China's Xiaomi unveils $680 5G smartphone, sees growth in Africa

Sheri Evans
February 25, 2019

Xiaomi has just unveiled its first 5G smartphone at MWC 2019 and it's a reworking of its current flagship, the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3. Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 features a 6.39-inch Super AMOLED display with Gorilla Glass 5 on top. This means aside from the new chipset and 5G support, the Mi Mix 3 5G has the same hardware as of the original Mi Mix 3 that debuted in China back in October a year ago.

Xiaomi kicked off the event with 5G - because 5G is the Barcelona buzzword this week - refreshing last fall's Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 with a new 5G version.

Xiaomi had launched the Mi MIX 3 smartphone in China last October. The Mi MIX 3 5G also features the same dual 12MP main cameras with AI assistance plus a 24MP + 2MP dual-camera combo for the front.

Xiaomi has announced that the Mi 9 price will be €499 (about Rs 36,000) for the 6GB of RAM and 128GB storage variant. It runs MIUI 10 based on Android 9 Pie and is backed by same 3,200mAh battery. You also get wireless charging, fast wired charging, type C connector, dedicated Google Assistant Button and the magnetic slide system to reveal the cameras. It now features a Snapdragon 855 chipset which has Qualcomm's X50 5G modem. In Europe, Xiaomi has launched only the classic Mi 9. This may seem too high if taking into account the price policy Xiaomi has been always running, but the company also said the cost of 5G chips and components is still very high.

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With a triple camera setup and an in-display fingerprint scanner, the Mi 9 is certainly a worthy contender in the flagship race.

Additionally, Xiaomi launched the Mi LED Smart Bulb at its pre-MWC conference with a price tag of Euro 19.9 (roughly Rs. 1.600).

The Mi 9 is available in Spain, France and Italy for pre-order now; it will show up in stores on February 28.

It's available in Piano Black, Ocean Blue, and Lavender Violet, though we were told that in the United Kingdom only the black and blue versions would be available at launch.

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