Air quality in India has deteriorated over the course of the last decade, with Delhi being a prime example of just how bad the situation is in the country. Last winter, the capital witnessed particulate matter (PM2.5) in excess of 500 (that's because most of the instruments could only record up to 500), making the air toxic.
For most major metropolitan cities in India, an air purifier is as essential as an air conditioner or water purifier, and there's no shortage of products catered to this segment.
Air quality is also terrible in China, with Beijing often credited as the most polluted city on Earth. Xiaomi has been offering a variety of air purifiers in its home market for some time now, and introduced the Mi Air Purifier 2 back in 2016. The company also sells an air quality monitor in China, and having used it for the past month, I'm convinced that Xiaomi should bring the product to India in the near future.
The air quality monitor is the most straightforward Xiaomi product I've used yet — it is essentially a small cube with a laser sensor at the back that measures air quality. There's an OLED display that tells you the PM2.5 count in real time, and you can also hook it up to your home's Wi-Fi network and see the air quality statistics via the Mi Home app.
Xiaomi's air quality monitor is portable, reliable, and affordable.
Like most Xiaomi ecosystem products, the air quality monitor is made out of ABS plastic and has a single button at the top for switching the unit on and off.
There's also the option to link it to Xiaomi's air purifier, and you can set up rules where the air purifier automatically switches on if the air quality exceeds a certain threshold, and vice versa.
At just 62 x 37 x 62mm and coming in at 100g, the air quality monitor is portable enough that you can use it anywhere, and the battery is good for over two hours of continuous operation (it charges over MicroUSB). I was wary of the device's performance initially, but it posted results that were consistent with that of a $165 Laser Egg.
For a long time, Indian customers have been enamored by two Xiaomi products outside of its phones — the Mi TV and the Mi Notebook. Xiaomi introduced the former in the country earlier this year, and there's no word on when (or if) the latter will ever show up in the subcontinent.
It's easy to see why these are the two products that Xiaomi fans covet the most. TVs and laptops are generally overpriced in India, and with Xiaomi offering the same great value for money with its TV range and the Mi Notebook series as its phones, there's a lot of interest around these products.
That said, Xiaomi has been very strategic about the products it launches in India, with the manufacturer taking a calculated approach instead of launching its entire portfolio in the subcontinent. In that context, it makes sense for the company to introduce its air quality monitor in India — there's an addressable need for such a product in the country, and the $75 price tag is a bargain for the quality on offer.
The air quality monitor is particularly useful if you already have the Mi Air Purifier 2, but even if you're using an air purifier from a different brand, it's a great product to quickly measure the air pollution in your vicinity. For now, you'll have to resort to buying the air quality monitor from the likes of Gearbest, but if there's one product that Xiaomi needs to bring to India immediately, it's this one.
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