Xiaomi is a lifestyle brand in China, offering everything from rice cookers to robot vacuums. The brand maintains a vast range of products that are sold under the Mi Ecosystem label, wherein Xiaomi ties up with — or invests in — hardware manufacturers in China to get their products integrated into its ecosystem.
The goal with the lifestyle products is to create a network of connected devices that can be controlled with a single app, Mi Home. We looked at some of the best Xiaomi lifestyle products you can buy earlier this year, and it's now time to take a look at some of the brand's lesser-known products.
Mi Sphere Camera
Xiaomi got into the 360-degree camera segment last year with the $299 Mi Sphere Camera. The camera has two 180-degree fish-eye lenses that stitch the resulting images together to create a 360-degree photo, and it works the same way for videos as well.
6-axis EIS ensures the footage is stable, and the bundle also includes a tripod and carrying case. The 1600mAh battery is good for about 70 minutes of video recording, and it charges over MicroUSB.
The main problem with the Mi Sphere Camera initially was the lack of an English-centric app, but with the product now on sale officially in the U.S., you can download the Mi Sphere Camera app from the Play Store.
The app allows you to edit 360-degree videos, and share them directly on social platforms. If you're interested, the Mi Sphere Camera is available from Amazon for $299.
Mi Home Security Camera
Xiaomi makes a wide range of security cameras, and the $39 model comes with a 1080p wide-angle 130-degree lens with motion detection and night vision.
You'll be able to view footage in real-time via Mi Home, and the best part about the security camera is that you don't need to pay a monthly fee — it records footage directly onto an SD card. The image quality is excellent, and at just $39, you really can't go wrong.
Mi Electric Toothbrush
Xiaomi's electric toothbrush takes on Philips' Sonicare series, offering a similar design and feature-set.
Like the rest of the products in Xiaomi's ecosystem label, the Mi Electric Toothbrush has a minimalist design: there's just a single button, and four LED indicators along the body that display the current mode. You'll be able to choose from three modes — gentle, standard, and a custom preset — and the toothbrush holds a ten-day charge, and there's a dock included in the box that lets charges it up once it's running low.
The toothbrush has six sensors to analyze your brushing motion, and you'll be able to see a brushing score after every cleaning via the Mi Home app.
The body itself is free of any metals, and the brush is certified IPX7. Sure, an internet-connected toothbrush is overkill, but if you're looking to see what the fuss is all about, the Mi Electric Toothbrush retails for $45.
Mi Walkie Talkie
I had no idea Xiaomi made a walkie talkie, but when I saw the product at a Mi Home store in Beijing, I knew I had to pick it up. The $45 walkie talkie comes in two colors — white and blue, offers a frequency range between 409MHz and 410MHz for the public channel, UHF from 430MHz to 440MHz, as well as 144MHz - 148MHz. There's also FM radio, and even the ability to broadcast your location.
It has a rugged design, a detachable antenna, and the push-to-talk button is located on the left. The walkie talkie has a range of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles), and has a battery that lasts up to 17 hours of continuous use.
Mi Smart Home Security Kit
Xiaomi's starter smart home security kit consists of a door and window sensor, motion sensor, wireless dimmer switch, smart plug, and a gateway that acts as a nightlight. The gateway acts as a centralized hub, and you'll be able to pair the sensors with the gateway and monitor their status and get alerts via the Mi Home app.
The sensors work in conjunction with other Xiaomi products. If you have a few Yeelight LED bulbs, for instance, you can set up a scene where the lights switch on as soon as the motion sensor detects activity.
Philips + Xiaomi Desk Light
After trying out several desk lights, I settled on the Philips + Xiaomi smart lamp for two reasons: you can control it from the Mi Home app, and it has an Eye Comfort mode that's ideal for reading. The light can fold up to 180 degrees, and it has two light sources — one at the top and the other at the back.
It's a steal at $49, particularly given the design and the ability to control the lighting options via Mi Home.
Air quality monitor
Xiaomi's air quality monitor is an essential accessory for most Asian markets. The device comes with a laser sensor that accurately measures the PM2.5 levels in your vicinity, displaying it on the OLED screen. It also has Wi-Fi connectivity, and shows detailed statistics via the Mi Home app.
The best feature is its ability to pair with other Xiaomi products. For instance, the air quality monitor can be connected to Xiaomi's air purifier, allowing the latter to engage automatically if the PM2.5 levels cross a certain threshold.
Mi Laser Projector
At $1,800, Xiaomi's short-throw laser projector is its costliest product. It is also one of the best laser projectors you can buy today. I've been using the projector for over four months now, and I prefer it to the Sony W950D Android TV I picked up a few years ago.
The Mi Laser Projector uses an ALPD 3.0 laser light source, leading to bright images (up to 5000 lumens) and excellent contrast ratio. It even has built-in speakers that are more than adequate for watching movies and TV shows. You'll be able to project up to 150 inches, and while the resolution is limited to 1080p, it's perfectly serviceable for my use cases.
I cannot stress just how good the Mi Laser Projector is, and the image quality and aesthetic are more in line with projectors that cost over $5,000. It has been my best Xiaomi purchase for a long time, and if you're in the market for a laser short-throw projector, you cannot go wrong with the Mi Laser Projector. Just make sure to get an Android TV box to pair to the device, as the interface predominantly highlights Chinese TV shows and movies.
Mi Robot Builder
Xiaomi's Mi Robot Builder is similar to Lego's Mindstorms. It is a programmable toy with a 3-in-1 design, and can be built into a robot, plane, or a dinosaur.
It has a 32-bit Cortex Mx core, along with 32MB of flash memory and Bluetooth connectivity. Oh, and it has self-balancing wheels. You can pick it up from Amazon for $139.
Mi Smart Scale
Xiaomi sells a Bluetooth-enabled smart scale that measures ten different attributes. It tracks weight, muscle mass, BMI, water level, bone mass, visceral fat level, metabolism, and overall fat content, and delivers a body score.
The scale is made out of ABS, and it has anti-skid pads at the bottom. You'll be able to view all the detailed statistics via the Mi Fit app.
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Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.