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Xiaomi unveils Mi 5 – its most powerful smartphone yet

Alex Yau
February 24, 2016

The phone was unveiled at the manufacturer’s first ever European launch event and simultaneously in Beijing

Xiaomi launched the new Mi smartphone (pictured) in Barcelona today (February 24) at Mobile World Congress (MWC), its most powerful handset to date.

MWC was the venue of the Chinese manufacturer’s first ever European launch event. A simultaneous unveiling for the flagship, the Mi 4’s followup, was also held in Beijing.

Xiaomi International vice president Hugo Barra took to the stage to introduce the device and placed particular focus on its hardware.

Three models are available. The top of the line Pro model is operated by a Snapdragon 820 2.15GHz processor and has 4GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. The 64GB model also has the same processor and memory specs. At the bottom of the range is a 32GB version. This instead comes with a Snapdragon 820 1.8GHz processor and 3GB of RAM.

Each version has a 5.15-inch screen, 16MP rear camera and a fingerprint sensor. This is also the first Xiaomi phone with a physical home button on the front. It runs on MIUI 7, Xiaomi’s own custom version of the Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system. Available colours include black, white and gold.

The device will be available in China from March 1. Prices start from $354 for the 128GB model and $262 for the 32GB version. UK availability has not been confirmed.

The manufacturer, nicknamed China’s Apple, sold 70 million handsets last year. That’s more impressive considering the company hasn’t entered the Western European market yet. According to IDC, the brand was in the top five smartphone manufacturers last year. It held a 5.6 per cent market share, coming behind Samsung (21.4 per cent), Apple (13.9 per cent) and Huawei (8.7 per cent).


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