×

Xiaomi’s latest $362 flagship phone has the same chip as Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and no headphone jack

  • The Xiaomi Mi 6 costs 2,499 yuan ($362) and will be on sale on April 28.
  • Key specs include a dual lens camera and Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 processor
  • The Mi 6 is a key launch for Xiaomi following struggles in the smartphone market

Xiaomi launched its Mi 6 flagship smartphone on Wednesday with a dual lens camera and latest processing technology, as it looks to recover after a tough year.

The Chinese technology upstart, which is one of the most valuable private companies worth a reported $45 billion, showed off the device which boasts a 5.15-inch display and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, a processor that is yet to appear only in Samsung's Galaxy S8.

Other key features include:

  • 64 GB or 128 GB storage options
  • Dual lens rear camera with two 12 megapixel sensors
  • Under-glass fingerprint sensor on the front
  • No headphone jack
  • Splash resistance

Xiaomi is selling the 64 GB Mi 6 model for 2,499 yuan ($362). The price in dollar terms is slightly above its previous Mi 5 flagship which was released in February 2016 and cost 2,699 which at the time was $354. Still Xiaomi has priced the device lower than flagships from the likes of Huawei, Apple and Samsung.

The Mi 6 is a very important phone launch for Xiaomi, a company that was once the darling of the smartphone world, showing triple-digit growth and challenging the likes of Samsung and Apple. But it has been struggling in recent years and has since looked to branch into new areas such as connected appliances.

Xiaomi's peak in China was the second quarter of 2015 where it was number one and had a 16 percent market share. By the fourth quarter of 2016, it was the fifth largest player with a market share of 7.4 percent, according to IDC data.

In a letter to staff in January, Xiaomi Chief Executive Lei Jun admitted the company grew "too fast" in the past few years leading to challenges in the business.

"2016 was a year in which we took time to catch our breaths and slow our rapid pace to make essential adjustments to our business that will enable us to go further," Jun said.

The company is targeting 100 billion yuan in revenue this year, a feat it has not achieved before.

The Xiaomi Mi 6 smartphone unveiled on April 29, 2017, in Beijing, China.
Xiaomi
The Xiaomi Mi 6 smartphone unveiled on April 29, 2017, in Beijing, China.

Xiaomi was struck a blow earlier this year when Hugo Barra, the executive it poached from Google in 2013 to lead its international expansion efforts, left the company to join Facebook. Xiaomi's attempt to broaden beyond China – where it still books the majority of its sales – has seen mixed success.

The electronics maker, which was once a disruptor, has seen itself face challenges in China from the likes of Oppo and Vivo which have found success from selling their devices in physical stores.

Jun has high hopes for the device which he says is the best the company has to offer.

"Mi 6 is the culmination of our seven years of research and development in the smartphone industry, and represents the pinnacle of our journey thus far," Jun said in a press release on Wednesday.

The Mi 6 will be available on Xiaomi's online store starting April 28, but won't be on sale in the U.S.