A Buyer's Guide to Xiaomi UK Smartphones Deals From Xiaomi Mi 8 to Xiaomi Mi A2 and Xiaomi Pocophone F1
Once upon a time, the high-end smartphone market was simple. Buyers could choose between Samsung's Galaxy family, and Apple's all-conquering iPhones. Thanks to brands like Xiaomi UK, buyers now have other options, and the price of premium smartphones is plummeting.
Xiaomi's phones could put processing power, dazzling graphics, professional photography, and everything that comes with high-end phones, within reach of ordinary buyers. So if you've ever lusted after the latest iPhone, read on. This hotukdeals buyer's guide will assess Xiaomi's range, help buyers decide whether it's the smartphone brand for them and help you find the best Xiaomi deals.
How Xiaomi Emerged as one of the Leading Global Smartphone Brands
Before 2010, nobody had heard of Xiaomi, let alone handled a Xiaomi phone, but now the Beijing-based company sells affordable but high-spec smartphones all over the world. It all began in 2010, then the tech company was started by Lei Jun – a prolific Chinese investor and entrepreneur. Lei saw an opening in China, East Asia, and then the world for phones that competed with Huawei and similar brands, while beating them on price.
But the company's rise wasn't solely due to value. Xiaomi also created its own version of the Android OS called MIUI. This user interface has proved extremely popular with global consumers, who often prefer it to the clunkier Android iterations available with other brands.
There have been some hiccups along the way. Since its founding, Xiaomi has been dogged by comparisons to Apple, with some critics alleging that the Chinese company has lifted designs from the Californian tech giant. And there have been a few allegations that Xiaomi has shared data with the Chinese government. But by and large, these problems have been ironed out, and Xiaomi looks set to expand into North American and European markets.
Is Xiaomi a Good Brand? Understanding How it Fits Into the World of Smartphones
Before phone owners switch to an unfamiliar brand, it's only natural to inquire about its reputation. After all, smartphones aren't a cheap purchase. Even at the mid-range level (which is roughly where Xiaomi sits), phones and tablets cost hundreds of pounds, and nobody wants to be stuck with a product that lacks core features or breaks down after 6 months of use.
Some people will tell you that Xiaomi is the “Apple of China”, offering a similar level of quality and reliability. But it's not hard to find complaints as well. In these situations,it's often advisable to head to industry experts who don't have any skin in the game, and Trusted Reviews certainly fits the bill. The tech website comments that Xiaomi offers “impressive value for money” and has built a “solid reputation.” Importantly, the site notes that this is based upon mid-priced smartphones – so we're not talking iPhone XR quality levels. But for the prices charged until now, Xiaomi is a good brand to try, there's little doubt about it.
Some Key Xiaomi Smartphones for Buyers to Think About
If you've decided to give Xiaomi the benefit of the doubt, you may be surprised by the diversity of the company's product range. The Chinese brand offers a variety of devices, stretching from budget handsets to fully-featured tablets, and all have their own individual appeal. Here's a quick list of current models that could be of interest:
Xiaomi Pocophone F1 – The Pocophone could be the company's most innovative phone. Designed with the mass markets of countries like India in mind, it has been engineered to mix value and quality to a degree not yet seen. Users in the UK or Europe might find that some features are underpowered or missing – that's inevitable in a project of this type. However, what's here is impressive. Launched in August 2018, the F1 sports a Snapdragon 845 processor and an Adreno 630 GPU. Its 6.18-inch capacitive touchscreen has a resolution of 1080 x 2246, all models come with 6GB RAM, and storage ranges from 64GB to 256GB. Since launch, the F1 has been a massive success, selling 700,000 units in its first couple of months.
Xiaomi Redmi 7 – This larger-screened phone comes from a popular sub-category in the Xiaomi smartphone range, and was launched in March 2019. Unflashy, well-designed, but lacking very few core features, the 7 has a rapid Snapdragon 855 processor, which offers exceptionally decent speeds for gamers and streamers. Add in quick charging (90 minutes to full charge), and a triple camera featuring Sony technology, and this is a serious smartphone – especially for entertainment purposes.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 – As with Samsung's Galaxy range, the Note is a tablet version of the core smartphone collection. Also launched in March 2019, the Note 7 is basically an enlarged version of the standard 7, sporting the same AI-informed cameras, high-resolution screen, and rapid Snapdragon processor.
