【News】Xiaomi announces Mi 5X, unveils MIUI 9 in China and launches Mi AI Speaker

Xiaomi announces Mi 5X, unveils MIUI 9 in China and launches Mi AI Speaker

Global version of MIUI 9 to be unveiled soon

BEIJING, 26 July 2017 — Leading technology company Xiaomi today unveiled its latest smartphone with a dual camera setup, Mi 5X. During the same event, Xiaomi also took the wraps off MIUI 9, the latest refresh of its Android-based operating system. At the same time, it announced a voice-activated smart speaker, Mi AI Speaker, which acts as the hub for Xiaomi’s smart home products and ties the company’s Mi Ecosystem strategy together.

Mi 5X: Picture Perfect Dual Camera

Mi 5X shares a similar dual camera setup used in Xiaomi’s flagship device Mi 6, with wide angle and telephoto lenses used to incredible effect. The two lenses allow Mi 5X to calculate what is in the foreground and what is in the background, creating a depth-of-field effect that typically requires a DSLR camera to achieve, and allowing the user to capture beautiful portrait photos with out-of-focus backgrounds. Mi 5X also supports 2x optical zoom, which makes sure photos of distant subjects remain clear without loss of image quality, as well as 10x digital zoom.

Available in Black, Gold, and Rose Gold, Mi 5X has an attractive all-metal unibody design. It measures just 7.3mm in thickness and has hidden antenna lines on the back for a seamless look and feel. Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor based on the 14nm manufacturing process, as well as a 3080mAh battery, Mi 5X provides users with a smooth experience that lasts all day.

Mi 5X is yet another device that underscores Xiaomi’s commitment to making innovations affordable to the widest possible range of consumers. With 4GB RAM and 64 ROM, Mi 5X is priced at RMB 1499 and available starting 1 August via Mi.com and Mi Home stores, as well as a number of other partner sites and retail channels.

Key features of Mi 5X:

Attractive metal unibody design

Dual camera, optical zoom:

12MP wide angle with 4-axis OIS stabilization + 12MP telephoto

Exceptional portrait photography with background blur

Beautify, for natural selfie enhancements

Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 with 14nm process technology

5-inch full-HD display

3080mAh battery

4GB RAM + 64GB storage

Available in Black, Gold and Rose Gold

Dual SIM (3-choose-2 hybrid SIM tray)

4 x 75.8 x 7.3mm

MIUI 9: Lightning Fast

Xiaomi co-founder Hong Feng revealed today that MIUI has crossed over 280 million users across 142 countries and regions across the world, and took the wraps off MIUI 9, the latest update to its popular Android-based operating system that now delivers a much faster user experience. Wide-ranging changes were made under the hood that result in a faster and smoother user experience, such as making simple tasks like starting apps even more instantaneous, and several new features have been introduced.

With a new image search feature, users will be able to find photos, documents, and even screenshots of chat messages through intelligent recognition of faces, document types and even text in images.

MIUI 9 also introduces a “Smart assistant” feature that makes it easier for users to access often-needed information and frequently-used functions by simply sliding the screen to the left without opening every app — including favorite items, expenditures, courier information, and day-to-day schedules.

Another new feature called “Smart app launcher” quickly launches a related app based on content on the screen. For example, a link to a Taobao product page no longer requires the user to copy the link, return to the home page, find and start the Taobao app before getting to the desired product page. Upon highlighting a Taobao link, a pop-up appears at the bottom of the screen that lets the user bring up the product page instantly. This also applies to addresses, restaurant names, and even TV programs — when they are highlighted, the appropriate app can be launched with a single tap at the bottom of the screen.

Since it was launched on 16 August 2010, MIUI has been constantly updated every week for more than 340 weeks. Devices launched five years ago are still receiving updates. In China, MIUI 9 will be available on 11 August as a public beta for Mi 6, Mi 5X, and Redmi Note 4X. Support for other models will be rolled out gradually starting 25 August.

Mi AI Speaker: The hub for Xiaomi’s smart home products

More than being a smartphone company, Xiaomi is also fulfilling its goal of bringing innovation to everyone by addressing the full spectrum of consumer electronics, which is where its Mi Ecosystem strategy comes into play. By investing and incubating in 89 companies to date, Xiaomi is able to offer a wide array of smart home products. After three years, the Mi Ecosystem IoT platform has crossed 60 million connected devices, becoming the world’s largest smart hardware platform.

Today, Xiaomi announced Mi AI Speaker, a high-quality speaker system that comes with an array of six microphones to detect voice commands from all directions, and that serves as a control hub for the company’s smart home products.

Stemming from a collaboration between the Mi TV team, “Explorer’s Lab” and the “Mi Brain” R&D team, Mi AI Speaker further continues Xiaomi’s commitment to exploring AI technology. Previously, Xiaomi already applied AI technology to Mi TV, developing a built-in deep learning AI system for effortless discovery of new content.

