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What is Xiaomi? Here's the Chinese company
that just stole one of Android's biggest stars
Xiaomi is often likened to Apple, but it's more Google than anything else
By Dan Seifert (http://www.theverge.com/users/dcseifert) on August 29, 2013 04:09 pm Email (mailto:dan.seifert@theverge.com) @dcseifert (https://twitter.com/intent/user?
Yesterday, Google lost one of its top Android executives
google-for-chinese) to a relatively unknown Chinese cellphone manufacturer. While the
circumstances surrounding Hugo Barras departure are still murky and potentially
dramatic, theres no question about where hes headed: hes going to Xiaomi
confirms-he-is-joining-xiaomi) as vice president of Xiaomi global, which, according to The
New York Times, some in China have dubbed the "Apple of the East."
But outside of China, Xiaomi (pronounced SHAO-mee) is the furthest thing from a
household name. The three-and-a-half-year-old company has 2,400 employees, annual
revenues of about $2 billion, and only sells its wares in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
That limited market spread means Xiaomi isnt even a blip on most Americans radar.
Despite that, the fledgling company still managed to sell over 7 million devices in 2012
and it expects to do more than double that in 2013. That number doesnt quite match the
figures struggling BlackBerry and Nokia manage to squeeze out each year, but it does
represent some rapid growth for a very young company.
What separates Xiaomi from other smartphone manufacturers, and makes the
comparison to Apple tenuous at best, is its
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strategy of selling high-end smartphones at
cost, with virtually no profit margins. Unlike
the strategy employed by many other
Chinese companies, Xiaomi doesnt just run
to the bottom of the market to offer low-end
cheap handsets. In an interview with The
New York Times
apple.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0) , CEO Lei Jun said "Were not just some cheap
Chinese company making a cheap phone. Were going to be a Fortune 500 company."
"China still has a strong appetite for the likes of Apple and Samsung," said Richard Lai of
Engadget Chinese in an email to The Verge. "The consumers in this category like to
spend money, they're proud of their possessions and they probably look down upon
Xiaomi users. Xiaomi captured its core audience students and geeks by positioning
itself as an online brand, offering top specs at affordable prices."
Co-founder Bin Lin explained to All Things D (http://allthingsd.com/20130415/meet-
xiaomi-the-biggest-smartphone-company-youve-never-heard-of/) earlier this year, "We
essentially price our phones at bill-of-materials." The Xiaomi Phone 2S, its most recent
flagship, has top end specs competitive with the Samsung Galaxy S4 or HTC One. It sells
for a bargain price of 2,299 (roughly $370) roughly half of what the Samsung Galaxy
S4 is priced at.
To augment those razor-thin profit margins, Xiaomi continues to sell the same phones for
a longer period of time than many of its competitors. Rather than release a new flagship
every six months, it may sell the same model for up to 18 months (a strategy that larger
companies are only just recently starting to adopt), giving it more flexibility with profits and
the ability to sell accessories. Indeed, while the company doesnt offer a fully custom
phone a la the Moto X, customers can buy different color backplates and even batteries
when they order their phones. "The accessory business only makes sense with huge
volumes on one particular model," noted Lin. He also says the company has no marketing
budget, doesnt have to account for markups from resellers, and has no sales team.
Instead of focusing on hardware profits to
grow the company, Lin has said that Xiaomi
is more concerned with offering services to
customers as a way to make money. "The
future of mobile internet is really about
services" he says. That doesnt sound too
different from Googles approach of offering
competitive products at a low cost or for free
wireless tech
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and then making money back on
advertising. Given that Lin worked at Google before leaving to start Xiaomi, that shouldnt
come as much of a surprise. It could also be a good reason why Barra felt like Xiaomi
would be the right place to go when leaving Google.
One of the services that Xiaomi offers in addition to hardware is its extremely customized
version of Android installed on its phones. Dubbed MIUI, the operating system looks more
like iOS than Android to most people: it replaces the traditional Android app drawer with
side-scrolling home screens full of apps and has very iOS-like menus, toggles, and icons.
MIUI also drives users to Xiaomis cloud messaging, device security, and backup features.
Some of the issues that the company has faced thus far can be described as uniquely
Chinese. Bin says that the company routinely sells out batches of 300,000 phones at a
time through direct sales to consumers on its website. Recognizing this high demand,
counterfeiters and pirates have swooped in to capitalize on it and sell lower-quality
products under the auspices of the Xiaomi brand, tarnishing its reputation and providing
poor experiences to customers. Lin says that it is working on increasing production to
meet demand and working with the Chinese government to crack down on the piracy
If Barra is going to bring Xiaomi out of the Far East, break in to global markets
(https://plus.google.com/u/1/+HugoBarra/posts/BzZMqRht1xQ) , and make it a Fortune
500 company, piracy will likely be the least of his concerns. While Xiaomi has had great
success in China selling unsubsidized phones directly to consumers via its website,
western markets are still largely driven by in-store sales and on-contract, subsidized
devices. Carrier relationships are also a huge deal in the US and Canada, something that
Xiaomi can more or less ignore in China. In Hong Kong and Taiwan, the smartphone
climate is much closer to the Wests subsidy-dominated model than mainland Chinas.
"[Barra] has a keen understanding of the product itself, what features work globally," Lin
told All Things D in an interview published today (http://allthingsd.com/20130829/xiaomis-
seconds/?mod=tweet) . Lin knows Barra from his time spent at Google, and the two have
worked closely since Xiaomi launched its first phone in 2011. Lin hopes that Barra will be
able to help the company expand into new markets as soon as this year.
Many other Chinese companies (http://www.theverge.com/2013/1/13/3867162/chinese-
electronics-show-hisense-huawei-haier-tcl) have attempted to break out of the mainland
in the past decade, but Huawei is the biggest one to really do so with visible success, and
its still not viewed as a top-tier option in Europe and North America. Its too early to say
whether or not Xiaomi has been the breakaway hit in Hong Kong and Taiwan it has been
in China, but it will likely need to apply what it learns there and then some to make a dent
in the rest of the world. Needless to say, Barra and Xiaomi have their work cut out.
Apple TV WTF?
Recommend me a powerful laptop?
The Verge [WP] is one of the best apps i've
came across in the WP store
Trinkwasser (http://www.theverge.com/users/Trinkwasser)
The companys marketing strategy is to ride on the back of the cult of Apple2 (#fn2) using a similar
marketing strategy.3 (#fn3) Its chairman and CEO, Lei Jun,4 (#fn4) carefully cultivates a Steve Jobs image,
including jeans and dark shirts,5 (#fn5) and Jobs style of product announcements.6 (#fn6) He has been
categorized as a counterfeit Jobs.7 (#fn7) The companys strategy has been categorized as counterfeiting
philosophy, mindset and an icon.8 (#fn8) Despite repeated comparisons to Apple Inc., Xiaomi maintains
that it espouses a different set of principles.2 (#fn2) 9 (#fn9) Xiaomi has no retail stores nor does it partner
with third-party distributors. Instead, all Xiaomi products are sold directly via the companys website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xiaomi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xiaomi)
Aug 29, 2013 | 4:19 PM (#181118317)
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Trinkwasser (http://www.theverge.com/users/Trinkwasser)
The links:
http://www.forbes.com/profile/lei-jun/ (http://www.forbes.com/profile/lei-jun/)
http://www.businessinsider.com/xiaomi-2013-8 (http://www.businessinsider.com/xiaomi-2013-8)
old-chinese-medicine-company/ (http://techcrunch.com/2013/05/09/eyeing-4-5b-in-sales-this-year-phone-maker-
Aug 29, 2013 | 4:59 PM (#181127603)
BahamasGeek242 (http://www.theverge.com/users/BahamasGeek242)
I like that you brought the hammer down. The New York Times article was great
Aug 29, 2013 | 6:45 PM (#181146367)
Kyunaga (http://www.theverge.com/users/Kyunaga)
I think there are way too many logical fallacies once you think about what hes saying. First off, the sources
dont exactly jive with what he says. Wearing jeans and dark shirts is basically everyone in the tech industry,
saying Steve Jobs has a monopoly on that is downright insane. All the companies are following the Apple
model as well.
But I think it misses the most important part the Xiaomi phones are great quality. They look awesome,
clean, well designed, and even have nifty features like touch feedback and an onboard glowing light that
indicates charging. They have lots of color covers.
It is even said that the iPhone 5C looks very much like the Xiaomi 2S and 2A phones.
