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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Free Ride with the Santa Uber Drivers!


Free Ride with the Santa Drivers! 

Ho, Ho, Ho, Merry Christmas! It is the time of the year for presents and here at Uber we want to give you just that.
From 24th - 26th December your Uber ride will be refunded** and you stand to win RM100 meal vouchers* from these amazing food outlets:-

Grand Prize -3 Course Dinner @ Tosca Italian Fine Dining @ Doubletree Hilton JB
-Buffet Dinner for 2 @ Renaissance Hotel JB

RM100 Vouchers
-Eight Lido Restaurant & Bar
-Brazzo by the Bay, Bar & Grill
-Gianni's Trattoria Italian Restaurant
-Sweetwater Mediterranean Bar & Grill
-Magnum Restaurant & Sports Cafe

From 24th - 26th December 2014

1) Find a car with the Santa hat & get a free "I LOVE UBER" sticker.
2) Take a picture with the sticker and santa hat in/next to the car.
3) Post it on Facebook & Instagram with #uber_jb #ubersanta.
4) Paste link on comment section when you rate driver and your ride is free. (Refer pic below)
5) Most shared Facebook post wins the dining vouchers.

Like our Facebook page (click here) and Instagram page (click here).

*Top 5 post shares (more than 10 shares) will win RM100 dining vouchers.
**First 100 posts will get Uber ride refunds. Valid for only one trip per person up to RM15 each.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

WAU!!! - 2.5D Survival Side-scroller Mobile Game

I'm currently a part of a newly established game development team of 3 named ECA Studio. This is a project of ours as part of our university syllabus. 

 Check out ECA Studio's Blog
Check out ECA Studio's page and leave a LIKE on 
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Friday, August 1, 2014

Amazon Appstore is NOW Available in Southeast Asia, WOOT!

Source : Amazon Blog, Android Police(where I found first)

Yup. Just as I put it in the title. Amazon Appstore is FINALLY available in Southeast Asia and several other nations. FINALLY I can get decent apps for free legitimately Since most of them (if not all) in GooglePlay are paid ones and they can't change from paid to free and back to paid again (Android Police).

If you read this by Friday(1/8/2014) - GO HERE for a bunch of FREE apps from Amazon.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Some Details from Mobile Games Asia Conference(18/7/2014)

Global Mobile Game Confederation (GMGC) hosted its very first conference in Singapore called Mobile Games Asia 2014. I was able be there as an attendee and got some info although not much since I and a bunch of others arrived late due to the driver getting lost for about an hour :P .
Here's the list of details I (managed) to gather.

How To Bring Your Game to the Chinese Market
Haiyu Ni - CEO, TalentWalker
Dalu Ye - COO, Sincetimes
Zhouying Dai - General Partner, CA Venture
Shenghong Liu - CEO, Shengri Tech
  • Open your game source code to the game developers in China
  • Android market - talk with appropriate promoting channels over to promote your game
  • Free games are better (overall) in China, paid apps are usually around 1000 RMB(Renminbi)
  • For foreign comapnies to get in to China game market - approximately 6-12 months
  • Have a good partner in China to take care of intellectual property, finance,etc.
  • Intellectual property protection is priority and is an ongoing process

What Elements make a Mobile Game Successful in China?

Cheng Li - CEO, 91ku Network
Jin Liu - Director, Mokylin
Xin Wang - CEO, Dianru Advertising
  • They are FREE but offer in-game purchases. NOTE: They are talking about games that are successful in the market in terms of popularity and capable of supporting the development through monetisation.
  • Western- prefer pay to play
  • Eastern(mainly China) - prefer play to pay - they are likely to pay for in-game purchases when they want to compete with others - especially friends
  • Chinese players favour Chinese Cartoon intellectual properties(IP)
  • There are many distributing channels in China - different channels cater to different segments of the mobile game market
  • Marketing and promotion - viral marketing includes social networks but there is very little (or none at all) Facebook use in China
  • First half of 2014 - card and hardcore action games, forecast for next half of 2014 - RPG(Jin Liu)
  • Good introduction of the game - able to get into it easily even for newbies 