Mi AI Speaker will retail at RMB 299, but will be launched first in August through a beta program that is recruiting 1000 users who will each pay RMB 1 to help train Mi AI Speaker to be even more intelligent in the early stage.

With voice commands, users can tune in to Internet radio stations, enjoy music from streaming services, and listen to audio books. Mi AI Speaker also acts as a personal assistant, giving information such as the weather, traffic conditions, personal calendar reminders, and latest news. In addition, Mi AI Speaker serves as a smart home assistant. It is able to connect to and control a host of products including the Mi TV, Mi Box, Mi Robot Vacuum Cleaner, Mi Induction Heating Rice Cooker, Mi Air Purifier, Mi Electric Fan and smart lamps. Through products like Mi Smart Plug and Mi Smart Power Strip, “non-smart” home appliances can also be controlled with Mi AI Speaker.

Through an initiative termed Platform Waterdrop, Xiaomi is also seeking to welcome more third-party applications for Mi AI Speaker. This initiative does not require developers to have prior experience in artificial intelligence, and makes it easy for tools and services to work with Mi AI Speaker.

Mercury Silver Mi 6: 100 units to go on sale

Demonstrating Xiaomi’s constant innovation in materials and relentless drive in pursuing craftsmanship, it also created a Mercury Silver version of its flagship smartphone Mi 6, which was first announced in April this year. The Mercury Silver version of Mi 6 is extremely difficult to produce and is an outcome of Xiaomi’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of materials technology.

Today, Xiaomi revealed that 100 units of the Mercury Silver Mi 6 will be available on Mi.com in China on August 3. Priced at RMB 3,999, the package includes the 6GB RAM + 128GB storage smartphone, a letter from a Xiaomi engineer and an exclusive F-code which gives the user the priority to purchase any newly launched product in the next three years.

How MIUI themes became a profitable business

At the core of Xiaomi’s products is MIUI, an Android-based operating system – and while the user interface boasts numerous unique features, its themes have become the most popular among Xiaomi smartphone users. In fact, Xiaomi’s data shows that the top MIUI theme shopper spent around RMB 6,100 (about $936) on MIUI themes in 2016, which is enough to buy seven Redmi Note 4 smartphones in India.

Above are some popular MIUI themes in the first half of 2017

MIUI themes have grown in popularity as users look for ways to reflect their individuality, using the themes as they would a hairstyle or outfit to make a statement about who they are, just like how they would use a case or a cover.

Xiaomi launched the first version of MIUI themes in 2010 on our original smartphones. The themes were originally offered for free, as they were used to attract users who wanted personalized features on their smartphones. As MIUI users increased and the demand for personalized themes grew, we realized that only creative, high-quality themes could satisfy users and attract more consumers.

Above are some figures of the MIUI theme business in 2016

To achieve this, we had to attract more talented designers. Thus, a MIUI theme store opened in 2012 to sell themes to users. As of 2013, themes have become the third largest contributor to MIUI’s RMB 30 million monthly revenue (only after games and apps). That year, 1,800 designers uploaded a whopping 4,300 themes, creating a record-high monthly revenue of RMB 1.8 million. In 2016, the number of active designers surged to 3,876 – more than 1,104 from previous year. They also uploaded a total of 44,775 themes, which more than doubled the number of themes created in 2015.

How does Xiaomi attract designers?

Every designer receives approximately 70% of their MIUI themes’ revenue (post-tax). In 2016, the most profitable designer earned RMB 5.65 million before tax and gainsharing with Xiaomi.

We also hold occasional offline theme design competitions, offering attractive awards.

Above features an offline design competition held at a theater in Beijing

Additionally, we offer a base incentive of RMB 3,000 for certain themes at the start of the designing process so that designers won’t focus too much on sales and make truly creative MIUI themes.

Xiaomi believes in investing in our MIUI designers – if you are good, we make you better. We provide professional design tools for MIUI themes, as well as training materials to help designers improve. We highlight specialized zones in the MIUI theme store to promote the best designs, and we also recommend designs from new designers to create a competitive and fair environment for everyone.

IP is a top priority for Xiaomi, so the MIUI theme store removes themes that are suspected of infringing copyrights as they apear. We also cooperate with global game and app developers, as well as noted cartoon and movie trademark holders to co-develop themes, such as those that feature characters from the Captain America and Transformers movies.

Last year, the most profitable theme earned RMB 820,512 ($121,250). The most popular theme was downloaded 6,442,448 times.

Fast facts about MIUI theme users in 2016

  • 34.81% of MIUI theme consumers are under 24. About 30% are 25-29. About 28% are aged between 30 and 39.
  • The majority of free theme customers were born in the 1980s.
  • Those born in or after 1995 are the main customers of paid themes.
  • Which constellation spent most on MIUI themes? Libra
  • Which constellation spent least on MIUI themes? Aries
  • Which day in a week has the most visitors to MIUI theme store? Saturday
  • Peak hours for MIUI theme store visits? 8 p.m.-11 p.m.

*Currently the MIUI theme store is only available in China, but users can still get many free MIUI themes from our global MIUI ROM.