Xiaomi’s Global VP and ex-googler who also doubles as the Mi’s community cult leader , Hugo Barra, announced the company’s new flagship — the Mi4i, yesterday, sporting high end features and a sleek design.

The internet couldn’t stop talking about it for all of 60 seconds, which – call me captain obvious – is a terrifically long time in internet time.

The phone builds on Mi 4 which was released mid-2014, and is designed for India, Xiaomi’s second largest market after China. It’s the reason you have the “4i” in the first place. It’s Xiaomi cryptic way of saying “Mi 4 India”, nevermind Barra quipped about how that title also fits just as well for Indonesia.

We know that phone isn’t going to make it to our part of the world anytime soon, but we want it still, and here are some of the reasons why.

It’s cheap

Yes. It’s $205, about NGN41, 000 in Nigeria – not exactly at the kind of nadir other Chinese OEMs currently holding sway in Nigeria have sunk price-wise – but if you can get Samsung galaxy S5 at $205, you’ll probably say the same – ‘cheap’. In a lot of ways, Mi 4i is the Samsung Galaxy S5 with a “Mi” on it. A second generation Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor, an eight-core 64-bit processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB ROM, 4G LTE support and sleek premium design is a steal at $205.

Great Battery

The Mi 4i packs a 3120mAh lithium-ion polymer battery that will keep it going for a decent spell. 35 hours 3G talk time and 59 hours of music playback is not bad, if it works as advertised.

Promising camera


Mi 4i comes with a 13MP Sony/Samsung camera hardware and 5MP front facing camera. We understand quality compositions are not made of megapixels alone, but Mi is intentionally doing more. They have made sure to add in a f/2.0 aperture and an intelligent two-tone flash designed to emulate natural lighting. The guys at Mi also tossed in the “Sunlight Display” technology which increases visibility of images on the display during harsh sunlight.

It’s beautiful


Hugo Barra has outdone himself on this one. We are not surprised, he’s been working on this for 18 months.

Somewhere in my mind, this phone is more beautiful that the Galaxy S6 edge which until yesterday was my undisputed world’s most beautiful phone. Now I’m not so sure.

Because we can’t have it


Yet. Because we can’t have it, yet. The phone is made for India and it’s selling half way across the world. And you know how we love to want the things that we can’t have.



Gbenga Onalaja Author

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