Xiaomi Mi Electric Toothbrush Review: Sensible Style
When doing our research, we almost missed The Xiaomi Mi because the brand is so under the radar. We can’t even find the toothbrush on their own website! But we are glad we tested it because it really shows how you can find a quality sonic toothbrush at a low price point with decent features. But how good is the inexpensive Mi?
Xiaomi Mi Electric Toothbrush Test Results
- Decent cleaning action
- Low cost
- Minimalist stylish design
- Easy to use app
- Brush head is a bit harsh
- Poor battery life
- Plastic handle can be slippery
- No live brushing coach
- No pressure sensor
- Confusing mode switching
- No travel case
One Job: Cleaning your teeth
Xiaomi makes literally dozens of products, and they all have a simple design with a utilitarian vibe. They seem to be designed to do exactly the job they are intended to do. We cannot fault them for this, in fact we love that! At TestHut, our primary mission is to make sure that products we recommend do the job they were designed to do.
With that said, the Mi does an okay job of cleaning your teeth. It is not as powerful as the Oral-B or Sonicare brushes, but it is much better than some of the other brushes we tested. The small brush head with soft blue bristles is easy to maneuver while cleaning.
The app allows you to customize the length of time you clean and the intensity of the experience, so you can brush the way you want to brush.
In our tests, the Xiaomi did a fair job of removing plaque from our teeth. Some testers did not like how the hard plastic of the brush head vibrated uncomfortably while brushing, and we found that the power of the brush does not leave you with the same after-the-dentist freshness as the Sonicares. Xiaomi claims that it vibrates at 31,000 cycles per minute which is about half the speed of the high-end Sonicare brushes that we tested.
Cleaning performance test results
Electric toothbrush cleaning performance rated from 1-5 based on test results (higher score is better).
|Toothbrush||CATEGORY OVERALL||Plaque removal (50%)||Feel after cleaning (25%)||Power and amplitude (25%)|
|Philips Sonicare 4300||4.8||5||5||4|
|Philips DiamondClean Smart||4.3||4||5||4|
|Oral-B Genius X||4.3||4||5||4|
|Oclean X Pro||4.3||4||5||4|
|Oral-B Pro 3000||4.3||4||5||4|
|Oral-B Pro 2000||4.3||4||5||4|
To access all tests and scores of brushes we tested, read our full best electric toothbrush UK article.
Overall, it cleans better than any manual brush would and gives a reliable sonic cleaning at a nice price.
We loved the Xiaomi packaging. The word “Apple-esque” came up more than once as we examined the tiny white box.
Inside, you find the white cylindrical brush handle with a hard plastic protector on the metal shaft. And tucked under a thin cardboard lip is another box which holds the brush head and charger.
The only other accessories are these little colored rubber rings which you can put on the base of the handle to customize it, so if you and your family members happen to have the same toothbrush, you can tell them apart. It is a low-tech solution to this potential problem. We think it would make more sense to be able to customize the brush head allowing you to share the handle.
Look and feel
While the Xiaomi Mi lacks the luxury look and feel of some of the high-end models, it does not feel cheap. The lines are clean and the seamless plastic feels well made.
The brush head fits perfectly on the base and slides on smoothly. They made it extra wide at the bottom to give a nice tapered appearance when it is all put together.
The brush has a single rubberized grey button that is well-placed and very easy to find and press without looking.
There are four LED lights on the handle, but these are not well marked at all. There is a big circle for regular mode, a smaller circle for sensitive mode and a heart for your custom mode that you set with the app (more about this later). The final light is a battery light which glows blue-green when fully charged and changes to orange and red as the charge depletes.
A small grey, “Mi” logo is all there is to tell you what this brush is. You will only find the Xiaomi brand name in tiny print on the bottom of the brush next to the induction hole.
The brush head is a little darker grey than the handle which makes for a nice contrast and says “Regular” on it.
The brush is well-weighted and easy to hold and use. They added little raised dots all along the backside of the handle to give a little more grip, although it still feels a bit slippery.
In a single word, the brushing experience is “fine”. It isn’t great, but it isn’t bad. It works just fine.
