Xiaomi

Xiaomi launching sub-$200 smartphone with 5.5″ screen & 13MP/8MP cameras on February 28

Chinese gadget maker Xiaomi Technology, also known as the Apple of China, has sent out invitations for a media event to be held on February 28. The company is expected to announce a new entry-level handset rocking a 5.5-inch AMOLED screen, a thirteen-megapixel camera out the back and an eight-megapixel selfie camera out the front.

The phone is expected to be priced at 1,299 yuan unlocked, or about $190. Additionally, Xiaomi is likely to unveil a pair of in-house developed CPUs at the event, DigiTimes says.

Former Android executive Hugo Barra to head Facebook’s Oculus and virtual reality teams

When former Android executive Hugo Barra announced three days ago he was leaving Chinese handset maker Xiaomi, he provided standard boilerplate explanation: he wanted to spend more time with his family because living and working abroad has taken a toll on his health and life.

Then again, that’s exactly the kind of stuff that you’d expect high-ranking executives to say when jumping ship or seeking greener pastures with another team.

As it turns out, Barra is leaving Xiaomi not because he’s burned out but to join Facebook where he will be charged with managing the Oculus team and the company’s other virtual reality projects, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced yesterday.

Former Android executive Hugo Barra leaving Xiaomi next month

Hugo Barra, who used to be Google’s senior executive in charge of Android before leaving the Internet giant for Xiaomi in August 2013, announced on his Facebook profile that he’s leaving the Chinese handset maker. He’ll be returing to Silicon Valley in February after the Chinese New Year to spend more time with friends and family.

As Vice President of Xiaomi’s International unit, Barra was responsible for making the company’s Mi handsets available in more countries globally.

Xiaomi has yet to start selling its products in the United States.

Is Xiaomi’s first-ever Windows PC notebook a shameless MacBook Air ripoff?

Xiaomi (pronounced “sh-YEOW-mee”), a booming Chinese smartphone and consumer electronics maker, today took the wraps off its first-ever Windows PC notebook and it looks awfully familiar to the MacBook Air. The familiarity starts with the device’s silly ‘Mi Notebook Air’ moniker and extends to its unibody industrial design that’s thinner and lighter than Apple’s notebook.

Offered in 12.5 and 13.3-inch varieties, the product matches and—in terms of graphics, lightness and thinness—one-ups the MacBook Air while costing half as much. Xiaomi’s new notebooks run Windows 10 and will hit store shelves in China on August 2.

Xiaomi’s first drone to take off next Wednesday

Xiaomi, the ambitious consumer electronics maker from China, is about to release a consumer drone of its own at a media event scheduled for next week.

Writing on its official blog, the Chinese firm said that its first-ever flying machine, a quadricopter, would take off next Wednesday, May 25. A dramatic device image was shared as part of the tease.

Xiaomi’s new phone has beastly specs for half the price of iPhone 6s or Galaxy S7

Chinese handset maker Xiaomi at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, today announced its latest Mi 5 smartphone, billed as a super flagship device due to some beastly specs.

The new Xiaomi Mi 5 basically packs in as much hardware as Apple’s iPhone 6s and Samsung’s newly announced Galaxy S7, for half the price, with industrial design that looks like a cross between the iPhone 6s and Galaxy S7.

The maxed-out spec sheet includes things like the latest Qualcomm chip with four gigabytes of RAM, a sixteen-megapixel camera from Sony with sapphire lens protection, a full HD IPS LCD edge-to-edge screen, a fingerprint sensor integrated into the Home button, 128GB of on-board storage with support for micro SD cards and more.

New tweak brings iOS notifications to Xiaomi’s Mi Band

XiaoMi’s recently launched US online store doesn’t carry any actual smartphone hardware yet, but you can buy hardware like headphones, battery packs, and a fitness device called the Mi Band.

The Mi Band is akin to some FitBit models, in that it’s slim, understated, and lacks a touch screen. Due to the tracker’s lack of battery draining features, it gets really good battery life upwards of 30 days.

Perhaps the most attractive thing about the Mi Band is the price. Retailing for just $14.99, it’s much more affordable than any dedicated fitness tracker I’ve ever seen, let alone a full-featured device like the Apple Watch.

When paired with a Xiaomi smartphone, the Mi Band can alert you to things like phone calls by using vibration. Wouldn’t it be cool if it could alert you to notifications for certain iOS apps as well? Now it can, courtesy of a new jailbreak tweak called MiBand Utility from developer Pigi Galdi.

Apple knockoff maker Xiaomi takes aim at iPhone 6 Plus with 5.7″ Mi Note phablet

Apple knockoff maker Xiaomi, which according to IDC is now the world’s third largest smartphone maker, has launched a new phablet-class handset.

The Mi Note takes on the iPhone 6 Plus with powerful hardware features while undercutting it on price. The inexpensive phone sports a 5.7-inch screen and a flatter camera than the iPhone.

The four-year-old company has made a name for itself producing affordable handsets that critics frequently diss as rip offs of the iPhone. Xiaomi has become the world’s most valuable technology startup after raising $1.1 billion last month, giving it a valuation of more than $46 billion.

Another Android exec leaves Google nest as Silicon Valley romance rumors swirl

It’s not often that Silicon Valley gets to mix tech with romance, but there appears to be a full-blown soap opera erupting in the executive suites at Google.

Hugo Barra, who as product manager for Android was the face of Google’s mobile software, is moving to China and smartphone maker Xiaomi.

But what’s got tongues wagging is that Barra’s departure comes amidst news that he leaves a Google romance. Google’s co-founder – who just split with his wife – is on the rebound: with a Google employee. Confused? Don’t worry, we’ll explain it all below, as well as what the product chief’s new job may mean for Android and Apple…