Unboxing the Mi-3


The Mi-3, currently the most powerful Android smartphone on the market, at least according to the major benchmarking software on the Play Store, just happened to land on our lap. Now, before you run out the door with you wallet, and hopefully a pair of pants, you have to know that it’s not available at this very moment. Not yet. So to satiate your desire for one of these amazing devices, we’ve got the next best thing. Join us, as we tear into the packaging and see what you will get, should you one day, maybe soon, get to purchase the Mi-3 for yourself.


The box is a beautifully understated number, going for, and nailing the less-is-more look. It’s beautifully plain, with the slightest hint of the brand on top, and amazing rigidity for what’s essentially a cardboard box. At the initial presentation of the device earlier this week, we were shown a photo of two portly Mi employees standing on one of these things with no problem.


Pop the top off the box, and you’re greeted by the device itself, nestled neatly in a perfectly formed tray, with a handy tab for easy removal.

IMG_0238Lifting the tab frees the phone from its spot, and reveals a little envelope inside which is the SIM tray removal tool and the phone’s manual.


The remaining tray can then be removed from the box, giving you access to the wall charger and USB cable. There aren’t any headphones with the Mi-3, but for the kind of hardware we get on the phone itself, we’re not really complaining.

And now the star of the show. Here’s the Mi-3. Quietly stare at the phone for a bit. We’ll wait.


The device itself is a thin third-inch thick, and a wide, but pleasant 3.9 inches wide, and just over 5.5 inches tall. It has a nice heft to it, but by no means is it heavy, tipping the scales at just over 140g.


The back is very curious. At first glance, it appears to be made of brushed aluminum, similar to the current iPhones, or the HTC One. Once you pick it up though, you immediately notice it’s a little too grippy and warm to be metal. It is, in fact, plastic, but you wouldn’t be able to tell just by looking.


The rear of the device also houses the main 13-MP camera, dual LED Flash, and, well, that’s it. the rest is all smooth lines, and rounded edges.


The bottom of the Mi-3 houses the speaker grille, and a nicely squared-off microUSB port. This is a very tiny little touch, but it goes a long way to expressing just how obsessed this company is with the little details. The Koreans could learn a thing or two from Mi.


The top edge of the phone has the SIM tray, headphone jack, and what appears to be a microphone(?).


With the phone facing you, the right edge has the power button, and volume rocker. The left edge is bare.



The Mi-3 packs a beautiful five-inch, full-HD, IPS screen with a pixel density of 441ppi, which gives visuals at the very least at par with some of the best smartphone displays we’ve seen in our years of staring at smartphone displays.



There are three capacitive buttons just below the screen, one each for Menu, Home, and Back, in that order.



The Mi-3 comes with MIUI v5, which is based off of Android 4.4.2 KitKat, and brings a simpler, but no less functional Android experience.

We could go on to tell you about the user experience of the phone, but that would be spoiling it. For now, take a quick look at the rest of the specs, and rest easy that we’ll have a full review (and maybe a few videos) soon. Until then, hand on to your cash, find a buyer for your current phone, and wait for news on the release date.

One last thing, though. You’ll see very shortly that the phone does pack a very impressive spec sheet, but one thing I, and many others like me, consider a specification, is price. There’s some bad news and some really great news here. The bad news is that there isn’t a final price for the Mi-3. The great news, however, is that Hugo Barra himself said that Mi isn’t going to change the price very much here as compared against the other markets. Yes. That means this phone is more than likely going to pr priced around the PHP15,000 mark. Take a moment to let that sink in. It’s okay to hyperventilate. We did too.


Chipset: Qualcomm MSM8274AB Snapdragon 800
CPU: Quad-core 2.3 GHz Krait 400
GPU: Adreno 330
Sensors: Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer

BATTERY: Non-removable Li-Ion 3050 mAh battery
GPS with A-GPS support and GLONASS


Additional features:

– Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
– TV-out (via MHL A/V link)
– SNS integration
– MP4/DivX/XviD/WMV/H.264/H.263 player
– MP3/WAV/eAAC+/FLAC player
– Organizer
– Image/video editor
– Document viewer (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF)
– Google Search, Maps, Gmail,
YouTube, Calendar, Google Talk, Picasa
– Voice memo/dial/commands
– Predictive text input (Swype)