Not long ago Xiaomi, a Beijing-based company with around 250 staff, shocked the industry with the announcement of its conveniently named Xiaomi Phone. We're looking at a well-built device packing a 1.5GHz dual-core SoC, 1GB RAM and 4GB ROM, 4-inch LCD, GPS plus GLONASS, and a generous 1,900mAh battery. Set at an extremely competitive price point of around $310 for October, this has no doubt made other local manufacturers -- Meizu in particular -- think twice about their current strategy.
But let's ignore the competitors for now and focus on Xiaomi. Many Android enthusiasts might already recognize this small startup as the star behind the popular MIUI, an Android ROM that offers a vast range of user customization along with the promise of great performance. Alas, we only had a glimpse of this at the Xiaomi Phone launch. Worse yet, it turned out that due to some miscommunication, the prototype unit we handled with actually had a very old firmware, which didn't do justice for the developers. Luckily, we were offered a second chance to take a closer look at a much more up-to-date device. Read on to see what we discovered.
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Gallery: Xiaomi Beijing headquarters tour