Xiaomi on cloud '9' with new flagship

Xiaomi on cloud 9 with new flagship
Donovan Sung with the Xiaomi Mi 9 during its launch in Dubai on Wednesday. - Supplied photo

It took a while for Xiaomi to arrive where it's at right now - and they won't get tired of telling their story as it expands into more markets armed with their own innovation.
"Our model is definitely working. As we tell our story better, a lot of people realise that we have good phones... at half the price. So they'd think, 'why wouldn't I buy it?'" Donovan Sung, director of product and marketing at Xiaomi Global, told Khaleej Times. "We're still a pretty young company... we've been in some countries for only a year but we're getting there, earning that trust from consumers."
Sung was speaking during the launch of its latest flagship, the Mi 9, in Dubai on Wednesday, joining the field offering solid smartphone specs in a bid to resurrect momentum in a sector that experienced its first-ever sales contraction last year. Beijing-headquartered Xiaomi - the world's No.4 smartphone vendor - actually bucked the trend in 2018, growing over 30 per cent, which it attributes to its products - over 120 million shipped last year - boasting quality specs at affordable price points.
Fresh from their appearance at the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Sung stressed that while overwhelming specs have been introduced, there's more in store for everyone.
"There is definitely room for improvement," he says, specifically pointing out cameras and batteries as components that are primed for more advancements.
The 6.39-inch Mi 9 - priced at Dh1,849 - is Xiaomi's first device with a triple-lens AI camera system, bannered by a 48MP Sony IMX586 sensor, and also has the world's first 20-watt wireless charging capabilities, promising a 0-to-100 per cent charge in just 90 minutes.
Also at the MWC, Xiaomi flaunted its readiness for the fifth generation of mobile networks when it launched its "top premium" Mi Mix 3 5G, demonstrating up to 10 times faster speeds compared to 4G, equivalent of downloading a 1GB file in just 3 seconds. The UAE and the Middle East have also played a key role in Xiaomi's growth. Last year, over 40 per cent of the company's revenues came from outside its home market of China. In India, Sung says Xiaomi has been No.1 for six consecutive quarters.
"Our performance has been pretty good in the region. We havent't been here that long... but it has become really, really important for us," Sung said, promising "major expansions" in the region, as well as in Europe and Southeast Asia.Also at the event, Xiaomi launched the 6.3-inch Redmi Note 7, a mid-range device that starts at Dh655. Both phones are available in the UAE from today. - alvin@khaleejtimes.com

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