MIUI 12.5: Xiaomi’s Android Skin: Euphoric yet frustrating. Why it can be the best and worst at the same time.

MIUI 12.5: Why it can be the worst and the best at the same time. Many people like MIUI because of its customisation. Others dislike it due to the bugs. Read ....

MIUI 12.5: Xiaomi had its humble beginnings with MIUI. MIUI started out as a heavily customizable Android Software Skin before it ballooned into one of the most controversial operating system skins of all time.

A lot of people like it. There are many fans of Xiaomi that like MIUI because of the whole lot of customisation options it offers. To explain why it can be good and bad at the same time, let’s start with the positives. 

MIUI 12.5: The positives:

Though the looks of a UI are pretty subjective and user specific, MIUI app icons in MIUI 12.5+ (the latest version) look good by default and they can of course be heavily customised to make them look how you want.

There are several features and gestures for tech savvy people to explore and the UI manages to keep itself simple for those who do not consider customization important.

It looks pretty elegant. There are many fonts to make the entire feel and look of the phone different every time you want a refreshed look to your phone or if you are just bored of the current setup. 

You can also change the themes of the UI which give new wallpapers, refreshed looks and redesigned icons and many more.

One handed mode on MIUI is one of the best. There are several advanced features to explore which are missing on a lot of other android skins, like built in call recording and multi screen support, built in audio and video editors, etc.

Cons of MIUI 12.5:

There are two sides to this coin though. MIUI has never been a perfectly optimized or perfectly tuned UI. This is understandable though. The main reason iOS and Stock Android are really smooth and have very few bugs is because Apple makes only one batch of phones a year, and Google does not make more than three phones a year.

Before launch, they can fine tune and optimize the UI a lot, to reduce the amount of bugs and inconsistencies. That is not the case with MIUI. Xiaomi launches new smartphones every other week, and there are also region specific phones. It is impossible to tailor the software individually for every device when you have multiple devices at multiple price points. It just isn’t possible with the limited number of staff they have.

MIUI has been historically bad with RAM Management, but that has sort of been addressed with MIUI 12.5. Since they cannot optimize the software for every smartphone they launch, they have had to restrict themselves to the flagship models and the premium midrangers. Software on those phones is way better optimized than on midrangers.

Another negative point is the inconsistent broken animations on a lot of devices. People have complained of heating issues since the Android skin is quite heavy. Some units had overheating issues with 4K Video recording, random drops in performance and drops in battery life. These are the several glitches MIUI had in the past and some of them are still there.

But one thing that has changed though is the situation with advertisements. In the past there have been terrible issues with MIUI and it has been so heavily criticized in the past, people went as far as calling it “AdUI”, “MemeUI” and other names. 

This problem has mostly been addressed in MIUI 12.5 but there are still occasional ads in the Xiaomi specific apps, lock screen ads, and notifications from “Get Apps”, which is a Xiaomi alternative to the Google Play Store. Not to mention there is a ton of bloatware on the smartphone, thankfully most of it can be uninstalled.

MIUI 12.5: Pros and Cons.
MIUI 12.5

Poco Launcher & Overall Takeaway:

That brings me over to the Poco Launcher. Poco smartphones run on the “Poco” launcher by default and the Poco launcher gets a bad rep thanks to very slow updates and poor or non-existent animations, and broken animations. The legendary issue with the Poco X2 camera was also the result of a poorly tested and badly optimized software update. While Poco smartphones have no baked in ads, they have their own set of disadvantages.

MIUI 12.5 enhanced version, however, is said to address most of the issues. Xiaomi has hired a special pioneer team to examine the bugs, glitches and inconsistencies in MIUI and fix the ones that can be fixed. MIUI 13 has been delayed to iron out the UI and make it more stable. Xiaomi seems to be taking MIUI more seriously now. The serious issues might finally be fixed, we have high hopes for MIUI 13.

Now onto some more positives. The setup process on MIUI has gone from some of the worst setup processes ever to one of the top five. It is not a shady setup process where you have to go into hidden pages or access hidden menus to disable the advertisements. 

It does not ask weird permissions or have weird privacy issues for the most part, unlike OneUI Core on mid rangers which we think seriously needs to be addressed, the advertisement and bloatware situation has become terrible, also the setup process is quite shady. FunTouch UI has a lot of privacy issues as well, so in these aspects, MIUI has definitely come a long way.

Must Read: Xiaomi Mi Mix 4 Goes Official: Price, Specifications, and other details.

Another thing is freedom. Users can install a Custom ROM on their phones, the bootloader can easily be unlocked, and this process does not void warranty. Developers and people who are into custom ROMs will definitely like this.

And that is all we have for now. There have been no articles for a long time because we have been quite busy, but Xiaomi Central will return to regular posting now. 

To conclude, MIUI is definitely not the worst Android Skin out there. It is not the best either. It is in a middle ground at the moment. It has a lot of things to like, customization being the highlight, but as discussed, there is a lot to dislike too. Does it deserve all the hate and criticism it gets, with people calling it absolute garbage and the worst Android skin? Absolutely not. Is it the best? No.

People need to understand that Android Skins are a very controversial topic. What one likes might not be liked by another person. User Interface is a very subjective topic, it is user specific. Anyway, we will keep an eye out for MIUI 13 when that launches to see how many issues have been addressed, and also the new stuff it brings.

Let us know what you thought of the article. Do you agree with these points? Anything to add? Do you personally like or dislike MIUI? Do drop a comment down below.

Thank you for reading.

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Chandan is the founder of Xiaomi Central. He’s also a tech journalist at dealntech. He writes on Mobile and Android-related news. Keeping the contents as simple as possible with proper information is his goal. He enjoys researching all kinds of tech products, especially fascinating latest mobile phones and gadgets. In his free time, he loves playing mobile games.

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