The Xiaomi Mi 5 is here. And it has enough specs and innovation to be able to start a frenzy that gives it the kind of sales volume to keep the Chinese startup on top of global charts for a while.
The stylish new phone will be available in three versions including an Mi 5 Pro version with Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, 4GB RAM and 128GB internal storage and a ceramic body. This version should sell in India between Rs 25,000 and Rs 30,000 if you convert the China pricing. However, the question will be: when will the Xiaomi Mi 5 come to India?
While Xiaomi Vice President Hugo Barra specifically mentioned that India will get the phone soon, though going by past record that will be a few months from now. The Redmi 3, for instance, will launch in India on March 3.
The Mi 5 will, however, find lots of takers in India given that it has a great price, a stunning camera with the first implementation of four-axis Optical image stabilisation and VoLTE, which will become popular in India when Reliance Jio launches. In fact, there is a possibility that the two launches might coincide.
The phone also offers a great Full-HD display, which despite being among the brightest will be able to reduce power consumption. It will also be among the first phones to be available with Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, which has over 100 new models in the works.
The phone was simultaneously launched in China and at the MWC in Spain, the first time Xiaomi has organised a European launch. Incidentally, Xiaomi is among the top five smartphone vendors in the world, despite a couple of slow quarters. Barra said the company sold 70 million devices globally in 2015, and was the largest online brand in China.
However, in markets like India its delay in getting a localised UI, has given a look in for new brands like LeEco, which also has similar ambitions and business models. Still, the Qualcomm processor will protect Xiaomi from the litigation, it has faced for using MediaTek chips without proper patent licences in India. That could mean an earlier roll-out for the Mi 5 in India.