When I think back to the mobile landscape when I worked in a phone shop a few years back, boy has it changed. After years of waiting and hoping, Xiaomi has entered the Irish market at an exciting Dublin launch event co-hosted by Three Ireland. I went along to take a look at what was on offer. Spoiler alert, Xiaomi has some pretty cool stuff.
How to Pronounce Xiaomi
Right. Let’s kick things off with how to pronounce a word that starts with “x” because that’s not going to go down to well in Ireland, right? Director of Marketing, Wilkin Lee nailed teaching the crowd how to say Xiaomi:
— goosed.ie (@goosed_ie) November 1, 2018
The Xiaomi Smartphone Range in Ireland
Xiaomi is a simply massive company. Behind Samsung, Apple and Huawei, they are the fourth biggest smartphone manufacturer in the world. Xiaomi is also a unique company in how they value their customers:
Xiaomi release software updates every two weeks or so depending on their users – known as MiFans! #preparetobeafan
— goosed.ie (@goosed_ie) November 1, 2018
Xiaomi Redmi 6
Dual cameras are fast becoming the standard on flagship smartphones. Apple adopts this setup for their uber-flagship phones with Huawei going one step further and slapping triple lenses into the P20 Pro and Mate 20 Pro. While all of these phones are brilliant and the nonchalant use of lenses means you get great shots, you’re left with very little cash in your pocket. The Xiaomi Redmi 6 is going for just €149.99 but even at that price, you get a dual camera setup. I need to do a little more digging, but from the phones I’ve seen so far, that’s the cheapest dual camera smartphone money can buy.
That’s not the only impressive spec Xiaomi pack into the Redmi 6, with the octa-core processor also sticking out to me as being mind-blowing for this price range.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5
One of the bigger Xiaomi handsets, the Redmi Note 5 is clearly on the way to being a flagship smartphone without the flagship price. Despite costing just €199.99, the Redmi Note 5 is powered by a massive 4000 mAh battery. With all that power you can take even more great shots for longer thanks to the primary dual camera setup. Also, expect stunning selfies as the front-facing camera on the Redmi Note 5 is a ridiculous 20MP.
Xiaomi Mi Mix 2s
The Xiaomi Mi Mix 2s is genuinely silly impressive when it comes to the spec it packs in and the receptions its already been getting. The phone is made from ceramic, not aluminium which has become the new norm. Ceramic can apparently improve the phone’s coverage while still remaining quite tough. Sorry, I wasn’t allowed do a drop test.
The Xiaomi Mi Mix 2s is genuinely silly impressive
The design of the Mi Mix 2s had literally lead to it being installed in galleries like The International Design Museum in Munich. But physical design aside, this is a really clever phone from Xiaomi.
The front-facing camera is in a bizarre position as it sits on the bottom right side of the phone, not the more traditional spot on the top. This means you get a beautiful, unhampered view at the top of the phone without any notches – just in case that’s not your thing. Xiaomi has even adopted an ultrasound-based proximity sensor. This is how a phone knows it’s beside your ear when making a call and in turn, switches off the touchscreen. By adopting ultrasound technology, Xiaomi was able to reduce the wasted space at the top of the phone.
You might be thinking that selfie camera is positioned terribly then, ready to capture all those extra chins you don’t need the world seeing. Well, this is how clever Xiaomi is. The idea here is that you simply spin the phone upside down to take the selfie and then it’s just like any other phone.
You can pick up the Mi Mix 2s for €459.99 on prepay or €79 on Three’s €45 per month plan.
It really is a design masterclass from Xiaomi, but they’re not happy with JUST smartphones.
Xiaomi Eco Range
The Xiaomi Eco range is rather impressive in its diversity. Adding to their portfolio of impressive smartphones, Xiaomi has a range of products in audio, fitness and even transport. Yup, one of the things that really stood out at the Xiaomi Ireland launch was the massive electric scooter track, which naturally came with a scooter for people to try out.
The Xiaomi M365 Scooter
My Santa was really easy in 2018. All I wanted was the Xiaomi M365 scooter – and I got it! Walking to the office every morning, it’s clear how popular these things have become. Electric scooters are a fantastic way to cut some time off your morning walk to work or, for some, an electric scooter might mean no sitting in traffic or waiting for a bus to stop.
The Xiaomi M365 is a foldable scooter, which means it will also appeal to those who get a bus to near work but still have a wee walk on the final leg of the journey. Despite its convenience, the M365 can still manage to get you flying along up to 25 kmph for a range of 29.9km. There are various power settings that can lead to these figures varying, but that’s plenty for most people. Some have shown concern about the legality of these scooters, but I’ve been in touch with the Gardai myself and can confirm they are road legal, the same as a bicycle.
You can buy this scooter from select Three stores around the country for €449.
You can find out more about Xiaomi’s Irish arrival by visiting Three.ie.