Saturday, March 19, 2016

Mi Air Purifier Review

The Mi Air Purifier is a China made air purifier made by Xiaomi Inc who is known more for their affordable Android smartphones. Their designs are clean and simple and appeal to the current generation of consumers. You can say they blatantly copy Apple's design philosophy. Look at this 2013 launch video and 2016 launch video for their smart phones. Currently, they make a wide range of consumer products (including this Ninebot Mini Segway type of device) and there seems to be no stopping this behemoth in churning out all kinds of gadgets. I've owned a couple of their phones and powerbanks and find them very user friendly and easy to use. Really value for money. My main phone is still the iPhone 6 Plus, however.

Ok, so recently, Xiaomi decided to sell their Mi Air Purifier through our local supermarket chain, NTUC. NTUC sells these for S$279 which is $20 cheaper than Xiaomi's RRP of S$299. I decided to get it as it covers quite a good volume and is networked enabled. So here is a review of the Mi Air Purifier.


The Mi Air Purifier is sold in a plain cardboard box, much like their smartphones. There were no handles or cut-out holes to grab, which is a shame because it was quite heavy and the sides hard to grab. I balanced them on my shoulder for the most part.

Upon opening the box, you are presented with a pictogram showing the location of the various contents. Flipping up the internal cover, you are presented with the instruction manual in a embossed section of the Styrofoam. The manual says, "Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen", which would normally put a smile on anyone's face. I was not exactly in the mood for this as I had just had an unpleasant encounter with a dear friend of mine. But nevertheless, let's press on.

Removing the top Styrofoam, we see the Mi Air Purifier itself, covered with a synthetic cloth cover. This cloth cover fits the air purifier snugly and covers it from top to bottom. I am using as a dust cover when I am not using the air purifier over a period of time. So do not discard it yet.

Here is the Mi Air Purifier from different sides. The air intake is from the bottom front and two sides. The back portion is the panel opening to access the air filter. The back also contains a WIFI reset button and the air quality detection unit (from what I read, it is from Sharp).

Opening the back panel, we see that the power cord is stored there for transportation. Remove the power cord and we can access the sealed air filter. The air filter is locked into position via a lever at the bottom.


I installed the Mi Air Purifier where my old Honeywell Air Purifier was located. This was an air-conditioned room with closed windows and doors. The footprint is smaller but this is a taller air purifier. The unit lights up in green when the air quality is good.

The unit can sync over WIFI to a smartphone running the Mi Home app. Here I have it installed on a Xiaomi smartphone. The phone passes the WIFI setting to the Mi Air Purifier and then when the air purifier is connected via the internet, the smartphone syncs to it. The Mi Air Purifier reported PM2.5 count to be 14 (I assume the unit of measure to be the common μg/m³). I had a particle counter which measured air around the output of the Mi Air Purifier. It indicated the PM2.5 to be 8μg/m³.

This was lesser than the measurement I made in the living room with open windows. That reading for PM2.5 was 38μg/m³. About 3 times higher. I guess this shows that the air purifier was indeed cleaning up the air in the enclosed room.

After running the unit for about 20 minutes, the PM2.5 reading for the room reading with the air purifier dropped to 5μg/m³.

I initially tried using Mi Home on iOS on my iPhone 6 Plus with no luck. However, with the Xiaomi connected, I just logged onto the same account on my iPhone the next day and the Mi Air Purifier showed up. In practice, I notice that the app would sometimes loose synchronisation with the Mi Air Purifier (true for both the Android and the iOS app). This was probably the only thing I found annoying about the air purifier.


Compared to the Honeywell Air Purifier it was replacing (due to the difficulty in getting replacement filters over here), the Mi Air Purifier takes up less footprint but is taller. In terms of design, I prefer the Mi Air Purifier, as it looks clean and simple.


I really like the design of the Mi Air Purifier. The form is clean and simple. It is a straightforward and basic air purifier without ion generators. It is relatively cheap at S$279 and is able to cover quite a volume. The replacement filter is also cheap at RRP S$39.90. The app (when synced) is a good add-on feature to have an idea of the air quality.

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Revell's Star Wars™ The Force Awakens Millennium Falcon

I bought the Revell Star Wars: The Force Awakens Millennium Falcon from Amazon a couple of weeks ago while online shopping. This is cheaper and slightly smaller than the Bandai's 1/144 scale Millennium Falcon. From what I gather online, this Revell kit is around 1/160 something scale.

The kit comes in a nicely printed cardboard box with a picture of the Millennium Falcon with the new rectangular radar sensor, indicating that it is the new Millennium Falcon from The Force Awakens movie. It says that it is suitable for Ages 6+ (yes, I qualify!), Skill Level 1, and takes 30 minutes to built (verified to be about right). It also indicates that it has action, sound and lights! You don't get that on the Bandai kit.

The back of the box shows what Skill Level 1 means, the parts list and the features of the completed kit. No glue, no paint and no tools are deemed necessary to complete this kit! It also shows some other kits of the series that you can collect.

Here are the parts out of the box. The pieces are all nicely cut out by Revell - there are no sprues/runners to cut these parts from, like most model kits. The 2 main halves of the ship are nicely held in place within the box with 2 clear plastic inserts (seen on the left side of the picture). These prevent the painted halves from moving about and getting scratches on the paintjob. The plastic insert also holds the blue tinted transparent Hyper Drive of the Falcon (blue strip on the right). A single sheet of instruction is included. The smaller pieces of kit are wrapped in a plastic bag. The electronic piece responsible for the light and sound is separate from these parts.

Building the kit was pretty straightforward - add parts to bottom half, add the 2 side hatches, add light and sound module, add parts to top half and finally put the 2 halves together.

The side hatches both have some holes on one side. From what I gather, these help to transmit sound from the electronic module. However, the instructions did not indicate should these 2 holes oriented to the top or bottom of the craft. I decided to place them at the top.

After about 30 minutes (or less actually), the kit is done. It is pre-painted and it does look good! Panel lines are detailed and if you want, a nice weathering wash would bring out more details. As it is, it already looks good.

The cockpit is painted black so there isn't any details at all. The gun turrets rotate but do not pivot up/down. The rectangular radar sensor rotates. The landing gears can retract and extend.

The light and sound module is activated by one of the exhaust vents at the back (centre bottom one). The light effect is a nice blue glow simulating the Hyper Drive! You get the movie effect sound too.

The landing gears extend and retract with a nice click. There are 5 landing gears to hold the Falcon up. You can see the nicely detailed bottom of the Falcon in these shots.

Overall, I had great fun putting this kit together. There is very little you can go wrong with this kit. Perhaps some care should be taken when pushing in the landing gears in case you break them. The parts are sturdy and seem to be able to hold up to a bit of play. I think it is great value compared to the Bandai kit (I may still get it to try out and if I do, will compare it to this kit). The finished kit looks nice and is already painted so it is really hassle free to build. Hope you enjoy this little write up on this kit. I am a Star Wars fan and this is really one of the easiest kit I have completed.