Xiaomi Mi 3 review
The Xiaomi Mi 3 is import only, so is it worth shipping?

The camera in the Mi 3 is a 13MP model, outputting its full resolution images at the 4:3 aspect ratio of 4208 x 3120. If you'd prefer widescreen shots, the 16:9 output is cropped to 4208 x 2368 resolution.

 Xiaomi Mi 3

As is now standard on smartphone cameras there are several modes and image editing options available

You might expect a budget model to skimp on the optics, but that's not the case here. Xiaomi's camera produces superb results, managing to capture good contrast and realistic colours quickly, and with the option of a burst mode too.

 Xiaomi Mi 3

The camera UI is simple and easy to use

The camera app is relatively simple when compared with the feature-packed tools found inside the Samsung Galaxy series and Sony's Xperia series.

You get a toggle to switch between stills and video, with the key features hidden behind a settings button and a quick toggle to switch the flash on and off without having to trawl through menus.

 Xiaomi Mi 3

It's easy to share pictures taken on the Mi 3

The Mi 3 lets you activate an audio-trigger shutter tool, which starts a three second countdown when it hears a loud noise. It's much better than the usual self-timer feature, as it means you can balance your phone on a rock or table, then run around, get your smile right and shout at it to take a shot.

 Xiaomi Mi 3

Also useful is the selection of auto-focus modes. You can have it automatically focus, or choose a manual mode that refocuses only when you tap the screen. This is particularly useful when capturing video, as you can use it to calm down the amount of refocusing you see when shooting moving subjects.

On the MIUI side of things there are more toys to play with. The camera setting lets users allocate shutter or zoom functions to the Mi 3's volume keys, and choose if the long-press shutter button input should activate burst mode or act as a cue to refocus the viewfinder.

You can also have it detect faces and add a reference line to the viewfinder, should you stress a lot about having a nice horizontal horizon in your shots.

It's a straightforward camera app that produces good results and is fast in operation, with extra usability coming via the clever MIUI additions. I like it.

 Xiaomi Mi 3

Outside in good light and the Mi 3 camera is superb. Greens are green, blues are blue, and detail levels, even on difficult grassy areas, are good

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 Xiaomi Mi 3

Indoors in good light and it's every bit as good too. Not noisy at all, plus skin tones and fine details like hair are captured well

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 Xiaomi Mi 3

Inside on a gloomier day with the flash on and things aren't quite so rosy, but still substantially rosier than when captured with other cheaper phones

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 Xiaomi Mi 3

I found the focusing a little strange on occasion. Sometimes it focuses on the foreground too much, adding a slight 'tilt shift' effect to results

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