It’s hard to get away from the term ‘flagship killer’ these days in the smartphone space. Alongside the top-model lines from Apple, Samsung, LG and others is a band of half-price, similarly specified handsets with a few minor adjustments skirting on thin margins to offer similar experiences. The OnePlus range has been part of this movement, along with others such as the ASUS Zenfone 2. Next steps up Xiaomi, with the Mi 4c featuring a 6-core Snapdragon 808, a 5-inch 1080p IPS display, USB Type-C and dual-SIM for only 1299-1499 RMB ($200-$235).

Mi 4
Mi 4i
Mi 4c
Snapdragon 801
4x Krait 400
at 2.45 GHz
Snapdragon 615
4 x A53 at 1.7 GHz
4 x A53 at 1.0 GHz
Snapdragon 808
2 x A57 at 1.82 GHz
4 x A53 at 1.44 GHz
16/64GB NAND
16/32 GB NAND
2 GB + 16GB
3 GB + 32GB
Display 5" 1080p IPS 5" 1080p IPS 5" 1080p IPS
Network Category 4 LTE
150/50 Mbps
Category 4 LTE
150/50 Mbps
Category 4 LTE
50/50 Mbps
Dimensions 139.2 x 67.5 x 8.9mm,
149 grams
138.1 x 69.6 x 7.8mm,
130 grams
138.1 x 69.6 x 7.8mm,
132 grams
Camera 13MP rear camera,
1.12 µm pixels,
1/3.06" CMOS size
Sony IMX 214 F/1.8.
8MP F/1.8 FFC 1/4"
  13MP rear camera,
Sony IMX 238 or
Samsung SSK3M2
(depends on SKU)
Battery 3080 mAh
(11.704 Whr)
3120 mAh 3080 mAh
Android v4.4.3
Android v5.0.2
Android v5.1.1
Connectivity 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
BT 4.0
BT 4.0
BT 4.0
SIM Size MicroSIM Dual MicroSIM Dual MicroSIM

(This table is incomplete and may be missing information)

The Mi 4c follows on from the Mi 4 and Mi 4i and sits atop of that small stack, sharing a lot of features with the Mi 4i. At this point, the Mi 4c seems to be China-only, though with something like this that might change. Clearly we’re dealing with at least a plastic chassis compared to the glass or aluminium composites normally seen on the $600-$800 flagship models, but the specifications on paper check out as in interesting element for the ecosystem, especially at that $200-$235 price point and a push towards USB Type-C.

In an interesting twist, Xiaomi actually announced this smartphone via Twitter, rather than an official press release. As a result a lot of the value-adds from Xiaomi are only described through images, such as Edge Tap, a function that allows a double tap to return from the camera to the previous application, and a variable refresh rate in the display allowing for 10% more efficiency depending on the content being viewed. VRR becomes useful as there is no need to drive a display at 60 Hz when it is idle, saving power, or if it is able to reduce down to the frame rate of the video being viewed. There’s no information here as to the rates at which this display will go, whether it is a continuous spectrum (20-60Hz?) or discrete periods (24/48/60Hz?).

Another feature is infrared support, allowing the smartphone to be used as a remote control, and the use of phase detection autofocus on the 13MP rear camera using a Sony IMX238 or Samsung SSK3M2 ISOCELL sensor (depending on exact SKU). The camera is backed up by a two-tone flash, a 5MP front camera, and Xiaomi’s ‘Beautify’ feature to enhance skin tones. Quick Charge 2.0 is also in play.

For the price and specifications, the Mi 4c is hard to ignore. Although in the short-term it might be difficult to source outside of China, depending on Xiaomi’s plans for the device.

Source: Xiaomi

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  • jospoortvliet - Wednesday, September 23, 2015 - link

    Wish they would update the Mi4, I would pay an extra 50 just to have the mi4c but made with metal like the mi4.

    Still I might buy this one as soon as I can get my hands on it.
  • victorson - Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - link

    That shitty plastic design all over again?! Come on, Xiaomi, this phone is the bomb in terms of specs, but the design is CRAP.
  • BMNify - Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - link

    Stop crying about plastic, It is a low end phone which costs $200 unlocked, Xiaomi polycarbonate designs don't look crap or cheap, check out the phone first in person before slacking it, from photos the black colour looks good to me.
  • TheMysteryMan11 - Wednesday, September 23, 2015 - link

    Not really, the plastic on Mi 4i which is essentially what it will be on Mi 4C is not shitty, flexy plastic. IT reminds me of old Nokias which were built like a tank. It is very premium feeling phone in hand.
  • - Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - link

    Get over the BS! There is no perfect phone! Even if there is one it will be outdone before the case is worn!
  • amdwilliam1985 - Wednesday, September 23, 2015 - link

    This has the spec that I'm looking for, and it's only 5 inches and <$250(32GB). Hopefully Google takes note and make the upcoming Nexus 5X as competitive.
    If only it comes in a Google Edition flavor then it's perfect~

    ps: I've used MIUI, do not like it, too "dumb" for me, sorry, no offense intent.
  • realbabilu - Wednesday, September 23, 2015 - link

    Well, xiaomi handset bootloader is unlocked though.
  • zodiacfml - Wednesday, September 23, 2015 - link

    decent specs and SoC though at this point, i'm waiting for 14nm SoCs.
  • Tronsmart - Wednesday, September 23, 2015 - link

    We just made a charging analysis for the Xiaomi MI 4c. check it here:

    It take about 2.5 hours to get fully charged. and seems xiaomi limit the charging current.
  • D. Lister - Wednesday, September 23, 2015 - link

    So companies such as these can sell cheap because they can get away with IP infringement? Wow, who would've thought... :)

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