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Xiaomi launches much awaited Mi 4i and wearable Mi Band


Chinese devices manufacturer Xiaomi launched the much awaited Mi 4i smartphone in India priced at Rs 12,999. The device will go on sale on ecommerce portal Flipkart on April 30 and registrations for the same are open. Separately, the company also launched its wearable device, the Mi Band, in India priced at Rs 999 and will be available via its website Mi.com. BGR India reports that, Xiaomi’s Hugo Barra also announced that the first 1,000 units of the smartband will be on sale for just Re 1.

The Mi 4i features a 5 inch HD display along with a pixel density that goes up to 441ppi.The Mi 4i display also features a technology Xiaomi called “Sunlight display,” which essentially includes dynamic tone mapping that balances the screen legibility according to the lighting conditions, a similar technology that’s already there on rival’s OnePlus One. For processing power, it features a second-generation 1.7GHz Snapdragon 615 octa-core (1.1GHz quad-core + 1.7GHz quad-core) 64-bit processor paired with 2GB of RAM, and 16GB internal memory. As far as the battery goes, the device sports a 3,120mAh battery with quick charge support and the company claims it can charge the battery to 40% in an hour, and full charge in three. The smartphone is a 13-megapixel rear camera with CMOS sensor, f/2.0 aperture, and dual-tone flash. On the front, there is a 5-megapixel selfie camera, with f/1.8 aperture and 80 degrees wide angle lens.

The phone is also a dual-SIM device, something that was missing in its earlier Mi 4 device launched in January. Other connectivity options include LTE Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, Bluetooth 4.1, and GPS. The operating system on the device is the Android Lollipop-based MIUI 6.

The Mi Band

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The Mi Band is a fitness tracker with a 30-day battery life and IP-67 certification that makes it resistant to water and dust. It connects to Android iOS smartphones via Bluetooth. The device also has a number of sensors which can monitor your fitness and sleep. he Mi Band costs $15,  4 times cheaper than its closest competitor Fitbit which is priced at $60. However, it remains to be seen how functional the device actually is. Most consumers would rather indulge in a $60 device that works properly rather than a $15 device that works marginally. If the tracker works as promised, it should blow the competition away, especially in emerging markets.

The band also works as a proximity unlocker for your Xiaomi smartphone. So if you are holding your Xiaomi smartphone in the same hand as you’re wearing the band, the smartphone will unlock without a password. But that might be a feature which might annoy users rather than make things more convenient for them with accidental unlocks.

New avenues of marketing

It’s interesting to note that Xiaomi ended its exclusive arrangement with Flipkart and is now selling its handsets on both Snapdeal and Amazon India earlier this month and is looking at different avenues to market its devices in India. So why is the company selling the devices on Flipkart first again? Most recently, Xiaomi started selling its flagship phones offline at The Mobile Store. Xiaomi also launched its online store in India in March. Currently, only phone accessories such as mobile cases and headphones are available for sale. The site claims it will deliver all products within 5-7 business days. The company will charge a Rs 50 shipping fee for orders below Rs 500 and nothing for orders above Rs 500.There’s still no word on when it will start selling phones on its online store.

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