We've had early previews thanks to leaks, but Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi -- more recently known as the new home of former Google exec Hugo Barra -- just took the wraps off of a new flagship Android phone and smart TV. The MI3 candy bar phone is available with either a 1.8GHz Tegra 4 processor or Snapdragon 800 CPU (the more powerful MSM8974AB variant), with the former heading to China Mobile's TD-SCDMA network, while the latter landing on China Unicom's WCDMA network and China Telecom's CDMA2000 network. Both flavors sport a 5-inch 1080p IPS LCD built by Sharp or LG with "ultra sensitive touch" that works even when the user has wet hands or has gloves on.
Seeing how its local competitors are putting emphasis on the audio performance, Xiaomi pointed out that the MI3 features the Cirrus Logic CS42L73 DAC chip, which is apparently what the iPhone uses. Another surprise is that there's also Immersion haptic feedback, which adds some rumbling fun to games and certain UI elements. As for the cameras, the backside has a 13MP Sony IMX135 sensor with an F2.2 sapphire lens and dual LED, while the front side has a less exciting but adequate 2MP camera. Interestingly, MIUI's latest camera app will support RAW capture, as well as smart beautification by identifying the gender and age of the subjects in a shot.
Other bits of the phone include 2GB of LPDDR3 RAM, 16GB for storage (with a nice 120MB/s read speed), dual-band WiFi and NFC. Given the 8.1mm body thickness, the 3,050mAh battery is quite impressive (and the included charger provides fast charging with a 2A current), but only time will tell how well it lasts under those beastly processors. As for the price, the phone runs CN¥1,999 (US$330) for the 16GB version and CN¥2,499 ($410) for the 64GB, though only the China Mobile version (Tegra 4) has a mid-October date. Earlier this week, local competitor Meizu announced that its MX3 starts from CN¥2,499 but with just 16GB, though chances are it'll be more readily available than the MI3 given Xiaomi's previous stock issues.
Following the announcement of the MI3, CEO Lei Jun also decided to keep the 32GB MI2S (with Snapdragon 600) at a reduced price of CN¥1,799 (US$290), which is quite a drop from the original CN¥2,299 (US$380).
Moving on, we have the 47-inch 3D-capable Xiaomi TV which is assembled by Wistron (who apparently also makes TVs for Sony), and it'll come in six colors for the aluminium faceplate. The body boasts an 8.4mm bezel plus 2mm to 4.8cm thickness thanks to LG's IPS and Samsung's SVA panels. Like the Xiaomi Box, the TV also runs the company's MIUI flavor of Android, supported by a quad-core Snapdragon 600 with 2GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, dual-band WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0. It even claims an "easy to use" remote with 11 buttons and Bluetooth. Shockingly, the TV will cost just CN¥2,999 (US$490) when it arrives in mid-October.
As of July, Xiaomi has accumulated a total of 20 million MIUI users, and its cloud service receives 11 million photo uploads per day (which works out to be about 7,600 photos per minute). But with the hiring of Hugo Barra as part of Xiaomi's world domination plan, these numbers will no doubt go up again very quickly.
Richard Lai contributed to this report.