Xiaomi.EU on the Xiaomi Mi 9 fixes everything wrong with MIUI
While the Xiaomi Mi 9 is an absolutely stellar device, much of its issues arise in software. Advertisements, bloatware, bugs, it’s all software. As I pointed out in my review as well, there are even remnants of its Chinese development left in the stock software, like on the lock screen. It’s a fantastic device, but it certainly has its issues. That’s where Xiaomi.eu comes in. A custom version of MIUI that focuses on creating a more EU-centric version of MIUI. Xiaomi.eu is based on the latest Chinese stable version of MIUI, but it’s localized for European markets. Much of the added bloatware and advertisements are removed as well, creating the ultimate MIUI package.
How to install Xiaomi.eu on the Xiaomi Mi 9
At the moment, installing Xiaomi.eu on the Xiaomi Mi 9 is a difficult process as there isn’t a fully working custom recovery with working decryption. You’ll firstly need an unlocked bootloader, something that I could only get after having my phone linked to a Mi account for 360 hours. Once that time is up, you’ll just need to use the Mi Unlock tool to unlock your device’s bootloader and you’re good to go. Unlocking your device’s bootloader will wipe it, so make sure to back up your data. Next, download TWRP and the latest version of the Xiaomi.eu ROM.
Download both of the files at the above links. Reboot to fastboot on the Mi 9, which you can do by powering it off and holding down the volume down button as you plug it into your computer. Once it’s in fastboot mode, type the following command:
fastboot flash recovery twrp_cepheus.img
Next, reboot to recovery by shutting off your phone and booting up with the volume up button held. You should now enter TWRP. Go to “Data” at the top right, tap “format data” and then follow the instructions on the screen. Keep your device connected to your computer as it should then remount the unencrypted storage of your device. You can now copy the custom ROM to your device’s storage and flash it, along with Magisk if you want. You can reboot once the flashing process finishes, though keep in mind that first boot will take a few minutes longer than you may be used to. I have found that for SafetyNet to pass I needed to reboot a second time.
Xiaomi.eu is what MIUI should have been
When I first installed Xiaomi.eu, I didn’t expect there to be a huge difference. In every release, there is a list of features that Xiaomi.eu offers, and I didn’t expect to actually notice any huge difference. Here’s an expandable list of changes and features that the Xiaomi.eu team says are included.
- Based on China Stable / Weekly builds (except POCOF1, HMNote6Pro )
- Enabled search gesture (swipe up) on the desktop
- 3way reboot menu (in dev settings)
- Dark Mode (Night Mode) for 7.x/8.x/9.x devices (In the dev settings)
- Removed ads in MIUI system apps
- Face Unlock for all 7.x/8.x/9.x devices
- Vertical clock widget on lockscreen
- Steps counter in Assistant screen
- More shortcuts on left lockscreen
- Wake up gestures for 7.x/8.x/9.x devices
- AI preloading option in MIUI Lab
- Fullscreen gestures for 8.x/9.x devices
- Option to auto-expand first notification
- Notifications priority settings
- More edit options in Gallery app
- Enabled MiDrive in File Explorer
- Added landscape mode for SMS app
- Sunrise/Sunset in the weather app
- Google apps support integrated
- Importing theme from zhuti.xiaomi.com via ThemeManager
- No useless Chinese bloatware apps
- More free RAM due to less background processes
- Unified flat style app icons for both system and 3rd party apps (eg. Play Store icon flat too, unlike official global MIUI)
- Advanced menu with color icons (not just text like in official MIUI releases)
- No any Chinese character under the full system
- Mi Video, Mi Music, Mi Browser: No any useless Chinese content
- No possibility to re-lock bootloader accidentally with flash any xiaomi.eu release
- Added real 27 languages translation made by Official MIUI Fansites and MIUI Fans
- Added EU T9 dialer support
- Added charging sound switch
- Added Spell Checker switch for 7.x devices
- Added Screen-OFF animation
- Added AI Preload for 8.x/9.x devices
- Optimized GPS settings for EU
- Optimized Battery consumption
- Optimized RAM consumption
- Added 3D Touch to MI5S 3GB RAM version
- Added GSMalphabet into SMS app
- Added more icons grid layout 4×5, 4×6, 4×7, 5×5, 5×6, 5×7 (depends on device)
- SafetyNet passed (Google Pay)
- Play Store Certified
- Added automated tasks in Security app
- Added game speed booster
- Added erase module (magic elimination) to Gallery photo edit options
- Fixed low volume sound via headphone
- Charging screen for all Android 7.x/8.x/9.x devices
- And more, and more made by our 7 years MIUI mods experience.
How Xiaomi.eu fixes my issues with MIUI
I talked in-depth about my dislike for some of MIUI’s contents, and I feel that the best way to demonstrate just how much Xiaomi.eu fixes my issues is to break down my initial problems with it. I will be responding to my initial criticisms of MIUI from my review of the Xiaomi Mi 9.
Sometimes opening the recent apps overview will show a different app than what I just had open. This has led me to accidentally closing my music player on multiple occasions, as I attempted to restart the app I was using and closed Spotify instead.
I haven’t had this issue happen yet with Xiaomi.eu, but it happens on a daily basis on stock software. My alleged last-used application was often entirely wrong, which is something I’ve not come across since switching.
