Xiaomi phones are now officially available in the UK and Europe, with the brand potentially hitting the US in 2019. The Chinese company is becoming increasingly well known across the world for its phenomenal value for money, pledging to rake in no more than 5% profit on any of its hardware.
For users in the UK, US and Europe, Xiaomi offers mobile phones with specifications several notches above what you'll get for the same money over here. If you want the best-value phone, you're in the right place.
Even so you'll still find some great deals on Xiaomi phones when you shop around online - check out the Best Xiaomi Deals
The Xiaomi line-up is often criticised for being confusing. Xiaomi earlier this year took the decision to spin off its budget Redmi brand, which is now headed up by ex-Gionee president Wu Leibing. By separating the two it can make both better. In January it announced its first device, the Redmi Note 7, with a staggering 48Mp camera and high-capacity 4000mAh battery. It has since announced the Redmi Note 7 Pro and Redmi 7, and all but the Pro have made their way to the UK, with the company now working on the Redmi 8 series.
Later this year we will also see a Redmi phone introduced with a 64Mp camera and Xiaomi also has plans to build phones with 108Mp sensors.
This isn't as odd as it might sound when you consider that Xiaomi has an enormous ecosystem of devices, with many independent companies producing products that are sold under the Xiaomi brand.
So while Redmi is currently synonymous with budget, in the main Xiaomi (or Mi) line you have several flagship models. Both brands also have mid-range models.
Right at the top of the Xiaomi line is the Mi 9, which was announced in February at MWC (we'll see the Mi 10 in February 2020). It is available in the UK, where it costs £499 for the 6GB RAM, 64GB storage model, and £549 with 128GB storage. It has since been joined by the cheaper, more compact Mi 9 SE, which starts at £349, and we expect the Mi 9T to also make an appearance in the UK sometime soon, especially now that the Mi 9T Pro has gone on sale here. (For now you can import it.)
Last year's flagship line still impresses, however, and now at cheaper prices with the standard Mi 8 available for much less than its £459 retail price online. There's also the Mi 8 Lite and Mi 8 Pro, which are well worth a look, and also at flagship level is Mi Mix, with Mi Mix 3 and Mi Mix 3 5G now available in the UK.
Anything with a 'Note' in the name is a phablet, while the Mi Max series is even bigger still, though we aren't expecting either of these lines to see new models in 2019.
All these devices run MIUI 10, a custom version of Android, with MIUI 11 in development. If you want plain Android you need to look to the mid-range Mi A2 and budget Mi A2 Lite. This line has now been updated with the Mi A3, which means you'll find some great deals on the outgoing Mi A2.
Your buying guide to the best Xiaomi phones of 2019
Though you can now find Xiaomi phones officially on sale in the UK, via Three, Amazon, Argos, John Lewis, Carphone Warehouse, Currys/PC World, eBuyer, Very, Go Mobile, Mobile Phones Direct and Mi.com, you may also find special deals importing them from China.
This will entail using a site such as GearBest. If you choose to do so, note that only the Global models support 800MHz 4G LTE (Band 20), which is important to note for UK users on O2, GiffGaff or Sky Mobile. O2 relies solely on this band for 4G coverage, which means the most you'll get is 3G without reverting to Wi-Fi. For other networks that also use this band 4G coverage may be lower than you would find with a phone that does support 800MHz.
If you're buying from China you should also take into account that your consumer rights are different to when you buy within Europe, and that should something go wrong you're going to find aftersales support more difficult. Delivery times will also be longer, though there is usually a free option.
One major difference between Xiaomi phones and stock Android phones is that they run MIUI, and unless you have one of the International or Global models you'll find Google Play Services are not preinstalled. As long as it's a fairly recent device and capable of running MIUI 10, this is easy to solve. We've explained how to install Google Play on a Xiaomi phone here.
An exception here is the Mi A2 and Mi A2 Lite, which are identical in design and specification to the Mi 6X and Redmi 6 Pro but running Android One rather than MIUI.
Best Xiaomi Phone Reviews
1. Xiaomi Mi 9
- Reviewed on: 15 July 2019
Devilishly fast, insanely beautiful and offering the best value for money you'll find in any smartphone, anywhere. Mi 9 is a cracking deal at £499, and well worth the upgrade from even Mi 8.
New is an in-display fingerprint sensor as standard, Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 855 processor, 20W wireless charging, a larger screen and a triple-lens camera that includes a massive 48Mp lens.
It's available direct from Xiaomi at £499, or on contract from Vodafone. If you're happy to ship from China, GearBest offers an incredible deal at £300.07, and at this price no other phone comes even remotely close.
Read our Xiaomi Mi 9 review.
- Reviewed on: 12 September 2019
At £100 less than the Mi 9, the Mi 9T Pro is an impressive phone with the same flagship processor inside and a quirky pop-up camera that allows for a truly full-screen display.
Read our Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro review.
- Reviewed on: 15 July 2019
Beaten by the more recent Mi 9 but not out of the running yet, Mi 8 Pro offers phenomenal value at £299 from eBuyer. And now that Xiaomi phones are easily available in the UK, there's no reason not to consider it.
With powerful performance, decent cameras, some genuinely useful software, a fancy in-display fingerprint sensor and a cool transparent back cover, this is a great all-rounder at a fantastic price.
Read our Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro review.
- Reviewed on: 1 August 2019
Swapping out the awkwardly placed selfie camera with a new dual-lens model that is tucked away behind the screen, the Mi Mix 3 is one of several new slider phones that shows how the concept should work. Not only allowing a proper full-screen display, but adding new quick-access functionality to the phone.
