On Thursday the 5th of September I was lucky enough to be at the Xiaomi annual keynote conference and product unveiling. I attended the event with Liu Jin Biao, CEO of iBuyGou.com and Kingnix Tech Co., Limited and arrived at 11am to join other members of the MIUI community for the opening of the event at 1pm for doors opening.
As we had been given VIP access to the event we only had to wait until 12pm to enter the building and join the VIP queue to get into the conference hall. As expected the event was packed out with Media and other companies there to see what Xiaomi was about to unveil.
The conference didn’t start straight away and there was plenty of MIUI fans providing on-going entertainment during the wait up to CEO Lei Jun coming to stage. Some videos where played showing the companies overview from the last 3 years which was an amazing insight and truly unbelievable to see how far they have came from such a small office room they started life in.
The event started with a count down 5,4,3,2,1 and then opened with discussion about the changes MIUI and Xiaomi have been through in the previous years. The evolution of MIUI ROM from V4 to its current and flagship MIUI V5.
Other videos included photography taken using the MI2A / MI2S around various different historic and special areas of beauty in China and more cool stuff about the Phones evolution from the MI-ONE through to the Xiaomi HongMi (aka Red Rice).
Further on into the key note Lei Jun spoke about how MIUI gave the ability for MIUI fans and users to share their Wi-Fi with other MIUI friends easily by QR code or email, a great feature if you want to keep connected where ever you go!
Lei Jun then went onto discuss about the other features which have made MIUI V5 a success, these included MiCloud and the Xiaomi Transfer App to share files, photos and other things with your friends and family.
Next up was the introduction of new Vice President Hugo Barra, I had the pleasure to meet Hugo before the conference kicked off and it was a pleasure to speak to him and also steal an autograph too!
Hugo told the crowd in Chinese how he is looking forward to working with Xiaomi and has been following the company for a very long time and thanked all MIUI & Xiaomi fans for their support for the company. Hugo is currently learning to speak Chinese so did have a moment where Lei Jun helped him out, this was quite funny and the crowed loved every moment of his introduction.
After Hugo left the stage Lei Jun stepped back in with a backdrop of the two swords on the red background behind him meaning only one thing, It was now time to unveil the secret that everyone was waiting for!! the crowd were definitely tense and there was plenty of cheers and clapping going on as well. After a quick slide change the keynote went to a slide with Xiaomi MI3 and the crowd went crazy! what came next even more so..
Nvidia Tegra 4 will be featured in the new Xiaomi MI3 Smartphone which shocked many in the crowd but we had a suspicion a few weeks prior this would be featured, either way it is a good move for Xiaomi in my opinion as a user of their products for so long.
The CPU spec was the next to be shown – The latest Snapdragon 800 CPU from Qualcomm, this was to suggest another variant of the MI3 and as we expected this is the case, the Tegra 4 will be for TD-SCDMA network, the Qualcomm for WCDMA and CDMA2000.
The next part featured a specification break down of the Nvidia Tegra 4 A15 GeForce GPU with 5 individual cores and GeForce 72 GPU and then some benchmarks. Lei Jun then went onto discuss the possibilities for gaming with the new partnership with Nvidia and another slide showed hundreds of 3D games alluding to the power the Xiaomi Mi3 will pack!
The next part of the keynote was lead by CEO & Co-Founder of Nvidia Jen-Hsun Huang, he and Lei Jun where together on stage and shook hands cementing the deal for the world to see. Definitely an amazing moment in Xiaomi’s young but flourishing history. Leading on from the great presentation of the capabilities of the Nvidia GPU next came the presentation for the Snapdragon 800 CPU range that will be made for the Xiaomi Mi3.
Diving right into the specs, the CPU boasts over 40% increased performance over the previous 600 series CPU the Snapdragon 800 (8974AB) and Snapdragon 600 (8064 Pro). Specification wise in order, 2.3GHz Krait 400 28nm HPM 6760 DMIPS 2x LPDDR3 Adreno330, and then 1.7GHz Krait 300 28mm LP 5750 DMIPS 2x LPDDR3 Adrendo320.
Lei Jun then summarised the specifications of the Mi3 and went onto show a slide of the 16GB Flash ROM which boasted 120MB/sec eMMC 4.5 specifications before asking, and what about the power (battery?)
