Why I Will Think Twice in the Future Before Buying Another Xiaomi Smartphone

These Are Some of the Reasons Why I Will Think Long and Hard Before Purchasing Another Smartphone from the Chinese Company Xiaomi.

Why I won't buy a Xiaomi smartphone again because no Android update for Black Shark smartphones

Black Shark 4 and Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 smartphones

When we talk about buying quality products, my mind goes to countries like Germany, the United States, Japan, and so on. For a long time, China has been considered a country that produces goods of not very good quality, which break easily, especially when it comes to electronics. In the not-so-distant past, Chinese companies that manufacture quality electronics and more have started to emerge, probably understanding that if they don’t come up with better products, they won’t be able to sell them.

And so, Xiaomi appeared, a Chinese company that I can say produces quality items, or at least they use to, from smartphones to air filters, and in the very near future, electric cars. I’m curious to see what electric cars they will manufacture, as they have invested billions of dollars in the factory in Shenzhen that will produce them. However, this article is not about electric cars, but about my dissatisfaction with Xiaomi and the smartphones they currently produce.

My first encounter with the Chinese company’s phones was when I purchased the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2, a phone that delighted me from the first touch: it is made of ceramic, feels good and cool in the hand, and the camera circle on the back is plated with 18K gold. It has a processor that is still quite powerful, more than enough RAM for a mobile phone, and charges quite fast, about 90% in an hour. Mi Mix 2 looks premium, feels premium, and when it was launched at the end of 2017, it was Xiaomi’s flagship for a short period of time. Even though I don’t use it anymore, it still brings a smile to my face when I touch it, as it has always been a smartphone that I was satisfied with in every aspect. I can say with certainty that the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 is a premium phone, and a premium item will remain premium now, ten years from now and always.

Going fast forward, at the beginning of 2021, Black Shark, which is a brand under Xiaomi dedicated to gaming smartphones, launched the Black Shark 4, which I purchased right after its release. I have only words of praise for the Black Shark 4: it is a solid phone with a very fast Snapdragon 870 processor, which is an overclocked Snapdragon 865 running at 3.2GHz, it has a patented cooling system by Black Shark, quality sound provided by the two stereo speakers, and fast charging. The Black Shark 4 came to Europe with a 67W charger, more than enough to charge it extremely quickly, while in China, it was sold with a 120W charger.

This fast charging caused the battery to deteriorate after about a year and a half, but it still lasted about 60% compared to when the phone was new. But this wasn’t a big problem because I ordered a new battery from China on AliExpress, which arrived in my country in about a month and a few days. While I was very satisfied with the phone since there was no app or game that gave it any trouble, I can’t say the same about the Black Shark company, or rather, Xiaomi, the majority shareholder.

The Black Shark 4 came in 2021 with JOYUI 12 installed, a gaming operating system based on Android 11, and even after more than two years, it still runs on Android 11. It didn’t even receive a single Android update, let alone two, like most phone manufacturers do. So instead of having Android 13 on my phone now, I’m still stuck with Android 11. What’s more, it seems that Xiaomi has decided to sideline the Black Shark brand, as they laid off two thousand employees from there last year, and this year they haven’t released any new smartphones as they used to do at the end of March. Also, the Black Shark Europe website redirects to the Black Shark Global website now.

A Xiaomi executive stated that the company is no longer interested in producing gaming smartphones because they no longer have a place in today’s world. This is completely wrong! Gaming phones have their target audience and have certain special features that clearly distinguish them from regular phones: better cooling, built-in triggers for targeting and shooting in games, specially optimized software for gaming, and so on. To claim that gaming phones no longer have a place in today’s world is an unforgivable mistake.

ASUS, with their Rog Phone, and ZTE with the Nubia Red Magic, among others, are rubbing their hands together as Xiaomi has left a lot of money on the table with this decision, which they are eager to snatch up. I don’t understand how elderly people without vision are put in charge and allowed to give their opinions on matters that concern the youth. That Xiaomi executive fails to realize that he only temporarily holds a position and that in the future, he will be replaced for the mistakes he makes by a possibly competent person who will bring gaming phones back to Xiaomi.

Another dissatisfaction of mine regarding Xiaomi smartphones is their price and the declining quality. I have a family member who bought a Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro, and after a year of moderate use, the motherboard of the phone burned out. And the internet is full of such stories of increasingly fragile phones.

It seems that Xiaomi has given up on producing durable, quality phones anymore. If that wasn’t enough, Xiaomi has raised the prices of their latest smartphones so much that they are almost as expensive as a Samsung or Apple smartphone, at least in my country. Xiaomi offered this year in some countries a new smartphone bundled with a cleaning robot, as if I would be interested in the robot. When I want to buy a phone, that’s exactly what I’m looking for – I don’t want a package deal with a cleaning robot.

What Xiaomi fails to understand is that their target customers want to pay for the latest hardware, not for the Xiaomi brand, which is not a prestigious name. That’s why I expect to pay at most half the price of a Samsung for a Xiaomi smartphone. If a Xiaomi phone ends up costing as much as a Samsung, I will undoubtedly choose the Korean brand because they have better quality products, better software support, and a more renowned brand. Xiaomi has taken a wrong path with these price increases and declining product quality.

Another thing that should not exist, but is present in Xiaomi smartphones’ software, is the intrusive ads added to many of the essential apps of the Chinese company’s phones, such as the file manager. It is unacceptable that in 2023 there is a company that forcefully shoves ads down your throat for a product you have already paid for. Of course, you can do various things to block or stop those ads eventually, but it still leaves a bad taste in your mouth to be bothered and have to go through the trouble of stopping something that shouldn’t have existed in your smartphone in the first place.

Perhaps Xiaomi will reconsider these not-so-good decisions that, in my opinion, will bring them down because there are already enough mobile phone companies emerging strongly with very good offers that will take Xiaomi’s place if they are not careful about what they are doing. Xiaomi still has many good and quality products, such as IP surveillance cameras, air filters, or smart bulbs. However, they need to recover in terms of their company’s phones; otherwise, the future looks bleak for the Chinese company.

Question: What are your thoughts on Xiaomi’s pricing strategies and the declining quality of their smartphones? Do you believe they will be able to regain their position in the market, or do you think other companies will surpass them? Share your insights and opinions below.

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