Aug 30, 2013 | 2:04 AM (#181273515)
shirj (http://www.theverge.com/users/shirj)
I do agree that jeans and dark shirts is basically everyone in the tech industry, but in China we all realize
how Lei Jun/the company tries to imitate Apple. The ROM features an iOS like design; in the OS there are
services similar to Apples like finding and locating your lost phone; Lei Jun even uses Keynote in his
I own a 2A phone and its great except that it lacks the Google Apps and the Google Service Framework
because its sold in China only. I hope Barra can fix this thing soon as he tries to push the phones into the
western world.
Aug 30, 2013 | 5:42 AM (#181279937)
rhythmzz (http://www.theverge.com/users/rhythmzz)
you miss the point, pal. If you can allow Samsung and alike to grow their market share imitating apple.
why cant you tolerate a small company in China trying hard to do the same?
Aug 30, 2013 | 6:02 AM (#181280261)
RoboticSpacePenguin (http://www.theverge.com/users/RoboticSpacePenguin)
Maybe Im missing something, but I dont see anyone above saying they cant tolerate it. Just pointing
out some interesting quirks of the company and their CEO.
Aug 30, 2013 | 9:09 AM (#181286957)
MadMen (http://www.theverge.com/users/MadMen)
If you can allow Samsung and alike to grow their market share imitating apple. why cant
you tolerate a small company in China trying hard to do the same?
about 7 hours ago by Novi_Homines
about 8 hours ago by DVO_Christian
1 comment
about 9 hours ago by nicesurprise
about 9 hours ago by NapkinGuy
about 9 hours ago by gregorio.dealmeidafilho
about 11 hours ago by UnbiasedFanboy96
about 11 hours ago by silellak
Huh? Nobody is saying companies shouldnt grow. They are disagreeing with the method of
impersonating Apple. You can grow without doing that, you know?
Sep 1, 2013 | 5:45 PM (#181837591)
uscmafia (http://www.theverge.com/users/uscmafia)
Hugo Barra : Who are you?
Lei Jun : I am Lei Jun.
HB : why are you wearing mock turtleneck and jeans with those white sneakers?
LJ : being original.
HB : haha.
LJ : why do you laugh?
HB : nothing. tell me what do you want from me?
LJ : to come and work for me.
HB : Xiaomi the money.
LJ : here.
Aug 30, 2013 | 6:39 AM (#181280829)
Trinkwasser (http://www.theverge.com/users/Trinkwasser)
I like both guys.
Aug 30, 2013 | 7:12 AM (#181281379)
MrLos (http://www.theverge.com/users/MrLos)
I dont see anything wrong in what they do. And if it possible to sideload Google apps I would love to
have one of these.
How if the camera quality? It is the usual disappointing part of non premium phones.
Aug 30, 2013 | 7:13 AM (#181281391)
jude.delarosa (http://www.theverge.com/users/jude.delarosa)
You can get all the GAPPS (or just the play store) on the MIUI App Store (that I cant remember the
name, as you can see)
Sep 1, 2013 | 4:58 AM (#181741853)
cmasontaylor (http://www.theverge.com/users/cmasontaylor)
Wearing jeans and dark shirts is basically everyone in the tech industry
Come on dude.
Bill Gates:
Sergey Brin:
Kaz Hirai:
Steve Ballmer:
Jeff Bezos:
Peter Chou:
Larry Page:
Thorstein Heins:
Matias Duarte:
Steve Jobs:
Lei Jun:
Aug 30, 2013 | 8:23 PM (#181416489)
Plazmic Flame (http://www.theverge.com/users/Plazmic%20Flame)
Jobs really deteriorated in 10 years damn
Aug 30, 2013 | 8:49 PM (#181423157)
MadMen (http://www.theverge.com/users/MadMen)
I think he looks better at the end.
Sep 1, 2013 | 5:47 PM (#181837865)
SRPuffinstuff (http://www.theverge.com/users/SRPuffinstuff)
I dont know about deteriorated as he still looks fairly spry in that last image, but MY GOD did he
age more than just 10 years in that decade O_o I had guessed the first image was from the 80s, until
I checked the labels.
Sep 3, 2013 | 12:17 PM (#182099385)
munakib (http://www.theverge.com/users/munakib)
Matias just killed it!
Aug 31, 2013 | 9:54 AM (#181496809)
JorisGriffioen (http://www.theverge.com/users/JorisGriffioen)
Come on man, that isnt even a turtleneck, its just a black shirt. Its also over his pants instead of in, it
looks nothing like Jobs style.
Sep 1, 2013 | 5:19 PM (#181832395)
jvic (http://www.theverge.com/users/jvic)
it looks nothing like Jobs style.
Indeed, it looks like a cheap chinese clone of Jobs style.
Sep 2, 2013 | 2:12 PM (#181943249)
OgilvyTheAstronomer (http://www.theverge.com/users/OgilvyTheAstronomer)
It is even said that the iPhone 5C looks very much like the Xiaomi 2S and 2A phones.
The iPhone 5C looks precisely like a cross between an iPhone 5 and an iPhone 3G.
Aug 31, 2013 | 1:18 PM (#181528583)
Shuma Gorath (http://www.theverge.com/users/Shuma%20Gorath)
all Xiaomi products are sold directly via the companys website look this page:
Aug 29, 2013 | 11:35 PM (#181248111)
guoxin (http://www.theverge.com/users/guoxin)
Obviously they aint an authorized reseller, buddy.
Sep 11, 2013 | 6:37 PM (#183850735)
MalcolmTucker (http://www.theverge.com/users/MalcolmTucker)
I just wanted to say, under no outstanding circumstances, that I believe Hugo Barra left Google to ensure the
company wont be sued by Apple.
If you look at the recent videos online of the UI and interface, it paints that the franchisee of Googles Intellectual
Property may be mis-used.
There are a number of challenges in correcting this, of course Like Antenna management, and other things Im
sure Xiaomi knows about.
Few know this, but Motorola once almost bankrupted VoiceStream, which became T-Mobile. Simply put, On
CDMA Networks, Motorola (and infineon) was allowed to broadcast network SEND and END commands at full
power, often causing people in adjacent cells to loose connection.
On GSM networks, the device has to broadcast such network commands at GSM Qs levels.
Lets face it, RF engineering can be fun. Especially if you are bold enough to tell Steve Jobs to use Infineon
chipsets. Apple was the last to use Infenion, until in an email I suggested something better.
Qualcomm only does business in quantity, thats why I suggested Infineon.
Tim Cook is an operations nerd, and still doesnt respond.
Yet, its pretty cool hes working on other ideas.
Separate the Dorks from the Nerds.
Aug 30, 2013 | 2:59 AM (#181276649)
Nem01 (http://www.theverge.com/users/Nem01)
Am I the only one who didnt undestand what is he trying to say?
Aug 30, 2013 | 4:23 AM (#181278703)
dhavalmotghare (http://www.theverge.com/users/dhavalmotghare)
Me too, looks like random babbling.
Aug 30, 2013 | 6:48 AM (#181280927)
LeJay (http://www.theverge.com/users/LeJay)
To be fair, the comment structure on the verge means I have no idea what he replied to
Sep 1, 2013 | 3:27 PM (#181806267)
Automaton1 (http://www.theverge.com/users/Automaton1)
I know Im sleep deprived, but cant follow this train of thought at all. What mental illness causes this post to
read like diarrhea? Id really like to know.
Aug 30, 2013 | 9:47 AM (#181291367)
EA101 (http://www.theverge.com/users/EA101)
I believe the reason he left is because he broke up a relationship as per some co workers
Currently, rumors are releasing there may be more than a new job behind Barras departure. Reportedly, the
handsome VP was dating a co-worker, and that relationship came to a bitter end. Especially, when unnamed co-
worker started dating the companys co-founder Sergey Brin. Brin is reportedly in his own relationship and was
married, and yes- this gets very confusing. It sounds more like an episode from Desperate Housewives..
Aug 30, 2013 | 11:57 AM (#181315349)
nawksnai (http://www.theverge.com/users/nawksnai)
Shes kinda hot though
Sep 1, 2013 | 9:30 AM (#181750973)
JorisGriffioen (http://www.theverge.com/users/JorisGriffioen)
Damnit dude, now I need to find a foto. Why? WHY?
Sep 1, 2013 | 5:25 PM (#181833645)
nawksnai (http://www.theverge.com/users/nawksnai)
Amanda Rosenberg.
Still a scumbag move though, Brin.
Sep 2, 2013 | 12:28 AM (#181885673)
nos (http://www.theverge.com/users/nos)
A counter-argument:
I like ponies.
Smoking is bad for you.
Clowns are terrifying.
May the force be with you.
Please tip your waiters and waitresses.
The Dude abides.
In closing, I would like to add: Your mother.
