Gadgets for humans

China’s Xiaomi unveils its new flagship Mi-3 smartphone, priced from $327 for 16GB model


Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi’s founder Lei Jun took to the stage today in Beijing to launch the company’s latest brand new flagship phone — the Xiaomi Mi-3. The 16GB version will retail for CNY1999 ($327), while the 64GB version will go for CNY2499 ($410).

The fast-growing Xiaomi, which is valued at $10 billion, has been in the limelight lately after snagging former Google VP for Android Hugo Barra (who made an appearance at the event today as well). Further proof of its popularity in China came when it recently overtook Apple on market share.

The Mi-3 is clearly Xiaomi’s key to continue this momentum and expand beyond its loyal fan base. The smartphone is powered by dual processors — there is a China Mobile TD-SCDMA (its 3G service) version powered by a 1.8 GHz Nvidia Tegra 4 processor and another China Unicom/China Telecom version running on different networks (WCDMA and CDMA2000) that is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 800. The phone features a display screen from Sharp or LG that measures 5 inches with a resolution of 1080p, and is only 8.1mm thick.

xiaomi smartphone

The phone comes packed with a 13-megapixel camera from Sony and a 2-megapixel front-facing camera, as well as dual-LED flashlights. Xiaomi has also added in a continuous shot feature, which allows users to take 10 shots in one second.

As per its typical practice, Xiaomi will sell the Mi-3 in batches, the first of which will be released in mid-October.

The company has been garnering success in mainland China by inspiring the loyalty of many consumers with its competitively-priced phones, as seen in the most recent batch of 100,000 Hongmi smartphones that sold out in 90 seconds, with nearly 7.5 million devices reserved by fans who missed out.

Expectations for the Mi-3 are naturally high, and it remains to be seen how it will perform — though with all indications of some crazy fan base support, it shouldn’t be difficult for the company, which has come a long way since it unveiled Mi-1, its first-generation smartphone only as recently as 2011.

Headline image via Xiaomi

Published September 5, 2013 — 06:54 UTC