[Don’t Buy Guide] These are the 6 most unreliable Xiaomi smartphones
Xiaomi is quite a phenomenon in the world of smartphones. The company has made a name for itself with attractive smartphones at attractive prices. The Redmi Note and Mi series feature some of Xiaomi’s most successful smartphones to date, and since 2018 the company has also caught the eye with its POCO sub-brand. While Xiaomi’s high-end smartphones often make headlines, it’s clear that most of the company’s success has come from the mid-range and budget flagship segments. The company has released a myriad of successful smartphones over the last few years, which have won a huge following of fans, however, the company has had some buggy or… unreliable devices throughout its history.
One issue that has plagued mid-range Xiaomi smartphones for years so far is the quality of the IPS panels. Some Xiaomi users are certainly familiar with the “tianma” provider. He has been a supplier of IPS LCD panels to Xiaomi which is notorious for its screen retention issues. There is also another problem that makes some Xiaomi smartphones unreliable. Through this article, we are going to list some of the most problematic and unreliable Xiaomi smartphones.
Unreliable Xiaomi smartphone
Most of the unreliable Xiaomi smartphones released in recent years have certain features in common, among which we can list things like:
- Released too quickly and without the necessary tests
- This phone has not passed reliable tests
- Something went wrong during the shipping step
- Unreliable testing leaves a few minor issues that get the green light
Unfortunately, some Xiaomi smartphones are considered “successful” despite known problems with users. These users are facing several issues as some of them are hardware related. The “tianma” screen issue, for example, is unlikely to solve the screen retention problem. As a workaround, users don’t keep their brightness high. When the problem is software related, the situation is less of a problem as Xiaomi can easily apply a software patch to fix it. However, this is not the case with problematic devices.
Devices with IPS screen “Tianma”.
We rarely hear the name “Tianma” in Xiaomi news, but this name is certainly familiar to Redmi smartphone owners. Currently, there are fewer Xiaomi and Redmi devices with this screen, but it has affected a large number of Redmi smartphones in the past, especially those of the Redmi Note series. If you have a Tianma screen, we can say that your device is 90% prone to screen retention or “screen ghosting” issues. Looks like AMOLED screen burn issue, it’s an annoying problem. Just imagine the battery and Wi-Fi icons popping up everywhere, even when your device is in full screen and you’re watching a movie, for example. There are several ways to solve this problem, such as reducing the screen brightness and calibrating the color. Unfortunately, the best way is only available if you flash a custom ROM on your device.
Xiaomi hasn’t fixed the screen ghosting issue yet, it can’t anyway, it’s hardware related. Unfortunately, the company continues to use Tianma panels on low-end devices, but the situation has improved on high-end devices such as the Redmi Note series. We can thank the trend of “High Refresh Rate” and “AMOLED” forcing Xiaomi to abandon Tianma in some devices. Devices affected by “screen retention” issues include:
- Redmi note 8
- Notes redmi 7
- Redmi note 5
- I am A2 (6X)
- The new Xiaomi/Redmi (or POCO) models have IPS screens.
At the time of this device, Xiaomi used the worst Tianma screen. This is our conclusion as they are most likely suffering from screen ghosting issues. As we said before, there are fewer Tianma displays these days as the company has switched to AMOLED panels.
Unfortunately, AMOLED screens aren’t always the best. To reduce costs, Xiaomi tends to use panels that can experience burn-in or green tint problems.
The fingerprint sensor is unreliable
Another chronic issue that affects some Xiaomi / Redmi smartphones concerns the fingerprint reader. Apparently some devices have problems with their flex cables. This prevents your fingerprint sensor from working. Phones that experience this problem include:
- Redmi Note 9T
- Redmi Note 9 Pro
- Redmi Note 9S
This device suffers from this particular problem and Xiaomi had to modify and improve the design of the Redmi Note 10 series. Not testing the fingerprint sensor properly might be the reason why this device was launched with this faulty hardware. Most users will have to get a new fingerprint flex cable from the store to solve the problem. Thankfully, the technology isn’t that advanced and it’s locked into the device.
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Xiaomi Mi 8 and terrible WiFi problems
The Xiaomi Mi 8 is one of the few cases on this list. After all, this is a flagship device. Xiaomi left the launch of an extraordinary issue with its pricey Snapdragon 845 powered smartphone. The Mi 8 is known for its iPhone X-esque design and Face ID feature. It launched with major issues with the Wi-Fi chip. Several users reported this issue, and it was never fixed.
This has made some Mi fans ignore this device and not buy it. It was one of the company’s worst flagships because of this terrible problem. It’s not a cheap device, and having faulty hardware on a high-end smartphone can be a real problem.
POCO M3 and the sudden death problem
The POCO M3 was launched as a mid-range smartphone at the end of 2020. This device, unfortunately, also includes Xiaomi’s less reliable smartphones. According to some reports, some units shut down shortly after the device is turned off. The sudden death issue has been a disaster on the POCO M3, leaving many users disillusioned with the brand. After this failure, POCO started to do better testing on POCO smartphones, so as not to repeat this error again.
Motorized pop-up camera for Mi 9T/Pro and Redmi K20/K20 Pro
2019 is the year of pop-up cameras and full-screen devices. However, this pop-up camera trend did not last long. Most companies abandon them in favor of perforated designs. It’s an odd decision, isn’t it? After all, pop-up cameras can create uninterrupted viewing, right? Well, there’s a good reason why most brands have abandoned this design: unreliable motorized cameras. Since it is a motorized and mechanical thing, it will eventually die, and Xiaomi is no exception.
Xiaomi Mi 9T and Pro, based on the Redmi K20, and K20 Pro are two excellent smartphones with full screen designs. However, the pop-up camera mechanism has given some users a headache. As it turns out, the mechanism can get stuck in the phone case. There is a way to fix this, but the user has to open the phone case and clean the dust that prevents the camera from opening. Of course, this is problematic and requires knowledge from the user. After this device, Xiaomi presented the Redmi K30 Pro with a pop-up camera design, but it was the last device to adopt this type of design. You may wonder why.
Defective Xiaomi Mi 9 and PMIC
As you can see, Xiaomi’s list of unreliable smartphones doesn’t only feature mid-range phones. There are some Mi smartphones with problematic hardware. Apart from Mi 8, Mi 9 also has faulty hardware. The more expensive flagship also suffers from some problems. According to some users, the device has a high probability of having a corrupted PMIC. A faulty PMIC can cause several problems for the user which is a real headache considering the high cost of the phone.
Most Mi 9 users report problems after using the camera for more than 10 minutes. Apparently, the phone started heating up and draining a lot of battery all of a sudden. Also, users are unable to video chat on their devices due to this issue. The Mi 9 is certainly a hardware failure that Xiaomi is trying to forget. Interestingly, after the Mi 8 and Mi 9, it seems that Xiaomi has stepped up its flagship testing.
Conclusion – Xiaomi smartphones are still successful
Despite the unreliability of the above Xiaomi smartphones, the company continues to win users around the world. Apparently, Xiaomi devices bring more advantages than disadvantages. Hence, users keep buying their mid-range and high-end smartphones. We must say that the company has significantly improved the quality of its devices over the past few years. So we haven’t heard of many issues with the latest device. Or at least they weren’t as disastrous as they had been in the past.
Hopefully the company always remembers the mistakes above.