The Third Generation of Mobile Card Games
Speaker: Norman Lo - President, Game Tider
  • 1st Generation - Just watch with automatic fighting
  • Players demand more control
  • 2nd Generation - Watch real football(soccer) match in 3D
  • 3rd Generation - Focus on PvP - high replay value, same environment but different opponents (he was describing he's game which is about a football card game)

How Does Mobile Game Background Music Improve Game Quality>
Speaker: Louis Lu - CEO, XiaoXu Gamee Audio Studio

  • (from graph) Sound quality UP = Retention UP
  • Music matches the scene and mood - improves sensual experience

 Overcoming the Challenges of Current Monetization Models
Speaker: Sergio Salvador - Global Head of Game Partnerships, Google

  • Premium Ads + In-App Purchases = SUCCESS!
Note: He emphasize on the concept above because there are all sorts of gamers - some willing to pay to play better, others just wanna have fun without paying. (If I'm not mistaken) He's example was that if 2% of players are those that are willing to buy in-game items, then putting ads in the game will cover the other 8%.

Getting your Mobike Game to the Regional Market
Gerald Tock - Chieftainm Inzen Studio
Allan Simonsen - Co-Founder, Boomzap Entertainment
Gabby Dizon - CEO, Altitude Games
Nobuyoshi Noda - Head of Global Business, Adways

NOTE: This one was pretty long but most of it is kinda irrelevant to me. I was also kinda tired around that time too and doze off a little since I woke up extra early on that day.
  • Free to Play - go for Facebook and Google Play
  • Get a publisher/promoter - save time to focus on developing the game itself
  • (General) They talk about the market in Taiwan, Indonesia and and Japan as well.
  • (Not sure if it was in this keynote) Language - no need to worry too much if the game is not text-centric, else English will do

Monday, June 23, 2014

Xiaomi MI 3 Guide and Review

Another Android device, another guide. 

Xiaomi MI 3 with original out of factory screen protector still on
Current phone status (last updated on 17/2/2015)
MIUI Version: MIUI V6.3.9.0.KXDMIBL(Stable)
Root:            NO - No need for it

For Specifications: 
MI Official Website

From CPUID App:

Details to note:
  • From, the 2nd picture after the video (the one with dimensions) is a VERY accurate visual representation of the phone. That is the size of the phone as you would see it if it is in front of you.
  • From, Sony Xperia Z is can be said to be the closest competitor within the power and price range.
  • A Lowyat forum user mentioned Xiaomi MI 3 uses the Sony Exmor R camera sensor, the SAME sensor found in Samsung Galaxy S4 and Sony Xperia Z / ZL. But the software involved is different due to manufacturer specifications.
  • TD-SCDMA WCDMA/CDMA2000 - If I'm not mistaken(since I'm not very familiar with this) these codes represent cellular and wireless connectivity types. Can be used to refer to which EXACT model of the phone. To assert, I'm using the WCDMA version.
  • Package details (of phone) - User manual, charger, micro USB cable and the phone itself(battery already installed - non-removable after all). No earphone included for mine. I believe the earphone is only available in China (as noted in

My Thoughts
Reasonably thin body, smooth touch (to just about the whole thing - including case :D), +1 like for bigger screen from me and no more app startup delay/lag (migrated from old phone). That's for appearance and performance, as for UI, people say it feels a lot like an iPhone but I didn't notice at first use since I don't own one and I prefer a customizable 3rd party launcher Nova. Looking through the list of apps, I was glad to find almost no crap app aside from FM Radio and Weather - at least these two I could use.

Oddly, my first bad experience with it (besides the speediness of it all) is occasional crashes here and there. To describe it further, the phone hangs for a few secs before automatically restarting on itself without any intervention. It's somewhat random as it occurs when I'm checking out some system settings to using an IM app.  I don't think it caused any damage whatsoever though.

But once I connect it to my WiFi, I was greeted with a MIUI update on 18 June 2014. Here's a screen:

I think the older version was JXDSGBD13.0(checked here). To my delight, the update successfully solved the crashes as I have not encountered a single one of them since.

