How to know if the Xiaomi you want to buy has global ROM and what to do if you do not have it
Although it is an internationally known brand, the reality is that Xiaomi does not operate officially in many countries. However, buying your devices from any part of the globe is not a problem thanks to the many online stores that offer branded products, but there may be other problems.
About the warranty when buying Xiaomi we talked long and hard, but there is another issue that can give us some headache when buying a Xiaomi, it is the software. It would not be the first time a mobile Xiaomi reaches its buyer with the software in Chinese and without the Play Store installed. We tell you how to choose the Xiaomi with the right software to avoid this situation and, if it has happened, what to do to solve it.
MIUI: Chinese or International ROM
If you have used any Xiaomi, you will know that the company includes an interface with a lot of customization that is baptized by MIUI. Before seeing how to choose the right software, you should know the differences between the two types of ROMs MIUI that we can find when buying a Xiaomi.
The one to avoid is the ROM designed for China and the main drawback is the language. If we buy a Xiaomi with the Chinese ROM, we can only have the software in Chinese or English, while the global or international ROM includes many more languages available among which is of course.
But there is not everything, although the software is the same, also change the applications that come installed in each version. Google Play services do not work in China, so ROM terminals for China do not have the Google store installed as standard. Instead, Xiaomi includes an app called Market.
In addition, it also comes with the Google Pinyin serial keyboard and other apps designed for the Chinese market as Mi Credit. System applications such as Weather or Contacts also have some functions unique to this region.
The global version of MIUI is the one that interests us, not only for the language, but for the apps. In this case we do have Google Play services and the Play Store installed as standard , plus it brings other company apps like Google Maps, YouTube or Google+. There are also Xiaomi’s own applications like Themes, Weather, Security or Mi Remote, but they are designed for the international public.
How to know that you are buying a Xiaomi with the global ROM
As I said at the beginning, there are many online stores that offer Xiaomi smartphones, both foreign as happens with Gearbest and also local as PCComponentes. In the case of stores that operate in the country from where we are buying, it is logical that all models that sell bring the global ROM, is in foreign stores, especially Chinese, where you have to be more careful. Although it is best to check it always before making the payment.
For example in the case of Gearbest, one of the most popular stores to buy Xiaomi from other countries, in the name of the product is indicated if it includes the global ROM. In addition, the list of specifications also indicates all available languages.
In stores like Banggood, eBay or Aliexpress also appear indications about the software that you will find when turning on the device. Typically, it is displayed as Global ROM, International ROM or multi-language ROM. Remember to always check before paying and, when in doubt, check the opinions of other users.
What to do if the mobile brings a Chinese ROM
If you have verified that the software is international before you buy, it is expected that the seller will do his part and have no problem, but it would not be the first time that some users find the software in Chinese or English and no Play Store. If it is your case, we recommend that you contact the seller to solve it, although you can also do it on your own.
As I said, the version for China does not have the Play Store installed, but there is a solution and it’s called the Google Installer. Just download this APK so that the app store will appear on your new Xiaomi . Of course, remember that in order to install files of this type you need to activate the Unknown sources option in the Settings – Privacy menu.
And what about the language? To solve this problem it is not enough to change the language from Settings, in this case the solution happens to flash the stable international ROM in the new mobile. In the forums of MIUI you can download the global ROM corresponding to the device in question, but also it is important to choose a ROM that is marked as stable. To flash ROM you will need to download MiFlash, Xiaomi tool, and ADB drivers. Also, keep in mind that the process will erase all data, so before you have to make a backup.