What Are The Best Xiaomi Smartphones? (2019 Edition)

What are the Best Xiaomi Smartphones Available in 2019?

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We take a look at the Best Xiaomi Mi & Xiaomi Redmi Smartphones available in 2019

If you’ve never heard of Xiaomi before, then crawl out from under that rock and read on! They’re a huge consumer electronics company based out of China that have been pushing the envelope of what’s possible from import technology.

While in the UK, they’re mainly known for their range of smartphones with excellent build quality. They are also the makers of products as diverse as electric scooters, air purifiers, smart trainers, selfie sticks, robot vacuums, drones & even a self-balancing scooter that’ll carry your shopping for you.

Over the last couple of years, they have cemented themselves as the premium Chinese import brand standing side-by-side against other Chinese giants like Huawei, Oppo & OnePlus.

Xiaomi Mi 9
Xiaomi Mi 9
Xiaomi Mi Mix 3
Xiaomi Mi 9

Related: The Best Xiaomi Gadgets & Gear – 2019 Edition

With their reputation firmly set in China, 2019 is going to be the year that they cross-over to the west with some on the ground stores. In early November 2017, Xiaomi started selling in Europe and the Xiaomi owned Yi brand has been selling through Amazon direct for a while now.

Before long before you’re going to see Xiaomi mobiles offered directly in retail as a cheaper Apple alternate, but with the same premium designs aethetics.

So what sets the Xiaomi apart from the myriad of mobile brands that have popped up over the last few years?

Simply put… build quality & choice.

Need a flagship phone with a great camera? There’s a Xiaomi phone for that! Need a budget-friendly device running the latest version of Android? Want the latest in bezel-less technology? Xiaomi has you covered.

So now that you know a little more about Xiaomi, let’s get down to business!

The Best Xiaomi Mi & Xiaomi Redmi Smartphones you can get your hands on in 2019!

We’ve updated this article with the best of Xiaomi’s 2019 smartphones. But, the previous generation devices are still awesome, so we’ve not removed them. You can find the all in a ‘best of the rest’ section at the end.

Don’t forget to comment at the end, ‘what you think of Xiaomi?’ Love them, Hate them, Never heard of them? Let us know.

Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro (Redmi K20 Pro)

2019 is the year of popup selfie cameras, so not one to be left out, Xiaomi has announced the Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro … also called the Redmi K20 Pro in international markets. #confusing.

Personally, I’m a massive fan of the Mi Mix 3’s (see below) sliding design, but maybe I’m a little nostalgic as a once proud Sony Ericsson W850i owner.

And while we all might have our doubts about a popup cameras longevity, there’s no denying that it’s one step closer to the perfect 100% ratio display.

Hmmmmm… just a thought… doesn’t Mi 9T Pro sound familiar? CoughOnePlusCough…

Anyway, let’s talk about the Mi 9T Pro and why it could be your next smartphone!

For starters, it upgrades the Mi 9’s average 3300mAh battery, replacing it with a respectable 4000mAh’s. It ditches the waterdrop top notch in favour of a 20MP popup selfie camera… and yes, it brings back the 3.5mm headphone jack.

It keeps the same 6.39″ Super AMOLED Display, cutting-edge Snapdragon 855 performance and epic 48MP triple rear camera setup with that wonderful dedicated ultra-wide-angle lens.

So what’s the catch?

Compared to the Mi 9 (see below), you lose the wireless charging, it’s 16% thicker at 8.8mm and 10% heavier at 191g (easily forgiven considering the bigger battery). Also, it drops back to Gorilla Glass 5 and has a kinda funky design… comment if you’re a fan?

But wait, there’s more! Just like the Mi 9 SE, there’s also the non-pro version Mi 9T available. It drops some of the performance features but keeps the epic camera & AMOLED display setup.

Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro / Redmi K20 Pro – Available Soon

Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 (5G) – Style Meets Performance!

The most innovative line of smartphones ever, Xiaomi’s Mi Mix range, is back at it again in 2019 with the Mi Mix 3 (5G version). But what does the 5th instalment of the Mi Mix series have to offer us? Let’s find out.

For starters, there’s that 6.39″ glorious Samsung AMOLED display with over 430nits of brightness and HDR support built in. This all adds up to give an impressive 93.4% screen-to-body-ratio, pushing us ever closer to the perfect all-display smartphone!

But we had that on the original Mi Mix 3, so what’s new?

For starters, the Mi Mix 3 (5G) now features the 2019 flagship Snapdragon 855 processor that enables it to support the ultra-fast 5G network. In London, you can expect speeds of up to 20x faster than 4G.

Overkill? Probably. Good to show off with? Definitely.

In terms of performance, the global Mi Mix 5G comes packed with 128GB’s of storage and a healthy 8GB’s of ultra-fast RAM.

And I haven’t even mentioned the best bit yet…

On your brand new Mi Mix 3, you’ll get the epic magnetic sliding mechanism! Yes that’s right, the Mi Mix 5G is a phone of two halves that uses sliding magnets to glide over each other. A quick slide will reveal the ultimate 24MP selfie snapper! On the back, you’ll also find two capable 12MP cameras that can record in 4K@60fps as well as super-slo-mo 960fps@1080p.

While this all might sound very impressive, unless you’re a sucker for the premium ceramic build quality, then check out the Xiaomi Mi 9 below which comes in at half the price.

Check out the latest Mi Mix 3 & Mi Mix 3 (5G Version) deals below:

Xiaomi Mi 9

Xiaomi Mi 9 – Our Firm Favourite!

Rather than being an all-out flagship device (like the Mi Mix 3 above), the Mi 9 is all about keeping as many flagships features as possible while maintaining its status as the best value-smartphone available. And trust me, it’s kept most of the flagship features.

You can think of the Xiaomi Mi 9 as what the OnePlus phones used to be; Powerful, stylish and affordable. With the OP7 Pro costing close to 700 USD, the Xiaomi Mi 9 is looking very attractive.

So what does the Xiaomi Mi 9 have to offer?

How about a 48MP wide-angle rear camera! That’s right, the Mi 9’s triple camera setup has an outrageous camera made by the experts at Sony. You can expect to capture an incredible amount of detail that’ll let you zoom in, and in, and in…

Display-wise, it’s moved to a Samsung Full HD+ Super AMOLED panel that offers the best contrast and ultimate black levels all while saving you battery life. Now AMOLED, it also includes an always-on display and HDR support. You’ll also be happy to know that such a pretty display is protected by Gorilla Glass 6.

Finally, it’s using the fastest Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chip combined with 6GB’s of RAM and 128GB’s of storage. You also get other high-end features like NFC, Bluetooth 5.0, AC WiFi, and Qualcomm’s Quick-Charge 4.0.

Hang on, isn’t the Xiaomi Mi 9 starting to sound like a better deal than the Mi Mix 3?

You’re right! While it can’t compete on 5G, design or build quality, that wide-angle snapper and hugely lower price-tag is something to consider carefully.

And when we factor in that the Mi 9 has an in-display fingerprint reader, the Mi Mix 3 (above) is starting to show its age.

If the top-end Xiaomi Mi 9 is out of your budget, then don’t worry. You can save a few pennies by opting for less storage or even by switching to the Xiaomi Mi 9 SE version.

The Mi 9 SE has a smaller 5.97″ display and drops the flagship CPU in favour of a Snapdragon 712.

Xiaomi Mi 9 – Available Now

Xiaomi Mi Max 3 Display

Xiaomi Max 3 – Big Beautiful & Netflix Ready!

The Xiaomi Mi Max 3 is a pocket-killer! At 6.99 inches, the Full HD+ Display is humongous and venturing deep into tablet territory but with cellular capabilities.

It’s a true mid-range smartphone offering solid media-gulping performance thanks to its 4GB’s of RAM coupled with the mid-level 8-core Snapdragon 636. While it can’t keep up with the Pocophone F1 or even the Xiaomi Mi A2, it does feature a solid camera and an epic 5500mAh battery.

Related: Smartphones with Amazing Battery Life

Before you get too excited though, rumours are that Xiaomi are in development of a Xiaomi Mi Max 3 Pro, that’ll feature the next-gen Snapdragon 710 and give this smartphone the performance it deserves!

Check out our full Xiaomi Mi Max 3 Review

Available Now

Xiaomi Pocophone F1

Xiaomi Pocophone F1 – The Global Standard

If you like the idea of the Xiaomi Mi A2, a stock Android smartphone, with the excellent build quality of Xiaomi, then you’ll love the Pocophone F1!

Designed for a western audience from the get-go, it comes with a leaner version of MIUI OS, infrared Face-Unlock, excellent rear dual cameras, plus liquid cooled internals and a beautiful FHD+ notch display.

Usually, with smartphones at the price-range, we have to mention there mid-range performance. Not so with the Pocophone F1, as it uses the flagship level Snapdragon 845 coupled with 6GB’s of RAM and a 64/128GB storage choice. Battery life is also impressive with a fast-charge ready USB Type-C connection to a 4000mAh non-removable battery.

The downsides? The Pocophone F1 misses out on NFC as well as wireless charging. You’re also getting an IPS display which lacks contrast & ‘pop’ compared to Xiaomi’s newer phones. The plus-side? The price.

If you can stretch your budget, then I recommend going for the Mi 9 SE above, over the older Pocophone F1. While I’m sure there’s an F2 in the works, for now, the Mi 9 SE’s triple camera setup is too good to miss out on.

Available Now

Xiaomi Black Shark 2

Black Shark 2 – Xiaomi’s Dedicated Gaming Smartphone

Xiaomi was obviously taking notice when Razer launched their gaming phone in late 2017, as they recently announced the Black Shark 2. Even ignoring the gaming credentials for a moment, this is an absolute monster flagship-grade phone. Packing the Snapdragon 855 CPU with 12GB’s of RAM, this shark is clearly one of the biggest baddest fish in the smartphone sea.

Love Gaming!? Check out (The Best Gaming Smartphones – 2019) article for the latest in dedicated gaming phones.

So what’s special about the Black Shark 2? And what makes it a ‘gaming’ phone?

Firstly, there is a Shark Key button on the side which activates the high-performance gaming mode. This works in parallel with a unique liquid cooling system to make sure it doesn’t get too hot to handle. There’s a dedicated gamepad attachment to give you seamless control of your games. I’m already thinking of the PUBG-related possibilities!

There’s also a true stereo speaker setup and it’s using the same Super AMOLED HDR Samsung’s display that we see in the Mix & Mi 9.

Finally, a gamers worst nightmare is losing signal during a match, so to combat this the Black Shark 2 has an enhanced 2x antenna system to make sure your sweaty fingers don’t block your WiFi! This all adds up to make your gaming mobile experience better than ever.

Some of us were expecting more though. I would have loved to see a screen with a 120Hz refresh rate for an uber gaming phone. Yeah the HDR OLED display will look awesome, but compared to the high Hz competition, the Black Shark 2 might not cut it.

The Cons? With an asking price this high, it’s a real shame to see NFC and waterproofing missing of the spec list. Even so, we’re eagerly looking forward to reeling in this monster from the deep. Stay tuned for our upcoming hands-on review!

Available Soon

Xiaomi Redmi Note 7

Redmi Note 7 – Mid-range Master

We’ve named the Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 our mid-range master. With a glass-sandwich bold gradient design, both sides Gorilla Glass 5, the Redmi Note 7 certainly looks the part. But how about performance?

Unlike a lot of the phones in the best Xiaomi list, the Note 7 opts for the mid-range Snapdragon 660 mobile CPU. Still a very capable chipset, but you won’t be getting the lightning fast responsiveness of the 845 or 855.

That doesn’t matter though, as the Note 7 is firmly priced in the ‘very wallet friendly category’.

The IPS display comes with a full HD resolution (2340×1080), giving it a crisp PPI of 408. Other high-end features include a tiny top-notch for the selfie camera, a whopping 48MP rear camera and excellent (fast charge ready) battery life. As a bonus, Xiaomi has left in the headphone jack and included an IR Blaster so you can control your TV & Aircon from your phone.

The Redmi Note 7 keeps what’s important in a smartphone: Design, Battery Life, Camera Performance & Display while cutting back on speed to offer us one of the best mid-range smartphones ever.

Available Now

Xiaomi Redmi 7

Redmi 7 – Budget Choice

Considering you can get the lower-spec’d Xiaomi Redmi 7 for less than 100 USD, you’re in for a big surprise.

While it drops the full HD display of the Note 7 above, the Gorilla Glass 5 HD+ display helps push the already excellent battery life even further. The top camera notch is tiny, but we still get a big chin at the bottom, at this price though, I’m not complaining.

Another great touch is that the Redmi 7 uses a true dual-SIM design. This means that you can opt for the 16GB storage option while adding 2 SIM (4G) cards and an SD card all at once.

In terms of design, Xiaomi has carried on its bold gradient design language but this time it’s with a high-gloss plastic. Just like the Note 7 above, it keeps the IR Blaster and headphone jack.

If price is your main concern, then you can’t go wrong with the Xiaomi Redmi 7.

Available Now

Xiaomi Mi Play

Xiaomi Mi Play – The Budget Gamer Wildcard

There’s no sign of a global Mi Play edition yet, but with Xiaomi’s global expansion, we’re going to see more Chinese models become available for the rest of the world soon.

The Mi Play is special as it’s one of a few Xiaomi smartphones that uses one of MediaTek’s Helio processors. The Helio P35 is coupled with a 5.84 Full HD Display, 4GB’s of RAM and 64GB’s of storage. You can choose between Blue, Red & Black gradients but there is only 1 RAM/storage configuration available.

Marketed as a gaming device, the 3000mAh battery seems a little small, but, does help with the Mi Play’s ultra-light 150g weight. Another unique feature is that Xiaomi are bundling the Mi Play with 10GB of data for a year in China.

Could we possibly see something similar in the west? Budget phones pre-bundled with a year’s data?

Mi A2 Colours

Xiaomi Mi A2 – Pure Android Goodness

The Mi A1 was one of the most popular smartphones released in the last 12 months, combining Xiaomi’s unparalleled build quality and low prices with a barebones Android One experience.

Check out our full Xiaomi Mi A2 Review

This time they’ve added all the bells and whistles that you might want from a 2019 device, and the result is one of the best specced non-Pixel pure Android phone available.

You want the premium Snapdragon 660 CPU with up to 6GB RAM, you got it! How about an FHD+ 18:9 display housed in a super slim 7.3mm body? Sure thing! And to sweeten the deal, Xiaomi have updated the Mi A1’s already impressive camera set up. The Mi A2 has an AI enhanced dual camera system that Xiaomi claims will outperform the iPhone X! (Pinch of salt needed)

As it’s 2019, so you’ll get USB Type-C charging, but unfortunately no headphone jack. And that super-slim body can only fit a 3010mAh battery, but with the efficient CPU and bloat-free OS it will still last all day.

Available Now

Best Xiaomi Mobile Phone

Xiaomi and Redmi – Best of the Rest!

Whatever Xiaomi phone you buy, you’ll be getting a great deal. For even better value, you can look to the last generation of models below.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Phone

Xiaomi Mi 8

Rather than an-all out flagship device (like the Mi Mix 3 above), the Mi 8 is all about keeping as many flagships features as possible while maintaining its status as the best value-smartphone available.

You can think of the new Xiaomi Mi 8 as what the OnePlus phones used to be… that is before they hiked up their prices.

Update: Check out the Xiaomi Pocophone F1 below, for the same Snapdragon 845 high-end performance at around half the price!

So what does the Xiaomi Mi 8 offer?

First of all, it has moved to a Samsung Full HD+ Super AMOLED display that offers the best contrast and ultimate black levels all while saving battery life. We can expect MIUI 10 (Android 8.1) to take advantage via an always-on display upgrade.

It uses the fastest Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chip combined with 8GB’s of RAM and 128GB’s of storage as standard. You also get other high-end features like NFC, Bluetooth 5.0, AC WiFi, Qualcomm Quick-Charge 4.0 and a new dual-band GPS module.

Hang on, isn’t the Xiaomi Mi 8 starting to sound like a better deal than the Mi Mix 2S? You’re damn right, but in fairness, the Mi Mix 2S has been available for quite some months.

If the top end Xiaomi Mi 8 is out of your budget, then don’t worry as there will always be a few variations to choose from. You can save some money by going for the 6GB RAM version with less storage.

But wait there’s more!

Xiaomi are also releasing the Mi 8 SE which comes in at around £150 less but loses the Snapdragon 845 for the more modest Snapdragon 710.

We see a few other downgrades, but most importantly the SE version keeps the same Super AMOLED Display. On a plus note, it weighs in at around 10 grams less.

Check out the latest Mi 8 deals below:

View on GearBest

View on Amazon

Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S

Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S – Beauty Meets Performance!

The Mi Mix 2S was Xiaomi’s most beautiful smartphone, until of course the Mi Mix 3 above.

Note: Now that the Mi Mix 3 is out in the wild, expect to get some of the best bargain deals ever on this beautiful yet still very capable smartphone.

With the latest CPU, oodles of RAM, a stunning screen and a new premium camera setup the Mi Mix 2S brings true flagship performance and specs at the Xiaomi price we know and love. It’s the cheapest way to get your hands on a phone with the new Snapdragon 845 CPU, and its benchmark scores peg it up there with this year’s premium flagships of Samsung and Sony.

Let’s not forget about great design and build quality too. The Mi Mix 2S looks incredible, retaining the design of the Mi Mix 2 that saw it become an exhibit at the world-renowned Centre Pompidou art and design museum in Paris whilst shaving a couple of mm off the all-round footprint.

Constructed with a metal frame and ceramic body the Mi Mix 2S oozes class and begs to be shown off and not put in a case. Bear in mind though that the ceramic back is something of a finger print magnet.

The display is of course the star of the show yet again. Xiaomi continue to eschew the Infinity Display style that most bezel free phones now use. The Tri-bezel-less display is still a jaw-dropper, and better yet there’s not a notch in sight…

The other main improvement over the Mi Mix 2 is the new dual camera set up. After the mediocre camera in the Mix 2, Xiaomi have unleashed their big guns and the results are outstanding. DxO, the smartphone industry standard for testing camera performance, have scored the Mi Mix 2S a mark of 97. This puts it in joint 5th place in the all-time smartphone camera quality table!

There is also the very welcome addition of wireless charging. Now you can still listen to wired headphones (via USB C adapter) and charge your phone at the same time.

So as you can see, it’s not a question of should you treat yourself to a Mi Mix 2S, but why haven’t you ordered one yet!?!

View on GearBest

View on Amazon

Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 Smartphone

Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 – The Big-screen Bezel-less Flagship

Launched in 2016, the original Mi Mix could be seen as the device which kick-started the bezel-less craze that we’ve seen take over 2017, and the Mi Mix 2 has a more refined take on this winning recipe.

Of course, it’s all about the screen with the Mix 2, all 5.99 inches of it! The display is set up in the ‘tri bezel-less’ format meaning razor-thin bezels on the top and sides. A standard sized bezel below the display houses the selfie camera. This delivers a 10% bigger screen than the 5.5″ unit in the Redmi Note 4, in a body only 0.5% taller.

Thanks to this epic display the Mi Mix features the de rigeur 18:9 screen aspect with all the benefits this brings. With the outstanding screen and sleek design, the Mi Mix 2 is truly a thing of beauty. But… its beauty is soon marred as the ceramic body picks up fingerprints fast.

Having said it’s all about the screen, I’m going to contradict myself now. It’s actually NOT all about the screen with the Mi Mix 2! Under the hood it has a Snapdragon 835 CPU with 6GB RAM, meaning it can legitimately lay claim to being Xiaomi’s 2nd flagship phone of 2017 after the Mi 6.

In fact, screen size aside the two devices are remarkably similar other than one major difference. The Mi Mix 2 has only a single camera, so you’ll miss out on the portrait mode that the Mi 6 can offer. If you can live without that, then the Mi Mix 2 is the closest thing you’ll get to an iPhone X on Android!

View on GearBest

Mi 6 Main Photo

Xiaomi Mi 6

The Mi 6 was Xiaomi’s original 2017 flagship, featuring the Snapdragon 835 CPU, 6GB RAM and either 64GB or 128GB of non-expandable memory. As I found in my full hands-on Xiaomi Mi 6 Review, not only does it perform as well as any of the 2017 flagship devices but it also takes some amazing photos too. The dual camera setup has some great features including a 2x optical zoom and portrait mode.

The latter is a really effective take on the blur/bokeh effect and adds a blur to the background scene which really brings the subject clearly into focus. It can produce some really pleasing shots, and is a feature that I couldn’t do without now. The Mi 6 also shoots great videos thanks to its 4-axis image stabilisation.

Other than the killer camera the Mi 6 shines in every area. With a 5.15 inch screen, you’d almost call it a compact device nowadays, and it’s small and light enough to operate comfortably with one hand. The battery is fast to charge and is good for a full day of moderate use.

While it’s only 1080p resolution, the display is crystal clear and the hybrid stereo speakers are loud and rich. In my review, I struggled to find any negative points, and I’ve been using it as my main phone for a few months now with nothing giving me any inclination to swap devices.

Having been on the market for a good few months now, the Mi 6 is priced extremely competitively and represents excellent value for money. A recent update to MIUI 9 means that it is running Xiaomi’s latest software.

So now the difference between the Mi 6 and the Mi Mix 2 really comes down to whether you want a compact flagship with an amazing camera, or a beautiful bezel-less flagship with a huge screen. Either way, you’re making a great choice.

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Mi A1 Main Image

Xiaomi Mi A1 – For Android Purists

I see the Mi A1 as the spiritual successor to Google’s own, much loved Nexus 4. It’s the latest phone released as part of Google’s ‘Android One’ program, which aims to provide phones running the latest version of Android on solid hardware at a keen price-point.

Design-wise, the Mi A1 looks a little like an iPhone 7 Plus, with materials and construction bordering on premium. In our recent review we scored the ‘price vs build-quality’ ratio a solid 9/10!

The solid CPU and generous RAM, coupled with the performance benefits delivered by running a lean Android version means that the Mi A1 feels as quick and smooth as last year’s flagships – no mean feat for a device that’s half the price.

The Mi A1 is the only Xiaomi phone that doesn’t run MIUI – Xiaomi’s version of Android. For many people, who find MIUI too intrusive, this is a godsend.

The huge benefit to being an Android One phone is that the Mi A1 gets the latest updates and security patches as soon as they are available, in the 3 weeks I was testing the Mi A1 I had 5 OTA updates!

It’s also worth noting that the dual camera performs almost as well as the one found in the Mi 6, and is easily the best snapper of any mid-range device we’ve tested.

Our only minor quibbles points with the Mi A1 are the rather large bezels, and a standard 5V/2A charging battery that’s a little on the small side at 3080mAh.

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Mi Max 2 Main Image

Xiaomi Mi Max 2

Looking for a phone with a massive screen, capable hardware and a battery that will last for days? Look no further than the Mi Max 2.

Every inch a premium mid-range monster, the Mi Max 2 is effectively a tablet that you can make calls on. Like the Mi A1 it runs a Snapdragon 625 with 4GB of RAM which is more than powerful enough for all but the most hardened users.

As with all Xiaomi phones build quality is excellent. Though it’s ‘only’ 342 PPI the display is fantastic, capable of exceptional brightness with an excellent contrast ratio. Bolstering the multimedia credentials is a stereo sound setup using the earpiece as the secondary speaker.

As for the battery, the Mi Max 2 is powered by a frankly ludicrous 5300mAh unit. This thankfully features Quick Charge 3 so doesn’t take forever to refuel. Vigorous community testing shows that the Max 2 is capable of 24 hours of video playback on a single charge!

The Mi Max 2 also performs well in other areas. The single 12MP camera with dual flash takes great photos and can even capture 4K video. The Mi Max 2 has wireless AC support, with Bluetooth 4.2, FM Radio and an infrared blaster.

All in all, this is a beast of a phone that has many great features. But, its strengths are also its weaknesses. Some will find it just too big and too heavy as a daily driver.

