First Impressions: Xiaomi Mi3

So, I got the Xiaomi Mi3 yesterday and now that I’ve had some time to play around with it, it’s time for some first impressions.

First off, the packaging. The Mi3 came in a plastic sealed box, which frankly was a surprise – I’m used to getting my electronic devices opened by the store staff. Out of the thin plastic, the box is crisp and has sharp edges. It has a nice feel to it and the fit is so snug I had to admire the workmanship (OF A CARDBOARD BOX).

Admittedly, I was surprised with the Mi3’s size. My previous phone was a relatively small Galaxy Y and well, I wasn’t sure what to expect, really. Anyway, it’s sleek and light (again, a surprise for something big) and its rounded off edges make the Mi3 nice to hold.

What’s in the box? The Mi3, a data cable, the super small charger, and the Quick Start guide… plus a small thingamajig. After consulting the guide, I found that it’s used to push the SIM tray out. So yes, the first order of business was to stab my phone.

I fired it up and was promptly blown away by the screen. Just… wow. The MIUI is so smooth –did I mention the Philippine version shipped with Android 4.4.2 KitKat out of the box?

I played around with the themes a little bit, and I have to say that checking out the available themes can be an exercise in option paralysis. Most of them mix Chinese characters with English letters, so the fickle can get those out of the way at least. I like the one specially made for the Philippines, especially the clock with a jeepney logo.

The camera is awesome, with HDR, macro, ISO, and exposure options. It can burst up to a 100 shots, but we’ll get into that once I write a more in depth review.

Test shot

The only problems I’ve encountered so far is with the Messaging app which has crashed a lot. I can’t fault the phone for that though, as it seems that it was the theme launcher that was causing the problem.

Anyway, so far, the Mi3 is awesome. Color me, a reklamadora, impressed.

Lego Brickmaster: Star Wars – Worth the Retail Therapy

So last Tuesday, after having Mo towed from Las Pinas to Buendia (that’s a different post), Remi and I went gift shopping. To reward myself for finally getting Mo moved, I bought the Lego Brickmaster: Star Wars from DK Publishing (I know it doesn’t make fiscal sense to buy something to reward myself for something that will cost me more money, but I’m borrowing Mabie’s Logic of Retail Therapy, so it makes perfect sense.).

Anyway, back to the Brickmaster. To put this product into perspective, it combines two loves quite nicely. It’s a book which contains Legos. You can put together 8 models (2 models at a time) from the 240 bricks it has and it comes with two minifigures: a Clone Trooper and a Battle Droid.

The box says it’s for ages 7 and up, but the builds are quite intricate and quite satisfying for a nerd like me.


It’s a really good buy for 969 pesos at National Bookstore and if you’re somewhat of a neat freak, this is for you. The book comes with a pouch where you can store the Legos when not in use, and the geekgasmic instruction booklet is printed in thick, glossy paper with random Star Wars facts and full color illustrations.