Aug 30, 2013 | 9:06 PM (#181427905)
forsandesh (http://www.theverge.com/users/forsandesh)
Aug 31, 2013 | 8:25 AM (#181491013)
Matt Merritt (http://www.theverge.com/users/Matt%20Merritt)
I have to admit, before reading your post I never considered myself to be any kind of mental giant well off, sure,
but not spectacular. Now, I feel like I was just wrong
Sep 1, 2013 | 9:26 AM (#181750695)
Quantenx Chen (http://www.theverge.com/users/Quantenx%20Chen)
thats why we dont like Xiaomi, their marketing strategy is stupid
Aug 30, 2013 | 5:00 AM (#181279355)
dhavalmotghare (http://www.theverge.com/users/dhavalmotghare)
Me too, looks like random babbling.
Aug 30, 2013 | 6:47 AM (#181280921)
sonicmerlin (http://www.theverge.com/users/sonicmerlin)
This actually makes a lot of sense given that co-founder Bin Lin came from Google. He ripped off then iPhone OSs
UI and interface mechanics as much as legally possible for android, then jumped ship and started his own
company in China to finish the job where he wouldnt have to worry about lawsuits. That of course is one of the
reasons they havent expanded into the west. The copying is too overt, and Barra could help tone it down enough to
make it legal.
Sep 1, 2013 | 2:08 PM (#181789627)
Fun fact: XiaoMi means little rice.
Aug 29, 2013 | 4:20 PM (#181118681)
Ishimaru (http://www.theverge.com/users/Ishimaru)
Twice in two posts?
Aug 29, 2013 | 4:21 PM (#181118969)
Aug 29, 2013 | 4:23 PM (#181119491)
max1001 (http://www.theverge.com/users/max1001)

It means millet. Not small rice.

Aug 29, 2013 | 4:24 PM (#181119887)
tekdemon (http://www.theverge.com/users/tekdemon)
It actually does mean little rice literally, though in Chinese rice can mean the the grains of rice so millet is an
Aug 29, 2013 | 4:54 PM (#181126545)
max1001 (http://www.theverge.com/users/max1001)
Thats like saying panda means bear cat.
Aug 29, 2013 | 6:10 PM (#181140247)
.jay (http://www.theverge.com/users/.jay)
Aug 29, 2013 | 8:58 PM (#181189493)
uscmafia (http://www.theverge.com/users/uscmafia)
Aug 30, 2013 | 6:35 AM (#181280779)
LeJay (http://www.theverge.com/users/LeJay)
God, I love pandas
Sep 1, 2013 | 3:29 PM (#181806589)
nawksnai (http://www.theverge.com/users/nawksnai)
Sergey Brin would tap all of that.
Sep 2, 2013 | 12:29 AM (#181885727)
tekdemon (http://www.theverge.com/users/tekdemon)
Not only does it really mean bear cat (mostly because people thought it was a cat that looked like a bear,
hence a bearcat) using the word millet is just a really bad translation that seems to be based on one online
Chinese dictionary, theres a bajillion other words that would actually mean millet more accurately than
xiaomi, which is a rather bootleg/illiterate way of saying millet because its the way you say it when you
dont really know a word for millet and so you call them a small version of rice.
If you look on CDICT it doesnt even list xiaomi as a valid translation for millet because its really not the
correct way to say it: http://cdict.net/?q=millet (http://cdict.net/?q=millet)
Saying xiaomi means millet is like saying large violin means viola.
And as other people point out adding Xiao is mostly a Chinese thing where you make something
cute/endearing, so the translation would get the feeling across the best if you used lil rice or something to
that effect.
Aug 30, 2013 | 2:34 AM (#181275319)
kevinxucs (http://www.theverge.com/users/kevinxucs)
Are you some kind of market angency who works for xiaomi? You have dozens of comments in this single post,
looks quite suspicious.
Aug 29, 2013 | 9:00 PM (#181190465)
zpingw (http://www.theverge.com/users/zpingw)
Xiaomi name come of the initials of Mobile Internet MI
MI in Chinese phonetic (Pinyin) pronunciation sound the same as Rice.
Xiao (Small) is simply a common and memorable way to named something / someone in Chinese.
Aug 29, 2013 | 10:43 PM (#181231769)
Quantenx Chen (http://www.theverge.com/users/Quantenx%20Chen)
Aug 30, 2013 | 5:03 AM (#181279405)
cmgreene (http://www.theverge.com/users/cmgreene)
The characters look like it should read as airplane star
Aug 31, 2013 | 10:00 AM (#181497389)
Wooooo (http://www.theverge.com/users/Wooooo)
Sep 2, 2013 | 5:07 AM (#181895525)
shirj (http://www.theverge.com/users/shirj)
What it really is:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foxtail_millet (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foxtail_millet)
http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%B0%8F%E7%B1%B3 (http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%B0%8F%E7%B1%B3)
Aug 30, 2013 | 5:45 AM (#181280001)
Trinkwasser (http://www.theverge.com/users/Trinkwasser)
Aug 29, 2013 | 4:22 PM (#181119213)
Trinkwasser (http://www.theverge.com/users/Trinkwasser)
Xiaomi and some other eastern cheap manufacturers seem interesting. Does anyone here own such a device?
Where did you buy it?
Aug 29, 2013 | 4:30 PM (#181121325)
max1001 (http://www.theverge.com/users/max1001)
There are so many online stores that sell Chinese phones but they are useless in USA due to the lack of USA
Band support.
Aug 29, 2013 | 4:41 PM (#181123759)
dcelaya2000 (http://www.theverge.com/users/dcelaya2000)
Its always tough getting support for a band.
Aug 29, 2013 | 7:58 PM (#181165151)
zn (http://www.theverge.com/users/zn)
There are so many great jokes in this thread. Also, a whole bunch of spam and passive aggressevity.
Aug 30, 2013 | 9:19 AM (#181287859)
Kyunaga (http://www.theverge.com/users/Kyunaga)
Nonsense, there are plenty of quadband Chinese phones. The local band only Chinese phones are getting
much rarer.
Aug 30, 2013 | 3:40 AM (#181277905)
ryan49ryan (http://www.theverge.com/users/ryan49ryan)
I got my MI2 on merimobiles.com, they were the best price I could find, $375 when I ordered it last year. The MI2
is now $320 and the MI-2S is $400. Had it for 9 months so far and I absolutely love it, its just packed with useful
features, super fast and smooth, and it gets weekly updates! No problems at all with cell networks here, Im
using it on Telus in Canada, but Ive used it in the USA as well.
Aug 29, 2013 | 6:00 PM (#181138297)
Fadakar (http://www.theverge.com/users/Fadakar)
Are the weekly updates substantial or just small bug fixes? And have you ever had a weekly update break
Aug 29, 2013 | 6:40 PM (#181145503)
ryan49ryan (http://www.theverge.com/users/ryan49ryan)
Most weeks there are at least a few notable additions, for example recently they added a qr code scanner
in the camera app, customization of headphone remote buttons, do not disturb mode and much more.
There are always lots of little bug fixes too, so if you have a problem one week, it will likely be gone the
next. I did have one update that came shortly after they jumped to V5 that had some annoying issues, this
wasnt really a problem though. The way that the system partition is designed the phone leaves the
previous version on system 2 and the defaults to the new version on system 1, if you have a problem with
the new one simply boot the phone to system 2 and it will downgrade back the the last version.
Aug 29, 2013 | 9:05 PM (#181192285)
arnonymous (http://www.theverge.com/users/arnonymous)
I have the Mi2S, and i agree with the above
The weekly updates are really like clockwork! And its not that they add so much as its just nice to see the
company is still devoting time and money to the device, unlike manufacturers that just sell and forget.
The Dual boot system is ingenious!
I should add, that official roms, are chinese/english only. and bad english.
So most foreigners use MIUIAndroid, a port which is basically a translation of the official rom to many
languages, and nothing else. This one also comes OTA, every week just after the official one is released,
and feels just like the official thing.
So no need for recovery or other scary stuff(though you can if you want, obviously), its all done very
On the other hand, Kernel is still closed source. So ports for other roms like CM, AOSP, AOKP and such
have some minor issues, but they getting better everyday.
Aug 30, 2013 | 3:22 AM (#181277491)
Kaggy (http://www.theverge.com/users/Kaggy)
you can get it from ibuygou it is the partner of miuiandroid.com
Aug 29, 2013 | 7:35 PM (#181158093)
Kyunaga (http://www.theverge.com/users/Kyunaga)
They sell them locally here in Taiwan and the quality of the phones is very good. The prices are very cheap for
them yet the build quality is comparable with Samsung if not better feeling. Theyve added little touches like a
light that breathes when you are charging it, haptic feedback, and MIUI doesnt lag on either models at all.
