Xiaomi has come a long way forward since its inception in 2010. In a matter of just six years, the brand has gained enormous market share in home country of China and has expanded its reach to other nations like India. According to IDC, Xiaomi was the third largest smartphone maker in the world in October 2014, following Samsung and Apple. Over the years, the company has expanded its range of products from just smartphones, to include televisions, powerbanks, fitness trackers and a range of smart home products. With the launch of the Mi 5 in India, we look at the first Mi branded smartphone from the company, and see how it has evolved over the years.
The Mi 1 was Xiaomi's first ever smartphone and was launched in August 2010, at a price of ¥1999 (~Rs 20,000). It was also the first to feature Xiaomi’s own MIUI user interface which has now become a defining factor of its devices. Key features included a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 processor, Adreno 220 GPU, and 1GB of RAM. The 4-inch smartphone sported a resolution of 480 x 854 pixels. The device received more than 300,000 pre-orders in the first 34 hours of its release.
Almost two years after its first smartphone, the Mi 2 was launched in October 2012 as a major upgrade to the Mi 1 and Mi 1s. Coming in at the same price, the device featured a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 CPU clocked at 1.5GHz, along with 2GB of RAM. It ran MIUI based on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, and came with a larger 4.3-inch canvas at a resolution of 1,280 x 720 pixels. It had an 8MP rear camera along with a 2MP front shooter to take care of pictures and videos. A few variants like the Mi 2A made its way to the market before the next major upgrade.
The Mi 3 was unveiled in China in October, 2013. Apart from bringing in a plethora of upgrades and new features, it was also the first phone by the company to make its way to India. The smartphone was launched in India in July 2014, at a price of Rs 13,999. The key highlights of the device included a 5-inch 1080p display and an upgraded 13MP rear camera. Under the hood, it was powered by a quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor clocked at 2.3GHz, along with 2GB of RAM. Upon its launch in China, it became the fastest selling smartphone in the company’s portfolio with an estimated sale of about 200,000 units within the first three minutes of launch.
About a month after the Mi 3’s debut in India, the Mi 4 was launched in China in August 2014. But the device didn’t make its way to India until January 2015 where it was priced starting at Rs 19,999. Featuring a glass back with a metal frame, the device came powered by the Snapdragon 801 processor, coupled with 3GB of RAM. It kept the 5-inch 1080p display of the Mi 3, but upgraded the front shooter with an 8MP sensor. It was launched running the fifth iteration of the company’s MIUI user interface.
And finally, after years of upgrades, we get to the Mi 5 which was launched in China during MWC 2016, and in India on March 31st. The smartphone is priced at Rs 24,999 for the 32GB option, and comes with an elegant curved glass design. It features a 5.15-inch 1080p display with the company’s Sunlight Display technology. The latest Snapdragon 820 chipset powers the device along with 3GB of RAM. There’s also a Pro version unveiled in China with 128GB of storage, an extra gig of RAM and a durable ceramic back panel.
With Xiaomi improving its flagship lineup immensely with each iteration, it’ll be interesting to see what the brand has in store for us in the near future.