HOW to Backup
From my previous smartphone experience, the only worry is losing all your app data since app data takes the longest time to restore manually. I had previous experience with my old smartphone(Ninetology i9400 - Black Pearl 2) 'bricking' or unable to turn on normally and the only way I know how to fixed it were to flash a backed up ROM. Since Xiaomi provides the ROM so openly, worrying about that is now in the past.

Now for the app data, Xiaomi's MIUI has in build backup feature with cloud backup integration to their servers. I tried it and I find it very efficient but I skipped the cloud backup feature since I don't need it at the moment.but I found out there's a local backup as well located at Android:sdcard/MIUI/backup/AllBackup and Windows:Internal Storage/MIUI/backup/AllBackup . So just copy and paste to your external hard drive will waaaiiiitt... I can't see the folder on my PC!!! There's seems to be an issue with the folder name of the backup folder conflicting with the file explorer of Windows. ZzZ. My backup folder is named 2014-06-26_11-06-09. Trying to rename it in whatever manner won't change it. After about 20 mins, I managed to get a copy by COMPRESSING it into a .rar file with ES File Explorer so that it is 'revealed' and moving it to my computer.
Huh... for some reason, it seems that I can see the folder of the backup files that was created by the phones in-build backup app through Windows  default file explorer. Wonder if it had something to do with the JXDSGBD14.0 (V5) ROM update.

There are 3 Ways to Flash ROMs   
MIUI ROM Download
Make sure to consider whether you need Google Play or otherwise. If Google Play is prerequisite, get WCDMA Singapore or Malaysia ROMs.
ROM files can be in 2 locations: Internal storage of phone or computer

1st Method - ROM-->phone (similar to steps in HOW to Root section)
Easiest method to use.
  1. Go to 'About Phone' section in System Settings of phone
  2. Tap the 'System updates' button at the bottom of the screen that appears as soon as you enter the 'About Phone' page.
  3. Tap the 'Menu' touch key and choose 'Select update package' at the top as shown in the screenshot in the right.
  4. You will now enter a file browser. Select the ROM archive that you have copied to your phone.
2nd Method - ROM-->phone
A little harder but more thorough. I mean thorough because in Recovery Mode, you can wipe the unwanted data on you phone.
  1. Enter Recovery Mode Depending on what status is your phone(ON or OFF). If ON(similar to 1st Method), 'About Phone' section in System Settings -->Menu touch key -->Reboot to Recovery Mode. If OFF, hold Volume UP(+) AND Power buttons for about 10 secs.
  2. After selecting language, choose 'Install to System One'. Let it do its work.
  3. (IMPORTANT - Maybe...) Wipe data in Wipe & Reset section. A MI 3 user mentioned this step as important as to prevent getting stuck at the boot screen with the Silver to Gold MI logo. Don't worry if it gets stuck, just hold the power button till it turns off and you can take further action.
3rd Method - ROM-->computer
Referenced Guide 
Fastboot ROM Download 
Hardest of the 3 methods but most efficient. I managed to restore my phone from a buggy Developer ROM using this (but not directly). This method uses a software to be installed on your computer to flash to your phone. It's much more efficient(faster)
  1. Download the appropriate ROM. Advisable to download WCDMA MIUI Stable versions.
  2. Download MIFlash tool and install. The link can be found at Referenced Guide link above.
  3. Extract all contents of downloaded Fastboot ROM to a folder. Copy the address to this respective folder for later use.
  4. Turn off MI 3 and run it in Fastboot Mode. Hold Volume Down(-) AND Power buttons simultaneously for about 3 seconds. Then connect to computer by USB cable.
  5. Run MIFlash tool. Click refresh button to let the tool detect your phone. Paste the folder address of the Fastboot ROM in the blank space beside the refresh button. Click 'Run' and wait for about half a min. There will be a message confirming its completion.

