Xiaomi Revamps Flagship Phone Ahead of Hong Kong and Taiwan Launches

Steven Millward
4:46 pm on Apr 9, 2013

Xiaomi Mi2S launch

There’s a Xiaomi fan festival going on right now in Beijing. It turned into a surprise product launch with the startup Chinese phone-maker revealed a revamped flagship phone in two new forms: the Xiaomi Mi2A and the more powerful Xiaomi Mi2S (pictured). The specs bump comes just eight months after the Mi2 first launched, and seems designed to bolster its already beefy hardware up against the newly-unveiled Samsung Galaxy S4 and other rivals.

The biggest bump comes on the Xiaomi Mi2S whose 8-megapixel camera is swapped out for a 13-megapixel snapper. The price remains the same as for last year’s flagship: RMB 1,999 (US$319) for the 16GB model, and RMB 2,299 ($367) for 32GB of storage. The cheaper Xiaomi Mi2A is a new variant for those on a budget, costing RMB 1,499 ($239), which is a good price for a totally unlocked quad-core Android-powered smartphone.

At this afternoon’s event, Xiaomi founder Lei Jun confirmed the upcoming Hong Kong and Taiwan launches by saying that they’ll happen in two weeks’ time. Dedicated sales sites at Xiaomi.hk and Xiaomi.tw have been set up but are currently not online.

Xiaomi sold 7.19 million phones in 2012, which was only its first full year of sales. The aim is to double that to 15 million units this year.

The updated phone models, as well as the Xiaomi Box for streaming media to TV sets, will all go on sale on the Xiaomi site this evening in limited numbers.

Xiaomi Mi2S launch

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Replies
  • Rob Fong

    Xiaomi has a really good chance to establish itself as one of the dominant domestic brands. But I think playing “hard to get” with its product launches could alienate and antagonize its emerging fan base.

  • Ajunhrim

    The rate with which Xiaomi revonates has amazed me—barely a month ago, I was tempted to visit its official website, and now, again, for the second time. The innovation itself gives potential buyers lots of confidence—if they don’t feel buying Xiaomi is a sound bargain now, hopefully, they will. The MIUI V5 looks fine, but I doubt such a bulky system with all those anti-functionalist features will not overburden its hardware. Besides, I am not particularly impressed by the plasticky shell, which, after all, is so characteristically Xiaomi.

    Disclaimer: I am an iPhone 4 user—the phone looks fit, and runs smoothly—basically that’s all I am expecting on a cellphone.

  • njren

    It sure will be interesting to see if Xiaomi employs the same reservation-before-batch release system in Hong Kong and, if so, how much patience customers there will show. Also, will they try the same quasi bait-and-switch of offering “in stock” carrier-subsidized phones at a higher price but “out of stock” unlocked phones at their trumpeted low price?

    @Ajunhrim: There’s nothing really innovative about a Xiaomi phone. Externally, they’re as chunky, utilitarian and bland as can be, while internally they’re essentially built from Qualcomm reference designs. True, you get a high spec phone at a magical price, but that’s to pull customers into the world of MIUI, where the majority of the innovation (and profit) is.

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