I’ve been struggling with this phone for three days now and it is testing my will… to live.
1. When I initially got the phone it was heating up pretty much for something with no personal apps whatsoever. I’m not really sure how this got fixed. Probably the newer firmware solved it (read below).
2. Everything is in Chinese! (well duh!)
Don’t get me wrong, you can set the language to English with the initial phone set up, which is cool. But all the apps are in Chinese and you have a lot of notifications from apps and a bunch of notification that certain apps require different permissions. And I have no way of knowing why, because I have no idea what the app does.
3. Almost immediately (within half an hour) one of the default news app started to brutally force close. When I pressed OK to the FC notification within 1 second the notification appears again, blocking the screen. I finally managed to very quickly click between the notifications and find my way to the settings in order to disable the app.
4. There is no google framework and gapps installed. This is OK and usually not a problem. But it was extremely frustrating to check each of the Chinese apps that contained the word “App” in them in English in the title in order to find an icon, resembling the icon of Google play. From there the framework and apps were installed easily.
5. The home screen is extremely limited. But this is a personal preference, right? For me it is maimed for an android system. For example, YOU CANNOT REMOVE APPS FROM THE HOME SCREEN! So naturally I had to put all the Chinese apps in a separate folder. Solved this by installing a different, highly customizable launcher.
6. Updating the software was a chore.
Via the phone OTA update checker I got the message that I’m already using the latest one. Well, the forum stated otherwise. It appears that there are three newer versions after my own Mi_V18.104.22.168. So I downloaded the MiPCSuite and tried from there. Again it showed that I’m using the latest firmware. I downloaded it manually, uploaded it to the phone and flashed it from there.
N.B: The phone heating persisted a bit more. Then I also installed the custom launcher and it stopped. Not sure what fixed it.
7. The forum is some kind of a twisted game.
When I clicked on the link for the English version of MiPCSuite I got a message that one Mi credit has been removed from my account. Apparently you points are given and taken to your Mi account when you use the forums. There are levels based on points and stuff like that. I wonder if I get to a higher level if my armor is being upgraded and I’ll receive a better quality phone case in the mail…
For one of the threads I HAD TO REPLY IN ORDER TO SEE THE DOWNLOAD LINK! I did. I got the link. The link didn’t work because of “permission denied” warning. Probably I was the mage and the link was for class warrior or some s***.
8. Setting up a ringtone took a while…
Something straightforward as setting up a different ringtone took some time. Every time I chose the option to change the ringtone I’m shown some kind of store in which I can download some tunes. Of course the store is in Chinese so by sheer luck (frustratingly trying all options) I found that the last icon brings you to your own music files.
You want to assign a custom ringtone to a contact? Good news – you can! But only if you put this contact in a group and assign a group ringtone. Because f*** you, that’s why!
Of course it did not work for me, because there is a bug and even though I get to the song list I cannot select a song.
And get this – there are tutorials on the net on how to sort of assign custom ringtones. People actually felt the need to explain with screenshots something that is supposed to be so basic.
9. Constant force close from different applications. The really bad thing is that a lot of gapps are suffering. Maps crashed twice in 5 minutes.
10. The default Music app has no landscape mode.
This is a small one but I was pissed at this point.
If you don’t speak Chinese AND you don’t use Chinese apps/social/networks etc. you will have to spend ENORMOUS amount of time getting your phone to a decent state for normal usage.
If you are a flasher that likes playing, tweaking, rooting, trying different firmware etc. this phone can be perfect for you. I used to be, but now I just want a device that works. This is definitely not the phone for me.