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[Reviews] [SG] Global (Local) Set vs China (Export) Set & Mi Singapore Feedback

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00:07, Aug-28-2016 | From PC
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This post was edited by Hobx at 22:05, Oct-16-2016

Hi all, I'm writing this thread explain why you will be better off with an export set Mi Smartphone from China instead of a local Mi Smartphone from Mi Singapore/ Telcos. I have owned an Export Set Redmi Note 3 and a Local Set Redmi Note 3 and I am really impressed with the increased convenience the export set has brought about. Hence, I will be using both Redmi Note 3 devices to show a comparison.

*All Redmi Note 3 rederences refer to the SnapDragon 650 Redmi Note 3 (Pro) 32GB Variant*


Yes, the Export Set Redmi Note 3 will not come with Google Play Services out of the box. However, there is a a foolproof method to get around this obstacle. Furthermore, the advantages of the pre- installed Official Chinese ROM really outweighs the effort required to overcome the obstacle of the lack of Google Services out of the box.

To install Google Play Services onto an Export Set Redmi Note 3, follow these 5 easy steps:

1. Open Mi App Store and type "Google"
2. Press Baidu Search [”去百度搜索“]
3. Install the Google Installer App
4. Open the App and press the Install Button (The Only Button)
5. Reboot the phone and clear the data and cache for Google Play Store and Google Play Services in the settings
6. Add your Google Account to the device accordingly


The experience on the Redmi Note 3 Export Set is so much better than the Local Redmi Note 3 Set because there is greater flexibility and fuctionality in the chinese software. And here's why:


  • Ability to Uninstall Unnecessary Google Apps

    One key difference between both Export Set Redmi Note 3 and Local Set Redmi Note 3 is the presence of Google Apps out of the box. Even though Local Set Redmi Note 3 does come with Google Apps and Services pre- installed, it comes with a price. The Google Apps are "locked" to the software and cannot be uninstalled freely!! I do not use Google Hangouts but there is simply no way I could uninstall it. Long pressing the particular Google App does not open up the trash icon at the top of the screen in the Local Set Redmi Note 3. Often times, I really want to temporarily uninstall the Youtube App from distracting me from being productive during crucial times but I simply cannot accomplish this action. This is really annoying because the crux of an Android operating system is the freedom of customisation and modification of applications. The pre- installed Global ROM locked on to the Local Redmi Note 3 simply restricts the freedom of uninstalling Google Apps. The Export Redmi Note 3 on the other hand does not face this issue and it was really a pleasant experience with no restrictions on how I wanted to handle the Google Apps that I did not need at any particular point of time.  


  • Ability to flash Official MIUI ROMs interchangeably using the Updater App

    The Local Set Redmi Note 3 simply couldn't flash any other Official MIUI ROMs on it using the Updater App, even when it is the Official Chinese ROM downloaded from the Official MIUI Forum. The
    Export Set Redmi Note 3 however is able to flash both Global ROMs and Chinese ROM interchangeably with ease using the Updater App. Seems like there's some software lock in the Local Set Redmi Note 3 in the Updater App but it really sucks for the end user as he/ she will need to resort to other inconvenient means like the Fastboot Method or Recovery Method in order to do so. Yes, other methods can work but they are less direct and more troublesome to accomplish.

    Screenshot_2016-08-20-15-18-53_com.android.updater.png

    This notice appears whenever I try to flash the Official Chinese ROM using the Updater App.


  • Abiility to customise the theme in the Themes App

    The Global ROM on the Local Set Redmi Note 3 simply removes the functionality of customising each individual theme from the font type and boot animations. The Chinese ROM on the
    Export Set Redmi Note 3 offers specific customisation and this really made it easier for the end user to have the personalised phone interface that he/ she desires.

    [
    Export Set Redmi Note 3 on the former pic, Local Set Redmi Note 3 on the latter pic]

    Screenshot_2016-08-27-20-38-23-043_com.android.thememanager.png    VS    Screenshot_2016-08-27-20-51-58_com.android.thememanager.png


    Observe that the "Green 3 prism" button on the Export Set which opens up the individual settings of the theme is replaced by the "Green Wallpaper" Button on the Local Set

    .
  • Ability to download HQ Audio Files for Free in Music App


    The Mi Music App on the Chinese ROM of the Export Set Redmi Note 3 is also more feature packed than the one on the Global ROM Local Redmi Note 3 Set, You get an additional "Discover" Page in the Music App of the Export Set Redmi Note 3 which allows you to browse for music from the various popularity or newest charts. Best of all, most can be downloaded at HQ Standards for FREE.

