News by Luke Jones on Thursday April 23, 2015.
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Chinese brand Xiaomi has announced its new high end smartphone, the Mi 4i, and as we have come to expect from the company it comes with a few surprises. Sure, this is a high spec'd juggernaut as you would expect, but the cost of the handset makes it a bit of a bang for buck king. However, like most Xiaomi smartphones, the availability of the 4i will mean most of our readers cannot get one.First let?s start with the handset itself. While the flagship Mi Note Pro was a step towards premium appeal, the Mi 4i tones it back a bit and is far more conventional in terms of looks. It is not an ugly smartphone by any means, but it is not exactly drop dead gorgeous either. That will hardly hurt the appeal, but in a market where even off flagship handsets are looking increasingly sexy, we would have liked Xiaomi to do a bit more in the aesthetics department. The plastic body is similar to the iPhone 5c or an array of Microsoft/Nokia efforts, and like those handsets the Mi 4i comes in a variety of bold colors (pink and yellow for example). Make no mistake, this does not ape those mentioned rivals though, the Mi 4i does look like an original work, something that is important for a company that has oft been accused of ripping off rivals. Down to the specs, this is not an out and out flagship. It is more of a high end smartphone that offers a few flagship kicks along the way. For example, it gets a 1080p screen, a 64-bit mid-range Snapdragon, and a 13 megapixel rear camera. You can check out the full specs below: Software: MIUI 6 with Android 5.0 Lollipop Screen: 5-inch JDI laminated screen with 1080 x 1920-pixel (Full HD) resolution Chip: Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 (2nd generation) octa-core chip with 64-bit processing RAM and Storage: 2GB RAM, 16GB of internal storage Material: polycarbonate wrap-around body Colors: available in black, white, red, cyan, pink Camera: 13-megapixel rear camera (Sony/Samsung sensors) with f/2.0 lens and dual-tone flash Secondary front camera: 5-megapixel with f/1.8 lens Battery: 3120mah battery Former Google executive Hugo Barra announced the device during an event in New Dehli, India (more on that later) and talked up the camera of the Mi 4i. For example, the already stellar HDR mode on the regular Mi 4 has been enhanced and Barra was adamant in claiming it was the best such example of the technology in the smartphone industry. The battery is also interesting. It is smaller physically than other juicers, including the one in the first Mi 4, but this new battery still manages to have a capacity that is 38% larger than the norm for this device category. Availability is where it always gets tricky with Xiaomi, with the company only dealing in China and making occasional forays to the likes of India. Indeed, it is on the subcontinent where the Mi 4i was launched, and the name actually means something here. Barra said the device is inspired by India and its culture (how we can't tell) and that the "I" in the name stands for India. Sadly, the handset will only be available in India at first, not even China is getting a sniff out of the blocks. Other Asian nations like China shouldn't worry though as Xiaomi says the Mi 4i will roll out in other regions after its initial exclusivity in India. The handset will launch there on April 30th before going on that Asian tour later in the summer. As for the rest of the world... this is Xiaomi, so forget about it. Oh yes, it is also worth mentioning the price because this smartphone is shaping up to be a bona fide bargain and will cost 12,999 Indian rupees when it launches, which translates to around $200 without a contract.
Luke Jones is the Managing Editor at MobileBurn.com and is the person you need to speak to about the content on the site. Luke studied creative writing at degree level before carving out a reputation as a freelance tech writer. He settled here at MobileBurn, where he reviews devices and contributes to the news, as well as overseeing the site's content and direction.