A few years ago, air pollution wasn’t that much of a big deal for consumers, but now it’s come across as a major health threat affecting millions directly. While the government and agencies are trying out all sorts of stuff to fix the air outside, we as citizens can use air purifiers indoors to breathe what we are meant to. With the winter incoming, air pollution becomes more serious and demand for air purifiers rises, which is why you get to see a lot of new models around this time. Xiaomi, like everyone, has two new ones for this winter.
Yes, similar to its smartphones, Xiaomi has two air purifiers this year to sell (we already expected that). One is the Mi Air Purifier 2C which is a very affordable option at Rs 6,499 whereas the other one is the Mi Air Purifier 3 — an upgrade to the mainstream model. The Mi Air Purifier 3 is a big upgrade on paper over the Mi Air Purifier 2S and Xiaomi is asking Rs 9,999 for it. Not bad, when you consider what it promises on paper.
But how does it fare against a hoard of other heavy-duty air purifiers? Since Noida is notorious for its milky white air in the last leg of any year, I decided it’s just the right time to see whether the Mi Air Purifier 3 is a worthy addition to my home furniture for letting my lungs drink clean air, at least when I am indoors.
Does the Mi Air Purifier 3 look any different?
Honestly, you will be hard-pressed to figure out the difference from the older models unless you look close. Xiaomi follows the mantra of ‘if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it’ to heart with its appliance designs. And that’s not bad, considering Xiaomi’s product design has always been smart and minimalist. The Mi Air Purifier 3 has the same rectangular box design with a mesh on all four sides to suck-in air and throw it out from the top. It still comes in white only and is made of good quality plastic. And, it’s surprisingly lightweight — that’s good news for your house help while cleaning. The design is such that it will gell well with modern home decor.
Mi Air Purifier 3
However, it is a new model and there are differences. The most visible one has to be the new touch OLED display that eliminates all buttons from the Mi Air Purifier 3. The circular display has a single touch button that you can long-press to switch on and press once to switch between the multiple operation modes. The touch button is surrounded by an RGB ring that shows in real-time the PM 2.5 readings of the surrounding.
The interior of the Mi Air Purifier 3 has also been redesigned. Xiaomi says it has streamlined the insides to improve air suction efficiency There are now square corners with a grille that has wider openings. And thanks to the centrifugal fan, it’s more efficient in throwing clean air faster.
Mi Air Purifier 3
One unchanged aspect that I am glad about is the easy-to-open filter cover. You can simply open the rear panel and access the filter easily — that’s much better than other air purifiers I have seen so far that literally require an MIT degree to change the filter.
However, I wish Xiaomi could have given a longer wire for the power cord.
Can you feel the difference in indoor air quality?
One common misconception I have seen people having with an air purifier is that they tend to believe that its producing oxygen while cleaning the air. No, that doesn’t happen and hence, you need to stop taking in deep breaths nearby an air purifier. An air purifier only filters the air for PM 2.5 particles and other harmful microparticles that may cause harm to the human respiratory system. If you want fresh oxygen, keep a snake plant inside your house.
If you have been exposed to bad air, like I was in Noida after Diwali, you can certainly feel the symptoms of breathing dirty air such as headache, eye irritation, dizziness and others. When you are in a closed room with an air purifier working, these symptoms don’t appear. And that is surely something everyone would want unless you smoke. I was able to sleep comfortably at nights, with the Mi Air Purifier 3 working all night to suck in all harmful particles and doing its job silently.
Mi Air Purifier 3
Compared to Mi Air Purifier 2S, Xiaomi has made some improvements to the Mi Air Purifier 3 for helping with the filtration part. The biggest and most important one is the new Class13 HEPA filter that is more efficient at capturing finer particles. There’s a three-layer system in the filter, consisting of the primary filter that catches dust and hair. That’s accompanied by the true HEPA filter that clears smoke, household dust, pollen, and any other particles that measure 0.3 microns in size. There’s also an activated carbon filter that deals with odour, formaldehyde and other toxic substances. This filter is more effective than the older filters Xiaomi used in the older models. This filter can last up to 6 months, depending on how much you use the air purifier. And Xiaomi will sell you a new one for Rs 2,199 from its website. That said, I have heard from my relatives that the filters are difficult to buy online as most of the time, they remain out of stock – Hey Xiaomi, can you fix that now in 2019?
