It’s proving tough to keep China’s most-anticipated homegrown smartphone under wraps. The next-gen version of Xiaomi’s hit Android-based phone is due to launch, we now know, next Thursday (August 16th) in a Beijing art gallery. Apart from that, Xiaomi has teased the eco-friendly packaging. The rest, admittedly, is a mix of detective work and hearsay.
[UPDATE one day later: Of course, it's possible this is an update of the current phone and not the new flagship model].
For some impressive sleuthing we look to Engadget, which seems to have found the shiny
metal plastic ass of the next Xiaomi phone in a regulatory filing (pictured above). The current Xiaomi M1 lacks any front-facing camera, so its heartening to see that the next iteration will have a webcam up front. Engadget’s Richard Lai also spotted three separate filings for the next Xiaomi phone, including one that’s CDMA. All of which points to Xiaomi once again working with two of China’s three mobile telcos to produce special versions of the next phone. One of the WCDMA ones will be China Unicom’s (NYSE:CHU; HKG:0762) special edition, while the CDMA one goes to China Telecom (NYSE:CHA; HKG:0728).
Other than that webcam, the filings would suggest that the Xiaomi M2 – if that’s indeed its name – will be similar to the original version that was launched last summer. After looking at a weirdly two-tone Xiaomi prototype last month, we’re not sure if we’re disappointed or relieved.
Meanwhile, over at GizChina, some possibly leaked specifications take us into less evidence-based territory. These include, along with an unhealthily large dose of salt and MSG:
- 4.5-inch IPS display
- 1280 x 720 pixels screen resolution
- 12MP camera on the back
- 5MP camera upfront
- Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro (APQ8064) processor
…OK, I’ll stop there. A basic grasp of economics suggests that that’s not all achievable in a bugdet/mid-range smartphone. But it’s a nice bit of wishful thinking. I think my speculative specs, including the crisp 1.2MP front-facing cam that’s found in the Asus Nexus 7, are a lot more realistic.
So, until August 16 rolls around, the Chinese regulatory filings suggest that we’ve already seen the next-gen Xiaomi phone, and now we just need to see its specs and price tag to judge whether it can replicate the success of the first phone by selling well over three million units and netting the startup company nearly $1 billion in revenue in just six months.