back to article Chinese £200 iPhone killer unwraps for Xmas

Next month will see the launch of a handset which outperforms the iPhone, at £200, from a man who admits he's been waiting for Steve Jobs to die. That man is Lei Jun, and the phone is the much-anticipated Xiaomi handset. The release date is 18 December. Xiaomi is an Android-based handset with a dual-core processor, and sold …


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  1. Andus McCoatover

    I wouldn't like to be Elop right now.

    Fortunately, he's got the key to the Executive bathroom....

    1. foo_bar_baz

      Still think

      Nokia should release an Android phone to compete with these guys?

      1. fandom Silver badge

        Do you really think that MS with refrain to license Windows phone to these guys?

      2. Manu T

        @ foo_bar_baz

        No they shouldn't. Because they would be forced to pay license fees to microsoft just like anyone else. Android is a pitfall of trouble for everyone involved. software developers get bullied by Oracle and hardware developers by microsoft. IMHO Google should step up and stop these bullying tactics immediately! Or soon Google will loose all its 'partners' (though they probably don't care since they can now build the phones themselves.) In that respect I predict that we WILL see MORE windows phone devices from former Google's 'partners' and less android devices.

        IMHO Nokia should STAY AWAY from these american technologies as far as possible. They have Symbian S^3 and S40 (mid- & low-end) and Meego (high-end). The weird thing is that all their supposedly dead platforms are NOT as bad as the press let ppl believe. The N9 had very good reviews (even from that same iphone/android-biased press) and latest ANA/Belle versions of Symbian have good reviews too (though I still don't see what all the fuss is about; to me it's just the same olde Symbian). Especially the Symbian devices had the best navigation for years, are the only ones capable of full 2-way callrecording, had multitasking since their beginning (and very well matured by now), don't require multi-cores or ridiculous clockspeeds to operate smoothly and have proper battery-life. Not to mention you actually make phone calls with them (without putting a condom over your head or your phone).

        Nokia should just sit this ride out. As soon as newness wanes of, people will come back. As soon as they realise that all they actually need is already around in the form of a Nokia device for a fair price. Because one day consumers will be fed up of all the waiting for promised features to materialise. One day they stop feeling the need to be 'cool' and require actual features. One day ppl stop using phones as music-players and need their work to bedone... pronto!

        Then they need TOOLS not TOYS!

        And lets face it. Symbian (especially the old ones) may 'look' like crap but it got the job done at a fair price and decent performance. You needed to make that urgent call... that Nokia phone got the job done without 'bumpers' or you performing yoga to 'properly hold' your phone.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          Obviously your mileage varied from mine. I had a N95 8GB. It was supposedely the dog's nackers.

          Nackered more like it. It was a buggy piece of crap since the day I bought it. Using it as a sat nav the battery lasted for 4.5 hours, and was often a couple hundred metres 'off'. Used as a Wifi hotspot it lasted approx an hour. Used for taking photos I'd be lucky to last a full day on the beach with family.

          Yes - it was an excellent phone *when* it didn't crash. Which was almost all the time if I actually dared to use it.

          If you just want a phone - then just buy a fucking phone. Don't mess around with smartphones.

          If, on the other hand like most people nowadays, you want to play a game or two, browse fartbook, satnav, take some photos, etc... then chose whichever brand/OS you feel you like the most.

          To try to kid yourself into thinking all these shiny new toys will somehow fall out of fashion and the world will return to a pre-iphone/android market is just deluding yourself.

  2. Craigness

    God is dead; long live God

    The post is required, and must contain letters.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Chinese knock-off phones

    There's hundreds of iPhone knock-offs and Android phones coming out of China. Just go on Ebay. They all look the part from the picture but the build quality is cheap and there's usually one or more fatal flaws in the design.

    This new phone may be a cut above the usual knock-offs but I doubt it will match the premium handsets.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      What's you definition of 'knock-off'

      " I doubt it will match the premium handsets"...which are probably made in China too.

    2. jhml2011


      Have you seen the <shudder> knock off iPods? </shudder> they're bleak, the OS is pants and so is the sound quality - never got to see batter life as it kept skipping to the next track for no apprent reason.

      1. AJ MacLeod

        Knock off iPods

        What, it's possible to create a worse MP3 player than an iPod? Scary thought...

        1. Armando 123

          @AJ MacLeod

          "What, it's possible to create a worse MP3 player than an iPod? Scary thought..."

          One word: Zune.

          1. Oninoshiko


            Actually, those I know who actually BOUGHT a zune (it's a not statistically significant number), quite liked it.

