We tested MIUI 12, this is the new layer of Xiaomi phones: more privacy and a renewed appearance

We’ve been with MIUI 12 for a few weeks since Xiaomi introduced its new version of the Custom Layer. At the moment it’s only found in China, but some adaptations are already available, like those from Xiaomi.eu. And that’s exactly what we did: we tested MIUI 12 on the latest ROM available for the Xiaomi Mi Note 10. The feelings are very positive.

The update cycle is an eternal loop: it is enough for the mobiles to be updated for Google to start testing a new version of Android. Not only that, manufacturers also update their phones with their own software, which is called a « layer ». MIUI is one of the most popular and one of the most evolving with each new version. We have verified it: the jump with MIUI 12 is notorious, especially in terms of graphics and confidentiality; in addition to the emphasis on almost every aspect of the coat.

It’s not a huge aesthetic leap, but it’s notorious

The mobile that we used as the basis for this article is the Xiaomi Mi Note 10 or Xiaomi CC9 Pro, its name in China. Before installing MIUI 12, after unlocking the corresponding bootloader, the phone had a stable global ROM with MIUI 11 based on Android 9. To update it we used the latest suitable ROM from Xiaomi.eu, the adaptation of the Chinese beta to which a Software cleaning and almost complete menu translation, including Spanish (excellent teamwork). The result is a fully functional mobile phone that we didn’t find any noticeable errors with, at least during our two days with the ROM.

After the installation process, which still carries some risks (we had to perform several erasures on the phone because MIUI 12 refused to start the first time), the system works much better than expected. Very well suited for international use thanks to the enormous work of Xiaomi.eu and the integrated Google services and applications: the phone is super smooth with MIUI 12, from the initial start of the system and its configuration.

Animation when uninstalling applications from MIUI 12 launcher

The cleaner aesthetic is notorious, the animations in jumping between apps, unlocking or launching menus are also appreciated: these animations are longer than in MIUI 11, but also faster. Handling the phone is a slightly more visual experience.

MIUI 12’s Quick Settings debut with the “Control Center,” large management buttons with vital information at a glance, like WiFi, data and Bluetooth. There is no doubt: Xiaomi took inspiration from iOS for its new control center, but the truth is, it looks good. Icons can be a bit large by default, although they can be customized to some extent (also the command).

The aesthetic aspect is a little more minimalist, much more modern and also more refined

Dark mode is evolving with MIUI 12: it is much more stable, it is applied to all applications (even if they do not have a dark theme, with sometimes questionable results), the wallpaper can be adjusted to suit. lighting and contrast and font size. The result is not too much better than in MIUI 11, but the brand’s effort is appreciated in the consistency of the entire layer. And having the ability to force the dark look in all apps is a plus, it can even be applied on an application-by-application basis.

All included apps benefit from aesthetic enhancements tailored to MIUI 12 style. From launcher to Weather app: the style is more modern, more natural and, as we have already noticed, loaded with animation. Huge development is not appreciated, but the greatest graphic refinement is evident.

Spy on everything apps do

If the aesthetic advance is noticeable without becoming excessive, the opposite occurs with intimacy: MIUI 12 keeps tabs on everything apps do to communicate it to the user. And all is not a saying: it is rare that when you turn on the screen, no notification appears that this or that app has accessed contacts or opened at that time. The layer even allows you to keep track of everything that has happened on the phone. This is the so-called « app behavior » or app behavior.

The new section called “Privacy Protection” allows you to manage everything apps do and how they use our personal data. Authorization status to know which applications have access, possibility to associate high-risk notifications by application, full access log, one-time permissions to protect us from harmful software and all a detailed configuration of said permissions with the applications that have access to them and the possibility of restricting their passage. It is quite complex for all the options it offers, but also very comprehensive.

MIUI 12 creates fake device id by default

In addition to registers, permissions and alert notifications, MIUI 12 helps protect device identification through Virtual ID, a fake username that hides real apps. This is a big step in privacy that should protect one of the values ​​that the most requested applications to track users, the device ID.

Floating windows and application interlacing gesture

The interface has evolved in aesthetics and animations, as we said before. And MIUI 12 is not the only one graphically because it has benefited from Multiply the possibilities of multitasking with the new option of floating windows. They can be created from the « Floating windows » option in the menu of the last opened applications (or from the icon when you touch and hold an application in the menu of the latest applications), also by dragging notifications . This last option is not easy to do, it takes a lot of practice to get it out. Of course, only a floating app is allowed.

Interlaced gesture between applications

MIUI 12 keeps Android 10’s navigation gestures apart from the typical back offering, start buttons, and the latest open apps. With gestures we can manage the whole system. And the jump between applications by doing an inverted « U » from the bottom of the screen. It is a very practical gesture which, once internalized, greatly facilitates the use of the cape.

Customizing the default launcher MIUI 12 offers many more options. And a ‘Lite’ version is introduced, especially for those who want a simple mobile

The interface seems much more mature, also more complete. MIUI 12 renews the launcher, includes default app drawer, allows you to customize the drawer background or the size of desktop icons, for example. Additionally, MIUI 12 includes a “lightweight” version of the launcher for those looking for a more “basic” look for your phone. Said launcher offers larger icons and more readability.

MIUI 12: a renewal that looks great

We really wanted to give MIUI 12 a try and the truth is we weren’t disappointed: the new interface looks a lot more attractive, it’s also more pleasing to the eye and more fun. After all, and since we will constantly be interacting with the phone, which is less It looks good, is customizable, and includes countless additional options. Well, MIUI 12 meets all of these premises. And it goes further.

The experience of using MIUI 12 compared to MIUI 11 was a bit smoother, also more striking. With the version jump we saw lower battery consumption, although it is surely not only thanks to the layer: finally having Android 10 on the Xiaomi Mi Note 10 is a joy (Xiaomi has not officially updated it yet). And the excellent privacy control puts the icing on the cake of a system that can be managed more deeply than Android 10’s offerings by default. While being messy enough to exercise complete control over this confidentiality.

Since MIUI 12 is still in beta and the test was performed on an unofficial ROM (the firmware is modified by Xiaomi.eu), the sensations could not have been better. You can see the excellent work Xiaomi has done on its cape, as well as the effort that goes into keeping it confidential. All that remains is to reach the brand’s mobiles in a stable manner, starting with China. And also at the World Championships: May 19 is the date chosen by MIUI for releases version 12 internationally.

Source: Frandroid