NFC payments just don’t work. The NFC reader in my Xiaomi Mi 9 is fine. I’ve used it to top up my transport card for public transport in Dublin many times, but for some reason, mobile payments just simply don’t work. The payment terminal simply says “card not supported” or some variant of that message and declines the transaction. I’m not the only one with the problem either, so it’s hopefully just a bug that will get fixed in a future update.
Despite me trying to enable HCE payments and give Google Pay a shot, I couldn’t get it working on stock MIUI. I don’t know if that was because of the fact that I tested it on an early software update or what, but it just didn’t work. I can happily report that Google Pay does work on Xiaomi.eu, so if you have issues on MIUI and want to use it, then I highly recommend switching over.
GPS is just fine. It’s not good, but it’s not bad either. Despite the fact that the Xiaomi Mi 9 is one of the few devices to support dual-frequency GNSS, I’ve found location services to be rather pitiful in some places on this device.
While I expected the claim of improved GPS performance to be misleading, the difference is surprisingly noticeable. Playing games such as Pokémon GO has been made possible indoors, a task which proved difficult previously. Obviously, it’s not perfect as software can’t fix everything, but GPS is much improved.
The camera can occasionally be slow. It’s usually really fast, but a couple of times I’ve opened it and it has taken ten or more seconds for the capture button to actually register that it has been pressed. The viewfinder launches immediately and the shutter button even animates as if it were pressed, but the photo takes forever to be taken. This is, thankfully, pretty rare.
The camera is entirely fixed, though that could be because it is using newer camera libraries and a newer camera application than the Global stable version that I was using previously. As such, this may be something that has been fixed in MIUI after user feedback rather than something that the Xiaomi.eu team fixed themselves. Even still, it’s another major issue fixed.
There are advertisements in the pre-installed Xiaomi-made applications. They’re admittedly not a huge problem, but it’s something that I am, understandably, not too fond of. To enable certain features like face unlock or theming, you need to switch your region to Hong Kong or India, and then even more advertisements are shown. It’s ridiculous, especially because the face unlock feature on the Xiaomi Mi 9 is slow. It’s just not worth it. You can avoid the advertisements in most regions simply by staying away from pre-installed Xiaomi applications, which is nice. Most of them can also be disabled pretty easily.
As already mentioned, advertisements are entirely removed from Xiaomi.eu, meaning that you won’t find products displayed inside of stock system applications.
The lock screen has some Chinese dialect scattered throughout it. I can’t really figure out why, but it does. The notification that you get when swiping left opens up the Mi Remote application. It’s not a big deal, though it’d be great to know what’s up with that.
There is no more Chinese on the lock screen, or anywhere else for that matter. The feature list specifically mentions that ALL strings are translated, so it makes sense that this would no longer be an issue.
All of these issues are fixed in Xiaomi.eu, but it gets even better, as it also adds even more on top of MIUI. For example, the status bar only extends as far as the notch, not past it which is another issue that I pointed out in my original review.
Performance and Battery Life
Performance on Xiaomi.eu is nothing short of fantastic, though that’s not to say it wasn’t great before. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 was made in the name of performance, which was always noticeable in the case of the Xiaomi Mi 9. Having said that, everything just feels a little bit… better. While that’s likely due to a reduced amount of bloatware, battery life has seen huge improvements as well, making it last even longer than it did previously. What’s strange, however, is that the Xiaomi Mi 9 actually scores lower in synthetic benchmarks on Xiaomi.eu, and in the case of Antutu, it actually scores 12,000 points less. Nevertheless, it does feel more responsive, although that might be because the whole system simply seems more polished. Keep in mind that this is essentially the latest version of Xiaomi’s software, just with some mild tweaks on top.
As already mentioned, battery life has seen incredible improvements. I’m talking close to 8 hours of screen on time with my heavy usage – lots of Snapchat, Facebook Messenger, Discord, Reddit, and Chrome. I even use the Always on Display option too. Throughout the day, I basically use it as a laptop. It’s battery life that I have never seen from a smartphone before, and it’s all done with a 3,300 mAh battery. The chipset makes a huge difference in battery life, but even still, previously I had 4-5 hours of screen on time. Xiaomi.eu has doubled my phone’s battery life, which is genuinely insane to me. Something tells me though that this is a result of optimized software, and that the MIUI version that was used in our review isn’t all too optimized for the Xiaomi Mi 9. Software can only go so far in squeezing out a little bit extra juice to get you through the day, it certainly won’t double your battery life without major setbacks.
But that’s why I love the Xiaomi Mi 9 even more now. The battery life lasts me the day. It lasts me more than the day. I use it for the day, I get home, I do whatever I need to at home, and then I toss it on the wireless charging pad every night. Rinse and repeat. It’s spectacular, and I never thought a 3,300 mAh battery would be able to pull off those numbers consistently, especially after my initial doubts before I even reviewed it on stock MIUI.
Xiaomi.eu is well worth your time
Xiaomi.eu is basically just MIUI, so much of what I said in my review of the Xiaomi Mi 9 still remains the same. MIUI has a lot of features, and Xiaomi.eu sets out to make them all readily available at ease. With smaller improvements here and there where needed, I highly recommend that western users give it a try. It even supports system updates natively, as you would on MIUI so that you can download updates and install them automatically in your recovery. From new features, bug fixes, and more, it’s the perfect version of MIUI, in my opinion. Even the camera application has been improved, with a dedicated 48MP option alongside video, photography, and portrait, rather than a tucked away setting like previously. It’s a great software experience.
Give it a try and let us know what you think in the comments!