Credit score: C. Scott Brown / Android Authority
The first quarter of 2021 is in the books, and it looks 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 as a result of copycat icons and lack of an app drawer, however it’s actually 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 attention-grabbing or helpful 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 so forth), Twin Apps, and a one-handed mode. Extra not too long ago, we had Tremendous Wallpapers, Magic Clone performance within the digicam app, and some privateness options (e.g. clipboard safety, safe photograph sharing).
There may be one main concern Xiaomi wants to handle with its Android pores and skin although, and that’s the sheer inconsistency throughout gadgets and its various sub-brands.
Our personal C Scott Brown reviewed the Poco F3 final month and referred to as its MIUI for Poco software program “buggy” and “messy.” The listing of points he encountered was significantly 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 charge to 60Hz,” Scott defined in his overview. He additionally advised me that he noticed points like jittery animations, apps crashing, and notification textual content buttons opening the notification itself as a substitute of performing the motion labeled on the button (e.g. in-line replies). This doesn’t even cowl the bloatware and adverts, both.
Sometimes, we chalk up a few of these points to overview fashions with pre-production software program (and notice the place that is the case). Nonetheless, an OTA replace pre-review and an additional replace following publication have so far did not resolve many of those points for the Poco F3.
See additionally: These are the best Xiaomi phones you can buy
These woes needs to be ironed out ultimately by way of additional updates. This was the case for the Mi 9T Pro, which our personal Tristan Rayner reviewed some time in the past. He famous that the system had a great deal of little bugs (“I turned off animations as I usually did and that broke the whole lot”), however that the MIUI 11 replace mounted many points, albeit fairly a couple 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? Effectively, my girlfriend has the Redmi Notice 9, and she or he’s skilled points for months now.
MIUI isn’t the identical throughout gadgets when it comes to bugs and efficiency.
Extra particularly, her Redmi Notice 9 has seen points just like the digicam freezing for seconds at a time (stopping you from taking extra pictures), and the display screen 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 (dropping the message she simply composed), and the Instagram app crashes after viewing a number of Tales in succession. The cellphone has obtained a number of updates since then, however these haven’t mounted all of the bugs and have typically 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 Ultra, Mi 10, Poco X3, and Poco M3. In truth, the one main considerations we normally have are centered on bloatware and commercials, with the latter specifically a topic for another time.
It’s unclear what could possibly be the reason for this inconsistency, however we doubt it has something to do with horsepower. In spite of everything, the Poco F3 has flagship-level energy and nonetheless struggles. We additionally not too long ago reviewed the budget-focused Redmi Note 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 a scarcity 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 are able to see that Xiaomi is able to delivering a comparatively bug-free, easy expertise.
It’s MIUI towards the world
Credit score: David Imel / Android Authority
This inconsistent expertise comes as different OEMs have begun to actually step up their software program recreation. Even OEMs which have historically had a shoddy popularity for software program are bringing a stable tackle Android within the final couple of years, corresponding 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 direction of long-term replace commitments. We’ve not too long ago 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 company Xiaomi should 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, courting again to the Galaxy S10 and Notice 10 household. Samsung is giving present homeowners 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 system susceptible to app compatibility points down the road.
Both manner, Xiaomi is clearly able to delivering a easy, dependable tackle Android. Now it’s time for the corporate to make sure that it’s delivering this similar expertise throughout the board, and for an extended time frame.