Nine months ago Xiaomi released the Mi3 and over 10 million sales of it later they have announced the successor, the Mi4. While yet to make a significant mark outside of China, Xiaomi signalled their intentions earlier this year when they expanded to Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and India, selling devices as fast as they put them up available for purchase. At one stage they sold 100,000 Mi3’s in 86 seconds. This is in addition to their move in hiring Hugo Barra of Google fame to be Vice President of International.
So far in 2014 Xiaomi have sold over 26 million phones so they are far from being a small company. A lot is expected with their 2014 flagship and it seems they have not disappointed when it comes to the specifications. The Mi4 is exactly what we have come to expect from the upper end of Chinese manufacturers, high end specs at a relatively low end price. The specs for the Mi4 are:
- 2.5Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801
- 3GB RAM
- 16 or 64GB Flash memory
- 5in 1080p IPS display
- 13MP Rear camera
- 8MP Front facing camera
- 139.2 x 68.5 x 8.9 mm, 149gm
- 3080,Ah battery with quick charging technology
- UMTS, TDD-LTE, and FDD-LTE support
- Approx. $320US (16GB) and $400US (64GB)
- Optional: approx. US$ 16 screen & water accident insurance
- Stainless steel frame
- Swappable back plate
Xiaomi have made a point showing the process that goes into the manufacture of the device, including the stylish design and the stainless steel frame. It seems they have missed nothing off the list when it comes to the wish list of enthusiasts like us. Joining the manufacturers offering customisation Xiaomi are also offering swappable back covers in wooden and stone finishes.
At the same time Xiaomi also announced a stylish looking fitband. Not an Android Wear smart watch but more along the lines of a Fitbit-style fitband. The fitband does all the standard things expected of a fitband as well as being able to unlock your phone. It looks like a great addition to the Mi4 and at a price of under $13US (yes, that’s not a typo) it’s a no-brainer as far as I am concerned.
Personally I will be watching these two devices very closely. The presence of capacitive buttons dulls the excitement slightly but hopefully it will be possible to switch them off within the OS. The Mi4 will be running MIUI6 so it won’t be exactly stock Android but MIUI is extremely customisable and themeable so it you can make it look how you want it to. No word on it’s release yet but is expected to be in Q3 of this year. Around August 16 when MIUI6 drops is a fair date to expect it to arrive. It is also unknown as to whether they plan to branch out to other countries so if you want one a grey market importer like Mobicity may be your best bet.
Anyone else interested in this phone? It certainly is a good looking device but let’s face it, in the past their devices have been less then spectacular. In recent times they have been hitting the ball out of the park a lot with the Mi3, the Mx3, the Oppo Find 7 to name a few but is it enough to tempt you to trust a Chinese brand?