Moving to Xiaomi mi2s from iPhone 4.

Build:

  • feels like iPhone 3G – plastic back, thicker than iPhone4 and above.
  • sturdy enough, but I’m worried if its dropped into water. iPhone is better sealed out of the box.
  • sits well on one hand without a case. iPhone built for adding a case.
  • screen – some weird uneven chemical spots, probably need to use a protector.
  • camera produces pretty high quality photos, auto focus could be slow.
  • battery, similar to iPhone4, slightly better.
  • wifi range, similar to iPhone4, not any better.
  • fast CPU, web pages renders pretty quickly.
  • iPod headphones control
  • micro USB harder to plug/unplug in the dark or with one hand.
  • vibration not as strong as iPhone, I would not feel the phone vibration for messages.
  • notification LED is kinda good, you can customize different colors for different notifications. Sometimes depends on the application. Whatsapp has good config, but Google Hangout doesn’t.

VS iPhone:

  • Touch sensitive buttons can cause some problems when trying to operate with one hand.
  • The menu / setting button can be confusing. Some apps modelling from iPhone has a navigation button, but it is not the same as settings. Also the settings button brings up different items on different pages. There are more things to remember and trial/error versus the iOS.
  • Notification on status bar seems good, but flashing light is not intuitive.

MIUI

  • Worst problem “Insufficient storage available” – 4 weeks in I started getting this error alot when I try to install new apps or sometimes even updating apps – http://stackoverflow.com/questions/16818049/. This is due to the stock MIUI not able to install apps on data partition. After manually update the system with development rom, it fixes it self http://en.miui.com/thread-1885-1-1.html. MIUI-V5 also has more nicer features than stock version.
  • a lot of built in service, feels good coming from iOS. Need to learn the shortcuts.
    • works well in English
    • auto back up photos to cloud.
    • messenger, notes, calendar
    • flash light
    • Play store, Google apps, recommended apps.
    • Browser includes reader and add to home screen
  • i.xiaomi.com – MiCloud – free.
    • can locate, play sound, lock and wipe phone. Although Locate didn’t work for me while in the US, play a sound worked.
    • sync contacts, photos, messages and notes.
  • mail app – renders better than gmail, but no priority inbox.
  • Theme – only a few ones are good, most are not well polished, but a lot more fun than iOS.
  • Video player not as consistent as iOS, sometimes crashes, cannot control volume until video starts playing.
  • Video player in Chrome doesn’t auto popup to full screen, need to manually click expand. Doesn’t go back to webpage after video finishes playing, it just stops as the end of the video.
  • Keyboard, default normal is shorter than iPhone. Need to use medium tall.
  • Hard to switch between Chinese and English. Need to use Google Pinyin input, which includes an English keyboard, but English keybaord doesn’t support gestures. The English only keyboard supports gestures but it is hard to switch between inputs.
  • Built in touch pal has quirky layout, hard to get used to.
  • Turn on professional setting for camera app – faster access to advanced features like exposure, white balance, slow motion, time lapse.
  • The settings page, all the items are in text. iOS settings have icons next to each function, that is easier to browse. (This is fixed in MIUI-V5)
  • Since using the phone for 3 weeks, it crashed twice. I do exploit the phone quite a bit, but definitely not as stable as iOS.
  • Security seems good, I’m told by the OS that apps are monitored if they breach permissions.

Android

The good:

  • Allows me to install apps that didn’t normally get approved on apps store or are restricted between regions. e.g. Xiami the Chinese Spotify could not be installed on iPhone.
  • There are innovative apps that would not be possible on the iPhone – e.g. Everything.me
  • Widgets – will be the iOS next feature.
  • Feature – Add contact as an app shortcut on home page.

The bad:

  • Hardware Back Button is good, when I go back to the iPhone, that’s one the feature I missed. It can go back between apps. However when the phone is in landscape mode, it does get confusing where the button should be.
  • No iTunes podcast, iTunes University.
  • Chrome doesn’t seem to come with a “Reader” function. Firefox does.
  • Does not recognize music playing the background while playing games. Maybe it is the game I was playing but iOS was smart enough to not play the music part of the games if I had other music playing.

Apps: