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Specs Compared: Xiaomi Mi 3 vs LG Nexus 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S4 with LTE+

By Sidney Wong - 3 Jan 2014

Specs Comparison: Xiaomi Mi 3 vs LG Nexus 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S4 with LTE+

Xiaomi is Coming to Singapore

Xiaomi announced yesterday that it's coming to Singapore, its fourth market after China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Details are scarce at the moment, but Xiaomi posted on its Singapore Facebook page last night asking users whether they'd prefer a smartphone with a smaller or larger display. In a market like Singapore where flagship smartphones are selling like hotcakes, we believe Xiaomi will launch its recently announced flagship smartphone, the Mi 3 .

Image source: Xiaomi Singapore Facebook Page

Android Flagships Compared: Xiaomi Mi 3 vs. LG Nexus 5 vs. Samsung Galaxy S4 with LTE+

The Mi 3 enjoys overwhelming popularity in the Chinese market; it sold out in less than two minutes on the day of its pre-order. To be exact, a whopping 10,000 units were snapped out in 86 seconds! What made the Mi 3 so appealing? Well, take a look at the specs table below and you will understand:


Specifications/Device Xiaomi Mi 3 LG Nexus 5 Samsung Galaxy S4 with LTE+
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 (MSM 8274AB) (MSM8974AB) quad-core 2.3GHz (WCDMA model)
  • NVIDIA Tegra 4 quad-core 1.8GHz (TD model)
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 (MSM8974) quad-core 2.26GHz
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 (MSM8974) quad-core 2.3GHz
  • 2GB
  • 2GB
  • 2GB
Android Version
  • Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean
  • MIUI version 5
  • Android 4.4 KitKat
  • Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
  • Samsung TouchWiz
  • 5-inch
  • 1,920 x 1,080 pixels
  • IPS
  • 5-inch
  • 1,920 x 1,080 pixels
  • IPS
  • 5-inch
  • 1,920 x 1,080 pixels
  • Super AMOLED
  • Rear: 13-megapixel autofocus with Sony Exmor sensor, F2.2 aperture, 28mm wide angle lens and dual-LED flash
  • Front: 2-megapixel
  • Rear: 8-megapixel autofocus with Sony IMX179 sensor, F2.4 aperture, optical image stabilization and LED flash
  • Front: 1.3-megapixel
  • Rear: 13-megapixel autofocus with Sony IMX091PQ sensor, F2.4 aperture and LED flash
  • Front: 2-megapixel
  • 16GB
  • 16/32GB
  • 16GB
  • micro-SD support up to 64GB
  • 144 x 73.6 x 8.1 mm
  • 137.84 x 69.17 x 8.59mm 
  • 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9mm
  • 145g
  • 130g
  • 130g
  • 3,050mAh
  • 2,300mAh
  • 2,600mAh
Retail Price
  • US$327 (16GB)
  • US$408 (64GB)
  • US$349 (16GB)
  • US$399 (32GB)
  • US$669 (16GB)*

*Based on SGD to USD conversion rates at press time.

In terms of specs, the Xiaomi Mi 3 is superior to the other two Android flagship smartphones in some aspects.

1. A Faster Processor

First, the Mi 3 (WCDMA model) runs on a newer variant of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor.

The Snapdragon 800 (MSM8974AB) (MSM8274AB) processor has its Adreno 330 GPU clock speed tuned up from 450MHz to 550MHz and its LPDDR3 memory interface maximum data rates increased from 800 MHz to 933 MHz. In short, the performance of the processor in the Mi 3 is expected to be better. We don't know at the moment whether Xiaomi will be bringing in the Tegra 4 or Snapdragon 800 variant of the Mi 3 to Singapore (or whether it will be the Mi 3). For comparison's sake, we're using the Snapdragon variant.

2. A Custom Android ROM That's Updated Weekly

The Mi 3 runs on a modified version of Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. Dubbed MIUI version 5, it is a custom Android ROM that gives users endless possibilities in customizing the interface of their phones. Xiaomi's engineers regularly gather feedback from users on the software to resolve issues and bugs.

As such, the software on Xiaomi smartphones are updated every Friday. This gives users the power to decide what works for them and what don't. Although Google and Samsung are fairly quick in issuing software updates or fixes for their devices, Xiaomi wins hands-down with a weekly update!

3. A Better Camera and Flash

The Mi 3 appears to have better camera hardware on paper. Its rear camera has a higher 13-megapixel count (the Nexus 5 has 8MP, the Samsung Galaxy S4 has 13MP), and sports a larger aperture setting and dual-LED flash for better low light images.

4. A Larger Battery

The Mi 3 has a larger battery capacity at 3,050mAh. With smartphones generally running out of battery juice fairly quickly these days, the Mi 3 should be able to stay powered up longer.

Questions Unanswered

There's no question that Xiaomi's X-factor is its ability to sell high-powered specs at cut-throat prices, but what's unknown is how much exactly Xiaomi will be selling its smartphones here in Singapore. It's also unknown which smartphone model Xiaomi will be bringing here, and which processor variant it will introduce.

We are currently in touch with Xiaomi and will be updating this story as it develops.

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