Xiaomi launches smartphone, TV to stay in game

Chinese smartphone maker unveils two high-performance devices at competitive prices to combat domestic and foreign rivals.
Written by Cyrus Lee, Contributor
Xiaomi smart TV

Xiaomi officially announced the MiPhone 3 last week, which is equipped with some of the best hardware in the market. The smartphone, which features a 5-inch full-HD screen from Sharp, 13-megapixel Exmor RS CMOS camera sensor from Sony, and a choice of processor--either Tegra 4 or Snapdragon 800.

It sells for only 1,999 yuan (US$327) for the 16G model, according to a NetEase report.

Lei Jun, founder and CEO of the three-year-old company, said the new smartphone uses the same audio decoder chip in the Apple iPhone, and also supports stepless vibration, instant GPS Star Search, gyroscope-assisted positioning, NFC, and other functions. It is available in a number of colors including red, blue, yellow, while, and black, said the report.

At the press conference in Beijing, Lei also touted the new device as the world"s fastest smartphone, adding that the MiPhone 3 outperforms Samsung's Note III from all the aspects. The new smartphone will be available in the Chinese market in mid-October, he said.

Earlier models of MiPhones have sold 9.3 million sets accumulatively and the company is expected to exceed 10 million units in sales within the month, according to Lei. 

On the same day, Xiaomi also launched a 47-inch smart TV priced at 2,999 yuan (US$490), which will be available in the local market next month. The display technology will be built by Samsung and LG, according to a Sina news report. The smart TV runs on Xiaomi's MIUI operating system which is based on Android, and is supported by a quad-core Snapdragon 600 with 2GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, dual-band Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0. It features three key functions: TV, online video, and games, according to the report.

Xiaomi's launch announcement comes days before Apple is expected to unveil a new iPhone on September 10 in the U.S., followed by an official launch in China. This is the first time the country is included in the initial launch, indicating the importance of the Chinese market in Apple's gameplan. 

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