Xiaomi might not have much of a presence outside its native China, but the company still has plenty of brand appeal in the US and UK. The main reason for this is because the company makes very decent hardware and retails it at VERY low prices — even when compared to firms like OnePlus.
I didn’t know the company was launching anything at MWC 2016, seeing as it is predominantly operates in China, but I was pleasantly surprised this am to find a press release from the company, detailing the new Xiaomi Mi5, in my inbox. Like the Mi4 before it, the Xiaomi Mi5 brings high-end specs and Android at a very low price — just £220.
“Xiaomi’s focus on selling low-cost phones with decent specifications, as well as the hype that it created through its flash sales, helped it to obtain the top position in both 2014Q4 and 2014,” according to an IDC report. Xiaomi made its debut among the top-five smarpthone vendors in Q4 2014 as well with an increase of 336% driven by strong performance in China where it became market leader.
On paper, the Mi5 looks and sounds like a flagship. It has a Snapdragon 820 CPU, a 5.5in 1080p display, USB Type C, a 16MP camera with a Sony IMX298 sensor and OIS, a 3000mAh battery and either 3GB (32GB model) or 4GB (128GB) of RAM. Basically, the thing’s a monster even when compared to newly released flagships like the Galaxy S7 and LG G5.
Xiaomi Mi5 Specs
- Display: 5.15-inch FHD display
- Processor: Snapdragon 820
- OS: Android 6.0 Marshmallow, MIUI 7
- Storage: 32GB, 64GB, 128GB (plus SD card)
- RAM: 4GB LPDDR4
- Camera: 16MP rear with 4-axis OIS, 4MP front Sony IMX298 sensor
- Battery: 3,000 man, QC3.0
- Dimensions: 69.2 x 144.55 x 5.12 mm
- Weight: 129g (with 3D glass back)
- Other: USB-C, NFC
- Colors: Black, white, gold
Unfortunately there is no word on whether Xiaomi plans on bringing its Mi5 to the UK or any markets outside of China in the foreseeable future. After the success of OnePlus and the growing presence of Huawei in the West, it can only be a matter of time before Xiaomi decides it wants in on a piece of the action. And when it does, we’ll be sure to let you know!
How The Devil Are Xiaomi’s Phones So Cheap?
Good question. Xiaomi has made a name for itself by producing VERY attractive phones at rock bottom prices. And best of all it has done this while making profits and growing its business and market share.
So why the hell isn’t everybody doing this? Can’t Samsung just charge less for its smartphones and sell more? Not really. You see, Samsung and Xiaomi have VERY different business models. For starters, Xiaomi — like OnePlus — sells the majority of its phones through its own web stores, which cuts out quite a bit of cost. It also cuts our distributors and retailers too, and these guys are notorious for hiking up prices.
Xiaomi also spends NADA on marketing.
“Instead,” says Phone Arena, “the company depends on social media and word of mouth to create hype and awareness for its products. Although it’s unclear if Xiaomi is making much on services, it is also worth pointing out that its proprietary app store contains tons of premium content that is only available for cold, hard cash that goes right into its pocket.”
You can, of course, buy Xiaomi phones and have them shipped in; we even did an article ALL about How You Buy Xiaomi Phones In The UK. There are some pitfalls to do this, however, such as menus and settings being in Chinese and things like 4G not working — China and the UK support different radio bands.