China’s Xiaomi unveils its lowest-priced phone yet, the $130 Red Rice

China’s Xiaomi unveils its lowest-priced phone yet, the $130 Red Rice

After plenty of rumors surrounding Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi concerning its collaboration with Internet giant Tencent and the imminent release of a Red Rice phone — which will be the lowest-priced in its range — the phone has indeed been unveiled today at a joint announcement with Tencent and China Mobile.

Xiaomi announced the launch of its latest phone on its official Sina Weibo account in collaboration with Qzone, a social networking website operated by Tencent, and telecoms provider China Mobile. The phone will be retailing at RMB799 ($130) from August 12 onward, with pre-orders starting today on Qzone.

The Red Rice phone will make its exclusive debut on Qzone, which gets dibs on the first batch of 100,000 Red Rice phones. This collaboration could be seen as driving more traffic to the social networking website, as Xiaomi’s competitively-priced phones typically generate a lot of hype and regularly sell out fast.

Xiaomi’s collaboration with China Mobile comes in the form of hardware — says the Red Rice is a dual SIM TD-SCDMA smartphone as 68 percent of Xiaomi’s handset users are powering their phones with a Chine Mobile SIM card. At the joint press conference, a China Mobile executive said that the Red Rice has been tested by the telecoms provider as a high-performance mobile device.

The smartphone manufacturer has given users a first glance at the Red Rice phone via its Weibo, and the photos can be seen here:

Xiaomi-Red Rice

Xiaomi has confirmed the specs of the device. It sports a 4.7 inch screen with a resolution of 1280 x 720 and is powered by a 1.5GHz MT6589T quad-core processor. The phone runs on Version 5 of Xiaomi’s own highly customizable Android-based MIUI firmware, and features an 8-megapixel rear camera as well as a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, and dual SIM function. It also comes with 1GB of RAM and 4GB worth of extendable memory.

We previously reported that China Mobile will carry the Red Rice phone at a price of RMB999 ($162.80), and this could still be possible if it comes tagged on to a operator plan.

Xiaomi has been garnering success in mainland China by inspiring the loyalty of many consumers. Its competitively priced phones are sold in batches that, when released in phases, regularly sell out fast, often within half an hour.

The handset maker booked RMB13.27 billion ($2.15 billion) in revenue for the first six months of this year, exceeding the amount it recorded for the whole of last year, which stood at RMB12.6 billion. The 7.03 million devices sold in the first six months this year was also just shy of the 7.19 million units that Xiaomi sold during the whole of 2012.

Images via Xiaomi

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