MIUI vs Android One Twitter poll deleted after Xiaomi’s OS lost by a big margin

Xiaomi’s plans to promote MIUI went horribly wrong, after it decided to host a MIUI vs Android One Twitter poll. The result, well you can’t see it on Twitter, because Xiaomi deleted the Tweet.

The Chinese company was left red-faced in embarrassment, when the contest in which 14,769 people voted, showed the fans preferred Android One over Xiaomi’s heavily skinned Android One.

This was a deserved defeat for Xiaomi, but one that could ruin its image. So, the company decided to delete the Tweet (Image credit: Rajupp Twitter) in a move which some say was unprofessional. We at Geekiest, have hated MIUI for a long time. You can read our previous articles about the company’s phones, where even in the launch posts, we criticize Xiaomi for sticking to older versions of Android on its devices.

Many of Xiaomi’s online fans support the company saying that it is the only OEM to update devices which are 3 or maybe even 5 years older. These people don’t seem to understand what an OS update is. Forget phones with 1GB of RAM, which may not be able to support Nougat or Oreo. Take the Redmi Note 3 for example, by all means it is almost identical to the Redmi Note 4, but for some differences in the camera and the processor. Yet Xiaomi decided not to update its best selling phone from 2016, to Nougat. Yes, the Redmi Note 3 is still on Android Marshmallow. But hey, it has MIUI 9, and it has all the features of Nougat. This is the “sensible reply” you will read on every thread on the MIUI forums, when a user criticizes Xiaomi for not updating the OS version.

Android OS versions use different APIs, which add more actual features, in third-party apps. Xiaomi is actually working harder in backporting the features to older OS versions. It would be actually much easier to just use a more recent version. This seems illogical, right?

Now, back to topic. Unlike all other Xiaomi devices, the Mi A1 Android One phone does not have MIUI. Instead it has stock Android, thanks to the partnership with Google. The updates are still handle by Xiaomi, and not directly by Google, which is why the Android Oreo update for the Mi A1 took longer to arrive. Mi A1 fans were also not pleased with the fact that Xiaomi did not release the kernel sourc3e code of the device sooner, it was only released after about 3 months.

Still, this is much better than MIUI phones. MIUI is detested by many, for the interface which has no app-drawer (like iOS), has iOS-style icons, clunky menus, and the overall theme has a distinct colour-palette which is mostly common on phones sold in China. MIUI is quite slow even on powerful devices, and the OS experience is actually vastly different from stock Android. Some of the settings are hidden, and in terms of user-friendliness, it is not as accessible as Stock Android is. A new smartphone user or a user accustomed to Xiaomi phones may not actually notice any of these flaws. And of course, updating devices to Nougat when the rest of the world is moving to Oreo. Really Xiaomi?

So, is it really surprising that the MIUI vs Android One Twitter poll went horribly wrong? No, we think it was pretty darn accurate, and Xiaomi just didn’t have the courage to face the truth.

What Xiaomi can learn form this lesson:

1. The impossible:

Ditch MIUI altogether and Xiaomi can dominate the market even more than it already does. This poll was by Xiaomi’s global account, and not Xiaomi India’s account, but I don’t think that makes a a difference. And this will make updating the phones more simpler.

2. The wishful-thinking:

Update your phones to the latest OS Xiaomi. It will be faster and probably easier for your staff than to backport features or even older versions of Android. Treble support will be cool too.

3. The realistic approach:

More Android One phones please. This may happen, considering how well the Mi A1 has sold. But the company will undoubtedly crunch the numbers to see how the device has hurt the sales of its other phones which run on MIUI.

Ashwin Karthik