August 20, 2014

My Mi

August 20, 2014 Posted by Vijay No comments
I can't be far away from the next gadget, can I ? For all the waves that Xiaomi has been creating across the globe one can't resist the temptation of wanting to own a gadget from Mi. When Xiaomi was still unknown to India in May, I set about researching for my next new gadget to tamper with. My Sony Xperia live with walkman was getting outdated software and hardware wise. But tweaking and rooting it had made it exceptionally functional and snappy.

So I went about another budget friendly gadget, for my wife. My Huawei Ideos is still going strong on the Dronix ROM. But we need to move forward with latest in technology - is the reason I gave for getting permission for my new gadget. Armed with a new 3G data plan which made sense with a CUG connection, it was but a formality that I would purchase a new gadget. I stumbled upon Xiaomi through and the review it carried for Redmi was impressive. Although Redmi is the original Mediatek version with 4GB ROM.

The updated hardware at the same price is the Redmi 1S. Powered by a quad core snapdragon processor and 8GB ROM it was a good step up from the original Redmi. Since it wasn't yet available in India, I started hunting for Chinese sites from where I could reliably order. turned out to be the perfect one for me, though price wise it is a little expensive. I  bought it for around 170$ from spemall, almost 3 months back, which is now being launched in India for just 7000! So I paid a premium for the gadget. But I don't regret it much.

I have been using the Redmi 1S for the past 2-3 months and am delighted at the customization options it provides. I love the fact that the online forum is vibrant and full of passionate MIUI followers. Some are very critical because they expect the best from Xiaomi. Which is actually a good thing. Not all Mi (Xiaomi rechristened as Mi) devices get a weekly software update and the Redmi series will only receive every 2 months. Except for developer ROMs. There is also an unofficial multilang ROM option if one chooses to flash it. And rooting a Mi device has been made a cakewalk via the forum sections.

Specifications for the Redmi 1s include 1GB RAM, 8GB ROM, 4.3 Android OS, 1.6ghz Quad core snapdragon processor. You also get Corning Glass 2 protection coupled with a screen 4.7'' with 312 ppi. For the price, I still feel its a great bargain. While you would expect the device to be exceptional, in my time with it I have had issues. Especially excessive heating up when playing games or browsing 3G data. Though there have been more frequent updates last few weeks owing to the global expansion efforts, issues such as battery drain and 3g signal drop during calls remains. Not to mention no news on Kitkat availability.

Some of the features that MIUI offers are really neat and compact. The app permissions that it provides are stellar with options to enable or disable auto startup apps, option to enable/disable apps which access mobile or wifi data and so on. Not to mention thousands of themes that are available. Rooting the device is also a piece of cake. I then installed one power guard to optimize battery usage which is now satisfactory.

All in all, it has been a satisfactory purchase. Xiaomi is the fastest growing mobile company in the world at the moment and recently pipped Samsung from the top rung in China. It has been expanding internationally at rapid pace, with flash sales of the Mi 3 getting loads of media attention. With 4G versions of the Redmi 1S as well as the Redmi Note announced already, Xiaomi is definitely pricing its gadgets aggressively and giving the top Android players a run for their money.