The Mi3 will come with a non-removable battery in a sealed unit much like the ones you see from HTC and other companies these days, it will feature a 3050mAh battery and is manufactured by LG for Xiaomi, not only this but LG are also responsible for the 1080p screen which was also shown during the keynote, specification boasted a healthy 441PPI, IPS and OGS and capable of being used if the screen becomes wet or even using normal gloves, this was something which definitely impressed the crowd at the conference centre for sure!
The other specifications of the phone were also shown, including the new rear camera dual LED flash function and rear 13 Mega Pixel camera and front mounted 2 Mega Pixel camera both made by Sony. The Camera will also offer Photography users the benefit of taking RAW format photos to be used on other photo editing suits preserving the true intent of photos taken with the Mi3, again a VERY cool new feature. Lei Jun presented some photography comparisons from the Mi2 and the Mi3, all I can say is I was gobsmacked with the quality of the photos and cannot wait to get one and take my own moments of history with it. A brief video then followed showing off the capabilities of the camera on the Mi3 including other features, some familiar like burst mode allowing you to capture every moment of an event in your life with one press of the button.
The phone will feature Cirrus Logic processing as well, just like the rival iPhone, Cirrus Logic CS42L73 and Dirac HD & Dolby Sound which is absolutely stunning when tried hands-on with the Mi3. The Mi3 was also presented as featuring 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz Wi-Fi bands, a welcome feature for many MIUI users of the phones who have been frustrated with the lack of 5GHz hardware support for the higher end phones.
The keynote also featured the Mi3 as having NFC functionality, another plus if you have metro tickets in china or other parts of the world which are actively exploring the use of Near Field Communications technology and the usual things like GPS / Bluetooth HID devices, USB otg, Immersion, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi Direct etc.
Lei Jun then went onto talk more in detail about the MI3 in terms of the colours available and also showed us some photos of the side profiles, back, front and so on. The curved edges mixed with the straight lines and large screen make this phone a real contender in the Android eco-system.
Prices where announced at 1999 Yen for the 16GB model and 2499 Yen for the 64GB model, Lei Jun said they would not make a 32GB model as for the price it was better to make a real top-end device and give it 64GB if it was to potentially last the user one year or more until the next new generation of device comes out.
The next part of the show went onto something a lot of people had guessed about but were not 100% sure of… where Xiaomi making other products? would we see a MiPad or TV unit? well.. the next slide presented showed what looked like a MiBook, MiPad, MiTV and MiGame Controller. Obviously this got everyone in the crowds attention and the audience all applauded and cheered.
Lei Jun then went onto talk about the latest piece of new product technology that the firm has been working on. The MiTV set made by LG and touting 47″ screen, 8.4mm thin bezel design, 100.5cm width, 69cm tall, and only 4.8cm in thickness.
The lower portion of the MiTV set has a brushed metal facia with the MI logo centered with the MI (Xiaomi) company logo which when the TV is powered on lights up! very subtle but cool feature as we always expect from Xiaomi with their products.
The MiTV will come in a variety of colour options, much like the Mi-series of devices already. The colours will be; Default Brushed Metal and Black, Hot Pink, Citrus Orange, Ocean Blue, Forest Green and Hot Purple, basically colours to match all moods and interiors.
A Partnership with LG (47″) with the TV and also Samsung (48″) was shown to the audience as well, we also got the information about the screen which is an IPS retina screen with 3D capabilities, Quadcore Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 MPQ8064 @ 1.7GHz and Adreno 320 GPU, 2GB DDR3 RAM, 8GB eMMC 4.41 ROM, 2.5GHz & 5GHz Wi-Fi inbuilt.
Sharing capabilities were also mentioned in conjunction with devices such as the iPhone and iPad, again alluding to what is to come from the company in terms of their own devices (MI3 and MIPAD). The presentation also showed a variety of peripheral items which will come ready to purchase along side the MiTV such as headset, Dolby surround sound speakers, simplified TV remote, out-board DVB-C tuner, Game controller, Keyboard and mouse. The core Android system is based on a custom Android shell, much like the MiBox which is also getting its insides upgraded!
The MiTV was then shown against some competitor and supplier brands and the statistics looked impressive with the MiTV out-doing TVs such as the LG 47LM800-CE and Samsung UA46F6400JDXX.
The price announced for the MiTV system was given as 2999 Yen, or about £300 / $450.
Most of the photos and videos are online or will be soon, we also have a video of the Mi3 to upload so keep an eye out for more info. You can also check out our Facebook Page here https://www.facebook.com/miuiandroidfans and https://www.facebook.com/miuiandroid
Thanks for reading, any other questions about the Mi3 or MiTV please just ask me.