Xiaomi launches the Mi 4 smartphone

Xiaomi launches the Mi 4 smartphone

Chinese mobile phone manufacturer Xiaomi has launched its new flagship Mi 4 smartphone at an event in Beijing. The new device will rival Apple and Samsung smartphones in the premium handset market.

Xiaomi's 5-inch Mi 4 comes with a 1080p screen and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 2.5 Ghz processor. The Android device has some physical similarities to Apple's iPhone, with its metal frame.

The smartphone comes with 3GB of RAM and 16GB of internal memory and runs on a 3080 mAh battery. The Mi 4 can last around a day and a half without needing to be charged on normal usage. The handset has a 13-megapixel rear camera, and a 8 megapixel front-facing camera.

The smartphone was unveiled at a launch event at the National Convention Center in Beijing, attended by chief executive Lei JunLei and vice president Hugo Barra. Lei said that the Mi 4 is the fastest smartphone in the world. He said much work went into balancing its design with the battery power.

The Mi 4 will retail at CNY 1,999 - around $322 - for the 16GB model. The 64GB version will be priced at CNY 2,499 - around $403. The 3G versions will go on sale from July 29 in China. The 4G version will be available from September. Xiaomi did not reveal when the smartphone will be available outside China.

Founded in 2010, Xiaomi prefers online distribution and word-of-mouth marketing to physical stores. Lei previously said that Xiaomi expects to ship 40m smartphones in 2014. He predicts the company will ship 100m smartphones in 2015.

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