While the filtration is better, Xiaomi has also improved the suction and outflow system. Instead of the old Eddy Fan from Mi Air Purifier 2S, the Mi Air Purifier 3 uses a Centrifugal Fan that’s more powerful in sucking air into the machine. The inside of the device has been streamlined for smoother airflow and the top has a wider opening with more space for air to flow out.
Mi Air Purifier 3 HEPA filter
If you believe numbers do the talking, then here you go. The Mi Air Purifier 3 gets a Clean Air Delivery Rating (CADR) of 380 cubic meter per hour, which is almost an upgrade of 22 per cent over the older model. And it can cover an area of up to 484 square feet, which means it can look after a drawing room with ease.
My bedroom measures almost 250 square feet and that made it an easy job for the Mi Air Purifier 3. After coming from outdoors, I switched on the device and the display read PM 2.5 levels in excess of 250 on the most polluted days. However, the fan would kick in at its highest speed and within 10 minutes, the Mi Air Purifier 3 brought down the PM 2.5 levels to under 100. And on the cleanest of days, I saw the Mi Air Purifier 3 keeping an unbelievable PM 2.5 level of only 005.
In auto mode, the fan speed keeps on changing automatically and it can get loud when the ring glows red. However, you can manually adjust the fan speed from low, medium and high settings, if you want more control. There’s also a sleep mode that keeps the fan speed low so as to keep the decibel levels under check. Do note that at any of the fan speeds, it’s definitely more silent compared to a Window AC.
Is it easy to use or do you need an engineering degree to operate it?
That’s a question that my guests have asked when they saw the purifier for the first time. I can confidently say the Mi Air Purifier 3 can be handled even by a five-year-old, despite all of the smart features. You plug it in the socket, the display lights up and all you need to do is press the touch button to start it. The display will religiously show you the air filter’s status every time you boot it up. As I mentioned, the LED ring glows in red if the air is dangerous whereas it stays at green when it has cleared the air enough when it’s healthy for us. The display also shows humidity and temperature details.
Mi Air Purifier 3
And thanks to the Wi-Fi connectivity, you can latch it onto a home Wi-Fi network and control it via the Mi Home app. You can switch on or off the device, have a parental lock in place, monitor the stats of the air and some other settings all through the Mi Home app. However, I would have liked to see more graphs and charts showing all the AQI data and how fast has it cleaned the room’s air.
Even better – if you have an Amazon Alexa and Google Home Mini speaker, you can pair the Mi Air Purifier 3 with it and essentially have Google or Alexa offer you more control over the purifier via voice. And mind you, this is a very helpful feature on the Mi Air Purifier 3 as it’s easy to turn it on or off while you are on your bed or in another room. There’s no remote controller here and you can either have the Mi Home app on your phone or a voice assistant to control the device wirelessly.
The Mi Air Purifier 3 also consumes power moderately, with a rating of 38W. I didn’t see a spike in my monthly electricity bill. Hence, if you wish to keep this switched on all the time, you can do that without worrying to pay for it hefty amounts.
However, I wonder how long the white exterior will hold itself clean.
Air purifiers are a necessity these days for personal wellbeing and Xiaomi’s Mi Air Purifier 3 is one of the best value-for-money products in its category, outclassing everything under Rs 10,000. The more efficient filtration system and the redesigned air channel paths help the device bring down the PM 2.5 ratings to acceptable levels within minutes. The touch OLED display makes it easy to use but you will be much better with Alexa or Google Assistant based voice control system. Additionally, a smaller remote controller could have made things easier. And I forgot – the Mi Air Purifier 3 is the smartest air purifier design I have seen in this price range.
On the whole, the Mi Air Purifier 3 at Rs 9,999 is once again the best all-rounder deal you can find on an air purifier today. Surely, the Rs 6,499 Mi Air Purifier 2C is cheaper but by spending extra on the Mi Air Purifier 3, you get more convenience and better cleansing abilities. Go for it, you won’t regret it and your lungs will thank you later for feeding it clean air indoors.
Mi Air Purifier 3 review
- Effective and powerful filtering system
- Looks smart
- Easy to use
- No remote controller
- White colour variant can get dirty