Perhaps you’ve never heard of the smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi, and that’s for good reason. The company is huge in China and India but has only started to break through to the West in recent years. What may surprise you is that Xiaomi is the fourth largest smartphone manufacturer in the world, right behind Apple, Samsung and Huawei. They’re really, really huge. Soon they’ll be making their first big break in Ireland, having partnered with Three to bring their phones to western countries such as Ireland and the UK. But what does Xiaomi offer that others don’t?
What Xiaomi Brings to the Table
Xiaomi has been huge for the tech-heads around the globe no matter where they live. Affordable and with great processors along with an ease of importing, these devices tend to be perfect for students who aren’t willing to spend 800 euro for a phone off-contract. They’re also great for those who want a brand new phone without being tied into a contract in general. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Plus will set you back about €160, and it’s pretty much got everything you could ever want in a phone. Facebook, Snapchat and WhatsApp will all run just as well as on a Samsung Galaxy S9+, and for a fraction of the cost. It’s understandable why we may start to see the Chinese rising of mobile phones.
Chinese Companies Offer Unique Designs
The cost isn’t all that has smartphone pundits drawn to Xiaomi. The company has been one of the first to introduce a “bezel-less” design, a phone design that has the screen nearly edge-to-edge. Take a look at the photo below:
Isn’t that phone just beautiful? If looks aren’t enough, don’t worry, it also costs €400 off-contract with one of the best processors on the market and a pretty decent camera. A much sweeter deal than the Samsungs and the Apples of the world today.
It’s not all Xiaomi
Xiaomi isn’t the only Chinese manufacturer making waves in the West.
OnePlus, a startup you may have heard of that initially required invitations to buy their phones has been steadily growing over the years. Their phones have slogans such as “Never Settle” and “The Speed You Need”. They’re extremely confident in their products and testing has shown their latest phone, the OnePlus 6, to probably be the fastest phone on the market today. OnePlus isn’t messing around, and if processing speed isn’t enough for you, their phones also charge the fastest on the market too. It takes 30 minutes to charge the OnePlus 6 from 0% to 60%, an absurdly quick charging time. This device is costlier than the others at a €519 starting price, but it’s still much cheaper than some of the phones it goes toe-to-toe with and even beats in terms of performance. They’ve also officially sold in the West for years now, they just started out small and grew over time.
And then there are the heavy hitters, the ones that have been around long enough to start charging just a little bit more thanks to brand loyalty. Huawei is through and through a Chinese smartphone manufacturer. Their headquarters is in Shenzhen and they’ve been cropping up more and more in the news because of privacy concerns. If you’re in the US and work as a government contractor, you can no longer use Huawei or ZTE phones.
That’s not to say that’s right, as there’s currently no evidence of exploitation from Huawei of its market position in the US. Still, they have a wide range of devices and you’ve either owned one or known someone who has within the last couple of years. I have it on good authority that Goosed has a Huawei P20 Pro review on the way soon too, so keep an eye out for that.
Huawei also has a subsidiary company called Honor which focuses mainly on online sales and tries to focus a lot more on the western market. While they announced their first phone in Malaysia in 2013, they moved into the European market very quickly, only a year later, announcing a product launch in Berlin.
It’s happening pretty quickly, but accepting these new brands will make things a lot easier not just on you, but on your wallet as well. These companies are desperate to break into new markets, and charging a lower price than the competition is the perfect way to do that. They aren’t charging absurdly low prices to steal from consumers, they’re gaining market share by doing that. That in turn attracts investment and allows these companies to gain a proper foothold.
That’s what Huawei did, they were just one of the first to do it.