The era of old companies is over. Once upon a time Volvo gave a guarantee of a run of a million – now only Chinese manufacturers provide such a service.

Why be surprised if one day, having placed production in the Middle Kingdom in pursuit of cheap labor forceindustrial giants have deprived the rest of the world of large-scale industrial centers.

And the Chinese are learning fast. Xiaomi it took quite a bit to learn how to do really very cool smart phones: complain either too fastidious with playful hands, or who bought an unsuitable device for themselves.

How not to make a mistake, and buy exactly what you need? How to make a cheap Chinese smartphone better Samsung and iPhone? Now I’ll tell you.

How to understand Xiaomi smartphones

Xiaomi releases several lines and many smartphones. But everything can be reduced to 2 major:

  • flagship and mainstream Mi (this also includes A-series smartphones with “pure” Android);
  • budgetary redmi.

Inside the lines there is an additional division into series, characterizing the typical properties of representatives: Mix – image, Max – “shovel” X — sub-flagships of the middle range.

Ruler note used to be an improved version of the flagship Mi, now they have received a simplified design and a simpler filling while maintaining the main achievements of the generation.

Xiaomi Mi Note 3 got a cool camera, NFC and glass case from Mi 6. At the same time, the processor has become simpler, and the battery and screen sizes are larger.

Another similar option is Pocophone F1 with a large battery and a metal case.

It’s extremely easy to understand. The name of each smartphone consists of the name of the line, the prefix designating additional features and the generation number.

Some receive an additional index to the series number, which indicates serious changes compared to the main apparatus: “s” – improved version, SE – simplified, “a” – the most simplified modification.

But with the current generation is quite difficult. Xiaomi releases smartphones for every taste and color, so not everyone should buy the latest model.

Let’s try to figure it out.

Image Mi Mix

Frameless smartphones are the coolest among all Xiaomi. Uses Sharp design and top-of-the-line components, even for the exterior.

The first models were created with an emphasis on appearance, sometimes at the expense of consumer qualities. Now it is the most distinctive among all Chinese smartphones.

Current model: Xiaomi Mi Mix 2s (our review) is the company’s best smartphone. Powerful hardware, wireless charging, unique design (for the European market), one of the best cameras (our test). And all this in a ceramic case. Previous versions no longer make practical sense

Buy Xiaomi Mi Mix 2s: 32 800 rub.

Buy Xiaomi Mi Mix 2s in Russia: 35 000 rub.

Flagship Mi

The history of Mi smartphones began with this line. Previously, these were compacts with a diagonal of 5.2 inches – such as Mi 6 (our review). Today, in its 8th anniversary incarnation, there are iPhone X clones with an effective screen area of ​​​​a 5.5-inch device.

As always, these are the cheapest flagships on the market, and without concessions in the quality of materials or components.

A few fell out of this classification free copy iPhone 7 Plus in the face Xiaomi Mi 5S Plus (our review), which received a 5.7-inch screen and a metal body.

But it was this model that led to the emergence Pocophone F1 – a new cheap flagship.

Current model: Xiaomi Mi 8 (our review battle) today should be called the most thoughtful flagship for adequate money. Everything is according to the pattern, but very harmoniously – AMOLED screen, notch, very cool cameras.

Believe me, Mi 8 is better than OnePlus 6 and the previous members of the family.

Life hack: Pocophone F1 should be no worse and cheaper. You can take.

Buy Xiaomi Pocophone F1: 37 500 rub.

Buy Xiaomi Mi 8: 31 900 rub.

Buy Xiaomi Pocophone F1: 20 000 rub.

Buy Xiaomi Mi 8 in Russia: 30 000 rub.

Sub-flagship Mi

As technology advances and smartphone prices increase, mid-price versions of flagships have appeared in the mainstream Xiaomi Mi family.

Xiaomi experiments have led to the fact that a wide variety of smartphones with significantly different capabilities fall into this segment.

In the current generation (“cropped” Mi 8 SE), developers are changing the AMOLED panel to IPS, the flagship processor to a budget one, abandoning NFC and using a simplified camera. This is the first fully “lowered” Xiaomi smartphone in this form.

For more interesting sub-flagships, see the “A-series” section.

Current model: due to its overpriced Mi 8 SE is not recommended for purchase. Or an older modification, or Xiaomi Mi 6X (aka A2), which will be described below.

Buy Xiaomi Mi 8 SE: 31 900 rub.

Mid-price A-series based on Android One

In fact, Xiaomi smartphones A1 (our review) and A2 (our review) with a “clean” operating system from Google, known on the international market as representatives of the Android One program, are sub-flagships of the Mi line.

