The world of Xiaomi, a Chinese success story in electronics



Xiaomi 小米 (millet) is a private Chinese electronics company head quartered in Beijing, China. Xiaomi designs, develops and sells smartphones, mobile apps and electronic devices. If the name is not yet as prestigious as Apple, it seems that the brand already raised the attention: in April 2015, when Xiaomi launched a new mobile phone, a crowd was there to listen to Lei Jun, CEO of Xiaomi. 40 000 cell phones were sold in 15 seconds… And fans are supporting this growth, as Xiaomi is not investing a lot in marketing campaigns.

Xiaomi phones are using Android.

P1-BT833_XIAOMI_16U_20150607175718Source: The WSJ, June 7th 2015, Xiaomi, China’s New Phone Giant, Takes Aim at World

It seems that Xiaomi doesn’t intend to stop there, as the press announced that Xiaomi may prepare a PC. There is a logic behind: analysts have noticed that the smartphone sales will lead the PC sales… But not only, we have also heard about a water purifier.

Here is what you can get from Xiaomi for your new home in Beijing, at the time we are writing this article, mid of October 2015. 


Xiaomi phones

8Xiaomi has now established a strong reputation for building devices that are extremely good value for money and they don’t cheat you on the quality! 

In October 2015, or 5 years after the company was founded, Xiaomi has launched no less than 21 smartphones models: Mi 4c, Redmi Note 2, Redmi Note 2 Prime, Redmi Note 2, Mi 4i, Mi Note Pro, Redmi 2A, Redmi 2, Mi 4 LTE, Redmi Note 4G, Mi 4, Redmi Note, Mi 3, Redmi 1S, Redmi, Mi 2A, Mi 2S, Mi 2, Mi 1S…

If you can order Xiaomi phones in many countries, it remains cheaper still to purchase them in China. However, be careful when purchasing a Xiaomi phone you intend to use or offer in your home country, as some models use network bands
that may not be compatible with those in Europe. For Europe, select a Mi phone which supports WCDMA/CDMA You need also some skills to install the right language as well as access Google Play store. 


Xiaomi air purifiers

imagesBeing Beijing based, it is no surprising Xiaomi decided to launch an air purifier. Having only one button, the Mi Air purifier can be controlled from you smartphone, through Xiaomi’s Smart Home app, both available under Android and IOS. 

The app displays the PM2.5 pollution levels for your area as well as your indoor PM2.5 levels, which is calculated by the air purifier itself. 

As regarding efficiency, we visited again the blog of Doctor Richard St Cyr, MyHealthInBeijing, and his testing confirms that the Mi Air Purifier, which can filter 406 m3/h and covers 48 m2 can be efficient. It would maybe require to be used for a longer time, as the forced speed would run only for 10 minutes, but you can definitely get clean air at home or in the office using Xiaomi’s air purifier. 

Last but not least, the Mi Air Purifier costs only 899 RMB… with an integrated PM2.5 level reader… that’s again a very good price for value! 


Xiaomi bands

About 15 USD in USA and in Europe for the Xiaomi band and it seems that the price is not the only reason for the success of this band: Xiaomi sold millions in China and at least six million worldwide.

The design is quite simple: oval-shaped tracking module which has a matte chrome finish and neat, chamfered edges and a black or colourful, rubber band. IP67: the Mi Band is water safe (it will survive a shower or rain), but you can’t go diving with it. There is no display. 

What the Mi band is tracking? steps, distance and estimated calories burned. It will also provide with a timeline of how long you are active each day (walks, runs and activities). However some studies says that the Mi band may overestimate your activity. 

Other functions:  It also includes non-fitness features such as alarm and vibrations when you get a call, but it will not vibrate when you receive a text message or other app alarm. When the Mi Band is near, your phone will unlock automatically.

The Mi band is compatible with Android devices and Iphone. It connects through Bluetooth. You need to recharge the battery only once a month! and it will take you 2 hours to charge completely the device. 


Xiaomi tablets

xiaomi-mipad_c2b5e7a492453958_450x400Again, impressive specifications and low prices. Launched first in March 2015, Mi Pad received number of positive reviews. A good screen, a light device and an excellent battery life. However, may get hot during gaming sessions.

The glossy plastic back comes in different colors, however becoming little slippery when you’re holding it for an extended period . 

7.9-inch display with a 4:3 aspect ratio,  Gorilla Glass 3 for protection against scratches.

16 or 64 GB capacity, you can extend the storage using a microSD card. Wi-Fi only.



Xiaomi TV

imagesReleased in July 2015, Xiaomi Mi TV 2S is only 9.9 mm thick and 48 inches wide, 4K 3D resolution display with 178 degree viewing range, and this is crazy! The OS is Android based. The Mi TV 2S adds color options to the aluminum frame. RAM is at 2 GB, which allows many uses including gaming and the  internal storage is at 8 GB. Connectivity is what you can expect for a smart TV: Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 are supported. Basic price was 2,999 RMB in July 2015, add 1000 RMB to get the independent sound system.

The system integrates a built-in Mi Box which allow you to access thousands of free HD movies and TV shows. You can visualise photos and videos directly from your phone or PC. Well dimensioned also in terms of ports allowing you to connect video-audio hardware, computers, speakers or game consoles: 2 HDMI ports, 2 USB ports, VGA, AV, analogue TV port, audio port (line out and SPDIF) and an Ethernet port in back. 

Last but not least, the remote has only 11 buttons and this is definitely an advantage for those who already experienced a few dozen of buttons with all functionalities written in Chinese ;-). You can also set your phone as a remote. The default language is Chinese if you buy the Mi TV in China, but it seems you have ways to change the language to English.


Mi Box

Similar to the Apple TV but Android based, the Mi Box and the Mi Box Mini (Mini is real mini: the size of a phone charger) has one external port HDMI output. The Mi Box comes also with a USB 2.0 port.

The box comes in Chinese and you need to follow some steps to set it up in English


Other Mi gadgets:

Using your Xiaomi smartphone, you can use the Smart Home App to follow what’s going on at home. If you would like to set up the Smart Home Suite, you will install in your home several sensors which will allow you to remotely track changes of indoor climate, security and to control the systems: light, temperature, air quality, … the motion sensor will send a notification to the owner in case of suspicious motion. You can also install sensors for windows and door opening…

For those who worry about leaving the kids to the ayi, or for those who have a pet at home and worry about it, you have a solution to remotely check what’s going on! 

Here are some Mi devices you could be interested if you settle the Smart Home Suite or not. 

  • Xiaomi Smart remote center
  • Xiaomi Wifi router and storage solution
  • Xiaomi power bank
  • Xiaomi headphones
  • Xiaomi Bluetooth Sound Bar
  • Xiaomi USB LED Lamp
  • Xiaomi Power Bar
  • Xiaomi Cameras / webcam: XiaoYi IP camera…
  • Xiaomi Bluetooth Mini Speaker
  • Mi Yeelight Smart Lightbulb
  • Xiaomi Bluetooth Gamepad
  • Xiaomi Android-Compatible Blood Pressure Monitor




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About Marketing

I am living in China since 2007. I am sharing my experiences for other expatriates to make their stay in Beijing more enjoyable. As I am writing this blog for SCOUT Real Estate agency, I am also computing updates about the Real Estate market in Beijing, not only on residential properties, but as well on commercial locals and offices. Hope you enjoy your reading!