Following on the footsteps of Apple, Samsung and Huawei, Chinese smartphone company Xiaomi introduced Surge S1 chip that will be powering the Mi 5c. This is Xiaomi’s first smartphone to be powered by the company’s own SoC chipset. The Mi 5c is priced at RMB 1,499 (or approx Rs. 14,560), and it’s going to be available in China starting March 3.
The Mi 5c features a 5.15-inch Full HD (1080p) display, 3GB RAM, 64GB inbuilt storage, and dual-SIM support. It runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow with Xiaomi’s MIUI 8 layer on top. Xiaomi has said the phone will be upgradable to Android 7.1 Nougat, and the update will be seeded in March. It also packs a 2860mAh battery with fast charging support. On the camera front, the device sports a 12-megapixel rear-facing camera. At the front, it comes with an 8-megapixel camera. The fingerprint sensor is underneath the home button in the front.
The Surge S1 chipset is the first in-house chipset it has built with Pinecone electronics (a company the smartphone maker owns), using an octa-core ARM cortex A53 processor, incorporating four 2.2GHz cores and four 1.4GHz cores. It has an integrated Mali T-860 MP4 GPU, which will provide enhanced graphics performance in gaming and there’s a support for 4K videos as well. It has a 32-bit DSP for high-quality audio and voice calls, and also dual microphones for noise reduction. The chipset integrates 14-bit dual ISP and its own ISP algorithm that claims to improve camera light sensitivity by up to 150 per cent.
— Mi (@xiaomi) February 28, 2017
Xiaomi added that the whole process of creating the Surge S1 chipset has taken 28 months. The company also shared GeekBench 4.0 CPU multi-core benchmark and GFXBench Manhattan off-screen benchmark, claiming that the Surge S1 beats the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 and MediaTek Helio P20 in terms of performance.
By making its own processor, Xiaomi is clearly looking to move away from Qualcomm and MediaTek, in order to have a greater control over the hardware and build customizations into the phones. That’s one way to increase profitability after all the company is facing immense pressure in China from other homegrown players, including Oppo, Vivo and Huawei.