    [Export Set Redmi Note 3 on former 2 pictures vs Local Set Redmi Note 3 the last pic]

    Screenshot_2016-08-27-20-37-59-117_com.miui.player.png   »   Screenshot_2016-08-27-20-38-12-812_com.miui.player.png   
      VS      PhotoGrid_1472302698178.png

    Why Spotify when you have a free music library in Mi Music App on Export Set Redmi Note 3?
  • Lower Price and Higher Availability

    Here's the most important part, yes, buying the Export Set Redmi Note 3 is MUCH CHEAPER than the Local Set Redmi Note 3!! For the SAME specs (3GB RAM, 32GB ROM), the Export Set Redmi Note 3 (Snapdragon) 32GB Set costs as low as SGD$230 from third- party resellers on Qoo10 while the Local Redmi Note 3 (Snapdragon) Set costs SGD$299 on mi.com/sg

    What's more, the stock for Export Set Redmi Note 3 is always in most of the time. This contrasts starkly with mi.com/sg which displays "Out of Stock" ninety percent of the time out of 365 days a year. (LOL)

    Furthermore, these third party resellers have physical shops in Singapore and offer shop warranty ranging from 6-12 months so rest assured, warranty is covered. How these shop warranty works is that these resellers ship the phone back to Mi China if any issues are reported. As this is a hassle for the seller, this is the reason why longer warranty options are usually charged with a marginal fee. However with Xiaomi's high QC standards, I highly doubt you'll be even returning to the shop within the next 12 months after purchasing.

    One note though, when purchasing Export Set Redmi Note 3, please ensure that firstly, the variant is the Snapdragon 650 Variant. Secondly, ensure that the set is a SEALED set. This is because many resellers usually "Install Google Play Services for Free" by installing a Custom Unofficial ROM which potentially adds bloatware and removes all future updates. Hence, request for a sealed set and install Google Play Services using the method above.


I, personally bought 2 Redmi note 3 32 GB, one from mi.com/sg and the other from a third party reseller. These are my honest recounts of what I have experienced from these 2 devices and I really have to say the Export Set Redmi Note 3 is much Much MUCH better. In fact, I was so frustrated with the local set that I sold it away to purchase the newest Redmi Note 4 (Export Set). My unboxing and first impressions ( http://en.miui.com/thread-349274-1-1.html )



On top of this, I would also like to comment on the quality of service Mi Singapore is providing.

I have to say I am utterly disappointed with the deteriortating standards of this Singapore extension of Xiaomi. I shall explain why:


  • Exorbitant Prices of Flagships/ New Products

    A comparison of the prices of the Mi 5 in Singapore, China, India and Hong Kong  

    Screenshot (64).png     jackie_chan_meme_by_firefox2014-d8p19a4.jpg

    As you can see, Mi Singapore has been selling the Mi5 32 GB at the highest price in Singapore of all 4 countries. This is atrocious given the fact that the Mi 5 came to Singapore more than 4 months after launch (Samsung takes less than 2 weeks to lauch the Note 7 in SG) and the Mi 5 can only be purchased non- contract, from Challenger at $619. Seriously? This price tag can get me a Mi 5 Pro 128GB in China! It is really hard to apprehend Mi Singapore's choice of pricing. According to Mi Singapore, Mi Fans "should be able to understand the high costs in bringing Mi Products into Singapore". But if you can neither compete with even third party resellers in Singapore nor accept angry sentiments expressed by Mi Fans in Singapore, why bother having an official Mi branch in Singapore? I for one, am definitely a fan of Mi China and not a fan of Mi Singapore's incompetency.


  • Deteriorating Service

    When Xiaomi first launched in Singapore in 2014, I remember myself praising Mi Singapore for its fast response for Facebook PM queries. Even if the queries were very general, Mi Singapore used to reply every one of them patiently and elaborately. However, this is no longer the case in 2016. I remember asking Mi Singapore three months back regarding some heating issues faced on my Local Set Redmi Note 3. Three months later, Mi Singapore has still yet to reply my queries. It is really appalling to see how far the service and attitude of the Mi Singapore staff has dropped.


  • Lack of Latest Products and an Abundance of "Out of Stock" Products

    I would have understood the slower response in Facebook messages if Mi Singapore was fast in the release of the newest products or constantly restocked fast selling items but this is really not the case. Almost every more recent product is out of stock ranging from Mi In- Ear Headphones Pro to the Mi Over Ear Headphones to Mi Note to Redmi Note 3..... almost everything is out of stock. I really have no idea what Mi Singapore is busy with but it is also definitely not on the latest Mi products. Mi Indonasia has recently launched the Redmi 3 Pro while Mi India has launched the Mi Max and the Redmi 3S already. Mi Singapore? Still stuck on old products such as Mi Note and Redmi Note 4G Refurbished. Wow.




Really.... Apart from posting publicity photos on Facebook, what else are you doing, Mi Singapore?
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kaiman23 + 1 Thanks!
rednaz + 1 Thanks!
阿帕卢莎马 + 2 Agreed!

