Hopes were high that Xiaomi’s new flagship handset, the Xiaomi 4, would be jam-packed with innovative features, but fans and tech critics were disappointed by the product launched in Beijing Tuesday.
Industry commentator Zong Ning rated the specifications of the LTE 4G phone as on par with most smartphones but said the price is unattractive.
Powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 and a standard 3,080mAh battery, the 16 gigabyte version of the Xiaomi 4 sells for 1,999 yuan (US$322).
Instead of promoting cool functions, Xiaomi founder Lei Jun used the launch to highlight the new phone’s rust-resistant austenitic stainless steel frame. It’s a sign that the handset maker is finding it hard to create a new model with any substantial improvements.
Competitors criticized Lei’s stainless steel pitch and said the material is already used in the iPhone and many other handsets.
Huang Zhang, director of Xiaomi rival Meizu Technology, said Meizu adopted the austenitic tech as many as seven years ago.
Another launch disappointment was Xiaomi’s failure to roll out its long-awaited MIUI 6 operating system.
The only thing new in the presentation is the Xiaomi smart wristband, which will sell for just 79 yuan.
“I believe this wristband will very soon become the world’s best-selling wristband,” Lei said.
The wristband is designed to be a fitness tracker but it can also automatically unlock the user’s smartphone. Lei said this saves users the hassle of inputting a password every time. That wearable gadget took a four-man team about one year to develop.
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