Xiaomi Mi Mix 3: Full, In-Depth, Australian review
The Little Flagship That Could
Performance - Software, Benchmarks and Battery Life
Going into it, I secretly knew that I would love the heck out of the Mi Mix 3’s slider mechanism. It’s a really nice hook that separates the device from everything else out there in Australia - plus it’s just plain fun to play around with.
I was far less confident in the software side of things.
Fortunately, my fears proved to be unnecessary. In a world where Australia consumers are often choosing between the restrictive-but-pretty ColorOS skin found in Oppo devices and the more-utilitarian-but-less-aesthetic EMUI skin found in Huawei’s devices - Xiaomi’s MIUI proves itself a satisfying middle-ground.
MIUI is immediately and noticeably smooth in the way it animates and intuitive in the way everything locks together. Of all the Chinese branded Android skins out there, I think this might become my new favorite. That being said, the Mi Mix 3 does sometimes encounter issues where it'll get snagged on a bunch of annoying error messages if it tries to open the front-facing camera while concealed - which can get annoying if it happens too much.
And if we’re talking benchmarks, the Mi Mix 3 kept pace with the majority of the competition. It even snagged first place when it came to 3D Mark. Still, this thing is running a Snapdragon 845 SoC - and it performed more or less as you’d expect it would.
In terms of everyday battery-life, we’d easily make it through the usual 9-5 work day and often well into the evening as well. We’d still have to charge our device back to full overnight - but if we accidentally forgot to do, we’d usually still have a little bit to go on until we found a power source.
We’re talking eleven or twelve hours of average use here, though - as always - your mileage may vary, particularly if you watch or film a lot of video content. Honestly, battery life proved one of the more noticeable differences between the Mi Mix 3 and other flagships, not to mention other devices playing in that $800 range like the Oppo R17 Pro.
The Bottom Line
When I started writing this review, I felt like the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 was this year’s OnePlus 5. An elusive novelty device that’d represent real, honest value in a marketplace where the average price of a flagship continues to rise.
And I still think that. However, I’m left with the lingering thought that the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 excels in more-or-less familiar ways. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel or push the boundaries of what a smartphone can be but it’s a great all rounder for right now. If anything, it reminds me of the first time I messed with an Oppo device. The software is scrappy, the camera is snappy, the design is unique and the price is just right.
If you're intrigued by the device's neo-slider form-factor, the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 honestly feels like a downright steal at $899. The camera lacks the versatility or low-light performance you’d get out of the P30 Pro and it doesn’t feel as futuristic to use as something like the Samsung Galaxy S10 - but it’s still an incredibly compelling package at an incredibly compelling price and if you're looking for the best value-for-money flagship option available right this moment: this is probably it.
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