Xiaomi Mi Play: A Gaming Smartphone On A Budget?

At the end of last year, Xiaomi has launched a new line of phones. The company markets these phones as optimized specifically for gaming. But are they really?

Here is our review of the least expensive phone in the Play line — Xiaomi Mi Play.

xiaomi mi play

Technical Specs 

Xiaomi Mi Play has a brand new Helio P35 processor. The phone has 4GB RAM and 64GB ROM. Memory can be expanded with external microSD card up to 256GB.

xiaomi mi play


Besides the phone, the package contains a translucent protective case, a USB cable, a charger, and an eject pin.

xiaomi mi play


The case — which is available in black, red, and blue colors — has a gradient color design. It looks shiny in the phone’s native protective case. In hands, the phone feels robust and well-made; nothing is shaking or wobbling. The sound buttons on the right side and the power button at the bottom are convenient to use and pleasant to touch. The micro-USB port is located at the bottom, and at the top, there is a 3.5mm jack for headphones. The phone has two cameras: a dual camera at the back, and another one at the front. The phone alone weights 150g which is an average weight for its size.

xiaomi mi play


The IPS display is 5.84 inch in size. The screen has a bigger diagonal than most of the phones of this size because of its 19:9 screen resolution. The maximum resolution is Full HD+, 1080×2020 pixels. We have found the screen to have excellent viewing angles. The company has also put a water-drop notch at the top.

xiaomi mi play


The main camera in our tests produced satisfying shots under good lighting conditions. However, if the surrounding light is dim the quality of pictures drops. The flash isn’t doing much to improve the situation. The selfie camera at the front has the same issue. Overall though, it has acceptable quality given the price.

xiaomi mi play


We were surprised that even at high settings, FPS in modern games stays relatively high. At the same time, the temperature of the case stays on an acceptable level even after hours of gaming. The octa-core processor, although it is far from being top-notch, uses proprietary acceleration technology to improve performance under high loads. On the other hand, the 3000mAh battery runs out too fast during gaming, and the charging time isn’t impressive either.

xiaomi mi play


– Robust, beautiful case

– Good gaming performance

– Great screen

– Price


– Average camera

– Battery life is not suitable for gaming

– Micro-USB instead of Type C

– Average hardware


We were pleasantly surprised with some of the features of this smartphone; we didn’t find much in terms of preinstalled bloatware, and the quality of the screen is superior for the price. On the other hand, although the phone shows decent gaming performance, you won’t be able to play for very long without having to charge it. Overall, it is a sound choice for casual gaming and for people who can’t afford more expensive options. Xiaomi Mi Play is a great general purpose phone and fair value for its price, but we can’t call it a full-blown gaming smartphone. People who want the best gaming experience should look for it in the higher price categories.

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