App control sets the Xiaomi Mi Smart Air Fryer 3.5L apart from much of the competition, providing scheduling plus dedicated cooking recipes. Ultimately, it’s often easier to bypass the app and cook manually; however, the results achieved weren’t quite as good as rival models.
Taking the guesswork out of cooking food, with the app-controlled Xiaomi Mi Smart Air Fryer 3.5L you pick the food you want to cook and the air fryer sets the temperature and cooking time automatically. It’s partially successful, although once you’re used to use an air fryer, it’s far easier to do this manually.
Design and Features
- A single 3.5-litre drawer
- Only the one mode
Decked out in glossy white, the Xiaomi Mi Smart Air Fryer 3.5L is easy on the eyes. It’s relatively compact at 304 x 252 x 335mm, making it easy to store, too.
This fryer has a single drawer with a crisper insert that can hold up to 3.5 litres of food. That’s around the size of a single drawer in the Ninja Dual Zone Air Fryer AF300UK. In real terms, this is enough space to cook one dish for two people.
The process of shaking during frying helps to cook food evenly, and the Xiaomi Mi Smart Air Fryer 3.5L makes this easy thanks to the handle on the front. Just pull out the drawer, give the contents a shake, and slide the compartment back into the fryer. I’d like it if the drawer fit better, as I found that it needed a wiggle at the end to get it in flush.
Since this is a Xiaomi product, it’s a smart air fryer. It connects to your home network via Wi-Fi, where it’s controllable via the Xiaomi Home app. From the app, you can select the type of food you want to cook (chips, steak, fish, and so on) and the quantity (half a drawer, or full capacity). The suggested cooking time and temperatures are selected automatically. You can even schedule your air fryer to complete cooking its contents at a specific time.
Additional recipes are available through the app, too, providing full cooking instructions including which herbs and spices to use.
Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant control are present, allowing you to start and pause the fryer, or find out how much cooking time is remaining. Given there’s a clear LCD screen, I didn’t find the voice control options particularly useful.
To be honest, it’s far easier to use the control dial on the front of the Mis Smart Fryer, which lets you select the same standard cooking programmes as the app (advanced recipes aren’t available, however). Plus, there’s a manual mode, where you just set the temperature and cooking time for yourself.
Note that only air frying is available here; there are no roast, dehydrate and other modes available with rival air fryers from Ninja, for example. With temperature selectable between 40ºC and 200ºC, you also don’t get the highest crisping temperatures available elsewhere.
At least clean-up is easy, with both the drawer and crisper tray dishwasher-safe.
- Gets the basics right
- Lacks the crisp finish of competitors
I started by cooking chips at 200ºC. I used a full drawer and the chips programme, which handily pauses partway through with a reminder to shake the contents of the drawer. At the end cooking time, the chips were cooked through, displaying a uniform colour.
They lacked the fully crisp exterior achieved with the Ninja AF400UK, though, and the insides weren’t quite as fluffy. I’d class the results a little better than what would be achieved in a conventional oven, and faster too – but a little off the pace of the top air fryers.
Next, I turned to sausages, covering them with a light mist of spray oil. I cooked them at 180ºC, reducing the suggested oven cooking time by 20%. At the end of the cooking time, my sausages were evenly cooked throughout, but the skin didn’t have the level of crispiness displayed by sausages cooked in the best air fryers.
Finally, I opted to cook frozen hash browns, which would normally benefit from being cooked at super-high temperatures. As it was, I had to cook at 200ºC, reducing the suggested oven cooking time down to 16 minutes. The result was better than using the oven, although the outside of the hash browns didn’t have that super-crispy finish; the inside was nicely done, though.
Should you buy it?
If you really want smart features and app control, this air fryer offers a wide selection of recipes that you can send from your phone.
If you want the best results, then ditch the smart features and opt for air fryer models that produce better results for less money.
Given the smart app control and the number of recipes on offer, the Xiaomi Mi Smart Air Fryer 3.5L is surprisingly cheap. It isn’t a bad budget air fryer, but it lacked the ability to deliver truly crispy results in tests. I’m also not sure how useful the app really is; once you’re used to cooking in an air fryer, it’s often easier to set the temperature and cooking time manually. In fact, I’d happily forego the smart features, and save a bit of cash by opting for the Tower 4.3L Manual Air Fryer instead. Or, for further options, head to my list of the best air fryers.
How we test
Unlike other sites, we test every air fryer we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.
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Used as our main air fryer for the review period
We cook real food in each air fryer, making chips, frying sausages and cooking frozen hash browns. This lets us compare quality between each air fryer that we test.
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Yes, the drawer and crisper plate can go in the dishwasher; the main body of the unit should be wiped clean.
The app lets you remote-control your air fryer. It has pre-set cooking times for common items (chips, fish and so on), plus some additional recipes.