Xiaomi Phone 2
At last, no more secrets. Announced in Beijing just now is the Xiaomi Phone 2, and with the exception of the appearance, most of the specs match the many leaks we've come across: 4.3-inch 720p IPS display by Sharp, Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064 quad-core chip, 2GB RAM and 16GB memory. To power this beast, Xiaomi's throwing in a 2,000mAh cell, but you can also purchase a 3,000mAh version if you don't mind the extra 2mm thickness on the phone. As for photography, you get a 28mm two-megapixel imager at the front along with a 27mm F2.0 eight-megapixel BSI camera on the back -- we saw some stunning untouched shots from the latter at the launch event. The good news doesn't stop there. On the software front Xiaomi's decided to jump straight to Android Jelly Bean for the phone's MIUI ROM, which itself packs several new features as well. Just to name a few: enhanced security, phone finder, Chinese voice assistant (apparently with 85 percent comprehension accuracy), more interactive themes and 5GB of cloud storage service with online client. As you can already see, all of this will cost just ¥1,999 (about $310) -- the same as the original Xiaomi Phone announced this time last year -- when it launches in October, and local carriers China Unicom plus China Telecom will also be offering the DC-HSPA+ handset at subsidized prices. Interestingly, Xiaomi co-founder Lei Jun even admitted on the stage that the phone's raw cost is ¥2,350 ($370) per unit, so hopefully it'll go down sooner than later for his sake. But if ¥1,999 is still too much, there's also the ¥1,499 ($235) Xiaomi Phone 1S which, as we've already seen, is very much just the original Xiaomi but bumped up from 1.5GHz to 1.7GHz, along with a front-facing camera. Until we get hold of the phones to play with, here are some photos from the event. Update: Now we have some photos from our very brief hands-on -- each person was only given 90 seconds with the beta units! That said, the Xiaomi Phone 2s already felt pretty solid and the UI animation was slick, so we look forward to the more refined engineering samples next month.