Few days ago I have installed MIUI 7 global rom on my year old mi3. The installation was very easy and it didn’t require a full reset as miui7 was based on KitKat, so is the miui6. When Xiaomi announced MIUI 7 earlier on August, I was extremely critical of them as MIUI 7 was based on KitKat and was more of a cosmetic update. Well, some might say that one should not make an opinion without tasting the update. Now, now that I have seen miui7 in all its glory, do I change my opinion? No! As a matter of fact, I removed MIUI and installed CyanogenMod 12.1 on Mi3. Lollipop’s Material Design based UI feels fresh, is faster than MIUI and I am not going to feel loss of features.
- 4 new system UIs: Rosé, Pink Blush, Ocean Breeze, High Life
The themes look good. While most of the themes have flat icons, few comes with candy style iconography. I did like the High Life theme but it looked very off on silver Mi3. Also, you dont list few themes as ‘features’ for an OS update. They are just themes and they should never make it to the ‘operating system’ changelog.
- 3,720 MIUI Theme Designers/ 15,790 Themes/ 3.7 Billion Theme Downloads
Same as above
- 30% faster system response
Miui has always been lag free on my mi3 and it continues to be the same. I definitely cannot say that it has 30% better system response. tGoodthing is that when I tried to launch certain applications like camera, Facebook, soundhound, feedly.com, kindle etc on iPhone 6 and mi3, mi3 loaded the apps faster, which is a genuine surprise.
- 10% better battery for daily use
Cannot test this as my phone has a battery that is more than a year old and there is no SIM card.
- XXL Text
XXL makes everything look out of place and awkward. And anyways, inside applications, the size difference between ‘M’ and ‘XXL’ isn’ too high. Setting XXL size font and going through messages, contacts is nothing but a big pain.
- Baby Album
This just won’t come up. This feature is hidden deeply. Probably, available only for those with lollipop variant.
- Child Mode
This will be a very useful feature as next generation kid are able to operate phones without a helping hand before they turn 2 years old. This feature will lock certain area s of phone.
- Auto DND
A minor feature that should have been there long time ago.
Another show off feature where, instead of seeing a photo of a person when getting call, you see a video loop. Thus works only if both are using miui7 and the video is setup by the caller.
- MIUI in India: IVR, partnering with Opera Max to provide Data Saver, Smart SMS Filter, Quick OTP
This feature was available in China for a long time and this is not a feature that is designed in miui7. It’s a feature that is enabled in India with miui7.
These are the major features in miui7 and as you can see, Few say that Xiaomi does not follow Android development path and that that they add features to their implementation of AOSP before Google adds the features (like app permissions, notifications along the top added in Lollipop) but the above mentioned feature editions to MIUI are not meant to raise the ‘major’ version number. Take a look at the feature additions in Android, iOS and Windows Phone whenever major version change happens. Xiaomi should have made MIUI7 Lollipop based across the device lineup that were qualified to get this update. There are many features missing like strong Google Now integration, powerful lockscreen notifications, gestures (that are widely used by other overlay UIs), integration of Android Auto, Wallet (will be Android Pay with Marshmallow) etc. Some of these may not be used in China but we, global users do love Google Now and gestures.
Till MIUI 6, we used to have an upper hand over Nexus device users too, boast about features that are not available to them but now, with Android 6.0 coming up in few weeks time and MIUI 7 being a cosmetic upgrade, Xiaomi has evened the battle field and given that Android 6 is bringing native support to finger print reader, enables RAW image format, adds stronger Google Now, Android Auto and Android Pay integration, I will say that now, the new Nexus device(s), when they are released, will be far better value propositions (h/w wise and s/w wise) when compared to Xiaomi’s devices.