Aug 30, 2013 | 3:40 AM (#181277923)
Jeff Cleverley (http://www.theverge.com/users/Jeff%20Cleverley)
I have a mi1, a mi2, and a mibox. I live in Shanghai so I just bought from their site, which entails being fast as
they sell out quickly. After a few months of rel are they are easy to get.
The mi1 was good, great value, powerful for its time but buggy. Crashed too much. The mi2 is awesome and the
mi2s even better, think of it like a faster nexus4 with more storage but smaller screen. Build quality is not to be
sniffed at.
A lot of MIUI built in extras are great (under/overclocking, transfer, weather, alarms and clocks, shortcuts, anti-
virus, predictive dialer, maracas etc), making it as good as CM (never had the chance to play with paranoid
android yet but have always had a CM android).
I dont like mihome launcher so I run Nova Launcher Prime, which makes the whole MIUI fork seem like stock
android with tweaks.
Im looking forward to the mi3 launch.
Aug 30, 2013 | 5:52 AM (#181280103)
Trinkwasser (http://www.theverge.com/users/Trinkwasser)
Nice guy.
Aug 29, 2013 | 5:00 PM (#181127759)
dcelaya2000 (http://www.theverge.com/users/dcelaya2000)
But hes like the rest of us, in that he doesnt go for the full lotus legs like Steve (ouch).
Aug 29, 2013 | 8:01 PM (#181166175)
.jay (http://www.theverge.com/users/.jay)
Clearly he is trying to be a carbon copy of Steve Jobs. No one sits cross legged on the floor. Ever. Especially in
Aug 29, 2013 | 8:59 PM (#181189861)
Kyunaga (http://www.theverge.com/users/Kyunaga)
And he wears polos. Everyone knows that Steve Jobs must have a monopoly on dark shirts. Its not like
anyone at Best Buy or other places wears polos.
Aug 30, 2013 | 3:42 AM (#181277957)
zn (http://www.theverge.com/users/zn)
Actually I think hes sitting on a cushion, probably stuffed with money.
Aug 30, 2013 | 9:20 AM (#181287995)
RicardoBrusd (http://www.theverge.com/users/RicardoBrusd)
Which is ironic considering that Apples iPhone 5c, bears a striking resemblance with Xiaomis Mi2A.
Aug 29, 2013 | 5:10 PM (#181129517)
Sir Sleepsalot (http://www.theverge.com/users/Sir%20Sleepsalot)
Thats because youre blind.
Aug 29, 2013 | 5:16 PM (#181130641)
asdeasde96 (http://www.theverge.com/users/asdeasde96)
Rectangle with rounded corners, solid glass front. Anything that has both these characteristics is a blatant
There is only so many form factors in making touch screen phones. The most immaculate ones are the one
claimed by Apple, and defended in court, because immaculate design is copyrightable.
Aug 29, 2013 | 5:41 PM (#181135103)
Forbius (http://www.theverge.com/users/Forbius)
You forgot two important parts of the patent : metallic border and home button. Yours is a straw man
Aug 29, 2013 | 6:27 PM (#181143223)
asdeasde96 (http://www.theverge.com/users/asdeasde96)
I really dont think that that patent will ever be used, it will get thrown out if they try. My point was more
peoples reaction to phone design. Its as if they expect every manufacturer to create a different look and
style that bears no resemblance to any other phone. The iPhones basic design is wonderful. Xiaomi and
many others have iterated on it and made phones, some of which have improved upon the iPhones
design, others which have not succeeded in the design department. What I dislike is anytime a phone
has a rectangle with rounded corners and a solid glass front, someone always says looks like the
iPhone its frustrating.
Aug 29, 2013 | 10:02 PM (#181215133)
Forbius (http://www.theverge.com/users/Forbius)
Yes. But theres a difference between this and what Samsung was doing. Some of their phones could
easily be mistaken for iPhone 4s. They really looked like knockoffs from a supermarket in China.
Aug 30, 2013 | 5:39 AM (#181279913)
spatstl000 (http://www.theverge.com/users/spatstl000)
Which ones?
Aug 30, 2013 | 6:53 AM (#181280981)
Boghog (http://www.theverge.com/users/Boghog)
Not so much the 4 but the SGS and Ace were straight iPhone 3G rips.
Aug 30, 2013 | 9:05 AM (#181286623)
StevieBallz (http://www.theverge.com/users/StevieBallz)
Aug 31, 2013 | 3:52 AM (#181485099)
SRPuffinstuff (http://www.theverge.com/users/SRPuffinstuff)
Very true, none of Samsungs phones look anything even remotely like an iPhone 4/4S. Now the
Sep 3, 2013 | 12:28 PM (#182101561)
Forbius (http://www.theverge.com/users/Forbius)
contre-apple_1161585.html (http://www.lexpress.fr/actualites/1/economie/guerre-des-brevets-
This one.
Sep 6, 2013 | 8:23 PM (#182764659)
TheMandarin (http://www.theverge.com/users/TheMandarin)
same colors ?
Aug 29, 2013 | 11:08 PM (#181240687)
Kyunaga (http://www.theverge.com/users/Kyunaga)
Oh yeah, surely the color choices werent inspired by Xiaomi uh huh, right.
Aug 30, 2013 | 3:43 AM (#181277969)
HotelQuebec (http://www.theverge.com/users/HotelQuebec)
The knockoffs dont even run Android. =(
Aug 29, 2013 | 6:00 PM (#181138369)
nathantj4 (http://www.theverge.com/users/nathantj4)
its almost as good
Aug 29, 2013 | 8:11 PM (#181169831)
_Kubes (http://www.theverge.com/users/_Kubes)
Yeah I mean Apple never made a plastic phone right?
Nor did they ever bring out a product category with all sorts of colours..
Aug 30, 2013 | 5:07 AM (#181279461)
Forbius (http://www.theverge.com/users/Forbius)
Except for the different camera, flash, microphone placements, actual shape of the backplate, shape of the front
panel, position of the speaker, absence of home button, position of the side buttons (the Xiaomi magically uses
the same size and number of buttons than on the iPhone though), texture of the panel on the sides. But yes,
totally similar. Must be because they are using cyan and magenta, you know, primary colors.
Aug 30, 2013 | 5:45 AM (#181279995)
ninjaculate (http://www.theverge.com/users/ninjaculate)
Thats not irony.
Aug 30, 2013 | 2:25 PM (#181344671)
JasonVorhess (http://www.theverge.com/users/JasonVorhess)
Both are ripoffs of Nokia Lumias.
Both are ripoffs of WP.
If you look at the picture of that phone the homescreen is minimalistic as heck, with just the time of the battery
metre at the top WP has been that way since 2010.
iOS 7 tried their best to be like WP.
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2420200,00.asp (http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2420200,00.asp)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DM8NSSzxNGM (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DM8NSSzxNGM)
Aug 30, 2013 | 5:16 PM (#181383193)
Guinhu (http://www.theverge.com/users/Guinhu)
People and their little silly rumors lol
Aug 29, 2013 | 5:20 PM (#181131399)
Niklaus Baxely (http://www.theverge.com/users/Niklaus%20Baxely)
His shoes are way better than Steves
Aug 30, 2013 | 9:14 AM (#181287395)
maxmaxmax (http://www.theverge.com/users/maxmaxmax)
Aug 30, 2013 | 10:26 AM (#181297523)
angelo.allegra (http://www.theverge.com/users/angelo.allegra)
Chinese dude way more elegant.
Jobs looks like an hobo with charity clothes on.
Aug 31, 2013 | 9:44 AM (#181496001)
Verandi (http://www.theverge.com/users/Verandi)
He was sick already in this pic, you dick.
Aug 31, 2013 | 12:35 PM (#181519835)
uscmafia (http://www.theverge.com/users/uscmafia)
Aug 31, 2013 | 1:36 PM (#181532291)
DOAbarrelroll (http://www.theverge.com/users/DOAbarrelroll)
some in China have dubbed the Apple of the East.
I would argue MEIZU may be more deserving of that title, for better or worse. Between the hype, die-hard fans, build
quality, and outspoken CEO, MEIZU has certainly patterned themselves after Apple.
Aug 29, 2013 | 4:23 PM (#181119423)
max1001 (http://www.theverge.com/users/max1001)
Not really. Xiamo CEO has said many times he model his company after Apple. Hes a big Apple Fanboy but he
makes Android phone.
Aug 29, 2013 | 4:25 PM (#181120177)
Maxime.C (http://www.theverge.com/users/Maxime.C)
I have no problems when companies admit that they use Apple as a role model, good for them. Unlike sam.
Aug 29, 2013 | 4:28 PM (#181120727)
max1001 (http://www.theverge.com/users/max1001)
Another fun facts, they uses Ubuntu for their PC to save money.
