Xiaomi launches 5G flagship smartphones Mi 10 and Mi 10 Pro

Chinese electronics maker Xiaomi launched on Thursday its new 5G-capable flagship smartphones in an attempt to turn around falling sales in its home market. The company continues its push overseas where it has seen recent success.

The world’s fourth-largest smartphone maker took the wraps off the Mi 10 and Mi 10 Pro during an event in Beijing. Both devices will be rolled out in China first before entering international markets.

Xiaomi pushed forward with the planned launch at its Beijing headquarters despite the continued concerns over the new coronavirus outbreak which has claimed the lives of over 1,000 people.

While some companies in China have officially resumed work after the extended Lunar New Year holiday, many employees are still working from home and full operations have not yet resumed.

Some of the key specs of the Mi 10 and Mi 10 Pro involve:

  • 6.67-inch full high definition display
  • Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 processor
  • Four-camera set up with one of them being a 108-megapixel sensor developed with Samsung
  • Wireless charging capabilities

The Mi 10 will be available in China on February 14 starting at 3,999 yuan ($572.60) and the Mi 10 Pro on February 18 starting at 4,999 yuan.

Xiaomi is seeking its new phones will take advantage of Chinese consumers’ desire for 5G smartphones and help stop the company’s diminishing shipments in its domestic market.

5G stands for next-generation mobile networks that promise super-fast data speeds. For consumers, this means faster downloads of content and potentially better gaming experiences on smartphones. China turned on its 5G networks in 2019.

Xiaomi, however, has suffered in China’s smartphone market with shipments of its devices dropping more than 21 percent year-on-year in 2019, according to IDC. Overall, the entire Chinese smartphone market declined 7.5 percent, and IDC suggested that consumers are “waiting for cheaper 5G smartphones.”

But for Xiaomi, which has always been seen as competitive on price, the new devices could help it outcompete rivals in China as 5G continues to prosper. The company is planning to release ten 5G-capable models in China within this year.

Xiaomi’s launch comes as the coronavirus continues to spread. It did not invite any media to its event in Beijing, but instead, opted to livestream it. China’s government has advised against mass gatherings.

“Life could be affected by the outbreak of the coronavirus, but we can’t be defeated by the epidemic,” Xiaomi chief executive Lei Jun said at the event, according to a translation provided by the company of his remarks in Mandarin.

“With adequate protection, we should resume production, research and development and go back to our normal work as soon as possible. That’s why we decided to have this online launch event. This is a very special event,” Jun added.

Source: CNBC