In China, they are sold under the names Mi 5X (our review) and Mi 6X and use the traditional Xiaomi MIUI as a shell.

IMPORTANT: Xiaomi A2 Lite belongs to the budget segment. In China, it is called Xiaomi Redmi 6 Pro.

The main changes are in a simplified filling and a strict metal case instead of a fragile glass one. A kind of iPhone 7 for the masses, a versatile workhorse with a claim.

Current model: Xiaomi A2, which has become an honest sub-flagship with an excellent camera, good autonomy and excellent user properties. The smartphone is full-screen, made of metal – what else do you need?

Buying original Mi 6X doesn’t make sense, it can’t be properly flashed into A2. It is better to immediately buy the international version in China.

Life hack: Xiaomi A1 has fallen in price a lot. Good smart phone at an affordable price. More comfortable than Redmi and takes better photos. But autonomy is worse.

Buy Xiaomi A2 Lite: 11 600 rub.

Buy Xiaomi A2: 18 900 rub.

Buy Xiaomi A2 Lite in Russia: 15 000 rub.

Buy Xiaomi A2 in Russia: 24 000 rub.

Geeky Mi Note

This series was the answer to Samsung Note. But the diagonals are growing, and very expensive smartphones in the line have ended in the second model.

And now the 3rd generation came out with a powerful but energy-efficient mid-range processor and a huge battery.

Otherwise, this is a slightly enlarged Xiaomi Mi 6 flagship (our review), it only shoots like a Galaxy and lasts as long as Redmi.

Current model: Xiaomi Mi Note 3 (our review) should be considered as a mid-price workhorse. But in September, a fresh model is expected to be released. Worth the wait.

Buy Xiaomi Mi Note 3: 18 100 rub.

Huge Mi Max

Almost tablets with screens of 6.44 inches, and from the full-screen third generation – 6.99 (!).

In fact, it is the only “almost tablet” left on the market. Competitors abandoned analogues, preferring to produce 6-inch smartphones.

Current model: Xiaomi Mi Max 3 is the same as the second generation, only with an 18:9 screen and an updated processor.

Life hack: Xiaomi Mi Max 2 (our review) has a slightly worse camera and autonomy, but the price is almost 2 times lower. The best way to switch to a similar format.

Buy Xiaomi Mi Max 2: 12 300 rub.

Buy Xiaomi Max 3: 21 100 rub.

Budget Redmi

Compact budget smartphones with 5-inch screens (with HD resolution). Xiaomi’s gold standard is cheap, but head and shoulders faster and better than classmates.

The best are in the $150 range, but often sell for $120.

Current model: Xiaomi Redmi 6. A strange intermediate option between Redmi a-series and the usual one. The processor is more powerful, the dual camera … And the plastic case. Wait for the review.

Life hack: Xiaomi Redmi 5 (our review) is much more interesting – metal body, good camera. Do not chase the latest smartphone.

Buy Xiaomi Redmi 6: 10 000 rub.

Buy Xiaomi Redmi 5: 8 600 rub.

Buy Xiaomi Redmi 6 in Russia: 14 000 rub.

Budget Redmi Note

It is these smartphones with a 5.5-inch screen in a metal case that everyone talks about when they pronounce “xiaomi”.

Cool, cheap, comfortable. These smartphones have absolutely everything – except for NFC, perhaps.

The same line includes experimental mid-range smartphones, for example, Redmi Pro, S2, Mi 5C and the like. It’s worth passing by.

Current model: Xiaomi Redmi 5 Note (our review). At the moment, it is assumed that this device has replaced the traditional line: a screen extended to 5.99 inches (Full HD +) and the lack of frames decide.

Life hack: Redmi Note 4X (our review) on Snapdragon has no competitors in either the Russian or Chinese markets. If you need a solid smartphone for all occasions – take it while they are still available.

Buy Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X: 8 500 rub.

Buy Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus: 11 300 rub.

Buy Xiaomi Redmi 5 Note: 13 000 rub.

Super-budget Redmi A

Ultra-budget compact and smart ped with HD-screen. From the usual Redmi / Redmi Note, they differ a little more than completely: a weaker processor, common for state-owned batteries, the absence of a fingerprint scanner, screen resolution (HD).

An inapplicable attribute is a one-piece plastic case. The easiest smartphones you can buy.

The screen of Xiaomi Redmi 6a (our review) received an aspect ratio of 18:9, so the smartpad did not come out. Instead, a more upgraded version of Redmi 6 appeared with a fast processor and a good camera.

