A few years ago, when I first started at PhoneArena, I was kind of “the Xiaomi guy” because I was such a fan of the Chinese company and its phones back then. But you have to be neutral in this business, so over the years I’ve not only had the opportunity to review all kinds of great phones from different companies, but more importantly – learn a lot about each smartphone company and its software quirks, design language trends, update history, and so on. My most recent phone was a iPhone 13 mini, and I bought it as part of my effort to try everything out. I often went through huge phones, from Xiaomi’s own Mi Max series, to more recently the Galaxy Z Fold 3. It was time to get used to something smaller, and non-Android, I thought.
As I realized while using the iPhone 12 mini and later the 13 mini – turns out I really love tiny iPhones. So much so that I thought I’d be rocking the 13 mini for a while, especially considering that the The iPhone 14 series doesn’t even have a new “mini” that I can go to.
But recently I got a Xiaomi phone to review. “Back to my roots?” I thought. In order to review a phone, I first have to “test drive” it for a while. I put my sim card in it, I download all my apps on it and start using it as my daily driver. And again I learned something new…
Since MIUI is so close to iOS, anyone who wants to switch from iPhone to Android should use a Xiaomi phone
The Xiaomi 12 Pro with MIUI 13
A brief word about what MIUI is. It is an Android overlay with its own features such as screen recorder, file manager and its own launcher. You may know Samsung’s OneUI software – just like MIUI – it’s essentially an overlay over Android. Many companies have them in an effort to make their smartphones distinctive and richer than the average stock Android phone.
Three or four years ago, when I first fell in love with Xiaomi’s MIUI software, I hated the obvious, and I mean blatantly trying to imitate Apple’s iOS operating system. From the design of the icons, the look of the menus and even the very similar gestures – it was clearly inspired by iOS.
But by now I strongly believe that MIUI has surpassed iOS in some respects, which is of course subjective … Still, just look at iOS 16 – Apple’s recently announced iPhone software update is coming this fall. It now has a gallery of lock screens with wallpapers and stuff? Xiaomi had that sort of thing years ago…
Is this a case of the copied entity copying the copier? Did Apple take over from Xiaomi for once, and not the other way around? If so, it more or less proves my point that MIUI has surpassed the master in some respects.
And as a power user who likes customization, I know it’s not hard to say that MIUI is much more customizable, as is the nature of the Android running underneath it, compared to iOS. You can really make your Xiaomi phone your own – uninstall most of the pre-installed apps, change your launcher with something completely different for a brand new look and feel of the home screen, download and install apps from not-just-the-app-store even .
Xiaomi is pushing such good flagships, mid-rangers and even budget phones that paying extra for a flagship iPhone sometimes seems ridiculous
Xiaomi 12 Pro comes with a 120W charger!
Without trying to make a Xiaomi rally out of this, as Xiaomi phones have their issues, I’ll say this – buying a Xiaomi phone usually means you also get a screen protector, a case, a charger (wow, right? ), and nowadays it is often very fast.
Do you know what buying an iPhone gets you? An iPhone. And uh, stickers.
Another thing that is very important to me is design. Xiaomi phones these days come with minimal bezels and most importantly – no notch, just a small cropped selfie camera.
I never got used to the iPhone notch, and I’m glad it’s supposedly being removed for the iPhone 14 series later this year. Unsurprisingly, it took so long for the notch to disappear, while Android phones meanwhile went through different phases: notches, pop-up cameras, cutouts, and some of them are now objectively the best option (at least from a design standpoint) – under-screen cameras. .
Goodbye for now, iPhone… Android, however you have your issues
So while I was testing with the latest Xiaomi phone, I really enjoyed my time acclimating to MIUI after not using it for a few years. If it was a kid, I’d say it’s grown quite a bit. That’s why I’m selling my iPhone 13 mini and switching to a Xiaomi phone, like I started.
And I think I’m kinda done with little phones; returning to a big one (and Xiaomi’s are always pretty big) is now the refreshing thing for me.
However, to be fair, I’ll also mention some of the immediate complaints I notice about Android after returning to it from iPhone. Android users might be interested to know what that feels like and why it’s sometimes not the smoothest transition to make.
First, Google really pushes its app ecosystem on you, and on an open system like Android, that’s not as easy to accept as it is on iOS. One of the first things I do with a new phone, whether it’s an iPhone or an Android, is delete all the apps I know I’ll never use. In the case of Android, these are Google TV, Podcasts, Google Pay…
But while I was setting up my new Android phone, all the apps were updated without me asking, and lo and behold, the apps I uninstalled are back on my home screen. So I’ll delete them again. I start using my phone and the message ‘Finishing your phone’ appears in the Google Play Store. I try to wipe it off but accidentally click on it – and again those apps come back on my home screen so I have to uninstall them a third time.
Google, soften it, you’re making it really hard for some of us to love Android phones…
That’s just one of many examples of course, I won’t even talk about Android’s weird quirks and the occasional jitters and buggy interface moments, even if you’re using it on a flagship smartphone. As much as die-hard Android fans may not enjoy reading this – you won’t experience that sort of thing on iOS very often, if ever. Not unless you’re running beta software or something.
Of course, it’s not just Xiaomi that deserves your attention
The new Motorola Edge 30 means business!
Some great Xiaomi phones you might want to check out include our recently reviewed Xiaomi 12 Pro and Xiaomi 11T Pro. But Xiaomi isn’t the only game in town, of course. Moto brings out plenty of great phones that you might want to check out too, like our even more recently reviewed Motorola Edge 30 and Motorola Moto G52. While Apple is by default the only name when it comes to iOS phones, it’s certainly not just Samsung that you should pay attention to when it comes to Android. Xiaomi (slash Redmi), Moto and many other great brands are raising the bar on what is and can be a flagship, mid-ranger and budget phone in 2022.
Do you own a particular smartphone, which is not an overhyped and well-known brand or model, that you are happy with and that you want to scream? Join the conversation and share your experience with us in the comments section below!