At its annual product launch happening right now, Xiaomi has announced its flagship smartphone for this year: the Mi 4. Featuring hardware that Xiaomi claims bests the other flagships in the market, are we looking at the best Android smartphone of the year?
Xiaomi is clearly taking its time with its unveiling of the Mi 4 here, as most of the hardware specs is still not confirmed. What is confirmed, however, is that the Mi 4 sports a 5-inch Full HD display made by JDI, 13MP rear camera (of unknown origin…so far), and a massive 3080mAh battery. Like some flagships today, the battery also has a rapid charge feature, allowing it to charge 60% in an hour.
The other aspects of the device, such as the all-important processor, is still to be revealed.
Co-founder Lei Jun did mention rumours of the Mi 4’s hardware, including a Snapdragon 801 processor with 3GB of RAM, but that’s been written off as rumours by the Xiaomi chief. UPDATE: The rumours were true. The Mi 4 is indeed powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 2.5GHz quad-core processor with 3GB of RAM, offers a choice of 16 or 64GB of storage, and features 13MP and 8MP Sony rear and front camera sensors respectively. It will also sport an infrared sensor, allowing you to control a variety of household products, from your Smart TV to air conditioners.
The 13MP rear camera is Sony’s new IMX 214 stacked CMOS sensor. If that sounds familiar, that’s because it is also on other Chinese flagships such as the OnePlus One and the Oppo Find 7. Xiaomi has of course added its own tweaks, such as a six-element lens and a large F1.8 aperture. On the other side, the 8MP sensor is using Sony’s IMX 219 sensor.
At the moment, Lei Jun is showing off the sexy curves on the Mi 4, including features such as its steel frame and yes, even the chamfered edges.
The Xiaomi Mi 4 will also feature a steel frame, as it has previously hinted, offering greater strength and rigidity to the device. The back is a glossy plastic cover which features a textured pattern beneath the glossy surface, similar to the Huawei Ascend P7. And, taking a cue from OnePlus, Xiaomi is also offering a variety of back covers for the Mi 4, including some pretty crazy-looking ones, such as marble, granite and of course, various textures of wood.
What’s even more impressive is the fact that this device only weighs 149g, and measures 6.7mm thick.
As for the software, the Mi 4 will of course run on the company’s MIUI ROM, of which the current V5 version is based on Android 4.4.2. Lei Jun also announced that the next version of the software, MIUI v6, will be released on August 16.
And like clockwork, the company has unveiled the official product video:
Sounds very much like a super phone, then. So how much would this cost? As expected, Xiaomi has not raised the retail price of the Mi 4. It will retail at 1999 Chinese Yuan, which at current retail prices will convert to less than RM1100.
Xiaomi Malaysia has also revealed indicative prices for the Mi 4 for the country, which is “approximately RM1099” for the 16GB model and “approximately RM1299” for the 64GB variant.
Given that this launch is more for the Chinese market, Xiaomi did not reveal much about international availability, though more information should be coming soon. In addition, both Xiaomi Malaysia and Xiaomi Singapore have confirmed that the Mi 4 will support international 4G LTE networks as well – fixing one of the Mi 3’s glaring omissions.
Finally, Xiaomi also had a “one more thing” moment: the announcement of the Mi Band fitness tracker, which offers everything an activity tracker should have, but with an amazing 30-day battery life and a retail price of around RM49 – nope, I didn’t miss out on adding a zero at the end. In China, it will retail for 79 Yuan.
Stay tuned for more on Xiaomi’s latest flagship smartphone on Lowyat.NET!