Current model: Xiaomi Redmi 6a (our review). Without exaggeration, the best smartphone under $100. It can replace a full-fledged smartphone, grandmother’s phone or a spare dialer.

Life hack: Xiaomi Redmi 5a (our review) is even simpler, but it has a great Snapdragin processor and a lower price.

Buy Xiaomi Redmi 6a: 8 600 rub.

Buy Xiaomi Redmi 5a: 6 000 rub.

Buy Xiaomi Redmi 5a Note: 8 700 rub.

Buy Xiaomi Redmi 6a in Russia: 6 500 rub.

Which Xiaomi to choose to…

…was as similar to the iPhone as possible

Xiaomi Mi 8 or Xiaomi A2 Lite. There are no options, I recommend the first one – the second one still belongs to budget devices, although it differs very much from the ancestor of Redmi 6: Snapdragon instead of Mediatek, metal instead of plastic, a good dual camera.

…To take cool pictures

Xiaomi Mi 8 or Xiaomi Mi Mix 2s. Less money? It is worth taking Xiaomi A2 or waiting for Pocophone to appear. He is very good.

Undemanding users may opt for the Xiaomi Redmi 5 Note, but don’t expect much.

…worked as a second smartphone

Any Redmi with the right specs and price. I had everything. Believe me – there are few unsuccessful models, they instantly disappear from sale.

Redmi 5, Redmi 6 are exactly the same for the user. You choose what you like best based on the characteristics and tests. And rejoice.

… served for a long time

In an all-metal case and not older than 4 generations, if we are talking about Redmi.

Glass flagships break like other brands. Plastic is pleasant to the touch, but does not like bumps.

… worked for a long time

Any Xiaomi Mi Max. These champions year after year become the most autonomous smartphones.

But the budget Redmi 4X, Redmi 5 (Plus/Note) are not far behind: 2 days without a charger is an absolute norm. As a second smartphone, one of them serves me for 4-5 days.

I want to buy Xiaomi. What should I do?

Where to buy Xiaomi smartphones?

Now Xiaomi can be bought in China and Russia. Unfortunately, the low maintainability of all modern smartphones negates the charm of a local warranty.

The difference in price for some devices can be twofold.

I have had more than 3 dozen Xiaomi on my hands. All of them are still working, or broken by the efforts of the owner. Is it worth it to pay for a warranty?

If the goal is not to purchase the freshest, most relevant and fashionable gadget when buying, you should wait 3-6 months from the moment the new model is announced.

By this time, Xiaomi will launch rumors of a new flagship, and prices will be reduced by 20-50%. In China, the first couple of months, prices are inflated to the limit.

International or Rostest: what’s the difference?

The second reason to wait some time after the release of a fresh smartphone is that new models do not immediately receive international firmware. There’s always a chance it won’t come out at all.

Then you have to install custom, or use the Anglo-Chinese firmware. However, it is quite comfortable and does not cause problems.

If English is unbearably difficult, but you don’t want to dance with a tambourine, you should immediately take a Rostest smartphone in Russia (on Tmall, for example).

Although, I draw your attention to the fact that for some time now not all Xiaomi can be turned from a “Chinese” into a “European”

What to do immediately after purchase?

Nothing. Well, you can buy a case, there will be no harm. No need to flash, and everything will be fine. Firmware is required only in case of serious failures or foreign devices in cases where there is an international firmware.

Everything is working? Do not touch! That is why all Xiaomi smartphones that have been in my hands worked great.

They are excellent out of the box. Exactly until you start to fix what is not working as well as you want.

Should you buy Xiaomi?

Despite the fact that Xiaomi is recommended by everyone (including me), you need to understand that everything has its drawbacks. When buying Xiaomi, you buy a smartphone on MIUI (our review). This is both good and bad.

Someone categorically does not like the Xiaomi branded shell. Someone is a fan of her.

I will not support this or that opinion now, but let me remind you that MIUI requires preliminary configuration. After that, it turns into one of the most convenient Android options.

Xiaomi has supported its smartphones longer than anyone. And sends actual updates more often.

What is good about Xiaomi smartphones? Now these are smartphones with the highest price / quality ratio.

Flagships for half the price of the iPhone have almost caught up with branded gadgets, while state employees and mid-price Xiaomi devices have no competitors at all.

But most importantly, Xiaomi allows you to choose your smartphone with the most suitable characteristics. There is a choice. Xiaomi loves us.

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How to buy a suitable smartphone and what to do so that it is not bad.

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