) does it have?

Xiaomi Mi 3 FAQs 15

The answer to the first question would be a no since the Mi 3 just has a single SIM slot with support for 3G connectivity. Unlike most of the devices these days, the Mi 3 sports a regular SIM slot, available on its top edge. The company provides adapters in case you want to use a nano- or micro-SIM with it.

What is the SAR value of the Xiaomi Mi 3?

SAR stands for Specific Absorption Rate and in simple words, it’s the maximum radio frequency emitted by the phone that can be absorbed by your body, without being affected. The permissible limit for maximum SAR in India has been set by telecom regulatory body TRAI, which is 1.6W/kg. It indicates that the SAR rate is 1.6W/kg on one gram tissue of human body. The SAR value for smartphones is available as head and body rating, which states the radiation on the human head and body respectively.

The head SAR rating of the Xiaomi Mi 3 is 1.18W/kg, while its body SAR is 1.154W/g, which is well within the limits.

What about other connectivity options supported by the Xiaomi Mi 3?

The device boasts tons of connectivity features such as dual-band Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi Display, Bluetooth 4.0, Near Field Communication and GPS.

What sensors are available in the Xiaomi Mi 3?

Along with the usual ones like accelerometer, gyroscope, ambient light, proximity sensor, the smartphone also packs in a barometer and a compass.

What’s the battery capacity of the Xiaomi Mi 3? Is it user-replaceable?

The Mi 3 draws power from a Li-ion battery rated at 3,050mAh, which promises to provide a talk time of 25 hours. Unfortunately, as stated above, the smartphone has a unibody design and the battery is non-removable.

I heard that the Xiaomi Mi 3 runs MIUI. What is it? Is it different from Android?

Xiaomi firmly believes that the smartphone should be easily usable by everyone and hence it has created MIUI – a custom firmware built upon AOSP (Android open-source project) build. The company also publicises the fact that it’s a live UI since it readily incorporates feedback from consumers and pushes updates every week. The interface includes both big and small changes that come in extremely hand in day-to-day usage, along with options for power users to get the most from their devices.

Xiaomi Mi 3 screenshot (2) Xiaomi Mi 3 screenshot (3)

We’ve seen MIUI during the company’s press meet in New Delhi and have been also using it since a couple of days now, and we can certainly vouch that it’s simple yet brilliant. We’ll be bringing you more on the features of the UI in our review.

Are the Google Play Store and other Google services available to users?

Xiaomi Mi 3 screenshot (4)

Fret not! While the company doesn’t install Google services in the devices sold in its home country since they’re banned by the government, the devices sold in India come preloaded with popular apps from the search engine giant along with the ability to download apps from the Play Store.

So, what Android version is the Mi 3 running? How soon updates will be shipped?

The Mi 3 units sold in India will be shipped with the latest iteration of Android 4.4. KitKat. Since the developers will take their own sweet time to optimise MIUI with the latest Android update(s), so you can't expect them in the same pace as the Google Nexus devices, though the company promises that it’ll be bringing updates quickly.

I’m interested in purchasing the Xiaomi Mi 3. What is its price and from where can I buy it?

Xiaomi follows an online sales model and the same is being followed in India, as it has tied up with Flipkart to sell its products. The Mi 3 will be available at a drool-worthy price of Rs 13,999. It’ll be going on sale from July 22nd on Flipkart, but you have to first preregister on the website, else you wouldn't be able to purchase it. This will also help the company to gauge the demand and ensure that there’s adequate supply. However, based on the company’s outings in other countries, we’d like to warn you that the available stocks tend to get sold out within a few minutes.

Xiaomi Mi 3 Flipkart

If you’re a Flipkart First customer, then you’ll be able to buy the device a day in advance on July 21st.

Update: Flipkart has tweaked the buying process and while it also requires you to pre-register for sale in advance, now you simply need to add the Mi 3 to your cart and then you can proceed to the payment page. The sale happens every week and the next sale is scheduled to happen on August 12th.

What about the service network?

The brand is serious about after sales service and hence has started a customer hotline and live chat facility on the Mi website along using Flipkart customer care. It has also tied up with 36 multi-brand service centres in major cities to help Xiaomi customers in case of any issues. Along with that, it also has started two exclusive service centres in Bangalore and New Delhi. The company is aiming for a quick one-day turnaround time to repair your smartphone, with the claim of a two-hour turnaround time going forward.

Xiaomi is also releasing its next flagship, the Mi 4 soon. When will it come to India?

The Beijing-based company will be taking the curtains off its next-gen flagship, the Mi 4 on July 22nd in  China. The leaked specs suggest that the device will be a powerhouse, just like the Mi 3. However, don’t put off buying the Mi 3 because of its successor as the latter will not be launched here soon. Contrary to short life cycle of devices from other manufacturers, Xiaomi products have a life cycle of 12 to 18 months, so that the company can recover its R&D costs since it sells them at almost bill-of-materials pricing. Hence it’s safe to assume that company will be focussing on the Mi 3 only in its top-end in India for some time.

Update: The Mi 4 has gone official and we’ve prepared a handy comparison between the Mi 4 and Mi 3 for you, in case you want to wait for the latest flagship.

Umm.. anything else I should know about the Xiaomi Mi 3?

Well, we have tried answering most of the questions we think you'd like answered about the Mi 3. We have the device in our labs, so hit the comment section below if you have any other queries.

Related reads: Xiaomi Mi 3 vs ASUS Zenfone 5 vs Moto G [spec showdown] | A visual tour of Xiaomi’s accessories and peripherals portfolio

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