I just found out about an upcoming Android smartphone dubbed the “Xiaomi Phone.” Prior to reading about the device on Engadget, I had never heard of this thing, but apparently, it’s supposed to have superphone specs and will only cost around $300. Some key specs to note is the 1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, 1 GB of RAM, 4 GB of ROM, an 8 megapixel camera with LED flash, 1930 mAh battery, and a 4-inch 480 x 854 LCD display made by Sharp. What’s helping this phone gain some buzz both overseas and here in the States is the fact that it’ll be running the increasingly popular MIUI custom ROM as its default software. I recently tried out MIUI for the first time on my T-Mobile G2 and have since fallen in love with the UI…almost to the point where I don’t think I’ll ever try any other custom ROM for as long as I have my G2.
MIUI was originally created in China, but has gained American support and is now available for a variety of American Android devices. The UI is quite aesthetically similar to Apple’s iOS, but that isn’t really a bad thing. (Actually, from a hardware perspective, the Xiaomi Phone looks a lot like the iPhone 4 from the front) To be honest, I was originally skeptical to try MIUI because I thought it screwed up the Android experience by making it more iPhone-esque, but in reality, the UI is much more than iOS-like icons on a grid. The overall Android experience has been revamped with changes in major areas like the launcher and lockscreen, and more subtle things like loading boxes. Native apps such as the Messaging, Music, Contacts, and Dialer apps have all been redesigned. All in all, I am in love with MIUI thanks to its clean and extremely polished look. The ability to easily customize aspects of the UI through the Theme Manager is absolutely wonderful. MIUI runs pretty well on my little G2, so imagine how it’d be with a dual-core chip and 1 GB of RAM. For $310, I think the Xiaomi Phone might have a good amount of purchasers here in the US, albeit the only people that’d really buy this phone are phone nerds who actually read blogs and know about the phone. If you’re a phone nerd on a budget, but still want to have great hardware and software for a cheap price, I think this “Made in China” phone is for you. Pre-orders for the phone begin at the end of August and will be delivered in October. Hit the link below for a hands-on video of the Xiaomi Phone.