Aug 29, 2013 | 4:33 PM (#181122029)
Kaggy (http://www.theverge.com/users/Kaggy)
At least they dont use pirated copies of Windows which is fairly common in China corporate.
Aug 29, 2013 | 7:39 PM (#181159179)
Trinkwasser (http://www.theverge.com/users/Trinkwasser)
Aug 29, 2013 | 5:03 PM (#181128337)
sofokles5 (http://www.theverge.com/users/sofokles5)
-android/ubuntu etc and apples software are Linux based. that is why they have many similarities.
-If you re saying that he cant match apples innovation n design, that is something that no one can deny
Aug 29, 2013 | 5:21 PM (#181131519)
AndrewPolidori (http://www.theverge.com/users/AndrewPolidori)
Apples software and Linux are both Unix based actually.
Aug 29, 2013 | 7:02 PM (#181149595)
dan_e_dents (http://www.theverge.com/users/dan_e_dents)
Absolutely not. MAC OX is Unix03 compliant and is based in part on FreeBSD. The linux kernel has no
ancestry whatsoever in UNIX. Sure Torvalds studied UNIX ad Minix and drew inspiration from those but
thats it there is not one line of UNIX code in there. Finally all the GNU elements including Gnome and
libc predate linux by a long shot the goal was to replicate UNIX functions and base tools but in the open
source GPL world. So OSX is based on Unix, not linux.
Aug 29, 2013 | 8:31 PM (#181178155)
StevieBallz (http://www.theverge.com/users/StevieBallz)
As for not a single line of linux code in there Im rather certain you can find identical lines of code
because those can be found in basically any program e.g. for(i = 0; i < len; i++) ;)
All those OSes are POSIX compliant. MacOS uses a lot of software packages that are also used in
Linux though.
Aug 31, 2013 | 3:56 AM (#181485209)
AndrewPolidori (http://www.theverge.com/users/AndrewPolidori)
Forgive me, I meant to say that Linux and Apples software are both Unix-like. Its a bit of a pedantic
difference in this instance.
Sep 10, 2013 | 5:34 PM (#183648987)
DOAbarrelroll (http://www.theverge.com/users/DOAbarrelroll)
Thats true enough, though I still feel that MEIZU has much more in common with Apple, despite Xiaomis
intentions. This is worth a read:
Aug 29, 2013 | 5:36 PM (#181134165)
tomflack (http://www.theverge.com/users/tomflack)
I dont know what Meizus situation is. Their stores are consistently empty and once I walked past one in
Shanghai that had closed down, with some guy selling carpets in it.
Aug 29, 2013 | 8:41 PM (#181182531)
Kyunaga (http://www.theverge.com/users/Kyunaga)
The Xiaomi CEO says he admires Apple and saw them as the competitor to beat, doesnt mean he actually
models his company after Apple. His phones are sold at-cost, the build quality is frankly excellent for the price,
theyre only sold online, he has no stores even though he could easily open them. None of these things are what
Apple exclusively does.
Aug 30, 2013 | 3:45 AM (#181278011)
Kaggy (http://www.theverge.com/users/Kaggy)
If you read their older stories Meizu was sort of being deceived by Lei Jun when he promised not to sell hardware,
so Meizus CEO allowed Lei Jun to visit his factories and see how things operate.
Meizu no longer use MIUI to promote and was rushing to build their own UI which was subpar and now they are
probably playing catchup to Xiaomi.
Aug 29, 2013 | 7:43 PM (#181160411)
jjlovet (http://www.theverge.com/users/jjlovet)
Meizu has Flyme OS, also pretty good
but exclusive only to Meizus own phone, like IOS
Aug 30, 2013 | 12:06 AM (#181255339)
Albanian (http://www.theverge.com/users/Albanian)
Wow, even their website layout and pictures are shockingly similar to Apples.
Sep 1, 2013 | 9:57 PM (#181871803)
markazali (http://www.theverge.com/users/markazali)
Is there any chance well ever see a Xiaomi Google Edition handset?
Aug 29, 2013 | 4:23 PM (#181119623)
spider623 (http://www.theverge.com/users/spider623)
go to miuiandroid.com its official(somewhat) english community or en.miui.com(click forums) and you will find the
aosp rom they build for the devices but why? google took many features from them
Aug 29, 2013 | 4:58 PM (#181127437)
Celz (http://www.theverge.com/users/Celz)
After having your married boss (allegedly) steal your girlfriend.. Im sure it at least 50% leaving..
Aug 29, 2013 | 4:27 PM (#181120441)
eiberri (http://www.theverge.com/users/eiberri)
Wasnt sure what you meantand then! Google Founder Sergey Brin Splits From Wife, Begins Hangout With
Colleague? (http://www.vanityfair.com/online/daily/2013/08/google-ceo-sergey-brin-splits-from-wife-begins-hangout-
Aug 29, 2013 | 6:03 PM (#181138915)
Celz (http://www.theverge.com/users/Celz)
I cant wait til we get a nice juicy silicon valley reality show.. Move over Love & Hip-Hop and Real Housewives of
Aug 29, 2013 | 6:17 PM (#181141399)
santillanavila (http://www.theverge.com/users/santillanavila)
http://www.bravotv.com/start-ups-silicon-valley (http://www.bravotv.com/start-ups-silicon-valley)
Aug 29, 2013 | 11:46 PM (#181250537)
etios (http://www.theverge.com/users/etios)
Here are some more articles on the Hugo Barra, Amanda rosenberg, Sergey Brin and his wifes Quadrangle
http://valleywag.gawker.com/meet-the-google-founders-mistress-1219044247 (http://valleywag.gawker.com/meet-
sudden-departure-20130829-2st1m.html (http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/sergey-brin-love-
boss-Sergey-Brin-romance-thats-rocked-Silicon-Valley.html (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-
Aug 30, 2013 | 7:26 AM (#181281755)
zn (http://www.theverge.com/users/zn)
Total babe though.
Aug 30, 2013 | 9:32 AM (#181289405)
David Son (http://www.theverge.com/users/David%20Son)
How did Xiaomi steal Barra? Its not like Barra was Googles property. Wouldnt poach be the better word here?
Aug 29, 2013 | 4:28 PM (#181120715)
Maxime.C (http://www.theverge.com/users/Maxime.C)
Google bought Barra in 2008.
Aug 29, 2013 | 4:29 PM (#181121083)
zn (http://www.theverge.com/users/zn)
That sounds an awful lot like slavery
Aug 30, 2013 | 9:34 AM (#181289573)
munakib (http://www.theverge.com/users/munakib)
One fine day (quite recently), when Barra woke up and found Brin in his bed, he rushed to his computer to find job
openings using moster.com. There, I couldnt keep it a secret any longer, thats what happens when you confide in
random online people during stressful times Hugo.
Aug 31, 2013 | 10:00 AM (#181497417)
soul driver (http://www.theverge.com/users/soul%20driver)
the apple of the East ..its a conspiracy: hes really there to make sure that apple doesnt succeed in the East, and
that just Xiaomi and Google do. after that, they merge, ultimately putting Apple down like a dying dog in Asia.
Aug 29, 2013 | 4:30 PM (#181121259)
HotelQuebec (http://www.theverge.com/users/HotelQuebec)
Android already at 90%+ vs iOS 4% in China. Blows your conspiracy out of the water.
Aug 29, 2013 | 4:59 PM (#181127563)
Boghog (http://www.theverge.com/users/Boghog)
Android market share inChina is not Google market share:)
Aug 30, 2013 | 9:09 AM (#181286915)
HotelQuebec (http://www.theverge.com/users/HotelQuebec)
http://bgr.com/2012/11/16/android-chinese-market-share-2012/ (http://bgr.com/2012/11/16/android-chinese-market-
Aug 29, 2013 | 5:01 PM (#181127953)
Forbius (http://www.theverge.com/users/Forbius)
Average prince of 220$. I can imagine how great those phones are
Aug 29, 2013 | 6:24 PM (#181142611)
HotelQuebec (http://www.theverge.com/users/HotelQuebec)
Theyre both Made in China and cost about the same to make so youre being gouged for one of them.
Reminds me of clothing when I see the exact same shirt made from the same factory and from the same
materials at two different branded stores and the only difference is one of them is 3x the price. And, they both
cost the same to make in China even with the fancy label.
Aug 29, 2013 | 7:17 PM (#181153327)
Marcos El Malo (http://www.theverge.com/users/Marcos%20El%20Malo)
I totally agree. Quality Control and quality assurance are just made up buzzwords, along with other terms
like build quality. And having discriminating taste really means that you eat like a racist.
Aug 30, 2013 | 2:00 AM (#181273211)
Forbius (http://www.theverge.com/users/Forbius)
Sure, a solid HTC One and a cracky S3 have the same build quality Oh wait that word doesnt mean
anything you say?
