Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Xiaomi Mi Pad

So I've been using one of this for a while now. My verdict? The hardware is decent but the UI is horrible. Seriously, if you're going to buy this, root it and change the ROM version. 

The Mi Pad has surprisingly decent hardware for the price that it comes at. I mean, I got this for below 300 SGD (about 230 USD) and in the local market, it seems like it's much better than almost anything else at that price range. I mean, the closest decent piece of hardware that probably comes close to that price is the Asus Memopad and even that is noticeably worse in terms of hardware specs. 

However, it's the software that I really have an issue with. Like many others tablets, the Mi Pad comes with its own unique, company-branded android reskin. Unfortunately, it really really sucks. 

It uses something called the MIUI (which was basically just a theme way back when) and looks more like a re-imagining of Apple's iOS look. Now, the MIUI has been around for a while and I haven't really heard that many complaints from people I know who use it but to be fair, I haven't really been looking. As such, I'll assume that the MIUI works fine on a phone but when ported over to a tablet however...

Granted, this is the companys FIRST tablet but it seems like the company ROM is really unsuited for a tablet. Not only does the tablet LAG when you try to switch apps (I'm serious), but it constantly has to refresh it's apps. And then there are the mysterious memory leaks where I'm constantly running out of space and I don't know why. 

As an example of how badly it lags, this is something that happens very often to me. I'm often switching between Kobo and chrome and when I do, chrome page has to constantly reload the page every now and then when I switch back to it. Which doesn't happen all that often with my Galaxy S5. Sure, when I switch back to Chrome after maybe 3-4 hours, it happens but not when I'm switching every few minutes. 

And then when I press the home button, instead of taking me directly to the home page of the OS, it brings me back to the folder view (if I was opening an app from a group of folders) and even then, the OS LAGS while trying to render the icons in the folder. It's that bad. 

Now, the tablet is running MIUI 5 while the latest version is MIUI 6; which isn't available for the Mi Pad anyway. Maybe when they bring MIUI 6 to the tablet, they'll finally fix the really really terrible performance issues with the Mi Pad OS. However, until then, I wouldn't recommend you buy a Mi Pad. Not unless you're willing to root it and install another ROM.

And if you ARE willing to do so, here are some instructions to help you along. 

Here (link) is where you can find the fastboot and ADB installers, as well as Clockwork Recovery Mod to help you install ROMs.

1.adb and fastboot drivers installed on your PC (use adb-setup from here, others might also work)
2.Boot your Mi Pad into fastboot mode: with the tablet switched off press the Volume DOWN and POWER buttons at the same time
Connect your Mi Pad to PC via

Then you simply follow this link (link) for the ROM to use on the Mi Pad. Warning, I do not recommend this and seriously, if you're using a ROM, anything that happens is on your own head. 

However, with that being said, I've follow the steps listed above and managed to install Cyanogenmod 11 for the Mi Pad. And it has really really just improved the experiences I'm having with the tablet. For one thing, no more lag.