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite – Released in 2018, the Mi 8 Lite is a low-price, but still an impressive smartphone. Featuring an octacore Qualcomm processor, with an Adreno GPU, it offers 6GB RAM, a Gorilla glass screen and a very spacious 6.26-inch display. With those specs, it's a pretty handy gaming smartphone, and won't let users down on the app front, either. Naturally, it's no Galaxy or iPhone, but for a third of the price of premium models, it offers plenty of functionality.
Xiaomi Mi 9 and Mi 9 SE – Released as the successor to the 8th generation in 2019, the Mi 9 and its little sibling the Mi 9 SE up the ante in every area. It's a bit more expensive than previous Mi smartphones from Xiaomi, but boosts things on the power side with a Snapdragon processor, adds hours of battery life (which is always handy for movie streaming and gaming), and caters for extra storage too. So if you're looking for a Mi that maxes out in key departments, either will do. The difference is size. The mainstream Mi 9 has a 6.39-inch screen, compared to 5.97-inches for the SE, but everything else is pretty much the same.
Xiaomi Mi Max 3 – Occupying a higher rung on the smartphone ladder than the Mi 9, the Mi Max 3 appeals to a more upscale, business-oriented audience with its stylish build quality, and interior specifications. Interestingly, the Max 3 features a front camera embedded beneath the screen, which users slide down to take photos. It's a way to maximise screen size, while retaining high-level photography features, but won't be to everyone's liking. Overall, the Max series is as close as Xiaomi comes to a substitute for iPhones, and as they come in a few hundred pounds cheaper than Apple's flagship range, that could be very tempting indeed.
How to Choose the Best Xiaomi Phone For Your Needs
Hopefully that whistle-stop tour of Xiaomi's range helps to introduce a few key product areas. However, it's probably still hard to tell which Xiaomi phone is best for your specific situation (and everyone has their own unique needs). So let's try to make a few on-point recommendations to help you find the best Xiaomi deals.
The best Xiaomi for streaming – If you're a Netflix obsessive and want to take your TV and movie collection on the road, maxing out on screen size is a must, but you'll need processor power too. In that case, check out the Max 3. A 6.99-inch screen provides more than enough room to capture the action, and the high spec features, in general, will help to keep things running smoothly.
Best everyday camera phone – If taking Instagram snaps is your priority, you won't need a huge screen or next level processing power, but you will need exceptional cameras. In that case, have a look at the Mi A2. The dual 20MP and 12MP rear cameras compete with Apple and Samsung in all situations, with excellent high dynamic range, and AI that can detect faces and deliver just the right amount of focus.
Best Xiaomi for budget smartphone buyers – If cost is your prime consideration, Xiaomi is a brand you can't ignore. In particular, check out the Pocophone F1, or the Mi A2 Lite – both of which deliver specs that wouldn't look out of place in phones at a much, much higher price tag.
Best Xiaomi for gaming – While more powerful models like the aforementioned Max 3 will serve gamers well, there's another option that players will want to think about. Available sometime in 2019. The Black Shark 2 will be a specialist gaming smartphone like no other. Offering a huge screen and the ability to map buttons easily to corners or sides, and keeping touch latency to a bare minimum, it won't let gamers down. Launched as a Chinese exclusive, it will likely land elsewhere – and could change everything for mobile gaming fans. Keep an eye out for it, or purchase an older Black Shark 1, which is likely to be superseded, but still does a great job.
Comparing Xiaomi vs Huawei: Which Brand is China's Smartphone Champion?
If you are dead set on purchasing a mid-range smartphone with high-end features, Xiaomi isn't the only game in town. In fact, the brand competes fiercely with another Chinese brand – Huawei. Enjoying higher brand visibility outside China than Xiaomi, Huawei is trying to promote its low-cost Honor brand as the number one choice for budget smartphone buyers. However, Xiaomi has responded in kind, turning its own Redmi sub-brand into a direct competitor.
As of 2019, the main competition boils down to a choice between Xiaomi's Note 6 Pro and Huawei's Honor 10 Lite. And choosing between them isn't easy.