Aug 30, 2013 | 5:36 AM (#181279879)
ryan49ryan (http://www.theverge.com/users/ryan49ryan)
Really really good actually, price can be deceiving. I have one myself and its amazing. Just because
comparable unlocked phones here costs twice that doesnt mean there is no way it can be good, Samsung
and Apple are charging way way more than their phones are really worth. Xiaomi also has minimal global
marketing/distribution costs like most other manufacturers.
Aug 29, 2013 | 9:14 PM (#181195463)
augustofretes (http://www.theverge.com/users/augustofretes)
Chinese companies tend to sell pretty good phones for very low prices. And I dont mean decent, I mean
fucking good, westerns seem to suffer from an idiotic baseless sense of inherent superiority which is simply
not based on the current state of affairs.
The Nexus 4 is selling for $200 and was originally at $300. At the end of the day the iPhone 5 and friends cost
around a 1/3 and 1/4 of the retail price, theres plenty of room for lower price points, it just happens to make
no sense in a subsidized system.
Aug 29, 2013 | 11:51 PM (#181251831)
Forbius (http://www.theverge.com/users/Forbius)
Ill have to try one then.
Aug 30, 2013 | 5:37 AM (#181279883)
Jeff Cleverley (http://www.theverge.com/users/Jeff%20Cleverley)
You should, theyre awesome. I cant believe its taken this long for the verge to pay them NY props.
Ive been upgrading every year, and will do again to the mi3. I always have a phone that rocks, and am
paying half the price.
Aug 30, 2013 | 5:59 AM (#181280225)
Boghog (http://www.theverge.com/users/Boghog)
Shame the vast majority do Google absolutely no good.
Aug 30, 2013 | 9:10 AM (#181287023)
AngryRussian (http://www.theverge.com/users/AngryRussian)
Why would you worry about what`s good for google.
Aug 31, 2013 | 3:04 PM (#181551609)
shadow31 (http://www.theverge.com/users/shadow31)
Aug 29, 2013 | 5:06 PM (#181128805)
zn (http://www.theverge.com/users/zn)
Umm, Im pretty sure what you just described is a conspiracy. And kind of a crazy one at that. +1.
Aug 30, 2013 | 9:35 AM (#181289717)
max1001 (http://www.theverge.com/users/max1001)
Xiaomi is popular in China because theres no Nexus line.
This is their top tier phone currently.
p78243.html (http://www.pandawill.com/xiaomi-m2s-quad-core-smartphone-17ghz-2gb-ram-43-inch-hd-screen-3g-mhl-
Its a Nexus 4 with a 4.3" screen and S600 and cost $100 more.
Aug 29, 2013 | 4:32 PM (#181121631)
seities (http://www.theverge.com/users/seities)
not quite. Ive both and Mi-2 is arguably a better phone than Nexus 4, if not for the pure Google software: its faster,
has large replaceable batteries, changeable backs, and a better camera. Build quality is exceptional, better than
some big brands Ive tried. The only thing missing from the Nexus4 was NFC. Also at the time of the release
(around Sep 2012) with the non-inflated RMB against the Dollar, it was cheaper (around 315) to get a 16GB Mi2
than the 16GB N4 (why they have a 8GB in 2012 is beyond me), with nearly identical specs (other than
aforementioned differences). Its no a small feat what Xiaomi was able to accomplish.
The RMB2299 quoted here is a 32GB and upgraded version with S600. Also lets not forget about Hongmi, a new
budget phone with ~$120 pricetag that sports quad core. Its impossible to beat.
Aug 29, 2013 | 4:52 PM (#181126135)
max1001 (http://www.theverge.com/users/max1001)
At $250 N4 is a batter deal. And hongmi does not support wcdma so its useless here.
Aug 29, 2013 | 6:16 PM (#181141259)
jjlovet (http://www.theverge.com/users/jjlovet)
rumour says hongmi will has wcdma version sale to Hong Kong and Taiwan
Aug 29, 2013 | 11:56 PM (#181252989)
max1001 (http://www.theverge.com/users/max1001)
Still useless in USA. MTK6589 only support WCDMA 850 and 2100.
Aug 30, 2013 | 9:35 AM (#181289721)
Jeff Cleverley (http://www.theverge.com/users/Jeff%20Cleverley)
I concur
Aug 30, 2013 | 6:02 AM (#181280255)
Trinkwasser (http://www.theverge.com/users/Trinkwasser)
Barra made Xiaomi suddenly interesting for me.
Aug 29, 2013 | 4:36 PM (#181122719)
HotelQuebec (http://www.theverge.com/users/HotelQuebec)
Barras PR presence sells products. Huge loss for Google but big win for Xiaomi.
Aug 29, 2013 | 5:10 PM (#181129493)
zn (http://www.theverge.com/users/zn)
His presence is his present.
Aug 30, 2013 | 9:35 AM (#181289801)
highflyingbull (http://www.theverge.com/users/highflyingbull)
isnt their business model more like dell than apple? i mean sell phones direct to consumers w/o going through retail
channels. i guess media are a bunch of morons.
Aug 29, 2013 | 4:40 PM (#181123607)
max1001 (http://www.theverge.com/users/max1001)
They are call the Apple of the East because they have massive delusional fanboys and their CEO ironically is a big
Apple fan boy. Their business is closer to Amazon.
Aug 29, 2013 | 4:43 PM (#181124171)
cy.starkman (http://www.theverge.com/users/cy.starkman)
Nah, they sell product at cost of manufacture. Surely their business model is more like Foxconns
Aug 29, 2013 | 5:32 PM (#181133525)
Sammi79 (http://www.theverge.com/users/Sammi79)
Oh ok.
I guess The Verge are happy with their tabloid moniker
Aug 29, 2013 | 4:44 PM (#181124485)
Tpsmith (http://www.theverge.com/users/Tpsmith)
I thought Miui was pretty well known. I always used it when had an android.
Aug 29, 2013 | 5:00 PM (#181127693)
HeadPack (http://www.theverge.com/users/HeadPack)
Indeed, very good ROMs. Remember putting my SGS1 on Miui, and it became super smooth. Very customizable
launcher too.
Aug 29, 2013 | 5:18 PM (#181131015)
HotelQuebec (http://www.theverge.com/users/HotelQuebec)
I hope Barras new boss isnt a girlfriend thief like Brin otherwise hell quickly earn the reputation Bin There Tap That
Aug 29, 2013 | 5:06 PM (#181128831)
Design / Build at VOX Media
MIUI is fantastic. This is going to be interesting.
Aug 29, 2013 | 5:22 PM (#181131697)
Scott Kellum
Moderator, The Verge
My main issue with MIUI is that most Android icons dont look like the MIUI icopns (which I like), meaning the
icons get borders around them.
Aug 29, 2013 | 5:25 PM (#181132199)
heychris (http://www.theverge.com/users/heychris)
Getting everything to look consistent is a pain. It usually ends up looking like the system app icons are from one
theme (and maybe a few non-system apps, too), then a bunch of Android icons.
So you download an icon theme, everything looks more uniform. Then you download a new app and boom now
you have one icon that just looks so out of place you cant stand it.
Aug 29, 2013 | 7:24 PM (#181155071)
Kyunaga (http://www.theverge.com/users/Kyunaga)
Theres Vexillium icons which will cover most Android apps and you can request them to "MIUI"fy new ones.
Aug 30, 2013 | 3:49 AM (#181278095)
Sriram N (http://www.theverge.com/users/Sriram%20N)
Created just for this thread! :)
Aug 30, 2013 | 2:00 AM (#181273183)
Abou (http://www.theverge.com/users/Abou)
If these guys would launch a phone internationally with software license violations
(http://www.thepowerbase.com/2012/11/android-community-demands-miui-rom-comply-with-foss-licenses/) (MIUI
GPL), it is certainly going to be interesting
Aug 31, 2013 | 4:18 AM (#181485633)
PremierePrimo (http://www.theverge.com/users/PremierePrimo)
Xiaomi hired Barra for one thing, to make a play to enter other markets in a goal to expand its reach from regional to
Undoubtedly, Barra and Xiaomi will me contacting wireless carriers in the North America and the E.U.
Aug 29, 2013 | 5:29 PM (#181132963)
Boghog (http://www.theverge.com/users/Boghog)
I think theyll just take the dead, drained corpse of Motorola off Googles hands.
Aug 30, 2013 | 9:12 AM (#181287223)
PremierePrimo (http://www.theverge.com/users/PremierePrimo)
Way too early. Google will give Motorola two successful product cycles under Googles management before
that becomes a reality.
