/Can the Mi 6 phone woo the global market with its dazzling blue glass shell and dual cameras?

Can the Mi 6 phone woo the global market with its dazzling blue glass shell and dual cameras?

China’s leading smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi on Wednesday launched its new flagship smartphone Mi 6 in Beijing. The new 5.15-inch phone shell is made of glass and armed with some of the hottest features including a dual camera and curved screen.

“We have integrated all our deep research over the past seven years into the Mi 6,” said Lei Jun, CEO of Xiaomi, at the press launch.

Lei Jun, CEO of Xiaomi, at the press launch. Photo from Xiaomi
Lei Jun, CEO of Xiaomi, at the press launch. Photo from Xiaomi

The Mi 6 is powered with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor. The processor is the most advanced chip in the world and the first to be launched in China via Mi 6, according to Lei. In addition, it has a 6 GB RAM. It is not surprising that Mi 6 has a solid performance as Xiaomi started its business by making smartphones with cost-performance ratios lower than any other competitor in the market.

The new flagship phone is made of curved glass with a stainless frame. The Mi 6 comes in three colors: black, white, and blue. This smartphone has removed the 3.5 mm headphone jack and uses a USB Type-C earphone instead.

Xiaomi’s latest flagship Mi 6 phone. Photo from Xiaomi
Xiaomi’s latest flagship Mi 6 phone. Photo from Xiaomi

The smartphone is equipped with some features for consumers who are increasingly addicted to taking photos, and of course selfies. Its dual camera is empowered with 4-axis OIS to help users take more stabilised photos. What’s more, Mi 6’s rear camera is embedded flat into the phone, unlike the camera in the iPhone 7 Plus which is slightly protruding out.

Priced at RMB 2,499 (USD 363), the 64 GB smartphone will go on sale on April 28 via online channels and major Xiaomi offline stores.

Rather than question whether the smartphone is worth buying, a bigger concern for Xiaomi fans is whether they are able to get their hands on the phone. It has become difficult to purchase Xiaomi smartphones shortly after it is released for sale.

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Xiaomi’s dual camera Mi 6 phone. Photo from Xiaomi

Founded in 2010, Xiaomi recently faced some obstacles despite its initial overwhelming success in smartphone technology. The company lost its crown as China’s largest smartphone manufacturer in 2016, ending a two-year reign. The unicorn, now ranked fifth place among China’s smartphone manufacturers, saw its shipments plunge to 41.5 million in 2016, down 36% year-on-year.

“Xiaomi faced growth pressure over the past year. In the first few years since Xiaomi was founded, we were highly focused on e-commerce to ensure our smartphones are competitive in cost-performance ratio. But e-commerce only accounts for about 10 percent of the entire retail industry,” said Lei Jun at the press launch.

The company is making plans to reverse the trend. Over the next three years, it will open 1,000 offline stores in China’s first-tier and second-tier cities.

(Top photo from Xiaomi)

Wang is a contributor at ACT. She is passionate about literature, photography and technology. She graduated from Shanghai University of International Business and Economics.