Credit score: C. Scott Brown / Android Authority
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The primary quarter of 2021 is within the books, and it seems like Xiaomi could have been a serious winner. The producer cemented third place for international shipments and is now inside spitting distance of Apple in second place.
It’s certain to be welcome information for Xiaomi, particularly after its humble beginnings as a ROM developer. And this ROM, dubbed MIUI, nonetheless powers all of its smartphones as we speak.
MIUI gained a popularity for being an iOS clone in its early days because of the copycat icons and lack of an app drawer, however it’s definitely morphed right into a extra distinctive, helpful tackle Android these days. The iOS stylings have been toned down, though the pores and skin nonetheless attracts divisive opinions about its seems.
Fortunately, Xiaomi has continued to deliver a great deal of fascinating or useful options to MIUI. In years passed by, we noticed options just like the Fast Ball accessibility possibility, downloadable system themes, a system supervisor app (for cleansing storage, and many others), Twin Apps, and a one-handed mode. Extra lately, we had Tremendous Wallpapers, Magic Clone performance within the digicam app, and some privateness options (e.g. clipboard safety, safe picture sharing).
There may be one main difficulty Xiaomi wants to handle with its Android pores and skin although, and that’s the sheer inconsistency throughout gadgets and its varied sub-brands.
Our personal C Scott Brown reviewed the Poco F3 final month and known as its MIUI for Poco software program “buggy” and “messy.” The record of points he encountered was notably alarming for a smartphone in 2021.
“I noticed all method of issues together with random reboots, disappearing/reappearing notifications, and even an unsolicited change from a 120Hz refresh fee to 60Hz,” Scott defined in his evaluation. He additionally advised me that he noticed points like jittery animations, apps crashing, and notification textual content buttons opening the notification itself as an alternative of performing the motion labeled on the button (e.g. in-line replies). This doesn’t even cowl the bloatware and advertisements, both.
Often, we chalk up a few of these points to evaluation fashions with pre-production software program (and observe the place that is the case). Nevertheless, an OTA replace pre-review and an additional replace following publication have to date did not resolve many of those points for the Poco F3.
See additionally: These are the very best Xiaomi telephones you should purchase
These woes must be ironed out finally by additional updates. This was the case for the Mi 9T Professional, which our personal Tristan Rayner reviewed some time in the past. He famous that the machine had a great deal of little bugs (“I turned off animations as I usually did and that broke every thing”), however that the MIUI 11 replace fastened many points, albeit fairly a number of months after launch.
Sadly, this common inconsistency nonetheless impacts some Xiaomi telephones nicely over six months after launch. And the way do I do know this? Properly, my girlfriend has the Redmi Be aware 9, and she or he’s skilled points for months now.
MIUI is just not the identical throughout gadgets by way of bugs and efficiency.
Extra particularly, her Redmi Be aware 9 has seen points just like the digicam freezing for seconds at a time (stopping you from taking extra photographs), and the display turning itself on each few seconds whereas music or a podcast is enjoying. The bugs don’t finish there both, as replying to messages through the notification shade doesn’t work (shedding the message she simply composed), and the Instagram app crashes after viewing a number of Tales in succession. The cellphone has acquired a number of updates since then, however these haven’t fastened all of the bugs and have generally launched new issues.
The unhappy half is that there are Xiaomi telephones on the market with comparatively polished, performant MIUI skins. Android Authority reviewers Eric Zeman and Dhruv Bhutani praised gadgets just like the Xiaomi Mi 11, Mi 11 Extremely, Mi 10, Poco X3, and Poco M3. In actual fact, the one main issues we often have are centered on bloatware and ads, with the latter specifically a subject for one more time.
It’s unclear what may very well be the reason for this inconsistency, however we doubt it has something to do with horsepower. In any case, the Poco F3 has flagship-level energy and nonetheless struggles. We additionally lately reviewed the budget-focused Redmi Be aware 10 and Dhruv discovered that it was well-optimized and that he didn’t encounter any main bugs or points.
Whether or not it’s an absence of QA testing, optimization, or one other issue, it’s excessive time for the corporate to make sure extra constant software program throughout the board. We will see that Xiaomi is able to delivering a comparatively bug-free, clean expertise.
It’s MIUI towards the world
Credit score: David Imel / Android Authority
This inconsistent expertise comes as different OEMs have begun to essentially step up their software program sport. Even OEMs which have historically had a shoddy popularity for software program are bringing a strong tackle Android within the final couple of years, akin to Oppo and Vivo. Xiaomi can’t afford to relaxation on its laurels.
This additionally comes on the again of what appears to be a rising shift in the direction of long-term replace commitments. We’ve lately seen LG and HMD announce as much as three years of model updates for his or her telephones. However Samsung was the primary non-Google, main Android OEM to announce a dedication to a few years of model updates, and that is the corporate Xiaomi must be worrying about.
Associated: Samsung has raised the bar for Android updates
The highest-ranked producer is promising a three-year pledge for flagship and choose finances telephones, relationship again to the Galaxy S10 and Be aware 10 household. Samsung is giving current house owners incentive to stick with the model, making it more durable for OEMs like Xiaomi to poach its prospects. Xiaomi does provide MIUI updates to older gadgets, however these typically don’t replace the underlying Android model, which leaves the machine susceptible to app compatibility points down the road.
Both method, Xiaomi is clearly able to delivering a clean, dependable tackle Android. Now it’s time for the corporate to make sure that it’s delivering this identical expertise throughout the board, and for an extended time period.