HOW to Root (OUTDATED - 12/8/2014 - the step by step part)
There seems to be 2 ways to root.
  1. Rooting Stable ROM - Quick read shows that this method is for those who want to get Root without installing the much larger Developer ROM
  2. Flashing WCDMA Developer ROM - MIUI ROM Download Page
I'll definitely be going for the 2nd method. From what I've read thus far, it's only 6 steps:
  1. Download Developer ROM and move it to your phone's storage.
  2. Go to 'About Phone' section in System Settings of phone
  3. Tap the 'System updates' button at the bottom of the screen that appears as soon as you enter the 'About Phone' page.
  4. Tap the 'Menu' touch key and choose 'Select update package.
  5. You will now enter a file browser. Select the Developer ROM.
  6. Install SuperSU from GooglePlay.
  7. Change settings in Permission Manager to allow Root. (stuck here)

  • A Lowyat forum user mentioned that data won't be wiped since it's considered an update.
  • Rooting will most likely cause your phone to be unable to update OTA. Developer ROM - different from stable

Problem and solution:
After flashing Developer ROM V4.6.20, my Google Play Store and Google Play Services has been acting up. Even Gmail doesn't work. All aforementioned apps keep crashing every time I run them. Reason? Too excited already... The ROM is meant for people at China so Google Play won't work. So I'll need to use the Fast Boot method to fix it. Flash the
WCDMA MIUI Stable Version before flashing the WCDMA MIUI SG ROM Stable.

Suppose using the Developer ROM allows me to use Root but the option to enable it in Permission Manager under System Settings seem to be missing.

Using ART (Android Run Time) - Haven't tried yet

More about it(Android Police)
How to activiate ART from MIUI forum

Battery Performance/Battery Life Experience(UPDATED 17/8/2014)

As you can see in the image above, the Xiaomi MI3 has AMAZING battery life. Ignore the first 10 days as they're insignificant. After that last charge, the phone manage to last for over 5 days before it dropped to 15%! I admit to not using it much - mostly IMing and FB. In total there's about maybe 2 hours of that and about half an hour of calls during this period. So I can place the standby hours of the Xiaomi MI3 at full charge at approximately 180 hours. WOW! On a side note, I stopped using Greenify around this time(before the long charge hiatus as shown above). It was working properly on the Xiaomi MI3 for some reason. Manually 'Greenifying' apps will keep getting stuck at the app details section - where you can do stuff like force stop and clear cache.
IMPORTANT NOTE: I set my phone to 'Sleep Mode' during night time which explains the blank mobile network signals and 'Marathon Mode' during the day. 

Another round of battery monitoring and this time with KXDMIBE18.0 ROM. Still lasts long :D

This time around is with the KXDMIBF23.0 (V5)  ROM. Still looks good from here.

Pressuring the Big Boys
Since Xiaomi can sell to us a phone as powerful as Samsung's Galaxy S4 but less that HALF the price, convinced reinforced my believe that these sort of devices are obtainable by the lower-end of the population. It's not just the phone as their MITV is cheap compared to the competition. I don't even need to mention comparisons as you can even see discontent directed towards the big companies at the Lowyat forum - mostly here. Give giants a slap in the face *chuckles. Forum users and even I hope Xiaomi with it's affordable products will convince the giants to offer better as well.

Camera Performance (TO BE UPDATED)

Access hardware tests and other admin tools:

Links for more info:
Xiaomi MI 3 Lowyat Forum - VERSION 10
There is, to date (28/6/2014), 10 threads in the Lowyat forums about Xiaomi MI 3 - 10 update versions exactly. I followed most of it in version 2 and jump to version 10 to save time.

Known Bugs I've Found (UPDATED 13/8/2014)
  • New SMS/Message receive shows wrong sender name - I've noticed this one since the 1st week of using the Xiaomi MI3. When you receive a SMS, it will appear in the lockscreen but the name is always wrong - it showed the name of another person in my phonebook. Not too significant but can be confusing at times.
  •  A new and kinda odd one is in the power settings of the phone. Users say the 'Battery saving' mode for CPU usage has been removed in KXDMIBF22.0 but for some reason mind's still around.(Refer to picture below) Trying to change it only shows two options, High performance' and 'Balance' as shown below. I'm not sure whether the 'Battery saving' mode is still taking affect since I'm been using 'my mode' as my default. Anyhow, I'll just continue using as it is and see where it goes.

