Decent battery life
Heats up after long usage
No microSD card slot
Xiaomi Mi3 is a full-fledged smartphone especially designed for the one who is looking for the cheapest option with top-of-the-line specifications. However, its limited availability is still an issue which would shift a large number of customers towards inferior options.
As the demand of more megapixels raised by the customers nowadays, smartphone makers have started using new image sensors on their mid-range smartphones to compete with each other. Chinese smartphone makers, on this avenue, are among the top contenders with offering high-resolution primary sensors on their mid-range smartphones.
Xiaomi Mi3 is beating its hometown rivals as well as other mid-range smartphones with a 13-megapixel primary camera sensor by Sony. This camera sensor is equipped with a 28mm wide-angle lens which comes with 5-piece elements and has f2.2 aperture. In addition, Phillips dual-LED setup is available alongside the sensor for giving lighting to take shots under dark. For taking self shots, commonly known as selfies, the Mi3 has a 2-megapixel secondary camera on the front with 30mm wide-angle lens. These on-paper specifications are enough to sit on the top position in today’s mid-range segment.
On the software side, the Mi3 has a proprietary Camera app which comes with a decent-sized viewfinder along with a list of features. The virtual viewfinder has a camera shutter key on the right while three switches are available on the left to switch between rear and front camera sensors, to switch between still camera and camcorder and to turn-off or turn-on the LED flash. A preview window and a settings button are available on the right, on the either sides of the shutter button. Users also have an option to switch between the settings from Simple mode to Advanced mode. While Simple mode has all the options which are available on usual smartphones like Panorama, Audio, Filters and HDR, Advanced mode provides some manual controlling as well. These manual controls include white balance, ISO settings, manual focus, exposure and shutter speed. Users also have an option to change the camera frame from default 4:3 aspect ratio to full-screen 16:9 aspect. As a unique feature, the pre-installed Camera app can also scans QR codes alongside taking still images and recording videos. Moreover, the interface of the app is quite easy to use in Simple mode, however, Advanced mode could be more friendly to the professionals.
We tested the camera capabilities of Xiaomi Mi3 by taking shots under different environments and some of the random shots are available below for reference. We have not found any issue on the part of focusing, color production and sensitivity, though some noise can be found in dark shots despite of dual-LED flash. The addition of manual controls helps professionals in taking shots according to their preferences and we especially like the manual white balancing which even allows users to use particular Kelvin value for each specific frame.
Apart from still photography, we tested the video recording of the Mi3 by recording some moments. The videography is also just close to perfect. Both the camera sensors support full-HD (1080p) video resolution with 30fps frame rate. Users can easily record crystal clear audio alongside their videos from the built-in secondary microphone. The app provides Fast-motion mode to record some speedy moments as well. Users can also take still shots while recording videos, simply by tapping the screen after enabling this option from the settings menu. Lastly, there is an image stabiliser on the software side to give stabilised results even in a jerky environment.
Overall, Xiaomi Mi3 has high-end camera capabilities to fulfill the needs of its users. Users additionally have some manual controls to get even better results from the Mi3 against some of the low-end point-and-shoot cameras. Overall, users can consider the Mi3 as their travel companion for taking random shots.