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00:06, Sep-04-2016 | Via mobile
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You're right bro. I have a note 3 pro bought from mi SG. I also have a locked boot loader. It didn't help how confusing it is to flash rom in the supposedly easy manner, That is to download the appropriate rom from mi.com/downloads and then transferring over to the downloaded_roms folder and clicking the 3 dots in the updater app to install it. Tried fast boot, don't really work. Tried updater program from PC, it kept showing locked boot loader.  My other Redmi 3 pro phone from China could flash to and fro the roms easily without breaking sweat. I too worry about unlocking bootloader for fear of bricking my phone. I don't understand why an android phone from such an open source company would lock until so jialat. Price wise, don't say la. I think demographic shows that singaporean CAN pay. And that we're indeed delicious carrots. Throw a price, someone sure buy. Whatever I learnt in business school (rule of 1 price, same price or close to similar price for the same product in whichever country) does not apply in real world.  So anyways I am also just buying straight from China TMALL and what not. Singapore mi website lost my interest completely with their perpetual NO STOCK approach and "wait first bro. Good things must wait one".  Dear Mi Singapore, if you're reading this, you are losing out to yourself. This sentence doesn't make sense YET, cos you haven't noticed that you're losing out to your China counterpart. You should realise that Singaporean are tech savvy bunch that we'll get our hands on it very quickly. Hopefully you guys are flexible and snap out of this Neogi Zone.

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19:29, Sep-03-2016 | From PC
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This post was edited by rednaz at 19:32, Sep-03-2016

I think your post deserves more views.

Don't even know what happened to Mi Singapore over the past 2 years. Bringing models that are of the lower end (along with the jacked up prices) with the Mi 5 being the best example. The same trend continues for the Mi Max, lowest specs again when there are better variants available. Though I will admit the pricing is still decent, but not low enough. Most importantly, they only bring those in few months after the product has launched in China.

Their online shop has NOTHING in stock either.

When people tried to air their grievances on the FB page, the staff there either sidestep the question all together or remark something along the lines of "slow and steady". Seriously?

I have bought my 2 Mi Phones (Redmi Note 3G, Redmi Note 2) through them previously. However, due to their current business model, even if my next device will still be from Xiaomi, I will not buy via official channels as the export sets simply provide even more value for money (higher specs, cheaper!). Like OP said, some shops even provide in house warranty!

I hope they seriously reconsider their decision to continue this route (wishful thinking though) and if that happens, I will happily support them again.

Anyway thanks for sharing!

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14:52, Aug-28-2016 | From PC
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I believe local set also shall be able to flash to any rom. I don't see any reason why it can't.

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Dinasoft Agreed, but this problem can hear from every where. What is the truth? I haven't this phone model to test this.  12:32, Sep-04-2016
Dinasoft Agreed  12:27, Sep-04-2016

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 Author| 15:11, Aug-28-2016 | From PC
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maxnate replied at 2016-8-28 14:52
I believe local set also shall be able to flash to any rom. I don't see any reason why it can't.

I really tried flashing the Official MIUI 8 Chinese ROM downloaded from this MIUI Forum. In fact I've tried flashing many previous versions of the Official Chinese ROM but it just wouldn't work. The same message "Can't Verify Update Package" appears and this puzzles me.

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15:28, Aug-28-2016 | From PC
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Hobx replied at 2016-8-28 15:11
I really tried flashing the Official MIUI 8 Chinese ROM downloaded from this MIUI Forum. In fact I' ...

I don't have redmi note 3 but I have successfully flashed other local devices. And i know people who have been able to flash local redmi note 3.

May be you can retry and post a thread in redmi note3 subforum if all of prescribed methods don't work, so that respective moderators can assist you. I am sure all locally purchased devices in Singapore can be flashed to any rom and there is no restriction or lock on local devices.

It is not correct to say that local devices can't be flashed to other rom.

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 Author| 17:30, Aug-28-2016 | From PC
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maxnate replied at 2016-8-28 15:28
I don't have redmi note 3 but I have successfully flashed other local devices. And i know people w ...

I've posted a thread requesting for help before but only one moderator responded asking me to use the recovery method without explaining how. As the Redmi Note 3 has a locked bootloader and I am quite ignorant in such methods, I really don't want to risk bricking my phone if I carry out the process wrongly. It just doesn't work for my Redmi Note 3 and I got this Redmi Note 3 directly from mi.com/sg. I am not making wild claims, hope you can understand.

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19:16, Aug-28-2016 | From PC
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Hobx replied at 2016-8-28 17:30
I've posted a thread requesting for help before but only one moderator responded asking me to use  ...

I have just corrected the statement that local sets are not flashable.

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 Author| 12:39, Sep-03-2016 | From PC
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maxnate replied at 2016-8-28 19:16
I have just corrected the statement that local sets are not flashable.

Its okay, I've gotten so frustrated with the Local Set software that I simply sold it away to purchase an export set Redmi Note 4. Thanks for all the advice and suggestions :)

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23:57, Sep-03-2016 | Via mobile
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You're right bro. I have a note 3 pro bought from mi SG. I also have a locked boot loader. It didn't help how confusing it is to flash rom in the supposedly easy manner:

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