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Redmi 4X Main Image

Redmi 4X

The Redmi series may be Xiaomi’s ‘budget’ line, but in my experience, this makes no real difference in terms of build quality.

The 4X is certainly well-built, with a pleasant enough design and an aluminium rear. The specs may place it firmly last for performance among the phones in this list. However, the price makes the Redmi 4X hard to ignore.

With many different spec levels, you need to make sure you’re buying the phone that’s right for you.

The mid-tier 3GB RAM/32GB storage variant has been seen for a staggering £85 during store promotions! For me, this represents fantastic value for money and is the model I’d choose.

You may want to avoid the 4GB RAM/64GB storage version however. At around £140 I’d say it’s not worth paying the premium for.

Whichever model you choose, you’ll get an octa-core CPU, bright 720p screen, decent 13MP camera and very generous 4100mAh battery. What this gives, even in the lowest 2/16GB package, is a phone that is absolutely adequate in every department. For some, that’s damning with faint praise, but for many people that’s just fine.

Should you choose a Xiaomi Mi or Xiaomi Redmi for your next smartphone?

Redmi is Xiaomi’s budget-friendly sub-brand, which releases phones that are exceptional value for money.

While they still retain Xiaomi’s great build quality, the Redmi phones will generally be running on lower specs, with slightly less cutting-edge design language – but that’s the tradeoff for the cheaper price.

It might be worth getting a newly released Redmi rather than choosing an Mi device that’s been on the market for some time to ensure you get the newer features like an 18:9 display.

Mi A1 Colours

So what’s the catch?

As with many of the smartphone manufacturers we feature on Review Hub, Xiaomi don’t sell directly in the UK. This gives you 2 choices.

You can buy it direct from China, or pay ‘over the odds’ for a device that someone else has imported. Check out our Smartphone Buying Guide for some handy tips.

You may find the number of different variants of the same phone slightly bewildering. Other than the Mi A1, there are numerous versions of the 4 other phones in our list. The main differences are in the amount of RAM and internal storage offered.

Another difference that you’ll need to be aware of is which region the smartphone has been produced for. Most models come in Chinese, Global and International guises. I’d definitely suggest that you stay away from the ‘Chinese’ versions. These won’t have Google Play installed on them.

The Global version will be set up in English, and have access to Google services. Please be aware though that these are generally ROMs that have been installed by the vendor. This means that the phone may be running non-official software and be slightly slower to get OS updates.

The International version will have the official Xiaomi software and one other, major bonus. It supports LTE Band 20/800MHz, which as standard most Xiaomis don’t.

Some phone networks in the UK only run their 4G services over Band 20 so this is worth bearing in mind. See our handy guide for more information on this.

Mi Mix 2 Main Image

My experience with Xiaomi Mi / Redmi Smartphones

I’ve been lucky enough to get hands-on with the Mi 6, Mi A1, Mi A2, Pocophone F1, Black Shark, Redmi Note 7, Redmi Note 5, Redmi 3S, Redmi Note 4, Redmi Note 5 and Mi Mix 2 so far. I’ve used each of them as my daily driver for differing lengths of time but my experience with each of them was overwhelmingly positive. Even the low specced Redmi 3S was up to any task I wanted to throw at it.

The Mi 6 was a worthy flagship which caused many an S7 Edge or iPhone 7 owner to turn green with envy when I told them how little it can cost to get a phone that outperformed their devices.

Of the four, perhaps the biggest surprise was the Redmi Note 4. This performed almost as well as flagships of the day at a third of the price. It proved immensely popular too, at one point Xiaomi were selling one every 4 seconds!

If you’ve never heard of Xiaomi before, then you’re about to big time! They’re a huge consumer electronics company based out of China that have been pushing the envelope of what’s possible from import technology.

While in the UK, they’re mainly known for their range of smartphones with excellent build quality. They are also the makers of products as diverse as electric scooters, air purifiers, smart trainers, selfie sticks, robot vacuums and baby slings!

Over the last couple of years, they have cemented themselves as the premium Chinese import brand standing side-by-side against other Chinese giants like Huawei, Oppo & OnePlus.