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Xiaomi enters Malaysia with Xiaomi Mi 3. Pre-orders open on 20th May at RM889

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UPDATE: Xiaomi Malaysia has updated that there will be a limited 4,000 units of its Mi 3 smart phone going on sale on 20th May.

Xiaomi will be launching officially in Malaysia on the 19th May and they are entering the market with their high-end Mi 3 Smart Phone. For those who are unfamiliar with Xiaomi, they are a Chinese smart phone maker that produces high-end smart phones at an incredible low price. They recently made huge waves in Singapore with their Redmi and Mi 3 smart phones being snapped away in under 8 minutes.

Pre-orders of the Mi 3 smart phone will commence the day after the launch on 20th May at an affordable RM889. As comparison, the Mi 3 is currently sold in Singapore at S$339 and in China at 1699 Yuan which are very much the same when converted directly. For Xiaomi, they pride themselves in having consistent pricing in every market.

In terms of specs, the Mi 3 comes with a 5″ Full HD IPS display and runs on a Quad-Core 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 processor that’s mated to 2GB of RAM. At the moment we are only getting the 16GB version and they might consider offering the 64GB depending on our market demands. The Mi 3 also gets a main 13MP Sony BSI f/2.2 camera with dual-LED flash while the front comes with a 2MP shooter. On-board it gets a generous 3,050mAh battery which is non removable and it also lacks a microSD slot. Overall the Mi 3 weighs a decent 145 grams and has a thickness of 8.1mm.

The main highlight of course is its MIUI operating system that’s running on Android 4.3. The level of customisation and tweaks are rather impressive but yet it isn’t intimidating for new users. We will cover more of its usability in another post.

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A couple of days back, we had the privilege of meeting Hugo Barra, who is currently the VP of Xiaomi. In case you didn’t know, Hugo was previously the VP of Product Management for Android and has been the face of Android demos during Google I/O. During our meet, he shared how Xiaomi has started and its success lies on its community development of its smart phone and MIUI OS that’s based on Android.

To be able to sell a high-end smart phone at a very low price is an astonishing feat. This is made possible with Xiaomi’s model of selling direct. There’s no distributors or dealers involved in a sale and the only cost for sales is just shipping cost. Unlike other smart phone makers, they don’t spend on marketing and those savings are passed back to its customers. In China, they are the 3rd largest e-commerce store and it is no surprising thanks to its huge following and affordable pricing.

For Malaysia, they are committed to their customers here and Xiaomi will be setting up 4 service centres with a possibility of having service drop points nationwide. In addition, they will be setting up a hotline number for customers to call in both English and Bahasa Malaysia. All Xiaomi products sold in Malaysia will be covered by a standard 1 year warranty.

Xiaomi puts quite a lot of attention into the small little things that matter. Hugo shared that when the Mi 3 is sold in Malaysia, they will be including 2 SIM Trays of mini-SIM (standard size) and micro-SIM. This eliminates the need of cutting sim cards especially users that are migrating from older smart phones and they can get started right away.

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UPDATE: Watch our unboxing of the Xiaomi Mi 3 here.

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Also available is a wide variety of case covers and accessories. During our meet, they have shown a couple of samples which looks pretty good in various textured and matte finishes. Like the smart phones, the case covers will also be available through their online store.

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For those who are interested in the cheaper Redmi, they will be launching that as well at a much later date. The Redmi which they are bringing in is the 8GB version which is more than the 4GB that’s being offered in Singapore. The latest 5.5″ Redmi Note will be offered too in the high-spec trim that comes with a 1.7GHz Octa-Core processor, 2GB of RAM and 8GB of storage. Considering the prices are similar with China, the Redmi is likely to be priced around RM399 while the Redmi Note at about RM530.

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So if you’re looking for the Mi 3, mark your calendars on 20th May to place your orders. At RM889, this is definitely a steal considering it packs a Quad-Core Snapdragon 800 processor and a 5″ Full HD display. Believe it or not, that’s RM10 cheaper than the ASUS ZenFone 6. The pre-order is happening on their official Malaysia website at www.mi.com/my.

For the latest news, you can follow their official Facebook page at facebook.com/XiaomiMalaysia.