In other respects Mi Mix 3 is not a huge upgrade over the 2S, and actually loses some of its bling over its predecessor with the absence of its 18K gold camera surround. But it's still a great phone, available at an incredible price, and it's astonishing to see just how far the original full-display phone has come.
We recommend purchasing the UK model, unless you're on an extremely tight budget. But you can't argue with the pricing: at £499 Mi Mix 3 offers phenomenal value. There's also a 5G version, exclusive to Vodafone, which is the first - and cheapest - 5G phone to go on sale in the UK.
Read our Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 review.
5. Xiaomi Mi 8
- Reviewed on: 1 May 2019
It's now been updated with the Mi 9, which adds wireless charging, a faster processor, an in-display fingerprint sensor as standard (previously Pro and Explorer Edition only), and adds a larger display and a third camera lens on the rear. Regardless, the Mi 8 continues to offer astonishing value, insane performance and awesome photography.
Read our Xiaomi Mi 8 review.
- Reviewed on: 16 November 2018
The original full-display smartphone is evolving into something really special. Now with wireless charging, faster performance and a dual-camera that builds in AI, the Mi Mix 2S is a closer rival to western flagships than ever - and at a fraction of the price.
The Mi Mix 2S majors on performance and design. With its ceramic, mirror-finish case and 18:9 display it looks and feels incredible in the hand.
With full Google services the Xiaomi is easy to recommend, although it's not ideal for selfie and audio fanatics with a poorly positioned front camera and a mono speaker that doesn't make up for the lack of a headphone jack.
Battery life could also be better, and we'd like to see the company finally take the plunge with a Quad-HD display and waterproofing.
Read our Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S review.
- Reviewed on: 23 November 2018
There's no doubt that the Pocophone F1 is one of the best Chinese phones we've ever tested.
Xiaomi has done an outstanding job of creating an impressively high-spec phone for a mind-blowingly cheap price. It's might not be the thinnest and lightest phone around but the design is still attractive and desirable.
If you like the Mi8 but your budget can't stretch this this is the phone for you.
Read our Xiaomi Pocophone F1 review.
8. Xiaomi Mi 9T
- Reviewed on: 22 August 2019
The Mi 9T is the most balanced Xiaomi phone we've seen so far, combining some of the best features of the Mi 9 series to create an affordable and strong all-rounder. The large notch-less display, its huge battery and a triple-display camera promise to revolutionise the mid-range phone market.
Read our Xiaomi Mi 9T review.
- Reviewed on: 15 July 2019
Mi 9 is one of the best Android phones out there, and with this SE version it is not only more affordable but also more compact. The SE has all the same headline features, with a new in-display fingerprint sensor, triple-lens 48Mp camera and gorgeous "holographic" glass body, but Xiaomi has cut costs by swapping in a mid-range processor and ditching the wireless charging. An excellent mid-range phone at £349 (and cheaper online), Mi 9 SE is well worth a look if your budget doesn't quite stretch to the Mi 9.
Read our Xiaomi Mi 9 SE review.
10. Xiaomi Mi A3
- Reviewed on: 21 August 2019
Android One is attractive for its timely system and security updates, and less bloated interface. The Mi A3 from Xiaomi has a few tricks up its sleeve to help it impress in this increasingly crowded market, including some of the most advanced cameras we’ve seen on an Android One phone. Performance is also capable for daily use, and the design is much more appealing than you should expect at this price.
Mi A3 offers incredible value, but if your budget stretches a little higher and you're not fussed about Android One we'd plump for the Mi 9T instead.
Read our Xiaomi Mi A3 review.
- Reviewed on: 15 July 2019
A mid-range phone with a budget price, it's difficult to argue with the incredible value offered by Redmi Note 7 - nothing even comes close to it in the UK budget phone market.
Looking more like the Mi flagship line than ever, it has a gorgeous all-glass design and rocks an impressive dual-camera with 48Mp lens.
With a big screen and all-day battery life, we love Redmi Note 7's headphone jack and IR blaster, dual-SIM functionality and microSD storage expansion, and given the low price can turn a blind eye to the lack of NFC and premium features such as an in-display fingerprint sensor, wireless charging and waterproofing.
General performance is decent, up there with other Snapdragon 660 phones costing around £350, and even Xiaomi's own Mi 9 SE, making this a great all-rounder.
Read our Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 review.
12. Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite
- Reviewed on: 27 November 2018
The Mi 8 Lite is an excellent-value mid-range phone with a gorgeous design and some decent hardware, particularly in the camera department. We're excited for what Xiaomi's entrance to the UK means for the mid-range smartphone market.
Read our Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite review.
13. Xiaomi Mi A2
- Reviewed on: 17 July 2019
The inclusion of Android One makes Xiaomi phones so much more easily accessible to UK- and US users - and that's a very good thing, finally allowing those outside China and India (and more recently Spain, France and Italy) a taste of what else is out there on the market.
A fantastic budget phone, the Mi A2 combines decent build quality with a nice display, good all-round performance and a well-specced trio of cameras. It out-specs and out-performs every other phone in our budget smartphone chart.
Read our Xiaomi Mi A2 review.
- Reviewed on: 17 July 2019
Budget Android phones don't come better than this. The Mi A2 Lite has a premium design with 19:9 notch display, dual rear cameras and decent performance. Storage is generous, and we like the fact you can bolster the 64GB internal space with microSD cards up to 256GB in capacity without sacrificing dual-SIM support. A great budget buy.
Read our Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite review.