------------------------------------------------------(8/7/2014)Update ----------------------------------------------

Problems Arise
I tried to use a 3rd party hands free  earlier today but it was awry. To be specific, the handsfree is from my previous phone, the Ninetology BlackPearl 2. The Xiaomi MI3 detected the hands free as one with a microphone (as it is one) and I tried listening to a podcast using MX Player but the volume was whisper-like low and there was occasional sputter/stutter? I managed to get the volume to audible levels once I pressed the hands free button BUT it only works when I'm constantly holding down said button. Furthermore, just about every time I plug in the handsfree, it activates Google Now as if I had pressed something (the handsfree buttons I guess) and it forcing me to Google Now even after pressing the 'back' button.  Gave up on that so I used it with my bluetooth headset which worked before and did again. Haven't heard/read of other people having this problem. MIUI Version:JXDSGBD14.0 (V5)

------------------------------------------------------(17/7/2014)Update ----------------------------------------------

I usually charge my phone through my computer (and I believe most of us do) since the USB port is so conveniently located within arms reach. I noticed the Xiaomi MI 3 stops charging when I put my computer to sleep. After a short experiment, if the phone is 'ejected' , either by putting the computer to sleep or ejecting it manually, the phone will stop charging as well - neat! I tried the same thing with my tablet - Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 and it remained charging still. If you still want to charge the phone while your computer is a sleep, replugging in the cable will do the trick. 

------------------------------------------------------(22/7/2014)Update ----------------------------------------------
Big update today!!! MIUI version KXDMIBE18.0 (V5)stable version has been released for WCDMA Singapore.

I've also noticed an important change this time for other ROM versions. WCDMA Philippines, WCDMA HK and WCDMA Malaysia apparently have the exact same ROM version as WCDMA Singapore (as well as size). Don't know whether they're really the same or otherwise cause I won't bother doing unnecessary testing for this kind of ROMs. Good thing I didn't bother changing to Malaysia one although I'm living there.

IMPORTANT: I've read of various bugs appearing with the newest update. You can check at Lowyat Malaysia forum(around this section of the forum, look around). A major bug which users mentioned is constant dropped calls on, for some reason, Maxis network only (so far). I'm on Umobile but I kinda worries as well. Although it will definitely NOT 'brick' my phone but it'll be a pain in the ass to restore it. In addition, a few users have mentioned GPS not working as well. Again since I've not yet updated due to alleged bugs, I can't confirm that. I'll see whether to update or not(this blog as well) by tomorrow.

------------------------------------------------------(5/8/2014)Update ----------------------------------------------

I've updated to KXDMIBE18.0 yesterday but then I found out today there's a new update,  KXDMIBF22.0 *facepalms*. I won't update to that one just yet at least for a few days. As for experience with KXDMIBE18.0, I've noticed improved responsiveness with the system menus including call menu. The voice volume has increased significantly too to the point that I can feel the vibration of the speaker in my hand. 
NOTE: I used the 1st method to flash the ROM

------------------------------------------------------(12/8/2014)Update ----------------------------------------------
I haven't update to KXDMIBF22.0 since the previous one (KXDMIBE18.0) works fine. I'll now be updating to KXDMIBF23.0 (V5) by today. Look forward to another round of battery endurance.
UPDATE TODAY: Updated to the latest one. Works fine so far. GPS works too, even indoors.
ANOTHER ONE: Now the phone will have constant connection with my computer. Previously, once I put my computer to sleep, the phone will disconnect as well, stopping charging in the process. 

------------------------------------------------------(3/10/2014)Update ----------------------------------------------

NEW stable ROM released - named KXDMIBH32.0 (V5). It was actually released on 29/9/2014 if I remembered correctly but I was really busy to update this blog on time(I updated my phone earlier than this post). Sooo, I download the whole ROM , put it in the phone and flash through the phone's update manager.
Some users(refer from Lowyat forum) mentioned better battery life and improved smoothness in operation. One users reported force close problem with default browser app though. As for me, all's well so far. Feels the same as previous(KXDMIBF23.0).

------------------------------------------------------(3/10/2014)Update ----------------------------------------------

About a week ago I experienced a sudden and odd drop in battery to dangerous levels( refer screenshot above). That was the FIRST time it ever occurred to me since I got the phone. If it was an app causing it, I don't know which. Plus it should have closed since I set the phone to clear the apps after some idle time. As for the thick blue 'Awake' line there in the middle, I'm not sure about that as well; I believe it's just a bug but at least it didn't affect my battery much. Lastly, sometimes my phone doesn't go to airplane mode at night (shown by the one continuous green bar at the top). The scheduled settings was OK again after a restart.

