You know how there’s a small tech-focused event going on these days in Berlin, Germany and called IFA? Everybody that’s somebody in the mobile business is there to impress us with “innovations” and “upgrades”, save for Xiaomi, the Chinese OEM that’s recently snatched Hugo Barra from Google.
The Mi Phone and MIUI makers seem to have preferred a more familiar and cozier stage for their latest glamorous unveiling event, which is still happening as I write these lines. But their newest piece de resistance is already out, being ready to hit the Chinese retail chains as soon as next month.
Called Mi3, or MiPhone 3, this looks as if it’s all set to take on the Western Android giants… for half the price. Namely, the “entry-level”, 16 GB variant will cost $320 give or take (Yuan 1,999), whereas the model packing triple the storage space will go for roughly $405 (Yuan 2,499).
You’d think Xiaomi needed to cut quite a few corners in order to keep the pricing bar so low, but guess what, the Mi3 is as zippy, snazzy and good-looking as any other high-end Android out there. For one thing, it sports a stunning LG-made 5-inch IPS screen with 1,080p (aka Full HD) resolution and ultra-sensitive touch (as in fully functional even with gloves on).
Second, the 5-incher packs the hottest mobile processors (plural) you can find, specifically a 2.3 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 in its China Unicom-exclusive flavor and 1.8 GHz Nvidia Tegra 4 for the country’s other two carriers.
And what can one say about Mi3’s 2 GB of RAM, 3,050 mAh battery, Sony-made 13 MP rear-facing camera with Exmor RS sensor and 2 MP front snapper other than they make up the ultimate wet dream of any tech-savvy individual with a focus on their budgets? Plus, despite packing a spacious battery, the handheld is a mere 8.1 mm thick, which says a lot about the talents of Xiaomi’s designing team.
Meanwhile, on the software side of things, you get the latest version of the MIUI OS, which is essentially a forked Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. Obviously, the bad news is the Mi3 will likely never leave China and even around those parts will only be sold in limited quantities, in good ol’ Xiaomi fashion.
Oh, well, hopefully this is just the start of something much bigger, as Hugo Barra is probably not going to be content with anything less than world domination. Fingers crossed, right?