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MWC 2016: Xiaomi Hopes Powerful, Affordable Mi 5 Will Aid Global Expansion

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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Xiaomi Mi 5 includes Snapdragon 820, fingerprint reader and massive 128GB of storage for less than £300 as company seeks to expand beyond China into the UK and US

Xiaomi has sprung a major surprise at Mobile World Congress (MWC) with the release of its latest Android flagship smartphone, the Mi 5, two years since it launched the Mi 4.

Featuring some seriously powerful hardware at a price that compares extremely favourably with its competitors, the Xiaomi Mi 5 could well be the device that allows the Chinese manufacturer to expand beyond its homeland.

The 5.15 inch device, which will also be available in a premium model called the Xiaomi Mi 5 Pro, will be available in three colours when it launches later this year for around £300, although the company would only announce a Chinese launch date of March 1.

Souped-up

xiaomi mi 5 1Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 processor provides the power, backed up with either 3GB or 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM and either 32, 64 or a massive 128GB of internal storage, far beyond anything else on the market right now.

This is supported by a 3,000mAh battery supported by Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 technology, which Xiaomi says will last all day.

The Mi 5 runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow alongside Xiaomi’s MIUIO 7 software and also has support for full NFC and Cat 12 LTE, which in theory should give download speeds of up to 600Mbps – if such a service exists in your region.

Weighing in at 129g and just 7.25mm across, the Xiaomi Mi 5 is equipped with a 5.15-inch IPS display with a 1080p resolution, ultra-bright 16-LED backlighting and almost no side bezels.

It also comes Xiaomi’s first ever fingerprint reader, built into the home button like Apple’s Touch ID, and has a curved 3D glass rear that lets it fit snugly in your hand. There’s also a 16MP Sony-made rear camera which is able to capture high-detail 4K video, and features 4 axis OIS capability for richer shots.

Xiaomi is one of the biggest smartphone manufacturers in China. but like its compatriots Lenovo and Huawei, it has global aspirations. Xiaomi hired former Google executive Hugo Barra in 2013 and set up shop in the UK last year before expanding to the US earlier this month.

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