Earlier it became known: Xiaomi smartphones bought in China when trying to update turn into a brick – just stop loading.
But that’s not the company’s fault. As always, the cause of the problems lies in human greed, technical illiteracy … And global innovations.
Buying Xiaomi in China is still safe. If you follow instructions.
Understanding Xiaomi firmware and versions for different countries
The official shell of Xiaomi, MIUI, has 2 versions:
- English-Chinese (China) for smartphones in the domestic market (it is in it that the latest functions work)
- international, it is also global (Global) with support for all languages, but more frequent updates (not all functions work)
The first version has branded services Xiaomi Mibut no app store Google Play. In the second it is exactly the opposite.
In addition, there are 2 firmware versions: developer for developers and testers with weekly updates and Stable for everyone with an update about once a month.
Before implementation Android 8 the firmware was interchangeable and installed through the standard system tools.
The exceptions are those smartphones that did not enter the international market, and therefore did not receive multilingual firmware (in fact, in addition to the language and functions, there are many differences under the hood of the system to comply with local legislation).
Installing modified versions of operating systems required apply for bootloader unlock (read, “smartphone BIOS”, boot sector of the system), get approval within a month and calmly flash the device.
Roughly speaking, if you want the Russian language, get an unlock, install custom firmware and use it.
Xiaomi smartphones for the Chinese have always been a little different (and dangerous)
The first problems with Chinese Xiaomi appeared a long time ago, but no one paid attention to them: Xiaomi Mi 5Xreleased for the Chinese market 2 years ago, brought a lot of problems for the user.
Actually there was Xiaomi Mi 5Cbut due to the high price and uninteresting characteristics, it was purchased by enthusiasts who were able to solve the problem.
Customers who bought a smartphone at the start of sales (expecting a global firmware) and those who saved $ 10 were forced to change the firmware.
The official international firmware for it never came out, since a modification with “pure” Android called Xiaomi A1.
But with a different bootloader, which is why the firmware of the two devices turned out to be incompatible with each other.
Following several more models came out separately in the Chinese and international markets:
- Xiaomi Y2 = Xiaomi S2
- Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro = Xiaomi A2 Lite
- Xiaomi Mi 6X = Xiaomi A2
- Xiaomi Mi 8 EE = Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro
Some savvy sellers offered Mi 5X under the guise A1. In such smartphones, instead of their own bootloader, a similar one was used. Mi Max 2which led to the lack of updates and the impossibility of flashing.
When updating or flashing a smartphone to an OS version that does not match the bootloader, a brick is obtained.
How to flash any Xiaomi?
XiaoMiTool is a utility for restoring and flashing Xiaomi smartphones
It is still possible to reflash a Xiaomi smartphone and not get a “brick”. To do this, you must first unlock the bootloader and leave it in this state after installing the new firmware.
You can do this officially by applying for an unlock, or use an unofficial utility XiaoMiTool.
In the case of using the latter, success is not always guaranteed and you still have to contact the manufacturer, and in this case, the application can be considered up to a month.
It is pointless to contact the Xiaomi branded service center: as soon as the cause of the breakdown is identified, the smartphone will be denied warranty.
What to do if a Xiaomi smartphone dies after flashing?
It is possible to revive a smartphone after an unsuccessful flashing, but it takes a lot of time. At the moment, the only possible option is to install original firmware through EDL-mode:
- Turn off your smartphone and then simultaneously hold down the power and volume up keys.
- After waiting for the vibration, release the power key while continuing to hold the volume button up.
Through the Download item of the menu that appears and the official Windows utility Flash you can restore the firmware by following the instructions of the program.
The method does not always help. If recovery via EDL failed, then you can return the smartphone with the help of people who own an authorized account. But you have to disassemble the device.
Which Xiaomi smartphones for China can be blocked in Russia?
At the moment, according to user reports on the official Xiaomi forum and other specialized resources, the problem has affected absolutely all models of Xiaomi smartphonesreleased in 2018.
The only exception was Pocophone F1to which the new restriction does not apply. Recall that it runs on a modified version of MIUI and is produced by the Xiaomi sub-brand.
BUT! Today, there have been cases of turning into a “brick” any Xiaomi smartphones intended for the domestic market and sold with Anglo-Chinese firmware.
If the user has received official permission to unlock and installs the update, the problem does not occur.
Another problem arises with unlocking the bootloader: if, after the firmware, the bootloader is closed from modifications, the smartphone refused to turn on; didn’t work otherwise Google Pay.
Why everything that happens is the fault of Google, not Xiaomi
The reason for this behavior of smartphones is not at all the company’s desire to cash in on local markets.
If we go back to history, the problems began during the company’s entry into the international market and the introduction of firmware based on Android 8.0/8.1/9.0 (MIUI 9.5/10 for various smartphones).
In later versions of Android appeared anti-rollback: A function that prevents the firmware from being rolled back to an earlier version.
This is a Google security requirement. You remember that in fact, Android smartphones from version 8 have 2 bootloaders at once, one of which is updated in the background while the second one is working.
Accordingly, at some point in the firmware, a critical number of differences accumulated, which required a division into 2 separate branches with their own loaders.
The unlock permission allows the user to edit both sections. That is why the problems of Xiaomi smartphones often occur on MIUI 10 based Android 8/9.
Incidentally, at the same time Huawei prohibited the installation of custom firmware (closed the bootloader). Well, ZTE has had a similar problem for a couple of years (Axon 7 is a vivid confirmation of this).
The problem with “bricking” when changing the firmware applies to all Android smartphones: today Xiaomitomorrow Samsung.
How to buy Xiaomi smartphones so that they are not blocked in the Russian Federation
Does this mean that Xiaomi smartphones can no longer be bought? Of course not! Even now in China you can buy the official European (Global) Xiaomi smartphone version.
The global version differs from the Chinese box and a set of inscriptions: Global is written directly on the box, here are fully translated characteristics, inside there are documents in English.
In addition, the firmware itself honestly talks about its belonging – Global or China.
Life hack: After receiving the smartphone, you should go to the official website and compare the number of digits in the firmware version. If there are more of them – a phone from Vietnam with “self-made” Chinese firmware.
You can buy Global only in a large store. There are few of them: the official store and several big sellers on the AliExpress, banggood, gearbest, tom top.
Moreover, on Ali, guarantees are much lower than in stores with their own website and payment through PayPalsince when paying through this service, selling the Chinese version under the guise of an international one is considered a forgery.
As a result of the dispute, the user will have a smartphone and money, the seller will have nothing.
How to know if your Xiaomi smartphone will be blocked
Should you buy Xiaomi in China? The difference in price between Global and a Russian smartphone on sale can reach 20-30%. So it’s up to you.
If you buy a “Chinese” and follow the official procedure, the smartphone will not break, everything will be fine. You can also use Chinese – it has excellent English, and there is something to replace the missing Google services.
Smartphones with an officially unlocked bootloader do not break and do not turn into a “brick” if you do not try to change the firmware to early version.
Getting permission to reflash is easy enough, the main thing is not to pour tons of them. In addition, you can become a developer with a verified account that allows you to do everything with Xiaomi smartphones.
PS Yes, I tried getting permission. There were no problems even with Redmi Pro and Mi 5X for the Chinese market.
How to save a flashed smartphone and what to do so that your xiaomi does not break?
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