            I have no opinion one way or the other.

    3. Ru

      They often have unusual and useful features as well... things like dual sim capability which seems very unpopular in the rest of the world, irritatingly.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Two sim Chinese phones

        Yes two sims, and often two batteries in the box. Why? Well the battery life makes the old Atari Lynx look frugal. Simply the act of making a call drains the battery at an alarming rate.

        That's if you can get the thing to hold a connection in the first place.

        Dr Ashens often reviews these devices. "Special" features usually include resistive touch screens that you'd hoped to see the back of and horrible OS flaws. And in one recent case a knock-off of an iPhone that doesn't exist yet! (see link).

    4. jhml2011

      cheap knock-offs

      Agreed, <shudder> have you seen the Ipod clones </shudder>

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge


        No I <shudder>haven't</shudder> seen these products you allude to, but given that Apple's manufacturing is in China, why would rival products be of poor quality just from being manufactured in the same country?

        Some specifics would be nice as to what you are talking about, rather than some rather vague generalisations, otherwise I'd have to say that I suspect you are engaged in some sort of <shock><horror>smear campaign</horror></shock>.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Loyal Commenter

          Don't be a dick.

          The rival products wouldn't be of cheap quality because they come from China.

          They are cheap quality because they are cheap knock-offs. ie inexpensive copies of quality devices.

          If there was a market for cheap knock-off android phones - then you would see the same stream of low quality trash running android instead.

    5. petur

      If they copied the Apple design is will have flaws :P

      1. Seanie Ryan

        glass hoses - stones

        much like the flaws in your typing/grammar. If you point at others failings, you have to be on a very high perch....

        1. Fluxinator



          1. Shakje



        2. Lockwood

          Irony. I love it.

    6. Giles Jones Gold badge

      Exactly right, looking at specs never tells the whole story. I don't look at the specs, I look at the whole package.

      A smartphone should last 2 years minimum and there needs to be software updates for that duration or it's just a paperweight. We're not talking community updates as while they mean well you can't really get any legal redress if something bad happened due to a software fault.

  4. Arrrggghh-otron

    No iPhone killer

    An affordable sim free handset with a decent spec would be nice but I can't see this being an iPhone killer. And what little I can find about it (in the 30 seconds I searched) suggests it's not going to be out until Feb 2012.

    Also they have skinned Android. Why oh why do manufacturers feel the need to re-skin a perfectly workable interface that gets (mostly) better with each iteration?

    Secondly for me there is no hardware keyboard. I'm not suggesting that we all must and should be using hardware keyboards, but speaking personally, a proper 5 row qwerty is streets ahead of touch-screen keyboards not to mention doesn't take up 2/3 of the screen.

    1. Manu T

      @ Arrrggghh-otron

      What Nokia or any other smart phone-developer should do is look back. Especially in todays craze for bigger screens and hence larger devices.

      I take it you loved the Psion Series 5(mx) if you ever had one. A massive beast with the best ever keyboard on a pocketable device. Today it should be possible to put a quad core ARM CPU/GPU-combo and all the bells and whistles of modern phones in that same footprint. (hell if they can make it inside a USb-stick then I don;t see the problem.

      Why don't these suposedly smart CEO's just look at that device from the past and re-create something similar with a similar big great keyboard and today's technology? If Nokia made a Symbian 5"inch phone (or whatever that Psion screen size is) with THAT keyboard and today features (including an 8mpixel carl zeis-camera like on the N8) on the market I'd buy it in a heartbeat. But they'de probably skimp on features like they did on the E7 and make it way too expensive like N9/E7 for anyone to afford :-(

      1. Sean Baggaley 1

        The reason nobody's made a Psion-alike...

        ... is because Psion owns the patents to the keyboard hinge needed to make it possible.

        (Also: it's mostly nerds who are even remotely interested in a laptop with a 5" screen. Most people are quite happy to take mediocre photos and post them for their friends' edification on TwitBook.)

      2. Arrrggghh-otron

        @Manu T

        Oh yes! A Series 5 sized device with that keyboard would be awesome! One addition would have to be a dumb phone to go with it. That is, a really small handset (Zoolander style) that uses bluetooth to connect to the device to make and receive calls, browse contacts, get notifications etc. If they could somehow make that a removable part of the main device, that would be a sweet bit of kit.

        For all it's failings, I loved the XDA Exec even if it was running a rather clunky Windows Mobile, but holding it to your head to make and receive calls was just embarrassing.

