So my kids cracked my screen. I replaced it. Tablet was fine for few hours until I turned on the camera (with it showing 90% charge).
Screen flickered and it hard reset.
Somehow the battery must have spontanously failed (really bizarre). On reboot I was getting weird issues, bootlooping, flickering screen in TWRP (which went away after plugged into USB for 20 mins) and very erratic battery level reporting. Eventually the battery just quit reporting it was charging.
I load tested the battery and it failed at 1/2A (immediately dropped under 3V). I jerry-rigged the battery upto a bench PSU and was able to get the tablet running more reliably.
But still bootlooping ..... note: during the lengthy debugging I did erase all the partitions without thinking; I guess per the following I must have wiped the proprietary xiaomi stuff :-(
sabar_op suggested trying to flash the stock rom using xiaomi flash tool. I did this and amazingly it worked. I can boot into the stock android BUT I now seem to have a locked bootloader.
If I try the Xiaomi unlock tool it connects and tells me it's locked and I need to boot, go into "developer options" -> "mi unlock status".
But when I try to do that it tell me I need to insert a SIM card. I bought it unlocked from AliE.
Also, AFAICR only AT&T wireless supported the LTE on this device (which probably explains why my Google Fi SIM did nothing).
Is there any other way?