------------------------------------------------------(16/2/2015)Update ----------------------------------------------
Been quite some time since the last update. Can't help it since there's not much going around besides, the Xiaomi Mi Band being on sale (separately at last) and someone managed to modify the Mi Band app to receive notifications HERE. Did I get one? Of course! And I'll post some experiences on the Mi Band some time in the near future. So the big update for this... update is a new 'update' for the Xiaomi MI3. No screen shot necessary cause there's not much in the updater log. Besides, it's easier to search for them since I blog it here.Details below:

MIUI V6.3.9.0.KXDMIBL(Stable)

  • Fix - Sometimes could not log into Google accounts (02-15)
  • Fix - Sometimes, international cloud message users could not recognize the other party(02-03)
Huh...Don't remember experiencing the system bug before. As for the messages one, I wonder it has something to do with the numbering issue with SMSes. Oh and guess how big is the update. 544MB! Feels pretty big for a few fixes. Hope it's an update to prepare for Lollipop :D 

Some news from Lowyat - I knew it was a too big for a few fixes. MIUI 6 features is included as well as users apparently experiencing better battery life with the latest update! Let the good news keep coming.

------------------------------------------------------(16/2/2015)Update ----------------------------------------------

Lookey lookey, UI changes! (MIUI V6.3.9.0.KXDMIBL)

If you haven't know yet, this design is called Material - coined by Google if I'm not mistaken. Lock screen changed as well but not much to show - mainly the font has changed for the time and date besides moved to the left side of the screen. The update also fixed a major bug involving battery mode changes. Here's how it is, whenever I turn ON (from totally OFF, having to hold down the power button a while) my phone during the power mode changes, a notification will appear informing the user the power mode change since it's during the set time. There's a button to cancel, but pressing said button causes settings to crash as well as not cancelling the power mode change as well. And that's that. The only problem for me is the missing phone backup option in settings. We'll how later.

------------------------------------------------------(28/2/2015)Update ----------------------------------------------

 The phone backup option is still there under 'Additional Settings' in System Settings. Found out a day or two after the last update. Another significant change in the lock screen is the removal of the quick music player controls - which is activated  by double-tapping the lock screen 'ring' in rapid succession. I've tested changing lock style to the previous style (which are downloaded through the theme app ) and the double tap to music player mode still doesn't work. Reason being (as I believe) is the transition to the new default lock screen which has no 'ring' but a typical 'swipe up to unlock gesture' and a shortcut to launch camera app by swiping left.

------------------------------------------------------(27/6/2015)Update ----------------------------------------------

A few Xioami MI3 firmware updates has occurred since my last post. I believe it’s unnecessary to type out the firmware updates here since you’ll 1) you’ll get notified beforehand and 2) the update changelog can be found elsewhere(HERE to be exact) besides the fact that some update changelogs are really long and many don’t read them through. 

Xiaomi MiBand Review
The big addition to this blog post is a short review on the Xiaomi MiBand Which I have used for about 5 months to date. Here’s the first screenshot:

This is how it looks like in the ‘Settings’ panel of the Xiaomi MiBand app (currently named Mi Fit). I’ve never charged the MiBand before this screenshot so it’s kind of funny it shows -308 days since last charge. If I’m not mistaken the number ‘decreases’ as I used before charging for the first time.

This is how it looks like when it’s charging.

 There’s no way to read the battery percentage when it’s charging though so pay attention to the LEDs – it(one of them) will continue blinking until it is fully charged. Note that it takes almost 4 hours to fully charge from approximately 5% remaining charge.

