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REVIEW - Xiaomi Mi Pad 3 / The direct rival of the iPad Mini

In the last 2 years there has been a bit of confusion in the tech world, in fact smartphones are getting closer and closer in size and performance to tablets by increasing the diagonal of the screen while tablets increasingly tend to look like portable PCs, such as 2 in 1, more and more performing and powerful. Xiaomi takes care of restoring the balance by proposing the tablet Mi Pad 3, which does not wink at neither smartphone nor notebook and behaves precisely for the category to which it belongs, but hurry up because now you can find it on offer at 234 euros at the store thank you for sending the sample.


As usual Xiaomi dedicates a minimal packaging to its products, and also for the Mi Pad 3 we find inside as well as the tablet, only the Type C charging or data cable, and a generous power supply with 5V / 2A output with Chinese type connection which therefore requires an adapter to be used but also a small one manual in Chinese. Very minimal equipment but in the end what to expect more?


The Xiaomi Mi Pad 3 from the first contact immediately gives a feeling of have a premium product in your hands even though it belongs to the mid-market market, in fact the body is entirely made of brushed metal and maneuverability is guaranteed by the weight of 328 grams, a display from 7,9 inches and one thickness of only 0.80 cm, while the product measurements are equal to 19.90 x 13.20 x 0.80 cm. The construction is appreciable in every form of the tablet, which we notice for example with the side buttons on / off and the volume rocker placed on the right profile of the tablet, which are well aligned with the body and above all do not have that annoying game of movement that we often find on similar products from other brands.

Xiaomi Mi Pad 3 keeps much of the design of its predecessor and so we find ourselves back the jack input from 3.5mm for headphones on the top, but also the USB Type C port in the lower profile while on the back they are well two system speakers which offer a very powerful and well balanced stereo sound across all frequencies. Unfortunately the position is questionable as it is in the gaming phase that maybe when we place the tablet on a surface the sound is muffled in an evident way. On the back there are also 2 microphones, one for the system and the other for noise reduction, which are appreciated during video chats.

They also feature the design of a 13 megapixel rear camera and an 5 megapixel front camera placed above the display next to the sensor for ambient light and a small led for notifications which can only be set to ON / OFF for notifications (by choosing individual applications) or for any ignition during recharging. Finally, under the display we find the 3 backlit navigation keys that are automatically deactivated when we rotate the tablet so as not to be accidentally touched and close the application in use. Note the absence of any memory expansion or SIM card slot.


The display mounted on the Xiaomi Mi Pad 3 is a drive from 7,9-inch IPS of Retina type offering a resolution of 2048 x 1536 (QXGA) to 326 PPI which results in brilliant and faithful colors even if unbalanced in yellow tones, so it is preferable to calibrate the display at cold temperatures. I'm supported quietly movies in MKV format as well as UHD and 4K resolutions and there is also the convenient reading function useful for the night and to attenuate the intensity of the blue light. The screen resolution, however, on some applications such as YouTube will not be fully exploited in fact the videos will be reproduced with a cinematic effect at 16: 9 leaving black bands at the top and bottom of the same that do not make me crazy. A big flaw in my opinion is unfortunately poor oleophobic treatment reserved for the display that in this case will often be cleaned with a cloth to avoid having millions of them to make a scenario for the movies or TV series that we will see on the Mi Pad 3.


Xiaomi Mi Pad 3 is powered by one CPU MediaTek MT8176 un Hexacore with maximum frequency at 2.1 GHz, subdivided into two clusters of 4 core with Cortex A53 to 1.7 GHz architecture, which tend to keep power consumption low and perform much of the operation, while the 2 core with Cortex A72 2.1 GHz architecture comes into play in the most complex operations we will have the tablet like games such as Real Racing 3. However, general fluency is always great and even in advanced gaming sessions there are never any problems with overheating and the 7,9 inch display seems to be the right size for FPS games like Modern Combat 5 that thanks to GPU IMG GX6250 it manages to create a great immersion sensation.

Also 4 GB of RAM L seem to be sufficient to offer a more than satisfying use experience as well as i 64 GB of internal memory of the eMMC 5.0 type ensure good autonomy in terms of space to store photos, music and more, even if installing more heavy games at the same time may not be enough. From this point of view the expansion for the micro SD card would have been a winning choice by Xiaomi.

Do not miss it Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity to associate it with headphones or a keyboard and then use the tablet with programs like Word, Excel etc .. but above all the module is present WiFi with dual band support both to 2.4 GHZ and 5 Ghz, which behaves superbly by getting the signal even in remote areas of the home, while the GPS module is absent given the typical use of the tabletop lounge.