You also have to realize that not having an in-house manufacturer would put Google at a disadvantage against its
Aug 31, 2013 | 7:52 PM (#181628765)
Zecharixs (http://www.theverge.com/users/Zecharixs)
Hopefully Barra and Xiaomi work together to bring the Play Store to China. Its baffling how Google could ignore such
a huge market.
Aug 29, 2013 | 5:38 PM (#181134499)
clashman (http://www.theverge.com/users/clashman)
Ummm. Have you seen the news RE: Google vs. China? I dont think they are ignoring it. More like being shut out.
Aug 29, 2013 | 8:54 PM (#181187725)
jjlovet (http://www.theverge.com/users/jjlovet)
you can install google Play Store in rooted devices in china
but a lot of paid app and game in Play Store that people can not buy it in china
Aug 29, 2013 | 11:43 PM (#181250013)
peterson90210 (http://www.theverge.com/users/peterson90210)
Xiaomi is like a small time Chinese version of Samsung it starts off as a counterfeit, rides the coat tails of the
famous and then offer a bit more original products when they get enough popularity.
Aug 29, 2013 | 5:38 PM (#181134647)
Celz (http://www.theverge.com/users/Celz)
Lol sounds like Apple too
Aug 29, 2013 | 6:20 PM (#181141943)
Marcos El Malo (http://www.theverge.com/users/Marcos%20El%20Malo)
That was so funny I forgot to LOL.
Aug 30, 2013 | 2:03 AM (#181273449)
SammyAndyApl (http://www.theverge.com/users/SammyAndyApl)
Didnt Apple and Microsoft started that way? Ripping off others? And I believe Apple still rips of competetors.
Aug 31, 2013 | 5:54 PM (#181592995)
Kagero (http://www.theverge.com/users/Kagero)
Used MIUI for a few years with my previous phones, pretty slick ROM. You can bring back the app drawer if you want,
they had a mod that would enable an icon to bring up the drawer. Of course, you can just install an alternate launcher
as well.
Aug 29, 2013 | 5:40 PM (#181134985)
Korov (http://www.theverge.com/users/Korov)
Been using the Mi-2 for about six months now. Like it much better than the Nexus 4. With the custom accessories (I
have battery covers in different colors and materials) and their store for software customization, they are already where
Motorola is trying to be. I see western companies copying them, rather than the other way around. Better yet, you get
a software update every week, many of which introduce new features.
Aug 29, 2013 | 5:50 PM (#181136697)
hie (http://www.theverge.com/users/hie)
MI2 was opened up by the guys at xda and seemed like a good phone, to bad we cant get them here in the states
without going through a lot of steps.
Aug 29, 2013 | 6:05 PM (#181139303)
hie (http://www.theverge.com/users/hie)
Also my body is ready to work theming miui again, that ROM was super simple to work with and the community
was awesome. Them lock screens yo!
Aug 29, 2013 | 6:08 PM (#181139889)
Forbius (http://www.theverge.com/users/Forbius)
Its incredible how those icons are inspires from iOS.
Aug 29, 2013 | 6:22 PM (#181142243)
Zeph824 (http://www.theverge.com/users/Zeph824)
..no. Just because theyre square doesnt mean theyre copied from iOS.
Aug 29, 2013 | 9:49 PM (#181209963)
Forbius (http://www.theverge.com/users/Forbius)
Of course someone was going to say that. I guess having a gear is the only way to show settings. Or having a
camera lens pointing at you is the only way to show the camera app. Or having an icon with black background
and white perimeter, displaying only 4 apps in a grid is the only way to show a folder. Or having a DJ plate is the
only way to show a music appoh wait that actually is from the countless apps that already use the DJ plate.
Aug 30, 2013 | 5:34 AM (#181279839)
Zeph824 (http://www.theverge.com/users/Zeph824)
Say the gear was a toolbox, the camera lens was an slr, and the DJ plate was a music note. People like you
would still complain because its been seen somewhere else before.
Aug 30, 2013 | 10:50 AM (#181301841)
razzmataz1478 (http://www.theverge.com/users/razzmataz1478)
Ive got to admit, MIUI is one of the only android skins I like. Last time I used it was around a year ago, and it had
some rough edges, but otherwise very aesthetically pleasing and nice to use. Unfortunately the phone I was running it
on was dead slow.
Aug 29, 2013 | 6:38 PM (#181144935)
lewieg (http://www.theverge.com/users/lewieg)
Looks like you can even get them imported via eBay/Amzn for close to that price. At ~$370 Im tempted to pull the
trigger just to check it out (could just about cover the cost with selling my current iPhone, too)
/130977885371?pt=Cell_Phones&hash=item1e7ee3ecbb (http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Unlocked-Xiaomi-MI-2S-
Aug 29, 2013 | 6:50 PM (#181147115)
lewieg (http://www.theverge.com/users/lewieg)
Question: Anybody in the threads own the 2S? Id be curious what your thoughts are and if there are any
Engrishisms(?) with it (not sure of a better way to say that).
Hows the user experience been if you have one?
Aug 29, 2013 | 6:53 PM (#181147867)
max1001 (http://www.theverge.com/users/max1001)
No there isnt. You can just download a miui rom for your phone. They have pretty wide device support.
Aug 29, 2013 | 9:32 PM (#181203025)
eilegz (http://www.theverge.com/users/eilegz)
as a proud owner of mi1 the first xiaomi phone, i can say that im happy with it, its special in some way that they have
the power and brand to differentiate from others, but also make this thing so customizable that each set it they way
we want it.
Having TOP specs, good quality and low price plus good software its what android oem should learn and immitate
Aug 29, 2013 | 6:58 PM (#181148769)
3of5 (http://www.theverge.com/users/3of5)
Miui used to be one of my favorite roms. Uses to run it all the time on all my devices. Then ran into some privacy
issues, not sure if it was miui or the actually developer but now I dont know what to think. It was like they were
listening to me through my phone. I know it sounds bad but havent uses anything from China since. I miss miuis look
Aug 29, 2013 | 7:38 PM (#181158951)
clashman (http://www.theverge.com/users/clashman)
Xiaomi will have to apply what it learns in Hong Kong and Taiwan to Western markets
Xiaomi is learning in Hong Kong and Taiwan that they have a lot of learning to do in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Pretty
much the only people Ive seen using them here have been mainland tourists. Not saying they arent great phones, but
people just dont seem to care. Building a brand in China, which is desperately searching to build a brand that will be
respected globally, is vastly different from building one outside of China, and simply throwing up a website and saying
Hey, we build cheap smartphones and dress like Steve Jobs isnt enough to build the kind of brand consciousness
needed to become a global household name.
Aug 29, 2013 | 8:42 PM (#181182753)
Raadius (http://www.theverge.com/users/Raadius)
Im a huge MIUI fan, I LOVE IT. Ive been running it on my Evo 4G, HTC One X and soon my HTC One. I even made an
icon pack for it that you can check out here
www.deviantart.com/raadius (http://www.deviantart.com/raadius)
Its REALLY popular on xda-forums, its the hottest ROM pretty much on any phone.
Aug 29, 2013 | 10:10 PM (#181218533)
iTreezy (http://www.theverge.com/users/iTreezy)
Damn..Raadius I havent seen your name since i owned my dinc. I remember running v4 on my gnex and hating it. I
might wait until next year when android 5.0 is set and MIUI is running it smoothly to give it another shot. I found
that in the later days of gingerbread and early days of ICS, MIUI just wasnt good anymore. Hows v5?
Aug 29, 2013 | 10:44 PM (#181232131)
hie (http://www.theverge.com/users/hie)
Man I live your themes man, to bad my new phones doesnt have great miui support.
Aug 30, 2013 | 1:17 AM (#181269135)
Raadius (http://www.theverge.com/users/Raadius)
Im a huge MIUI fan, I LOVE IT. Ive been running it on my Evo 4G, HTC One X and soon my HTC One. I even made an
icon pack for it that you can check out here
http://raadius.deviantart.com (http://raadius.deviantart.com)
Its REALLY popular on xda-forums, its the hottest ROM pretty much on any phone.
Aug 29, 2013 | 10:13 PM (#181219521)
Sriram N (http://www.theverge.com/users/Sriram%20N)
This! If anyone has rooted their phones, they would know how good MIUI is!
Aug 30, 2013 | 2:05 AM (#181273557)
jainrounak (http://www.theverge.com/users/jainrounak)
Its REALLY popular on xda-forums, its the hottest ROM pretty much on any phone.
really? REALLY? I mean, the actually really popular Galaxy Nexus forums have one MIUI thread closed, and
another one is pretty much dead. Aside from that, it lags a LOT.. I hardly believe your claim that its the hottest
ROM pretty much on any phone.
MIUI looks very nice, but stop shilling out with those bogus claims.
