Last Monday, I got the privilege to meet and interview the VP of Xiaomi Global and former VP of Goole Android ProductIMG_1737
Management, Hugo Barra. Finally, Xiaomi or Mi (the brand) is coming to the Philippines in full glory.

Accompanied by Xiaomi PR Manager, John Chan, and Product Manager, Anne Olvido, Barra walked us through the products and services of Xiaomi globally. I was geeking out while listening to Hugo’s presentation about the brand he obviously adores. Seeing the man who propagated wildly successful Google products -such as Android and the recently announced Android Wear was truly a very moving and rewarding experience for a geek like me.

Check out my interview with Barra below. There are many things we discussed including the possibility of us seeing a Xiaomi wearable device (powered by Android Wear) in the future.


Meeting the man “behind” Android and now VP for Xiaomi kickstarted my excitement about Mi’s entry. But, there are other noteworthy things that really excite me because of this interesting development in the mobile computing scene in the country.

  • Mobile phone players may (will) be forced to rethink their pricing standards and model. Before taxes, Mi3 will probably be sold for around PhP11,000 to PhP12,000. A phone of such caliber at a very affordable price standpoint will make local players cringe and eventually give in to reprice their products.

Mi 3 colors 3

Mi3 is powered by Snapdragon 800 8274AB, with a 2.3Ghz Krait quad-core processor, Adreno330 GPU and 2gb RAM. If this is sold between PhP12,000 to PhP13,500, I will buy this product instantly. I guess, most of you who are well-versed on hardware specs vis-a-vis value will agree with me that Mi3 is one best valued devices around.

Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 3.43.17 PM

  • Mi’s entry to the Philippines will boost the interest of developers to engage in improving MIUI, Mi’s redesigned software for Xiaomi’s devices. A lot of Filipinos are great developers and creators. The growing and engaging MIUI community in the Philippines will likely skyrocket because of Mi’s entry.


  • The glory of custom back plates/panels and cases (for Redmi and Mi3) will return in full blast! The opportunity to customize the phones’ UI via slew of themes will be fully complemented by collecting custom back plates, panels and/or cases!


  • Affordable high-powered tablets will soon be available! Xiaomi’s Mi Pad is the bet Android Tablet yet, thanks to its Nvidia Tegra K1 (desktop architecture). This will also eventually redefine the pricing model of local players.

515 Mi Pad.007

  • Mi Bunnies, anyone? These little bunnies are sold for less than PhP1,000 before taxes, and it’ll be a good gift item to give to kids and your friends! Yes, it’s Xiaomi’s product, and this definitely excites me!


  • Xiaomi is exploring in coming up with wearable devices soon! Imagine the possibility of having a wearable device, running on Android Wear, paired to a Mi device with fully customizable UI, features and security settings! This is just immensely exciting!
Xiaomi Wearables?
Check the video above (3:00) for Hugo’s answer to my question.
  • Xiaomi’s excellence in maintaining a good brand (as seen on their success in China, Malaysia and Singapore) and experience in executing workable business and marketing strategies send a clear message that it’s a good and stable company to work in! If things work out similarly in the Philippines, Xiaomi will likely expand and will hire more people… more Filipinos!


  • Xiaomi’s affordable accessories will be made available soon in the Philippines. Xiaomi will slowly introduce their products in the Philippines starting with Mi 3, followed by Redmi and Redmi Note. Eventually, Xiaomi will sell their other products and accessories such as their ultra affordable 49-inch UHD Internet TV MiTV 2, power banks, Mi Box, Mi Wi-Fi and Mi Wi-Fi Mini. These are premium but very bang-for-your-buck products!

  • There will be a Mi Home in the Philippines! Essentially like Xiaomi’s version of the Apple Store, I’m excited to see one to pop out in the heart of Metro Manila sometime this year. Xiaomi is currently studying the best place to put up their first Mi Home. Proposed areas are Cubao, Greenhills, North Edsa, MOA, Eastwood and Pasig. This will be my next favorite place after my home, my parent’s home and our church.

Mi Home

Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 3.22.08 PM

Xiaomi will have presence all over the country. They will soon have a total of 7 service centers and 53 drop-off locations. The service centers are located in 2 centers in Makati, Batangas, Cebu, Davao, Quezon City and Zamboanga.

  • Telcos will soon sell Mi3 at a very affordable package. The Snapdragon 800 (MSM8274) powered device will be compatible to both networks – Globe and Smart – and my hunch is that it will initially be sold by Globe for Plan 999 and then followed by Smart with the same or better plan package. Xiaomi has yet to announce this soon, but I was told by Barra that they are indeed in talks with both networks.

Do you guys agree with me? What can you say about this very exciting news? I, for one, cannot wait to get myself a Mi3 tomorrow! Watch out for our unboxing and review soon!

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Giancarlo Viterbo is a Filipino Technology Journalist, blogger and Editor of, He is also a Geek, Dad and a Husband. He knows a lot about washing the dishes, doing some errands and following instructions from his boss on his day job. Follow him on twitter: @gianviterbo and @gadgetpilipinas.