The two system speakers, albeit placed in the back of the tablet, are able to release a very strong and crystalline sound, making listening to music a real joy in order to brighten the moments of relaxation in which perhaps on the sofa we are reading the reviews offered by xiaomitoday. it. Of course, listening through earphones or headphones is also really excellent and the same can be further improved by calibrating it through software integrated into MIUI.


The software is "simpler" than what we are used to seeing on Xiaomi smartphones, although we find on board the tablet the MIUI 8 based operating system Android 7.0 Nougat. In fact, we immediately notice the absence of the Themes application with which to customize the graphic interface of MIUI which in the version we are testing is the 8.2 in China Stable version. I received the Xiaomi Mi Pad 3 with one rom faded which I removed immediately seeing some bugs that distinguished it.

China Stable is out of the Play Store and the out-of-the-box Google services, but we're xiaomists are the bad guys and that's what makes us choke for the Chinese company. So I installed the GAPPS (I invite you to click on this link to see how I did it), and from that moment on I could however, benefit from the Play Store and the various annexed services.

However, it is convenient to find in a dedicated page all the widgets offered by MIUI such as calculator, calendar etc ... so that you have everything you need at the office level at touch. Unfortunately, however, the lack of dedicated features and all the features offered by Xiaomi with the MIUI 8 can mislead the end user who has to resort to using third-party applications by saturating RAM and ROM memory.


The front camera is entrusted to a module from 5 megapixel with f / 2.0 aperture which offers sufficient quality for selfie to post on various social, or to make video chat via Skype or similar applications. Instead the rear room from 13 megapixel with f / 2.2 aperture captures images and videos with resolution 1080p to 30 fps with clean and vivid colors, but the software is much simpler than what we are used to to find on the Xiaomi devices.

In fact, settings are reduced to bone by allowing us to just choose video resolution or apply filters in real time to photos. Surely we will not make the photographers with the tablet and for this reason Xiaomi has thought of providing it with essential and minimal software typical of the tip and snaps, although the absence of autofocus is something that makes a bit of the nose.


Finally, the Xiaomi Mi Pad 3 comes with a generous battery from 6600 mAh which is recharged through the supplied 5V / 2A power supply in about 2 hours. The battery guarantees long sessions of use in which we manage to get safely about 6 hours of screen on  which are reduced to 4 if we use it for gaming, but in daily use they allow us to forget the tablet on for several days and still find it sufficiently charged to use it again. And if we are really reduced to the bone with the charge we can enable the convenient function that allows the display to return only the gray scale in order to save on consumption.


The Xiaomi Mi Pad 3 is therefore the classic tabletop for use in the living room but also to carry with you if you are traveling by train enjoying a movie or reading our favorite newspaper directly on the crystal display of the tablet. Undoubtedly at present, the Mi Pad 3 is not perfect, but the price in relation to quality is really tempting, especially in view of the fact that they are coming out prime rom and that the official Global Stable will soon arrive. There are no phone functions but I remember that as mentioned at the beginning of the review, Xiaomi has brought the balance into the smartphone, phablet and convertible world, and by definition the tablet does not have to have certain functions. If you are interested in purchasing, I recommend you buy it on the one of the most reliable and competitive.

8.8 Total score
Xiaomi Mi Pad 3

The Xiaomi Mi Pad 3 comes into direct competition with its Apple rival, the iPad Mini at a price that is at least halfway. Performance is definitely great for those looking for a device that does not show a "hybrid" in the category it belongs to. Good battery life and good performance under any use that is either office or gaming.

  • Battery life
  • Maneuverability and ergonomics for gaming
  • Loyalty of the colors returned from the display
  • Price in relation to performance and materials
  • Lack of Play Store and Google Services
  • Minimal software and no specific features
  • Display poco oleophobic
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Emanuele Iafulla
Emanuele Iafulla

Nerd, Geek, Netizen, terms that do not belong to me. Simply myself, technology lover and provocative as Xiaomi does with his products. High quality at fair prices, a real provocation for the other most famous brands.


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6 years ago

I will personally consider buying a mipad only when it comes out if a 10 inch version ever comes out. this format is too close to smartphones by now. do you know anything about the release of the larger version that was initially announced?

6 years ago
Reply to  dudutheking

It has never been announced! Even if it is not said that it comes out really sooner or later.