Both have good displays that aren't quite in the top bracket regarding colour saturation and resolution, but still do reasonably well. The Note 6 Pro wins out in the photography stakes, offering superior low light performance and generally richer images. However, the Honor 10 Lite tends to come out the winner in speed benchmarking. Even so, you wouldn't necessarily notice this, because Xiaomi's innovative Android implementation keeps memory usage low – improving the efficiency of its phones. Finally, in terms of battery life and consumption, the phones are very similar.
As you can see from this brief sketch, Huawei and Xiaomi have come up with similar phones, at similar price points. There are minor variations, as you'd expect, but the bottom line is that both brands offer mid-range smartphones which punch above their weight.
Picking the Right Accessories to Go With a Xiaomi Phone
One of the great things about Xiaomi as a tech brand is the range of products it offers beside standard mobile phones and tablets. When you check out the company's hotukdeals listings, you'll find a range of accessories to add to a smartphone purchase, and some can make a real difference. Here are some possibilities:
Power banks – Xiaomi offers a variety of power banks, from “business card sized” 10,000mAh versions, to “slim” 5,000mAh banks, and “super-sized” 16,000mAh options. If you'll be relying on your phone in meetings or during long flights, having a power bank will cover any unpleasant charging SNAFUs.
Protective cases – Smartphones aren't cheap, and they can easily be smudged or cracked. By adding a specially engineered Xiaomi case to your purchase, you can ensure that your phone stays in perfect condition for as long as possible.
Protective film – an even cheaper solution, Xiaomi's protective films are a good complement to cases, ensuring that you can use the touchscreen without worrying about leaving fingerprints all over it. Everyone should have a few protective screens in their bag, and change them regularly.
Chargers – Xiaomi offers a variety of chargers for its phones. There are in-car chargers that can be used with virtually any vehicle, as well as travel adapters to ensure that you can replenish your charge wherever life takes you.
Xiaomi Mi 9 Flagship Unboxing
How and When to Find Xiaomi Smartphones Deals
Xiaomi could shake up the smartphone sector for good. Taking inspiration from giants like Samsung and Apple, this Chinese upstart has rolled out a portfolio of smartphones and tablets that can do almost anything an iPhone XR can do – at a fraction of the price.
However, this still means that Xiaomi smartphones come with a price tag in the hundreds. Most of the models we've looked at in this buyer's guide have list prices of over £400 (though some retail for a lot less). This makes it really important to find deals that keep the cost of a handset to a minimum.
By and large, Xiaomi phones aren't available with contracts from major mobile phone companies like O2, Three, or Virgin. Instead, most of the best deals are for handsets on their own. So buyers will need to purchase a SIM separately. That's an important issue to bear in mind.
If you're still keen on getting hold of a Xiaomi where to buy isn't a hard question to answer. The best place to head is the brand's hotukdeals listings. When you get there, you'll find a huge selection of up to date Xiaomi deals from merchants like Amazon, Banggood, eBay, eGlobal Central, and Laptops Direct (which is a good place to pick up a Black Shark gaming phone). You should also look out for deals from Xiaomi UK, which is getting up to speed selling into the British market. Back at our listings, there will probably be a mix of new and used offers, so double check that you're redeeming the right deal before purchasing anything.
Additionally, you might want to wait for a Xiaomi sale to arrive before purchasing. Amazon is a major outlet for buying the brand's phones, so Amazon Prime Day should be a good time to shop. And the same applies to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, when Xiaomi UK tends to slash its prices before Christmas arrives.
By checking the listings and comparing prices with Huawei or similar manufacturers, you'll easily find a way to pick up a low-cost, high-specification smartphone. Don't let Apple or Samsung have it all their own way. Make your next upgrade via the hotukdeals Xiaomi listings.
Mix Downscale Prices with High-End Features with a Xiaomi Purchase from hotukdeals
Xiaomi is an up-and-coming smartphone manufacturer with big plans, and some impressive products already on the market. Capable of competing with Apple on every count, Xiaomi smartphones mix deluxe screens, high-quality cameras, powerful processors, and attractive designs – all at reasonable prices. To find out more, start bargain hunting at the Xiaomi smartphones hotukdeals listings.