Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has generated a fair amount of buzz in recent years with its custom Android smartphones with high-end specifications and impossibly low prices. Previously available only in China, and more recently, Taiwan, we can confirm that the company will be coming to Singapore, though information on actual roll-out plans and device models is yet to be announced.
What is known so far is that Xiaomi is launching a new brand called Redmi, which literally means “red rice” in Mandarin. The first device to be launched will be the model that was made available in Taiwan, which would make it the US$135 “Hongmi”. The 3G handset is understood to offer a quad-core MediaTek MT6589T 1.5GHz processor and a 4.7-inch HD (720p) IPS display. Other specifications include an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 2,000 mAh battery.
You can check out the Xiaomi website for Singapore here, though it is just a place-holder page titled “Redmi” with some marketing text at the moment.
When I was in Hong Kong recently for an unrelated media event, I spoke with someone who was considering ditching her failing Samsung smartphone for a Xiaomi-branded device. A new non-contract device would cost too much, she explained, and the rock-bottom price, reputation and Android platform of Xiaomi makes it highly attractive.
We have a briefing scheduled with a Xiaomi executive coming up, and the company has scheduled a launch even next Tuesday. So stay tuned, and we’re update again with more confirmed information when we can.
Update: Read about our exclusive meeting with Xiaomi here: Xiaomi’s Hugo Barra on the Redmi, Mi3 and future smartphone plans.