Five inch 4G-ready device will be the first Xiaomi phone sold outside of China
Chinese phone maker Xiaomi has unwrapped its first smartphone to be sold outside of its homeland.
In a significant step towards expanding the company’s reach across the globe, the Mi 4i smartphone was revealed at a media event in New Delhi today.
However, it will only initially be available in India, where it was custom-designed for local consumers, with no word yet on a release in Western markets.
The new device is a slightly less powerful but more affordable version of Xiaomi’s Mi 4 smartphone, which was revealed earlier this year.
Sporting a five inch1080p display, it is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 octa-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of memory and a 3,120mAh battery which Xiaomi says can offer 38 percent more capacity than most phones in its class.
There’s also a 13 megapixel rear camera and a five megapixel one on the front, which come with special tools including the option to help ‘beautify’ photos by making their subjects appear more attractive.
Running Android Lollipop 5.0, the Mi 4i is also lighter than its older brother, weighing just 130g thanks to a unibody polycarbonate case which is available in five colours and is just 7.8mm thick. It supports 4G LTE networks and will also run dual-SIM.
It device will initially go on sale for 12,999 Indian rupees ($205/£135) via Indian ecommerce site Flipkart from April 30.
Xiaomi has proved to be a huge success in the Chinese market, establishing itself strongly alongside heavyweight foregin competitors such as Apple and Samsung.
This success has motivated the company to now look abroad, with Xiaomi announcing earlier this year that it was planning to open its first shop in North America – although this will only sell headphones.
Alongside this North American launch, Xiaomi has also announced a push into South America, revealing that it is close to securing a manufacturing partner in Brazil, and will begin sales in the country in the first half of this year.
Set up in 2010, Xiaomi has enjoyed a rapid rise in the technology industry, and was rated as the world’s most valuable start-up following a $45 billion round of funding in December.
This growth has come primarily from its low-cost Android smartphones, which enjoy huge popularity in China, and more recently India. The company has looked to diversify its product offerings so far in 2015, most recently with the unveiling of two flagship ‘phablet’ devices, the Mi Note and Mi Note Pro, aimed at taking on Apple’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus handsets.
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