        That said the HTC 7 Pro would be great if they just made an android version... or if we could have gotten the Samsung Galaxy S Pro or Droid 3 in the UK. I guess I will just have to wait for the UK release of the Droid 4 (I suspect I am in for a long wait - in the mean time I will just keep using the G1).

        On another note, I've since learned that there is a carrier in China running a 're-skinned' version of Android for the Xiaomi MI-One that is actually a community rom - so I withhold judgement on what this phone comes with until I actually see one in the flesh.

      3. Hayden Clark Silver badge

        Why no Psion organiser clones?

        Because, the last time a company made a really good, functional, low-power folding organiser with a keyboard and a touch-screen, so few people bought them that the company nearly went bust.

        So, I don't see anyone repeating that mistake.

        And I speak as someone who would also buy a replacement for my Series 5 (actually a Ericsson MC218) or even my beloved Series3mx

  5. Arnold Lieberman

    Gooapple V5

    Shame it's not 3G

    1. Uplink

      That would explain the price then.

      Also, while I was interested in it when I saw the headline, I no longer am. It's useless to me without 3G.

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  7. Mondo the Magnificent

    "Another" iPhone killer?

    Seeing as it runs Android, why isn't it an "Xperia", "Samsung Galaxy SII" or "HTC Sensation XL" killer?

    Also, how exactly does the Xiaomi offering "outperform" the iPhone or any other handset? Is this the Jobs wannabe's claim or has the handset been tested and vetted by a reputable party?

    Plus, being cheap as chips I guess the quality will be questionable. I did a Google Image search on the Xiaomi handset and, erm, well, I won't be holding my breath.. it's just another cheap "phoney"

    1. Manu T

      @ Mondo the Magnificent

      ' Plus, being cheap as chips I guess the quality will be questionable. I did a Google Image search on the Xiaomi handset and, erm, well, I won't be holding my breath.. it's just another cheap "phoney"'

      you mean the same questionable quality as a flimsy galaxy (II) S or an SE Xperia. It seems that the only ones trying to appear 'interested in build quality' with regards to Android handsets are either HTC or Moto.

      Funny thing is that the press always speaks of iPhone killers yet none actually kills it :-)

  8. billium

    I doesn't follow the western trend. It is fat - great long battery . Screen can be read in sun light. The review I read said build quality is o.k.. I wish there was a similiar phone available in the UK.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      There are loads available already.

      You can buy great quality android phones and cheap nasty ones too.

      What's your point?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Mr C Hill

    Well, you'll be right in one respect, at least; the cost.

  10. Lockwood

    Maybe we'll see Dr Ashen with one of these in a few months time?

  11. Jelliphiish


    have been flogging a 4gs thingy clone for 68 quid for months before any of this malarky..

    they make elonex tablets and such.. some very similar 'droid clones too.

    old news.

  12. Skymonrie

    They haven't done much

    MUIU is a nice custom android rom moving forward in a good direction, this phone doesn't differentiate from anything else other than that.

    In China though, I am an English man in China right now, they do a rather good job of taking something that works and throwing the kitchen sink in alongside it though. One day, they will learn to innovate for themselves though; it's in their culture here to accept pure and simple copying.

    The five year plan of China is to become the tech centre of the world, here's just one of those starts i guess.

    1. 404 Silver badge

      Slightly to the right of off topic...

      "One day, they will learn to innovate for themselves though; it's in their culture here to accept pure and simple copying."

      What does mean exactly? Culture thing? How does this affect their space program? There are limits to what you can steal/acquire, they will have to come up with their own solutions for space travel, yes?

      Very curious.

  13. Kernel

    "They often have unusual and useful features as well... things like dual sim capability which seems very unpopular in the rest of the world, irritatingly."

    Yes, I would like dual SIM too - but the only phone I've seen with it, which was, of course, a Chinese one, required a stylus to use many of the more advanced functions.

    Not a problem to a long term PDA user - but, while there was a stylus supplied there was no silo to keep it in!

  14. Bad Beaver

    Who cares?

    Bah, it's some cheap faceless android device. Despite all the crash-happy UI customization they pretty much all look the same. A problem that will soon reach Nokia with the not-so-customizable WP (which is very slick in use but lacks a lot of the bells and whistles you expect coming from a Symbian device). You have to stand out with exceptional hardware or you will be lost in a sea of samey slates. That lowers your brand value. But if "cheap" is your USP that may not be as much of a problem.

  15. Gadget Rage is BAD

    So yet another Android phone..

    which claims to be better, cheaper, faster, stronger and longer than the iPhone, big woop. This is news how? Wake me up when one ACTUALLY does what it claims.

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