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Monday, 25 May 2015

Xiaomi Mi4i - Not your typical mid tier but not yet a flagship

Within the next few days, xiaomi Mi4i will be officially available for purchase online by Malaysian on the 28th of this month. After the almost a year delay with the last flagship Mi4, the early release for this year flagship with Mi Note and Mi Note Pro seems to redeem any previous issue plaguing availability of Xiaomi models. This year Mi4i have also hit our shore within 2 months of official India release (home market) and that show how Xiaomi sees Malaysia as an important market for them.

Mi4i is not your typical Xiaomi flagship phone, with only a mid tier SoC paired with other flagship design and hardware, Mi4i is essentially plays in a different fields as other Xiaomi offering before .It is typically a high end mid tier phone and that plays within the realms of the Samsung A series that supposed to be its direct competitor. Even if its direct competitor is actually the Samsung A series, Xiaomi still have to fight with other lower priced models from china and that would be used as the benchmark by normal buyers who would only see the advertised hardware spec as the main reason for purchase.

This is something of an issue for xiaomi and would be a major turning point for them moving forward with this decision of raising the bar on quality (intangible) from their previous marketing strategy of tangible high spec phones with reasonable pricing. Some market would not see this move as something as a deal maker but Xiaomi hope to see this phone would mark a beginning of a new strategy for the future.

With margins a getting thinner, the race for affordable price phones is no longer a viable option for them because of their low production rate versus the other low priced counterparts in Lenovo. Markets like India and South east asia (including Malaysia) have always been dominated by Lenovo because of their wide offering of models and specs that caters to every market demands. 

We will look at what Mi4i offers and will compare these with two of their biggest rival in Lenovo (P70) and Samsung (A7) current offering abeit in different categories. 

Both Samsung and Xiaomi uses Qualcomm 64bit Snapdragon 615 with Xiaomi using a little higher clock speed in their own Mi4i that would give a little bump on the benchmark numbers from previous generation used in Samsung A7. Lenovo P70 in the other hand uses the current King of Mid tier SoC in the Mediatek's MT6752 that leaves others in their dust in term of benchmark numbers.

Battery life
Lenovo P70 seems to have the biggest capacity of these 3 phones but capacity is not the ultimate reason for a good battery life. Mediatek's is not known for good power consumption while the Qualcomm snapdragon are better in sipping smaller amount of juice in doing the same task as opposed to Mediatek. At the end of the day all these 3 phones would have no issue passing the average day tasks without a need of charging in mid day.

Build Material
Samsung A7 shine in this category with its unibody metal casing that is both slim and sturdy. On the other hand, the new Mi4i is a mid-range phone made of cheap but sturdy polycarbonate plastic, which can withstand accidental drop. On the design front, it features a slim and sleek uni-body design language. It measures just 7.8 mm thickness and weighs just 130g. Lenovo P70 stuck to the trusted candy bar design that doesnt stand out but still feels premium.

Mi4i is not your typical mid tier Xiaomi phone but not a real flagship either. With its pricing, it is easy to be put against Lenovo P70 but the comparison might not be fair because Mi4i packs a lot of flagship features that is not common in the price range. We would recommend Mi4i as a worthy smartphone purchase and would like to see how the market react to this new marketing strategy that Xiaomi is on.

For less than $150 usd, this phone might be the best phone money can buy within that price range. with just a few days to go for the official availability we are keeping an eye on the market response to this specific model and we know it will be huge. 

source : Xiaomi Malaysia

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