Never in my 9-year long career as a tech journalist did I think I’d review a Water Purifier. Well, weirder things have happened to me so I guess this is fine. So yeah, the Mi Water Purifier was installed a couple of weeks ago and my wife has never been happier. Finally, a product she could care about.
Well, for what it is worth, I care about the Mi Smart Water Purifier too as it genuinely made my life easier and I had one less thing to worry about at home.
Mi Smart Water Purifier: the epitome of minimalism
Amidst a sea of hideous-looking water purifiers with transparent cases, the Mi Smart Water Purifier — made ground up for India — stands out with a minimalistic design. It makes all the other water purifiers look bad. The White-coloured matte body has a soft-touch finish that feels super nice when you graze your palms against it. The design is very well thought out and I managed to install it myself with ease. All you need to do is open the front panel, add the three filters, connect the pipes to the right valves, and you are good to go. The design is super convenient and the DIY nature of the purifier is absolutely ingenious.
Changing the filters, especially, is a very easy process and one that can be done super fast. Xiaomi India claims that one can do it in 30-seconds and that time is actually achievable. I remember, when I was young, in order to change/clean the filter, dad used to call the Aquaguard technician and he would come after two days. This despite buying the expensive annual maintenance contract (AMC). Moreover, we had no way to tell if the service agent was actually cleaning the filter or if he had changed a genuine part. We were always playing the guessing game. My dad was genuinely elated when he heard about the Mi Water Purifier and called me to check if he should get it for our house.
Apart from this, the tank is easily accessible too and has a capacity of 7-liters. The water purifier has a filtration capacity of around 7.8 liters/hr. To set things in context, this is lower than the competition. That said, the recovery ratio of pure water to wastewater is 1:2 and that is better than most purifiers. It is great that Xiaomi cares about water wastage. You should too. It would have an icing on the proverbial cake if there was a dedicated storage tank for wastewater as well.
The design also includes a really cool tap that has very good pressure as well. I generally hate filling bottles of water but a 1-liter bottle filled within 30 seconds. And, that’s enough for me to please my wife by filling all the bottles with water at home.
Mi Smart Water Purifier: good at purifying but not so much at retaining essential minerals
The most important thing that one needs to check when buying a water purifier is the actual filtration process. The Mi Smart Water Purifier has 3 filters and a Penta Purification process, which is just a fancy name for the 5-stage purification process. All you need to know is that the most important stage is the Reverse Osmosis Filter stage that filters out most of the impurities like heavy bacteria, metals, viruses, scales, and other organic matter with a precision of up to 0.0001 microns. And of course, the final stage where the UV filter in the water tank kills 99% of the bacteria. It does this every 4 hours for a full 25 minutes, which is great.
You can rest assured that you are drinking pure water. Yes, it was good to see that the Total Dissolvable Solids or more commonly known as TDS came down from 132ppm or 132mg/l to 1ppm or 1mg/l. But, there is a catch. Such highly treated water is devoid of natural minerals. P.S. here is a myth-breaker. Do you know why everyone wants to drink low TDS water? Taste. Yes, water with high TDS generally tends to have high salt content and thereby makes it unpalatable for some. In fact, water below 500ppm is generally potable.
Now, the only reason why one would still want filtration is to cut out any harmful chemicals that can affect health. But, should one do that at the cost of killing minerals and an insipid taste? Well, that’s debatable because I really liked the taste of the water from the Mi Water Purifier at home. So yeah, call me too careful, but I’d take this over no filtration.
What really matters is the hardness of the water. The World Health Organisation clearly states that the hardness of water is more harmful than the TDS levels. Unfortunately, the Mi Water Purifier has no way to measure hardness levels. However, it does work on reducing it. This is the problem with the tap water in our house. I know this because hardness in water also causes skin problems and hair fall issues.
Mi Smart Water Purifier: so smart it makes other purifiers look dumb
The one thing that sets apart the Mi Smart Water Purifier from the other water purifiers out there is app integration. Once you’ve connected it to the Mi Home app, you can check the TDS levels of the incoming water and the TDS levels of the purified water. The app also gives you an indication of how much water has been purified and the level of water in the tank.
But, most importantly, from the Mi Home app, you can clearly see the life of your filter. In fact, the Mi Home app sends you a notification once the filter quality reduces beyond the threshold. You can then buy it directly from the app itself. Once the replacement filter comes in, installation is an easy process anyway.
Yes, the app could’ve had more information but this in itself is a step in the right direction for connected home appliances.
Should you buy the Mi Water Purifier?
The Mi Purifier is available for Rs 11,999 and evidently price Xiaomi India is not really playing the aggressive pricing game. But, for all the features of the Water Purifier, the price is absolutely spot on. In fact, I’d pay more just for the easy replacement of filters. Now, it is not that you don’t have options. The more expensive Kent Grand Plus comes with a storage tank for wastewater. And, it also has a built-in SMPS for voltage fluctuations. The LivePure Pep Pro Plus and the Havells Max RO come with special cartridges to add minerals and thereby improve the taste of the water.
Now, while all of these are present, the Mi Smart Water Purifier still manages to impress thanks largely to the DIY nature of water filters and the connected nature of the appliance. The Mi Water Purifier is a genuinely impressive product and possibly one of the best ones Xiaomi has launched to date.