Me and My Mi, Buying a Xiaomi Phone

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October 27, 2014 by ...

I am not from China but I live here. This entitles me to many things, some of which are better than others. I can, for example, eat the most delicious Chinese food on the planet. I cannot, however, do things like use Google search, watch videos on Youtube and access sights that many consider benign. These are the minor irritations of living in a one-party state.

Back to the positive side of the ledger, I can buy Xiaomi direct from the source.

I had previously purchased a Xiaomi phone which decided to bail on me before I bailed on it. Within the same time it takes for a human embryo to complete its cycle, my Xiaomi had gone bad. Being of strong constitution, howver, I am back in the saddle. And due to the fact that I have dedicated a blog to Xiaomi and such businesses, I ‘just got me a Xiaomi phone’ , a 1S to be specific. In time it will decide to quit working or I will get tired of it and move upstream, as it were.

If you wish, you may follow me on my Xiaomi journey…

I had a friend place an order on and received the handset on Monday. The unit itself was RMB 699 or this many dollars


Yes that is the face of my spanking new Xiaomi phone, oh joy!

In any event, I rushed out to get my new toy and will walk you through how I processed that experience. The unit came in a box built ‘man tough’. The thing feels like a mini vault.


As you can imagine, adrenaline coursed through my veins at a ‘Sandusky at the kiddie pool pace’ (if you are in India, Google the ref, you will laugh your ass off), as I felt the heft of my new cyber toy. Tearing into the thing like Adrian Peterson into a misbehaving son, I soon noticed something, the box seemed vaguely familiar, but what was it?

I had that nagging feeling that ‘yes’ I had seen this thing before. The size, dimensions, but where could it have been? I became fixated, the 1S became a Monica to my Clinton, an intense desire welled up within me. I had to get relief!

Yes! Thats’s it, I had seen this before I was sure of it, but where?


My mind scanned its memory banks at light speed, ‘Think man, think!’

And then it came to me. Not with that slow burn, ‘Thanks for the morphine drip doc,’ feeling, but the high energy, ‘Breaking Bad’ kinda rush.

‘That’s it, I knew I had seen this before. The size, the shape…..’


Why, it looked just like my Iphone box. Not only on the outside but inside as well.

If memory serves, one of Xiaomi’s ‘buzz gurus’ said something about Xiaomi not aping Apple. I think this is where I have to call ‘shenanigans’.


(For those keeping score, the Iphone is on the right)

In fact, the deeper I prodded the more I saw Jobsian fingerprints on all that I touched. Not that this was a bad thing of course. After all, I would rather tote around a Silicon valley brainchild than something created by neo-Muscovites, but I digress.

Unfortunately beauty is only skin deep, for the more I poked and prodded the more Chinese my phone felt. Not in that, ‘Hey this is really a cool invention,’ kind of way, but more of a, ‘Wow, isn’t this some cheap-shit Wal-mart stuff?’ motif.

Don’t get me wrong, the phone fits my hand like a glove.


But the whole experience has that heart-rendering, ‘Ah, look at that poor girl in the corner,’ feel to it.

I mean, come on Xiaomi, get some pride. Sure the box is built like a fullback, but couldn’t you show some originiality?

As I yanked Xiaomi fluff out hand and fist, it became obvious to me that this was a knockoff. The apologizing color mated with the absolute absence of anything original had me doing the ‘Awwww, but isn’t it..’, as my mind raced about its catacombs in search of something good to say, bit.

Now before you click the ‘back’ button and write me off as an Apple fanboy, let me set you straight, nothing could be farther from the truth. My Iphone was a gift, I would never spend so much money on a gadget. But be that as it may, I have eyes to see, and from my seat in Beijing, it is obvious that somebody is copying somebody.

Despite all of that, I have to admit that I like my new Xiaomi and you will have to stay tuned to see why. I would love to share more but I’ve been grading MBA exams all night and am ready to collapse. It looks like you will have to come back if you would like to learn more about me and my Xiaomi….


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