Xiaomi Mi 3 review: The way of the dragon

GSMArena team, 15 August 2014.

Contact management and telephony

The dialer and the phonebook share a single app although there are two shortcuts. The app uses a tabbed interface - recent with dialer, then there's the contact list and directory (a.k.a. groups).

Xiaomi Mi 3 Xiaomi Mi 3 Xiaomi Mi 3 Xiaomi Mi 3
The Phonebook

The Directory tab is updated automatically online and has various contacts for bars, restaurants, health clinics, flight agencies, hotels, cleaning services, among others. Unfortunately those work only in China, but if you are going to use your Xiaomi phone in China - then this should be of extreme value to you.

Xiaomi Mi 3 Xiaomi Mi 3 Xiaomi Mi 3 Xiaomi Mi 3
Directory

Contact info is displayed as a list of all available details. Custom ringtones can be selected for each contact and duplicate contacts can be merged into a single entry.

Xiaomi Mi 3 Xiaomi Mi 3 Xiaomi Mi 3
Managing a single contact

The dialer supports Smart dialing just fine (looking up both names and phone numbers).

Xiaomi Mi 3 supports voice call recording and it can do it automatically on each call if you like. You can also assign an answer gesture, pre-define quick responses upon reject, there is even support for internet calling.

Xiaomi Mi 3 Xiaomi Mi 3 Xiaomi Mi 3 Xiaomi Mi 3
The Dialer settings

There are even more call settings if you dig deeper into the menu - flip to mute the ringer, turn on/off the proximity sensor, lock automatically once slipped in a pocket, it can even mute calls from unknown numbers.

The Xiaomi Mi 3 scored a mark of Below average on our loudspeaker tests, meaning you are likely to miss some calls and notifications if you are in a noisy environment.

Speakerphone testVoice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score
Sony Xperia Z1 65.7 61.3 66.7 Below Average
LG G2 65.7 62.2 66.2 Below Average
Xiaomi Mi 3 64.9 64.8 66.6 Below Average
Huawei Ascend P7 63.9 66.1 70.9 Below Average
Sony Xperia Z2 66.7 64.6 75.7 Average
Oppo Find 7a 71.7 66.6 75.7 Good
Samsung I9505 Galaxy S4 70.6 66.2 77.3 Good
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 N9005 70.5 66.6 78.0 Good
Samsung Galaxy S5 mini 73.5 67.7 78.7 Very Good
OnePlus One 74.8 73.5 80.2 Excellent


Messaging and email

The messaging department is pretty standard - there's a list of all bubble-styled conversations organized into threads, with New Message and Search keys at the bottom and a settings button next to it.

Xiaomi Mi 3 Xiaomi Mi 3 Xiaomi Mi 3 Xiaomi Mi 3
Messaging

Attaching multimedia to a message will turn it into an MMS. You can add everything from photos, videos, audio to general files. There's even a full blown slide editor if you want to make full use of the MMS standard. The Attach location option is pretty nice too.

Moving on to email, the Gmail app (if included) has handy shortcuts at the bottom of the screen and supports batch operations, which allow multiple emails to be archived, labeled or deleted. The default app supports multiple Gmail accounts, but there's no unified inbox.

There is also a generic email app for all your other email accounts and it can handle multiple Exchange, POP or IMAP inboxes. You have access to the messages in the original folders that are created online, side by side with the standard local ones such as inbox, drafts and sent items.

MIUI relies on Google keyboard for the text input - it has always been pleasure to use and is one of the most preferred Android keyboards out there. On this screen the keys are comfortably large in both portrait and landscape mode. There is support for gesture typing, handwriting and voice input.

Xiaomi Mi 3 Xiaomi Mi 3 Xiaomi Mi 3
Google keyboard