How to buy a Xiaomi phone online: Unofficial beginner’s guide

redmi note and redmi comparison

After my last not-very-travel-related post, I have another post: Tips and tricks for buying a Xiaomi phone during the sale.

Xiaomi is a Chinese company that makes cheap and alright smartphones. The most basic model available in Singapore, Redmi 1S, is S$169, including shipping charges. This makes it a good enough price point for a backup smartphone, an entry-level phone for people who don’t need that much functionality.

Xiaomi market their phones very cleverly. They don’t sell their products in stores but sell them online during flash sales. These flash sales end really fast because a lot of people want the phone.

redmi note and redmi comparison

I’m writing this Xiaomi phone-buying guide because I’m a self-proclaimed expert at buying them. epic mi fan

Since March 2014, I’ve bought 13 sets of Xiaomi phones, including one Redmi Note just last week during its first round of sale. (I’ve failed during my first two times trying to buy the phones but afterwards it was smooth sailing.)

Here is the unofficial desperate person’s guide to buying a Xiaomi phone. (The official not-so-desperate buying guide is available on Xiaomi Singapore’s Facebook page.

Things to note about buying a Xiaomi phone:

  • You can only buy one phone at a time.
  • But you may be able to buy multiple accessories (earphones, power bank).
  • Having the phone in your cart does not mean you have bought it, you still need to pay.

What to do a day before a Xiaomi sale

  1. Sign up for an account on
  2. Link your credit card to your PayPal account.
  3. Save your Name, Address, Phone Number if your browser allows auto-fill in, even though there is a chance that this will not work.
  4. In case #3 doesn’t work, have your Name, Address, Phone Number typed out in Notepad so you can copy-and-paste fast.

What to do 30 minutes before a Xiaomi sale

  1. Sign in to your Xiaomi account half an hour before the sale starts. The login gets jammed nearer the sale.
  2. About 5 minutes before the sale start, open up TWO tabs of page of the phone you want to get. Example here is the Redmi Note page. Notice that the label says “Out of Stock” on the right. How to buy Redmi Note
  3. For the next 5 minutes, refresh the two tabs. Once the page is refreshed, refresh it again and again.
  4. When 11:59am comes, keep tabs on your tabs, the “Add to Cart” sign might appear. Then you’re off. How to buy Xiaomi
  5. Having your phone in the cart does not mean you have bought them. You’ll need to pay for it. Quickly pick the accessories you need.
  6. Fill up your details. Hopefully Google Autofill will do it for you or else you’ll need to copy-and-paste it.
  7. Next is the payment page, it’ll bring you to PayPal. Since you’ve linked a Credit Card (or anything), you’ll check out super fast.
  8. Voila, you’ve successfully purchased a Xiaomi.
  9. Do Step 1 to 7 again if there’s still stock and you need to buy another phone.

Voila, that’s how you buy a Xiaomi phone. The official guide is available on Xiaomi Singapore’s Facebook Page:

Have you successfully bought any Xiaomi phone? Share your tips.

Help! I am addicted to Pocket Planes (plus some tips)

While I do review travel-planing apps (erm.. Flight Lover only for now) here, today’s app is slightly different but still travel-related.

I started playing Pocket Planes last Friday. It’s created Nimblebit which also made Tiny Tower. This explains why I could not stop checking my phone and tapping the screen like a zombie.

The game is not as simple. Picking it up was frustrating since I did not know what I was supposed to do.

You need to fly passengers and cargo to different destinations on the map. First, you choose a country. I picked Japan because I love the Land of the Rising Sun. (Interestingly, my colleagues all chose Japan too, not sure why.)

Tip 0: Pick a region that you are familiar with
->I chose Japan because I know the country quite well. Plus, the locations aren’t very far from each other.

Then you start flying cargo or folks across the country, earning bitcoins and bux along the way.

Why is it addictive? Like Tiny Tower, there’s a waiting element then reward. Then there’s the panicking part where I fear that I am not earning all the bitcoins I can while I am awake.

Addictions happen silently.

The bitbook is totally cute too. And it has not reached the stage where I’ve read every single entry and its variation.

Some Pocket Planes tips

anWith all that playing, I’ve figured out some strategies that work for me. But since I’ve been playing for a while, I’m not sure which tip is for beginning player and which for more advanced player as reference.

For example, I assume you know that bux (the

Tip 1: Give good names

One important trick in the game is combos (explained in Tip 2), so I name my planes based on their functionality.

A plane that flies 1 passenger and 1 cargo is called 1P1C.
A plane that flies no passenger and 2 cargo is called 0P2C.

Tip 2: C-c-c-combo!

In case you are not joined at the hip to the Internet like I am, it’s supposed to be c-c-c-combo breaker.

Combos work like dream jobs in Tiny Tower. You earn an extra 25 percent if your cargo/passengers are heading to the same location and you fly them there.

Tip 3: Build planes with multiple seats, cargo area.
Do not buy fully-made planes! I was stupid enough to do that. Related to Tip 2, you should save your bux to buy parts of planes with multiple seats/cargo area.

For more advanced players, planes have different classes and some airports don’t take classes higher than theirs. Example, only Osaka, Tokyo and Seoul are able to receive Class 2 planes.

Tip 4: Don’t bother with small airports
Once I saved up enough bux, I started buying airports. Unfortunately, an airport like Vladivostok with a population of 0.6M means my planes are stuck there with nothing to send.

I usually end up flying with an empty plane from Vladivostok to busier airports. I had to close down Vladivostok, wasting my upgrades and airport buying fee.

Now that I have the three major hubs, Osaka, Tokyo and Seoul, my planes fly almost none stop between them.

Tip 5: Layover’s your other best friend

A combo flight is the best but you can’t get one most of the time. I would fly a plane with passengers or cargo that have different destinations and stop at the nearest. (You get the same money no matter how heavy your cargo is.)

At the new airport, I would offload my cargo so that other planes can have combos, or pick up cargo to turn my flight into a combo flight.

Does that make sense?

Tip 6: Eliminate weak planes
When you have enough bux, buy multi function planes and retire single function aircrafts (eg 0P1C, 1P0C).

Since airplane slots cost bitcoins, it’s better to remove not useful planes to the hanger than fly one watermelon across the country.

Tip 7: Bring a charger
This is probably the most important tip for me. I cannot put it down and it’s draining my battery. ;)

Fly me to the end of the earth, captain!

Are you playing Pocket Planes? Can you share your tips?