It seems like every other electronic nowadays has a smart counterpart that you can access from your phone or other mobile devices.
All these smart products can make your extremely hectic life a little easier with the push of a button, the sound of your voice, or even with self-learning AI systems that adjust their schedule to yours.
Google, Amazon, and Nest are some of the biggest names in smart home technology, but other companies are beginning to emerge from the woodwork and push the smart technology industry to a whole new level.
Xiaomi is one such smart home tech company looking to break the mold and offer consumers a more affordable, innovative solution.
What products do they offer, how do they work, and will any of them suit your lifestyle?
Let’s take a look.
- 1 What Is Xiaomi?
- 2 Mi Home
- 3 Best Xiaomi Devices Available In the U.S.
- 4 Best Xiaomi Products to Try
- 5 What is the Mi Home App?
- 6 Xiaomi vs. Google Home vs. Amazon Alexa Products
- 7 Conclusion
What Is Xiaomi?
Before we dive into the products, let’s take a look at the brand.
Xiaomi is a Chinese company that has been developing smart technology since April of 2010. However, they were first listed on the Main Board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on July 9, 2018.
They completely dominate China’s tech market for every smart product you could possibly think of, and now they hope to expand their user base to an eager western audience.
Meaning of Xiaomi
The term “Xiaomi” is Chinese for “millet,” though their CEO Lei Jun likens their company’s name to the Buddhist concept that a single grain of rice to a Buddhist is as great as a mountain.
This is meant to reflect that Xiaomi works little by little to foster their success, rather than striving for complete (and impossible) perfection from the get-go.
According to their public image, they are committed to developing the most innovative smart products through constantly testing out new ideas, refining and enhancing their tech, and bringing the brightest smart tech enthusiasts and developers together.
It is this simple desire for easy collaboration that drives Xiaomi to always push the boundaries of what their quality tech can do.
Though you may not have heard of them until today, they already have a leading foothold in many worldwide markets.
This spans more than 80 countries and regions, and they are currently the world’s fourth-largest smartphone brand.
They also have established themselves as the largest consumer IoT platform in the world. This enormous platform is connected to over 150.9 million smart devices (excluding smartphones and laptops) worldwide.
Xiaomi smart home products appear built with their customers’ needs in mind.
In fact, many of the current Xiaomi employees were hardcore fans of their tech before they joined their development team to create a unique, user-friendly smart platform—the Mi Home experience.
What makes this unique?
Mi Home is Xiaomi’s gateway to controlling all your smart home devices in one convenient space.
The “Mi” logo stands for “Mobile Internet,” though the company jokes that it can also stand for “Mission Impossible” due to the many hurdles their founders had to overcome in Xiaomi’s early days.
Most Xiaomi products are able to connect to this central Mi hub, but there are a select few that cannot just yet.
Let’s take a look at these Mi-controlled products. How do they measure up to modern standards?
Best Xiaomi Devices Available In the U.S.
Since Xiaomi is based in China, none of their products were available for a western consumer base until the end 2018.
Unfortunately, you can only snag three Xiaomi products right now:
- The Mi Bedside Lamp.
- The Mi LED Smart Bulb.
- The Mi Smart Plug.
All these products are available at Xiaomi’s dedicated Amazon storefront. They are planning to add even more of their products in the future, however.
If you are really eager to try out Xiaomi’s other smart products now, you can just order them directly from China.
Dedicated retailers like Gearbest carry all kinds of Xiaomi smart products, and they use your local currencies, worldwide shipping costs, and clearly stated delivery times to help you make a simple imported purchase.
Unfortunately, there are a few downsides to this. You will get a Xiaomi product much earlier than anyone else in the west, but the instruction manuals that come in the box will still be in Chinese. Of course, this should pose no problem so long as you can read it.
However, the initial set-up of the Mi Home app will still need some extra time and tinkering before you can get your Xiaomi smart home products up and running along with it.
While this might seem like a bit of a hassle, you will still be saving a lot more money this way. Xiaomi’s smart tech is constantly increasing in quality, and some of their devices can even outperform their most well-known rivals’ smart products—all for less than half the price.
This video goes into more detail about Xiaomi.
Best Xiaomi Products to Try
Xiaomi Yeelight Wi-Fi LED Bulb
This amazing LED bulb was developed in collaboration with Yi Technology and is available for E27 or E26 sockets.
The sheer color temperature range of these bulbs can reach anywhere between 1700K to 6500K, and can easily be controlled with Alexa or Google Assistant.
You can download either the Yeelight app or the Mi Home app to access these bulbs’ controls and turn them on remotely.
Xiaomi showed off these colorful bulbs at MWC 2019 under their Mi branding, and they are set to hit international markets in 2019.
Mi Home Security Camera
Xiaomi’s Mi Home smart security camera is sleek, simple, and a sheer bargain at just $46. It has an entire range of handy features that give even the more expensive smart security camera brands a run for their money.
This smart security camera features incredible full HD recording, a 130-degree ultra-wide angle lens, 10 -meter infrared range, night vision, great detection capabilities, and amazing two-way voice communication.
