Xiaomi Mi4: 'Chinese Apple' launches flagship mobile to challenge iPhone

The Mi4 offers a 5-inch display, quad core processor and 3GB of RAM

The Chinese smartphone maker known as ‘the Apple of the East’ has released its latest flagship device to take on the iPhone: the Mi4.

Although the phone  will only be available in the Asian Pacific region (specifically China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines and India), the Mi4’s design makes it clear that Xiaomi is taking aim at the ‘premium’ market currently dominated by Samsung and Apple.

The phone was unveiled to rapturous applause in Beijing by Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun, a billionaire known for wearing blue jeans and trainers onstage (remind you of anyone?) and who managed to persuade Google’s second in command of Android to join his four-year-old company last year.

A glossy promotional video for the Mi4 shows that Xiaomi are lavishing the same attention on their design process that Apple is known for, showing off a device with an all-metal construction and a smoothly-cut edge perimeter that look eerily similar to the iPhone’s ‘chamfered edges’.

Read more: Who are Xiaomi?
China says iPhone is a 'security threat'
iPhone 6 production confirmed

A slide from the Mi4 launch showing the construction of the all-metal body.

In terms of specifications the Mi4 comfortably holds its own with other flagship devices, featuring a 5-inch full-HD screen, a quad-core 2.5GHz processor, 2GB of RAM, a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera and 16GB of 64GB of internal memory.

The device will also run Xiaomi’s custom MIUI operating system – a skinned version of Android that allows for more customization and that removes the Android app drawer in favour of putting all the programs on the home screen (just lke an iPhone).

Xiaomi also unveiled an £8 fitness tracker at the same event dubbed the MiBand. The device can track the wearer's sleep and steps and can also be used to unlock Xiaomi's phones - doing away with the need for a password.

So is the Mi4 a threat to Apple? Well, in China, certainly. Xiaomi sells 95 per cent of its devices in the country and although it's still slightly behind the American firm in terms of market share (6 per cent compared to Apple's 7 per cent) it might overtake them - especially if Apple's iPhone 6, set to be released later this year, is priced too highly.

Xiaomi might not mean much to Western customers at the moment, but the company's approach to pricing (sell the device at cost and make money on services) is sure to attract some fans over here. The Mi4 is far from an iPhone killer - but who knows about its successors?

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Metail Ltd: Business Development Manager for Asia Pacific

    £35,000 - £40,000 based on experience : Metail Ltd: As a Business Development ...

    Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Supervisor

    £15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a well establis...

    Guru Careers: Product Manager / Product Owner

    £30 - 40k (DOE) + Bonus & Benefits: Guru Careers: A Product Manager / Product ...

    Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Executive

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a number ...

    Day In a Page

    Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

    Greece referendum

    Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
    Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

    7/7 bombings anniversary

    Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
    Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

    Versace haute couture review

    Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
    No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

    No hope and no jobs in Gaza

    So the young risk their lives and run for it
    Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

    Fashion apps

    Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
    The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

    Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

    Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
    Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

    'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

    Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
    Compton Cricket Club

    Compton Cricket Club

    Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
    London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

    Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

    'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

    It helps a winner keep on winning
    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate