Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 3 has just received support for CyanogenMod 13 nightlies, giving its users a chance to load up the wildly popular custom Android firmware. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 has been a massive hit among consumers, being equivocally referred to the best budget smartphone in a congested Android smartphone market. For a $200 smartphone, it is crammed with specifications to the brim. The device packs a 5.5-inch 1080p display, powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 processor, and a 4050 mAh battery, making it value for money. But the area where Xiaomi falls short is developer and custom ROM support. The Chinese company is often criticized for being uncooperative with the development of custom software for their devices. The reason behind this might be Xiaomi’s strategy of selling hardware at lower prices and earning profit from MIUI, their customized version of the Android OS.
MIUI is a heavily skinned version of Google’s Android OS. Although it includes a lot of features, MIUI has suffered a lot of negative feedback from users and developers for being buggy, slow, and entirely different from Google’s stock Android experience. They have also faced heat regarding slow updates to Google’s new OS. Xiaomi has only upgraded MIUI to Android 6.0 Marshmallow with MIUI 8 released in July 2016, almost a year after the official launch of the Marshmallow update by Google. This was where the developer community had an opportunity to come to the rescue with CyanogenMod.
This news will come as a relief to many users who like the stock Android UI more than the heavily skinned MIUI interface. CyanogenMod 13 is based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow and contains all the features that are included in the stock OS while adding a lot of customization options of its own. The status of the ROM is 'nightly' which means that the ROM will be updated almost every night with new features, bug fixes and security patches. Although everything is reported to be working, users are advised to be cautious while installing CM13 ROM as it has not been released in the Stable channel yet and bugs might pop up from time to time. Another important point to note is that each nightly update, while fixing bugs might also introduce more bugs, and it is advised not to use the CM13 ROM as a daily driver. Xiaomi has not made the process any easier, with a long wait involved in receiving the bootloader unlock code from the company. A custom recovery like TWRP is also required to flash the ROM file, following which users can flash the GApps package and enjoy the latest stock Android Marshmallow experience in their Redmi Note 3, combining the best of both worlds.