Xiaomi does sell cameras with heavier specs in China, but for now, this smaller security camera boasts a ton of great features worth far more than the low price you’re paying!
Xiaomi Roborock S50
The Xiaomi Roborock S50 is a great robot vacuum that has excellent navigation skills, fantastic cleaning performance, and can act as an automated mop on top of everything else!
This amazing robot can create a detailed map of your home, so it knows when and where to clean throughout the day.
You can easily reset, edit, or automatically save these maps for the day’s scheduled cleaning sessions – all from your Mi Home app.
The Edit Mode allows you to set barriers for your robot, which tells it where it should and should not clean on the map it has created.
These settings are then automatically saved into your app. You can also change its cleaning mode from a range of quiet to max power whenever you want.
You can check on your robot’s cleaning progress, remaining battery power, and how much time is spent cleaning throughout the day all through your Mi Home app.
Mi Bedside Lamp
The Mi Bedside Lamp is a Philips Hue-Xiaomi collaboration project that offers both in-app and gesture-related controls.
This means you can either choose to turn your lights on or off via the controls on your Mi Home app or by simply waving at the motion detector built into the lamp itself.
The lamp also uses a light calibration algorithm that can track when it starts to get dark outside, so that it automatically enters into Smart Night Light mode.
Unfortunately, this lamp isn’t compatible with the Hue app, so it’s best to just connect it to the Mi Home app instead.
Xiaomi Mi Air Purifier Pro
This smart air purifier is simply one of the best on the market. It works in spaces up to 60 square meters wide, and uses HEPA technology to reduce polluting particles from as high as 600 ppm all the way down to 2.5 ppm.
This is mostly due to its triple layer 360-degree filter made up of a PET pre-filter, an EPA filter, and an activated carbon filter that can clean 500 cubic meters an hour.
It also has a laser particle sensor capable of sensing dirt particles as minuscule as 0.3 microns in diameter.
It has a vibrant OLED display that shows real-time readings of your home’s air quality, temperature, and humidity levels. The best part is that it is nearly inaudible while it runs so you can sleep soundly knowing you’re breathing in clean, crisp air.
You can keep tabs on your home’s air quality data any time of the day, as well as receive alerts when your air filter is too dirty – all from your Mi Home app.
What is the Mi Home App?
Xiaomi has its own central app where you can control all your interconnected Xiaomi smart home devices. This is possible whenever and wherever you have Internet access or a Bluetooth connection.
Keep in mind, however, that the app’s set-up process can be a bit difficult. This is mostly because you have to select your region when you first sign into the app.
While this normally wouldn’t pose an issue with other smart home networks, the Xiaomi Mi Home app is a bit different.
You could always choose “Europe” or “U.S.” if you want an English language smart home experience.
However, some of your imported Xiaomi devices may not sync up with this version of the app (at least, not yet anyway).
Instead, you should choose “Mainland China” as your region, so that you are able to connect all your Xiaomi devices to your Mi hub, even if they are imported.
Keep in mind that the odd screen or menu will still be in Chinese in this version of the app. Luckily, it is a rather intuitive app to use no matter what language it is set in.
Xiaomi is currently working to get their English-language version of the app as compatible and up-to-speed as the Chinese version, so that all their customers will have the same easy experience – no matter where they live.
The Mi Home app lets you set rules and routines for each of the Xiaomi smart home devices you own. Just take note that syncing any imported products to any network outside of the Mi Control platform will present far more challenges than benefits.
This is true even if your Amazon Alexa claims it is compatible with any of your Xiaomi devices.
Xiaomi vs. Google Home vs. Amazon Alexa Products
How do Xiaomi products hold up against something like Google Home or Amazon Alexa?
You would imagine a relatively new company like Xiaomi wouldn’t hold a candle to the technological empires of Google or Alexa. As it turns out, however, Xiaomi is not in competition with Google or Amazon at all!
Their firm stance on friendly collaboration with others has actually helped them rise through the ranks of smart home tech companies and led their company to new technological heights.
In fact, many westernized Xiaomi products can link up to your Google Home or Amazon Alexa with relative ease.
One of the best things about Xiaomi is how affordable their smart home tech is when compared to their more prolific tech rivals.
You can easily pull up any Google Home or Amazon smart home products’ price and see how buying a Xiaomi product can save you far more money.
For instance, a 2nd generation Amazon Echo is worth $99.99 and a Google Home is worth roughly $99. However, Xiaomi’s Mi AI Speaker is worth less than half that at $45 each.
Xiaomi’s speaker also runs on artificial intelligence and has a set-up of six microphones for 360-degree sound broadcast.
Most other Xiaomi products are just as efficient as their competitors, often at less than half the cost.
Here’s a video going into more details about Xiaomi smart home products.
Xiaomi’s smart home products certainly seem to be highly promising tech developments.
The fact that they are finally being brought over to a western audience makes them all the more enticing to try out for yourself.
Have you or are you willing to try the Mi hub?