A water purifier is an essential kitchen appliance, but not many companies have thought of making it smart and sleek. Xiaomi is an exception, though. It has come up with a connected gadget that works smart and looks flaunt-worthy in matte white. But given the oil-based cooking done in most Indian kitchens, it is likely to get dirty very quickly.
As for efficiency, it is quite thorough in its job and follows a multilevel purification process. To start with, the PPC (polypropylene cotton and activated carbon) filter intercepts all large particles such as residual chlorine. The second one is the reverse osmosis (RO) filter, taking out heavy metals and nanoparticles such as bacteria and viruses. The third one, a post-activated carbon (PAC) filter, absorbs odour and other organic substances. The water purifier has been customised for the Indian market. A seven-litre storage tank added to the top starts refilling when 30 per cent of the stored water is consumed. The gadget uses ultraviolet (UV) sterilisation to keep the stored water clean, and the UV light gets activated every four hours, for 25 minutes.
The TDS (total dissolved solids) level of the tap water at my home was 135 parts per million (within the standard acceptable level of 200 ppm in India). After purification, it was down to 1 ppm, which makes the water quality excellent. Unlike some RO systems where the expected TDS level is adjusted during installation, this one works in real time. While testing, we put in tanker water with a TDS of over 250 ppm; the TDS of the output was 4 ppm. However, it is also believed that the RO takes out all necessary minerals from the water, and this may not be healthy in the long run.
The smart functionality of the Mi gadget is not restricted to design and water purification but also maintenance. Just like other Xiaomi products, this one can be paired with the Mi Home app. After that, I could connect it to my home Wi-Fi network and see all necessary information via the app. This included tap water TDS, output TDS and the amount of water consumed on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Better still, the app shows how much filter life is left, along with an option to buy one, thus eliminating post-sale services. Filters can be replaced by opening the front panel and following the instructions available on the app. In fact, I was able to remove and plug them back in without any hassle. A set of three filters costs Rs 3,997.