Aug 30, 2013 | 4:16 AM (#181278567)
jjlovet (http://www.theverge.com/users/jjlovet)
because MIUI has its own official english forum
http://en.miui.com/forum.php?gid=1 (http://en.miui.com/forum.php?gid=1)
Aug 30, 2013 | 5:18 AM (#181279613)
jainrounak (http://www.theverge.com/users/jainrounak)
Its REALLY popular on xda-forums
Aug 30, 2013 | 5:39 AM (#181279899)
hie (http://www.theverge.com/users/hie)
Back in the 2.3 days miui was huge with customization, these days it still is but more people are going with CM
Aug 30, 2013 | 1:56 PM (#181339085)
munakib (http://www.theverge.com/users/munakib)
CM is just geeksauce. I avoid it.
Aug 31, 2013 | 10:04 AM (#181497709)
gregorian (http://www.theverge.com/users/gregorian)
I know one site that sells Xiaomi phones at a pretty large price hike. I dont think itd be right to pay $500 for a phone
that is supposed to be low cost.
Any good places to get one?
Aug 29, 2013 | 10:34 PM (#181228281)
Sriram N (http://www.theverge.com/users/Sriram%20N)
Ebay (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Xiaomi-MI-2S-16GB-Quad-Core-1-7GHz-2G-Ram-4-3-IPS-8-0MP-Camera-Android-
By-EMS-/151109042058?pt=Cell_Phones&hash=item232eccff8a) and Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Xiaomi-
3&keywords=xiaomi+mi2s) are selling it at around from 350$+
Aug 30, 2013 | 2:23 AM (#181274697)
GeH (http://www.theverge.com/users/GeH)
Xiaomi OS is really good, probably the best Android I have ever used. In my opinion its better than HTC and even
stock Android (not to mention Samsung), and what iOS should have been in some ways.
They do develop ROMs for multiple popular Android phone, if you have a compatible device you certainly should try it -
http://www.miui.com/download.html (http://www.miui.com/download.html)
Aug 29, 2013 | 10:46 PM (#181233083)
dupoint (http://www.theverge.com/users/dupoint)
I die a little inside every time I see a small phonemaker adopt Samsungs bass-ackward button layout.
Aug 29, 2013 | 11:16 PM (#181243079)
Spedez (http://www.theverge.com/users/Spedez)
I really dont have much respect for Chinese. All they do is copy copy copy. Never pay royalties, infringe all
patents.thats how they sell cheaply.
Aug 30, 2013 | 1:06 AM (#181268099)
jjlovet (http://www.theverge.com/users/jjlovet)
show some respect for chinese worker, they work ass off
like in Foxconn, 8 hour shift, but almost everyone work overtime
total 11 hours a day every day
monthly wage depends, minimum(including overtime etc.) I think is 2200 RMB (US$ 360)
Aug 30, 2013 | 4:58 AM (#181279311)
bz_sleeper (http://www.theverge.com/users/bz_sleeper)
He could have worded it differently but hes not taking shots at the workers, hes taking shots at the companies
and their copying of a concept. If he were accusing the workers of being copy-cats, then everything we own are
copy-cats since China manufactures pretty much everything.
Aug 30, 2013 | 4:59 PM (#181379875)
Vellion (http://www.theverge.com/users/Vellion)
you obviously havnt used MIUI
Aug 30, 2013 | 7:07 AM (#181281273)
microsoftmissionary (http://www.theverge.com/users/microsoftmissionary)
wow thats a good looking phone
Aug 30, 2013 | 6:50 AM (#181280951)
Vellion (http://www.theverge.com/users/Vellion)
xiaomi makes some of the best android software, if you havnt tried it go get it right now.
if you think it imitates apple (besides the launcher) then youve not used the latest software.
Aug 30, 2013 | 7:07 AM (#181281267)
Nooblade (http://www.theverge.com/users/Nooblade)
Its just the beginning of the chineese domination to come. Oppo, Zoppo, Huawei, Xiaomi and others will soon take
over all markets. Check their products and price. A Galaxy S4 like for less than 350$ right now available with
international free shipping. A quick view at their forums will make all the geek/tweaker wet their pants.
Aug 30, 2013 | 7:11 AM (#181281363)
max1001 (http://www.theverge.com/users/max1001)

None of them are less than $350.

Oppo and Huawei are quite expensive.
Aug 30, 2013 | 9:40 AM (#181290407)
etios (http://www.theverge.com/users/etios)
Xiaomi didnt steal Hugo Barra, This was all because of one woman: Amanda Rosenberg ( Product Marketing
manager, google glass)
Check out the real story:
http://valleywag.gawker.com/meet-the-google-founders-mistress-1219044247 (http://valleywag.gawker.com/meet-the-
sudden-departure-20130829-2st1m.html (http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/sergey-brin-love-
Sergey-Brin-romance-thats-rocked-Silicon-Valley.html (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2406124/Amanda-
Aug 30, 2013 | 7:21 AM (#181281593)
Nooblade (http://www.theverge.com/users/Nooblade)
Ah ah ah People gossip. lmao. Are you seriously thinking that this kind of people would leave over this?
Aug 30, 2013 | 7:35 AM (#181282067)
etios (http://www.theverge.com/users/etios)
Is he someone special, maybe a robot with no feelings? I dont think so and it is not a gossip but a widely
reported news which anyone with an iota of brain can see is the real factor behind Hugo Barra leaving Google.
Ofcourse, neither Google nor Hugo Barra will give this reason in their Press Release.
Aug 30, 2013 | 9:40 AM (#181290347)
immabutz (http://www.theverge.com/users/immabutz)
Ive heard of Xiaomi, only because their phones keep taking the top slots on the 3dMark Android Benchmarks.
Aug 30, 2013 | 11:24 AM (#181308495)
theverge2 (http://www.theverge.com/users/theverge2)
Xiaomi () is NOT pronounced shaomee. Its See-ow Mee. The literal translation of is Little Rice.
Aug 30, 2013 | 11:28 AM (#181309383)
#Matix (http://www.theverge.com/users/%23Matix)
Oh man, that Google Chrome-icon looks gross!
Aug 30, 2013 | 12:42 PM (#181324119)
Matthew.Atkinson83@gmail.com (http://www.theverge.com/users/Matthew.Atkinson83@gmail.com)
Pricing the phone to cover the bill of materials would actually be selling the phone at a loss.
The bill of materials generally would not include any of the fixed costslike the factory and selling and administrative
Aug 30, 2013 | 2:45 PM (#181349191)
max1001 (http://www.theverge.com/users/max1001)
BoM usually include those cost these day.
Aug 30, 2013 | 8:27 PM (#181417451)
Comments are closed for this post.
StefZ (http://www.theverge.com/users/StefZ)
Do you (really) guys not know about Xiaomi?
Theyre pretty much the best known Chinese brand (along with Oppo) for its quality.
Both Oppos flagship as well as Xiaomis is well on the level of the big (android) 3 (Samsung, Sony, HTC).
Its not much of a surprise for any top name to work for them. Theyre rapidly evolving and theres seemingly not
much in the way to stop them. In less than 5 years (unless sth major happens) they would be among the top
worldwide brands.
Aug 31, 2013 | 12:25 AM (#181473305)
M.adnan.bashir (http://www.theverge.com/users/M.adnan.bashir)
I got this tutorial for android users, may many people will find it useful
How to root android phone or tablet (http://howbees.com/2013/06/06/how-to-root-android-phone-or-tablet-step-by-step-
Aug 31, 2013 | 4:16 AM (#181485599)
whooda (http://www.theverge.com/users/whooda)
Rather than release a new flagship every six months, it may sell the same model for up to 18 months (a
strategy that larger companies are only just recently starting to adopt), giving it more flexibility with
profits and the ability to sell accessories.bq.
You mean, except for Apple, who have been profiting from selling the same models for years now
Aug 31, 2013 | 9:20 PM (#181658355)
jude.delarosa (http://www.theverge.com/users/jude.delarosa)
I really hope Barra as a brazilian will remember of us (brazilians) and get to sell these lovely phones in there, its really
hard to import then (our taxes sucks, like everyone already knows)
Sep 1, 2013 | 5:11 AM (#181742059)
Turun (http://www.theverge.com/users/Turun)
Not to mention they make wicked ROMs. Im currently using their ROM and in English, its usable. Its not like the old
days where youre plagued with broken English in the menus and everywhere.
Sep 1, 2013 | 5:30 AM (#181742347)
benr (http://www.theverge.com/users/benr)
Sep 1, 2013 | 8:09 AM (#181745599)
OnTheVergeOfCommenting (http://www.theverge.com/users/OnTheVergeOfCommenting)
Man, I love those icons.
Sep 1, 2013 | 11:30 AM (#181764105)