Xiaomi unveils first stock Android device

Chinese handset manufacturer says its first smartphone running on Android One will be available in more than 40 markets including Singapore, Indonesia, and Hong Kong from October.
Written by Eileen Yu, Senior Contributing Editor

Xiaomi has unveiled its first smartphone running on Google's Android One which it says will be available in more than 40 markets from October.

The Mi A1 was officially launched on Tuesday in New Delhi, where it was priced at 14,999 rupee (US$233) and available on September 12, said the Chinese handset manufacturer. The stock Android device also would be available in other global markets including Singapore, Indonesia, Russia, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, with local pricing details to be announced later.

XiaoMi's senior vice president Wang Xiang described Mi A1 as "a strategic device" in the company's global expansion and goal to offer consumers "choice" in the way they experienced its handsets.

Wang added that the latest inclusion in its portfolio was the result for a "long" partnership with Google.

Jamie Rosenberg, Google's vice president of business and operations for Android and Google Play, said the new Xiaomi device offered "a simple and pure Android experience".

Mi A1 sports a dual camera with 2x optical zoom, similar to that of Xiaomi's flagship Mi 6, as well as wide angle and telephoto lenses. It runs on Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor and is powered by a 3080mAh battery as well as 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage.

It comes pre-installed with Google's most popular services, including free unlimited storage from Google Photos, according to Xiaomi.

Nokia smartphone-licensee HMD Global also was looking to take a lead amongst Android devices by offering the Google platform in its "purest form". In an interview with ZDNet earlier this year, HMD said its phones would run stock Android and receive the latest system updates.

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