Miui is not what it used to be – Is it still the best?

I was deeply in love with Miui before, I purchased Redmi 5A with the fairly latest version of Miui(Miui 10 is still in beta) I was using a custom Miui Rom on my non-Miui device earlier. Fun fact: I upgraded from my device after 3 years. I would have upgraded earlier but Miui was handling the device so well that I didn’t even felt the need to upgrade. Actually, I don’t use smartphone much, I’m more of a laptop guy.

I was a flasholic once so I have tested a ton of custom ROM on my older device and many other devices of my friends(I was kind of famous among peers in terms of flashing ROM and stuff). And Miui performed the best of all. There were times when I would blindly recommend Miui for any device. Miui would handle almost every device well no matter the specs.

Main reasons I love Miui are:

  • Because of its customization options.
  • Ability to not only restrict background data usage for individual apps but altogether restrict data usage completely on wifi or mobile data.
  • Ability to force close apps and lock or cache apps in the RAM.
  • Its complex yet simple UI design.
  • It’s resource management which is boon for low-end devices.

Miui downsides or cons

I used Miui For the past 3 years and loved it every day. The more you use Miui the more you love it. You never get bored of it.

Well, most of it is still holds true but really I’m not sure anymore. Miui is still a robust option for mid or high-end devices but not low-end devices anymore. Many more new options are added to the ROM recently may be many core functionalities are changed.

Like you cannot switch to small icon recent apps tray anymore,  by default enlarged overview recent apps tray is enabled and you cannot change it. Why? Because Miui developers think it is good for user experience and for the sake of split screen. Lol is it even an acceptable answer? Why is it not possible to give the users the option to switch? There is a question in the answer itself, what a pity.

I personally really loved the small icons recent apps tray rather than the enlarged overview. Yes, the enlarged overview option at times was very useful but I didn’t use it most of the times. I’m not really sure how good is it for the user experience but what I’m sure of is that it is not very good for the low-end devices with fewer resources on board.

Many new features like split screen, second space are added and those features sound really exciting, I love the ideas. But really how useful are those features in real life on a smartphone with a small screen size that is supposed to be used by a single person(not that single I mean singular lol).

Is the standard hardware being sold in the market ready for handling those kinds of features, are those features mature enough to be out there in the ROM as a mandatory option. These questions may seem dogmatic but it is really important for a better user experience. Especially the users with low-end devices.

I think Xiaomi is making the same mistake as Samsung made. Samsung put the same TouchWiz UI on every phone. No matter if it is a high end ‘S’ series or low-end ‘J’ series. Xiaomi is doing the same to much extent. Is it really logical to ship the low-end devices with the same heavyweight custom ROM which flagship or high-end devices feature?

Oops, I forgot to talk about a feature of Miui. I really don’t know exactly what they call that features but I think it is called “Guide” or something. Basically, it is a home page with multiple snippets or widgets(frequently used ones). You get access to it by swiping left while on your home screen.

Yes, you can customize it and add different kinds of widgets there but you cannot remove the Guide or we may say the featured widget homepage completely, you can add or remove the widgets but the page never truly vanishes. Yes, I agree it is not much of an issue really but it is all about the level of customization.

You can always argue that it might be a very useful feature to you but not everyone. I really do think that companies should really consider how much people use a particular feature then consider making it optional or remove it all together according to the data collected. They say the era of data is here and everyone should be aware of it to make good use of it at times and limit or reduce the use of data for negative or purposes which servers a single person or a small group of people. Talking about data, really data is the deciding factor for many things and I mean many. I find it hard to believe what superhero movies portray(If you know what I mean).

Conclusion:

Okay, back to the topic I got blown away with the tide back there. It is not a very technical post really but more about the changing user experience with the Miui ROM from a customer or day to day users point of view. I have been using Miui for more than 3 years(I’m still using it but most probably I will flash a new custom ROM on my Redmi 5A or maybe purchase a new mid-tier smartphone soon). So I really think that I know what I’m talking about and where it’s heading.

Pure android or android vanilla itself is getting heavier with every release(which is bound to happen) but Miui is progressing to be heavier and more resource intensive(much quicker than the standard hardware being sold in the market is). All those additional features on top of android vanilla are bound to slow down the Miui ROM which is really bad for low-end smartphones.

Take it like this all those features may be really cool, exciting and useful but how cool and useful are they if you never even use them. All I mean to say is it is always good to have the option to disable features in case someone doesn’t use it. Miui is more advanced and with more features but it is no more suited for the low-end devices.

You can check out this post to see a bigger picture of this issue: this is why you should not buy Redmi 5a long-term ownership review

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