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Xiaomi Launches in Africa

News by Micah Bartos on Wednesday November 04, 2015.

android news · smartphone news · micah bartos

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Mi 4i
Mi 4i

Xiaomi has built itself into one of the major smartphone manufacturers in the world by selling products in emerging markets, starting in China and then expanding through Asia and into India. While the next major frontier for the Chinese brand is the United States and Europe, the company is still not finished making its presence felt in emerging markets, with Africa the latest to get Xiaomi's smartphones.

This month Xiaomi will be making its debut on the continent, however the company is oddly not selling its ultra-budget handsets there just yet, instead favoring to offer the Redmi 2 and Mi 4 flagship. Xiaomi has not said which specific nations it will be expanding to, although Nigeria and South Africa are obvious choices.

The Redmi 2 sports a 4.7-inch screen with 720p resolution, a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 410, 1GB of RAM, 8 megapixel rear camera, 2 megapixel front facing lens, 2200mAh battery, and Android 4.4.4 KitKat. Considering that is a fairly old overall package, the price of $160 seems a little on the steep side.

So too the Mi 4, which is Xiaomi's flagship, but an aging one. It will cost the equivalent of $320:

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 Delhi, 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.

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