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 significant winner. The producer cemented third place for international shipments and is now inside spitting distance of Apple in second place.
It’s sure 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 right now.
MIUI gained a repute for being an iOS clone in its early days because of the copycat icons and lack of an app drawer, nevertheless 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 appears to be like.
Fortunately, Xiaomi has continued to deliver a great deal of attention-grabbing or useful options to MIUI. In years passed by, we noticed options just like the Fast Ball accessibility choice, downloadable system themes, a system supervisor app (for cleansing storage, and so on), Twin Apps, and a one-handed mode. Extra just lately, we had Tremendous Wallpapers, Magic Clone performance within the digital camera app, and some privateness options (e.g. clipboard safety, safe picture sharing).
There’s one main situation Xiaomi wants to handle with its Android pores and skin although, and that’s the sheer inconsistency throughout units and its various 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 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 evaluate. He additionally instructed 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 adverts, both.
Sometimes, we chalk up a few of these points to evaluate fashions with pre-production software program (and word the place that is the case). Nonetheless, an OTA replace pre-review and an additional replace following publication have to this point did not resolve many of those points for the Poco F3.
See additionally: These are the best Xiaomi phones you can buy
These woes ought to be ironed out ultimately by means 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 all the pieces”), however that the MIUI 11 replace fastened many points, albeit fairly just a few months after launch.
Sadly, this basic 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 Word 9, and she or he’s skilled points for months now.
MIUI shouldn’t be the identical throughout units when it comes to bugs and efficiency.
Extra particularly, her Redmi Word 9 has seen points just like the digital camera freezing for seconds at a time (stopping you from taking extra photographs), 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 by way of 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 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 units just like the Xiaomi Mi 11, Mi 11 Ultra, Mi 10, Poco X3, and Poco M3. In actual fact, the one main considerations we often have are centered on bloatware and commercials, with the latter particularly a topic for another 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 spite of everything, the Poco F3 has flagship-level energy and nonetheless struggles. We additionally just lately 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 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 recreation. Even OEMs which have historically had a shoddy repute for software program are bringing a stable tackle Android within the final couple of years, resembling 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 just 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 3 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 funds telephones, courting again to the Galaxy S10 and Word 10 household. Samsung is giving present house owners incentive to stick with the model, making it more durable for OEMs like Xiaomi to poach its clients. Xiaomi does supply MIUI updates to older units, 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 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 frame.