Smog Red Alert antidote: Xiaomi Mi Air Purifier review Part II

Continued from Part I.

Our practical testimony for an air purifier product that may be just the thing to combat Beijing’s first ever smog Red Alert which began on Tuesday.

The Mi Air Purifier has now been shifted out of the climatically confused atmosphere of the office and into the more typical surrounds of my home.

As I had suspected, the Mi Purifier was not to be blamed for a lack of progress in the pollution clearing dept. it was indeed something – not quite sure what – to do with the office space in question.

This point just goes to show how important it can be to consult with a professional – or at least seek someone with a little experience in the area – before investing any significant sum in your home or office space. In any case, what follows should be fairly unsurprising for any of you purifier aficionados out there.

Safe from harm, outside AQI: 367

The unit was tested in my bedroom, a room of approximately 20 square meters, placed on one side of the bedroom, with my Laser Egg taking measurements on the opposite side of the room.

Last night prior to machine activation 11:20 pm: US AQI 170, PM2.5 95

15min in: AQI 100, PM2.5 35

30min in: AQI 55, PM2.5 15

45min in: AQI 25, PM2.5 7

1 hour later: AQI 12, PM2.5 3

Fairly self-explanatory really, it does as it should – rather quickly, I might add.

As for its ‘smart’ features, still not very convinced. Following the relocation I struggled to get this machine to link back up to my phone and the Mi Home app. I tried the same procedure that worked the first time: turn the thing off, turn it back on, make sure the wifi light is illuminated, come in close with the smartphone and wait for it to pick up. No cigar. The Mi Home Purifier still came up on the app as ‘Not Connected’. I deleted the Mi Air Purifier from the Mi Home app, in an attempt to re-add it as a new unit, still no cigar.

Mi Home app: scanning with no end in sight

Sleeping through the thing.

As a good 30% or so of our lives are spent sleeping, it’s important that a machine be tolerable enough for you to sleep through. Personally, I’m a fairly heavy sleeper. I don’t get too bothered by much these days, but certain friends of mine tend to complain frequently about noise. This unit has a sleep mode – you click it and it goes pretty silent. No complaints from said friends.


The Mi Air Purifier is rated for rooms between 28m² to 48m² with filters for the unit expected to last for 6 months at a replacement cost of RMB 169.

My trusty ol’ Smart Air

My RMB 200 Smart Air ‘The Original’ is rated for rooms 15m² and under, with filters for RMB 80 that last 5 months.

The cost/benefit proposition here is one of aesthetics and marginal performance gains in my opinion.

Though the Mi Air theoretically works for a larger living space, I should think at 48m² you’d likely be pushing it and performance would suffer.

On the other hand you can literally buy 4 Smart Airs for the price of one Xiaomi, which means you would very likely be able to cover a full 60m2 with no lull in performance.

At RMB 899 (USD 140), what you’re getting here is a slick, modestly-priced air purifier that provides where it counts. Is it all that smart? Apparently not, but what do you expect for RMB 899? I should think if you furthered your investment into pricier territory you’d likely find something that lives up to all it promises, but then you’d most certainly pay for all the extra smarts.

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