Sleep Tracker
I only tested this function for a about a week’s worth of days and find it somewhat, weird, to put it simply. I don’t have any screenshot show but the numbers it measured during my few nights of tracked sleep were all less than the actual ours I sleep. I sleep about 8-9 hours during the trial and the Xiaomi MiBand measured about 5 hours of sleep and that’s INCLUSIVE of deep sleep. The first thing I thought was: “Damn, my sleep sucks” but I don’t feel that way at all.  I guess when I move around a few times to get comfy without me realizing and the MiBand detects it as disrupted sleep. But that’s not the only reason I don’t use it while sleeping. My personal reason to not wear it at night (and thus do sleep tracking) is my tendency to hit the MiBand against another surface – wall, metal bed skeleton, mostly the wall though.

Physical Activity/Step Tracker
Believe it’s fairly accurately. I don’t think any tracker can  measure right to the last step but the Xiaomi MiBand allowed me to have a general idea of my physical activity for the day and the days before. If I were to make the numbers (of steps taken) more accurate, I could minus a percentage of the steps taken. 5-8% of the total steps feels right. The best method to use these numbers would be to measure the number of steps for a fixed distance, say running around your neighborhood park 5 times or something shorter like going to and from your home’s lavatory for instance and compare the number with the one measured for a typical day. So this function works pretty well overall but needs something to compare to in real life to give a more accurate picture of your activity.

Phone Unlocking
My favorite and best feature of the Xiaomi MiBand. Take less than 3 minutes to setup and pair it with your phone and you’re on your way to convenient smartphone usage bliss while still maintaining a minimum level of security. It works through Bluetooth connectivity and it just needs to be within an arm’s reach (approx. 1 metre) to unlock your phone. It works outside the range as well but the response time is erratically slow ranging from 3-8 seconds. That isn’t really the issue as it is designed to be worn on the body at either side of the wrists or at your chest as a ‘pendant’. At this distance, it takes like 1 sec to unlock without fuss. Of course, it doesn’t respond as so 100% of the time and at very rare occasions it takes more than 2 secs to unlock your phone but that happens less than 1% of the time. 

This, I can say reassuringly, is Xiaomi MiBand’s main feature and it works almost flawlessly. As a bonus feature, you can allow quick and easy access to your phone. For example, when showing a picture to your friend but the friend accidentally presses the power button. Instead of typing or swiping your password to unlock (and give a change for your friend to know your password), just bring your hand (wearing the Xiaomi MiBand) close and your friend has access once again.

Battery Life
Just one word – FANTASTIC. Just take a look at these screens:

The first on the left is th involved a few nights of sleep tracking while the second and third none whatsoever.The third one is a lot less because I charged to about 60%

Almost 3 months, 2.5(FULL) months on a single full charge! I occasionally have to remember that the Xiaomi MiBand uses a rechargeable battery, hah! My usage style involve wearing the MiBand when going out (for sports, meals, etc.) and laying it on the table when in my room. So battery usage would be highest when out and moving about. As a reminder, I don’t wear the MiBand while sleeping so I can’t tell how much an impact sleep tracking has on the battery life.

Conclusion – To Buy or Not to Buy?
As a first time user of a multifunctional electronic accessory, I’d say go for it! It cost only RM59 and you have an experience of wearing a (cheap yet useful) wearable. One major downside is compatibility with Android Kit Kat only devices(besides iPhone). The best case to demonstrate this problem is the Xiaomi Redmi Note my friend uses and they can't pair as it is not Kit Kat upgraded. Another issue is that it can only pair with 1(one) device. I tested on my Note 10.1 2014 but it doesn’t pair whatsoever until I unpaired from my MI3 BUT the device unlocking feature DOES NOT WORK too. 

Other minor problems would be easier-to-be-‘hacked’ smartphones – since your friend could just steal the MiBand and have access to your smartphone, and the fragility of the band holding the core of the MiBand that I heard people complained about on the Internet. But these issues can be prevented with proper care(and friends). So what are you waiting for? Go check whether your phone is compatible with the Xiaomi MiBand and try it out!

