As Xiaomi Corp. heads toward a potentially huge initial public offering, the Chinese startup has announced a new flagship smartphone aimed squarely at the high-end users that flock to Apple and Samsung devices.
The $500 Mi MIX 2S was unveiled in Shanghai by co-founder Lei Jun. Success for the new phone, which goes on sale in China on April 3, will be key to maintaining sales momentum ahead of an IPO that could value the Beijing-based company at $100 billion.
The device comes equipped with low-light capable dual cameras that match Samsung’s S9 Plus and the iPhone X, both of which come equipped with a wide-angle and a telephoto that capture images at a resolution of 12 megapixels.
Xiaomi’s new phone has a 5.99-inch display, a tad bigger than the 5.8 inches of the iPhone X and Samsung S9. But unlike its rivals, the Chinese company doesn’t use organic light-emitting diode screens, a technology known for better power performance and deeper colors but also inflates the price tag.
Speaking of power, the Xiaomi phone uses a 3,400 mAh battery, topping the S9’s 3,000 mAh and the 2,716 mAh in Apple’s most expensive device. That means the MIX 2S stores more juice, but is also heavier at 191 grams, compared with 163 grams for the Samsung and 174 grams for the iPhone.
Xiaomi is equipping its new phone with Qualcomm’s fastest Snapdragon 845 processor, same as the S9. Apple uses its comparable A11 Bionic chip.
The base model comes with 64 GB of memory but other versions boast as much 256 GB, similar to what Apple offers in the iPhone X.
Xiaomi is pitching the device starting at 3,299 yuan ($527) for an outright purchase. The iPhone X starts at $999 and the S9 costs at least $700 for its base model, according to Samsung’s website.