To elaborate, brushing with the Xiaomi feels like a natural experience. It is very easy to just turn on, and follow the 30 second quadrant timer, which will pause for a split second, as you move the brush from one section of your mouth to the next until the 2 minutes is up. It is simple and straightforward in this respect.
However, the single button does cause a little frustration. When I first used the brush, I felt like I had to push the button several times to shut the brush off. Later, I learned (as with most single-button brushes) that you can hold the button down for a second, and it will shut off and remember which mode it was in. This is nice but not obvious.
We do not like how the modes on the brush are marked. It would be nice if there were some words or even symbols to tell us which mode is which. The heart for favorite isn’t bad, but it is confusing for a first time user to understand that this is the custom mode you set up with the app.
Unlike many other brushes, the Xiaomi brush head stands straight up and down, and is not angled at all which makes brushing a bit uncomfortable, especially when trying to reach the back teeth.
One mystery about the Mi is the pressure sensor. The manufacturer claims that the brush is equipped with a pressure sensor, but during our tests, we failed to be able to measure the pressure sensor at all.
However, after many brushing sessions, we found that the brush does stop vibrating if you push very hard while brushing. We are not sure how effective this is in everyday use because the pressure applied was much higher than the industry standard of 250-350 newtons.
Xiaomi has made this one of the quietest brushes that we tested at just 55 decibels, which is equivalent to a quiet conversation.
The Mi comes with one regular brush head. Xiaomi brags on the website and in their manual about how wonderfully made the bristles are. They are rounded for comfort and there are no metal staples inside the brush head so there will be no corrosion. We are pretty sure that all these features are pretty standard in most modern brush heads.
Unlike other brushes we tested, the Xiaomi bristles (made by DuPont) are just one color, blue-green, and they are all exactly the same softness. There is a slight W-shape, just as most other brush heads, but there are no fading bristles.
The app can tell you how long you have been using the brush head, so you will know when to replace it, but we like the idea of the fading bristles as a reminder as well.
You can also get a compact version of the brush head called the “Mini” which is slightly smaller and may be more comfortable for people with smaller mouths or who are used to a round, Oral-B type brush. In addition, they now offer a gum care brush head, which will be good if you have sensitive gums.
Xiaomi claims that the brush should last about 18 days between charges, but it was one of the few brushes that actually did worse in our lab test than advertised.
In our test, the battery died after just 20 sessions, which comes out to 10 days of brushing between charges. This may be due to the bluetooth connection and the smart features, but in real use, we wouldn’t expect this to last a full 2 weeks which is still below average for most of the toothbrushes we tested.
We really like the battery indicator. The light on the handle changes colors from blue-green when charged, to orange at about 10% to red when it needs to be charged. It is bright and easy to see. Not only that, but the app itself gives an accurate percentage of the actual charge left in the brush, so you always know how much battery life is left.
The included induction charger is very nice, and has a triangle base to guide the brush head into place, and it is very stable. It does only come with the USB plug and no charging brick, so you need to find a place to plug it in for charging. We think this is convenient for travel, but it would be nice to have an adapter to charge in the bathroom.
Charging from empty to full took just 9 hours, which is relatively fast, and it means that you can plug it in at night, and wake up with a fully charged brush.
What else does it do?
The Xiaomi is the least expensive smart brush that we tested and it is compatible with the Xiaomi universal app. We are very impressed with Xiaomi’s ability to make their app so seamlessly work with so many different products; however, it does lack some important features.
Once downloaded, the app will find your brush and allow you to sync with it. The Xiaomi universal app is designed for their myriad products, so set up can be a bit cumbersome. For example, you have to give the app lots of permissions to run whether these are toothbrush specific or not. You can then name the brush if you want to, or just get into the app and start using it.
Unlike the higher-end smart brushes, the Xiaomi app does not offer any live coaching. If you have the app open while brushing, you will not even notice. You actually have to shut the toothbrush off, and then swipe on the screen for the app to record information stored in the brush. We do like the fact that the brush handle can store sessions, but without live coaching, it is really lacking.
