The Good Xiaomi's flagship phone has a beautiful aluminum-magnesium chassis, solid build quality, powerful performance, and a great UI for a relatively low price.
The Bad The smartphone lacks LTE connectivity, and a microSD card slot means you'll only ever have 16GB of onboard storage.
The Bottom Line Xiaomi's Mi 3 is a showcase of how Chinese phonemakers can create quality hardware without breaking the bank. If you don't need 4G LTE, and you can get hold of it, this is one of the best smartphones you can buy in its price range.
China's Xiaomi delivers a metallic smartphone for very little cash
Xiaomi isn't quite a household name outside of China yet, but that's just for what Hugo Barra, former Googler and now Xiaomi's global VP, is aiming. And if the Xiaomi Mi 3 is any indication of the price and build quality of the company's future phones, Xiaomi's competitors should start paying attention.
Announced last year, the Mi 3 is quite the looker -- it comes with an aluminum-magnesium chassis and has a beautiful face with a 5-inch full-HD display covered in Corning Gorilla Glass 3. It's hard to deny the value that this phone represents -- it costs just $270 (£160, AU$290) off-contract -- and once you get your hands on one, you'll be impressed with the build quality and feel.
Currently it's widely available in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore only, but the 3G phone will work globally if you can import one. Online retailers in the UK do stock the phone, but at a premium -- you'll be lucky to find it for less than £220. In the United States, expect to pay at least $375 from online retailers.
Apple's iPhone X gives Android copycats a big, big gift
No more home button makes the design even easier to mimic.
India is really opening up to Xiaomi
The Chinese company is closing the gap between itself and Samsung in the world's second biggest phone market, says Strategy Analytics research.
Xiaomi: Don't hold your breath for a US phone in 2017
Even though the company teased us by passing around a gorgeous, white, nearly bezel-less version of a Chinese phone.
Xiaomi's Mi Mix shows the company isn't just a copycat
Commentary: Xiaomi's creative chops have always been in question, but its latest phone proves the Chinese company is ready to take on the world. Will it?
Xiaomi made only $56M last year, filing shows
The upstart Chinese phone maker is operating on a profit margin of just 1.8 percent, which pales in comparison to competitors like Samsung and Apple.
Xiaomi to release Mi 3 as first foray in India
The Chinese smartphone company makes its first foray into the Indian market with a relaunch of last year's flagship device.
Xiaomi's low-cost Redmi Note smartphone to launch in Asia
The 5.5-inch low-cost Android phone can be purchased online from Xiaomi and will retail for less than $160.