------------------------------------------------------(4/11/2015)Update ----------------------------------------------
There's been quite a few updates for Xiaomi MI3 since the last blog update, the biggest one which everyone should get by now is MIUI 7. Xiaomi MI3 update name is MIUI Below is the updates directly copied from the system updater app:


Optimization - System response speed increased by 30%, battery life improved by 10% (08-24)Optimization - Optimized clearing background apps mechanism with low RAM (08-27)Fix - Sometimes, Wi-Fi could not be scanned or connected (08-27)


New - Personal profile upgraded to cloud namecard (10-19)Fix - FC error in some situations (10-21)


New - Quick OTP (08-24)New - Smart SMS Filter (08-24)Optimization - Searching results display the newer messages on top (08-17)

Lockscreen, Status Bar, Notification Bar

New - Added notification page fold/unfold animated effects (08-07)New - Block notifications in notification shade by one press (08-18)New - Lockscreen magazine (08-24)Optimization - Optimized Notification shade brightness bar interactive style (08-07)Optimization - Optimized battery icon on status bar (08-07)Optimization - Optimized status bar display effects when using large font (08-10)Optimization - Optimized notifications' height when using large font (08-10)Optimization - Optimized 'Manage notifications' page display effect when using large font (08-10)Fix - Roaming icon did not disappear in some situations (08-10)Fix - Block button in some featured themes overlapped with clock widget (08-12)Fix - Notes widget display error when using large font (08-12)Fix - Pressing on toggles did not fold notification shade in Performance mode (08-19)Fix - Sometimes, unknown WiFi was displayed (08-24)

Home screen

New - Added Parental controls mode (08-10)New - Child mode (08-24)Optimization - Optimized display effect of live blur (08-07)Optimization - Optimized built-in widgets display effect when using large font (08-10)Optimization - Optimized One-handed mode launching speed (08-10)Optimization - Removed Settings and Security from Parental controls - Accessible apps list (08-11)Optimization - Assistant and Google Now cannot be launched in Parental controls mode (08-11)Optimization - Optimized prompt text when setting wallpaper in home screen editing mode (08-12)Optimization - Added time limit for entering the password repeatedly when exiting Child mode (08-24)Fix - Home screen reloaded after deep cleaning (08-11)Fix - A specific icon displayed repeatedly when using some themes (08-21)Fix - Child mode caused Settings to crash (08-24)Fix - The problem that one-handed mode can be activated when disabling the nevigation buttons (08-24)Fix - A specific icon displayed repeatedly when using some themes (08-28)


New - Four new system UIs (08-24)


New - Baby album: Group all baby images in one place, supports sending all images as a package and set the album as daily lockscreen (08-24)

File Explorer

New - Added real time search function (08-27)Optimization - Optimized files list loading speed (08-27)Optimization - Time of file changes will display in list mode (08-27)


Optimization - Improved app cold start speed (08-24)Optimization - Background RAM usage decreased by 15% - 30% (08-24)

Clock / Calculator

New - When it's your birthday, the ringtone of morning alarm will change to “Happy Birthday” (08-24)

Virus Scan

New - Supports choosing from different virus definitions (08-26)

Mi Cloud

Fix - Sometimes, Mi Cloud rebooted repeatedly (10-19)

Personal Experience Updates
The only major bug I'm currently experiencing is the wallpaper switcher of the Themer app. Every time I tap on a image I want to switch to, it will try to transition to fullscreen viewing and switching mode but it will immediately close(or 'back') making it impossible to change wallpaper for the lockscreen; at least through the default method. 

Done with the bad, I would like to highlight some new UX including the change screen brightness one where moving the slider after a certain distance will close the notification shade(the one you pull down from the top) and only the slider will remain. Extremely good since comparing brightness to a black background would yield difficult to see differences.

------------------------------------------------------(5/11/2016)Update ----------------------------------------------

It's been almost a year since I last update this post. There's isn't much to update and with other bloggers and netizens capable of providing more information in areas such as update bugs, changelogs and the like, I find no need to update. Also, I've changed to another device, the Redmi Note 3 Pro which has been a huge upgrade from the MI3. I'll just leave this post here as an artchive. Still; feel free to post comments or ask any questions you many need answering in the inquistive you.

I know some of you might be thinking of why I'm still making this blog post even though the information can be found elsewhere as well as through the links I'm referring to. Well to put it simply, I intend to consolidate all necessary information on Xiaomi MI 3 as well as give give appropriate feedback to any questions. I've been reading a lot here and there from forums to other blogs (although not VERY deeply) on the subject. So if I'm knowledgeable enough, I can help you here.