Xiaomi claims that the brush “knows exactly how well you are brushing” and “It monitors 6 different zones, recording which zone you’re in and how long you spend there every time you brush.” But we found this to be quite an exaggeration. One of our testers tried the “Couch Test” with each of the smart brushes. The idea was to simply let the brush sit on the couch and run through a cycle, and then check to see the results.
The Mi said that the couch did a good job brushing and scored the session at 72 out of 100% even though it never even touched anyone’s teeth. We are not sure exactly what the handle is measuring, but it clearly isn’t very accurate.
I was able to score a 98% which felt pretty good, but again, we aren’t sure what these scores mean.
The app does a nice job of showing how long you brushed and recording brushing sessions over time. You can view how many times you brushed in a day, a week, and by month. It keeps track of your average brushing score over time as well.
The app will also tell you how many days are remaining on your toothbrush head, and it does allow for some customization which we like.
The Customization menu allows you to turn on a 10-second anti-splash mode, which makes the brush start in a low power mode so you can put toothpaste on and put it in your mouth without making a mess. We found this feature to be pretty useless in practice.
You can also set the brushing duration from 2 minutes to 2.5 minutes. Other brushes offer longer sessions up to 4 minutes. We are not sure why they only have two options here.
You can set the brushing mode choosing from Beginner, Gentle, Standard and Enhanced. The Beginner mode is the weakest mode for those who have never used a sonic brush before. Gentle is for those with sensitive gums. Standard is the normal cleaning mode, and Enhanced offers more power with a bit stronger vibration and a deeper, louder sound.
The last customization option is to turn on an extra session. You can add 30 seconds of whitening or gum care to your brushing routine or a 10-second tongue cleaning. But you can only choose one at a time.
Another limitation of the app is that you can only record 3 brushing sessions per day. This is fine for most people, but when testing we found this to be a limitation, and there are those who do brush more often.
Connectivity was good. We like how the brush handle does not have to be on to connect via bluetooth, but we do have concerns that this connectivity decreases battery life.
The Xiaomi Mi is a bare bones brush that comes with almost nothing extra in the package. You get a brush head cover which is okay to protect the brush head, but we would rather have a travel case of some kind.
You also get these hard plastic colored bands that allow you to customize your brush handle. This is helpful if everyone in your household decides to get the Mi and you want to make sure you don’t use the wrong one. We chose blue for our brush handle.
Care and long-term use
Xiaomi has the sketchiest warranty of any brush that we tested. They claim that they will replace the brush including shipping within 30 days of the purchase date. But as we all know, if something is going to go wrong, it will be after the warranty expires.
So far, the brush has been fine, but we would like to see the same standard 2-year warranty that other manufacturers offer.
Brush heads are available for purchase online, but we could not find them on the Xiaomi website. You can find them on Amazon and other online shops for a reasonable price. You should be able to replace the brush heads for less than 18 pounds a year.
The company did warn us to make sure to order genuine brush heads and not knock-offs. They also said that they are planning to release new models in the future. We will update you when this happens!
We like the Xiaomi Mi brush, but there isn’t much to love about it. It looks okay, it cleans well, the app does some things well, but not everything.
What we do love about it is the price. For the build quality and feature set, it is hard to find another brush that offers so much value for so little.
|Toothbrush||OVERALL SCORE||Cleaning performance (40%)||Comfort (25%)||Features (10%)||Build quality and design (10%)||Battery life and charging (10%)||Box contents (5%)|
If you have other Xiaomi products, then you will understand how everything they make seems to just do its job and function as promised without a lot of gimmicks or flash. For a basic electric toothbrush, we do not see any reason not to buy this one, although there are others we like better.
Xiaomi Mi Features & Specs
|Brushing Action||31,000 vibrations per minute|
|Included Brush Head(s)||1 Standard brush head|
|Battery Life||14 days (as tested)|
|Battery Indicator||Light on handle and via app|
|Charging Time||9 hours|
|Brushing Timer||2-2.5 minutes customizable via the app|
|Brush head reminder||Yes via app|
|A.I. Brushing Coach||No|
|Accessories||Induction charging base and colored rings|