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Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Xiaomi Mi6 - My Disappointing Experience

When we set out to buy a phone, one of the first things we do nowadays is to look up reviews online. And this is just what I did with the Xiaomi Mi6. I checked out what the phone and the general interface looked like at a local Mi Store, and then looked up a lot of reviews, including ones that compared it with others in the same category. Nearly all of them raved about the features, marvelling that so much was available at the price point they were selling it at. As my intro to Android, I felt it made sense to not spend too much on a high-end brand/model and decided to go for the Mi6. My 1st BIG MISTAKE. It might be better to pay a premium to ensure that you're given some respect as a customer, and also increase your chances of getting a good product.

The thing is, as long as the phone works fine, everything is smooth. You never need to experience anything other than the online buyer and platform, and can go on with life. In looking for a good deal, I decided to go with a seller other than the official Mi Store - my 2nd BIG MISTAKE. I found out later that as the phone was an "export model" not purchased from the official Mi store, it would not be serviced by the Xiaomi service centre in Singapore, even on payment. Basically, not official store - might as well be fake for all I care is the brand standpoint.

As soon as I received the phone, during the initial set-up we realised that there were issues with the touch. It is somehow ingrained in me that I can't "just return" stuff, so I decided to check a bit more if there were some issues because of varying temperatures or some other reason, and take a call on it a few days later. My 3rd AND BIGGEST MISTAKE, for sure.

Pic sourced from one of the rave reviews at tech
Here's the story after that:

1. Soon after the cover smashed, I went to the Xiaomi Service centre, as I still didn't know that the brand didn't care about my "export model". Waited more than half an hour with token et al, to be told in 2 minutes after a check of the IMEI number of the phone that they couldn't service it, even if I paid for it. I was directed to find a "third party" service person.

2. Along the way, I had also messaged/emailed Lazada and Xiaomi. While Lazada was at least responsive (while as "just" a platform also not taking much ownership of the product), Xiaomi was definitely my worst customer experience ever. Other than standard responses telling me how sorry they were, there was absolutely no BRAND PRIDE and no offer of actual help. I was always clear in my interactions that I was not claiming any warranty (which wouldn't be relevant after the break anyway) but only wanted a trustworthy service option.

3. I even went to the seller (iSky Trading) offices, as I was directed to them by Lazada, to figure out that they were hardly forthcoming and would only offer to send the phone back to China (including the to-fro postage to my expenses) without even an approximate quote or an assurance that it would resolve anything.

4. I checked out a few service centre options in my neighbourhood to be told that since it's a new model, no one was willing to check it out. Finally found someone in Sim Lim Square - the touch issue had got worse by then, and the only suggestion by the repair guy was to change the entire touch assembly.

5. By now, the touchscreen was completely crazy, with days going by without the phone responding, so I had started using alternate phones (had a delightful experience changing my iPhone battery, and even managed to complete a long-pending flash of OxygenOS onto an old OnePlus One). I was just carrying around the Mi6 like a decoration in the hope that I would find someone willing to open and diagnose the issue, before I had to opt for the last hope of replacing the assembly.

6. I also joined the Mi forums and posted there asking for help, which led to getting a suggestion to check the touch cable/ribbon connection or else change the touchscreen itself as the last option.

And so here I am, basically wondering what to do next. I rarely rant on my blog, but this was something I just had to get out of my system, so I thank you if you managed to read this far.


  1. Unfortunately, the best thing to do is move on. I’ve learned that in this age, repairing devices is a bit of a coin toss.
    If your device has issues and is not covered under warranty, save your time and get a new one.

    1. Sigh, I know what you're saying makes sense Arvind, but I am just in this mode of wanting to figure the damn thing out. Doesn't help that it's a fair bit of money spent already.

      Thanks so much for reading!