Xiaomi’s international expansion took a significant step on the 8th of November 2018 with the Chinese company’s debut in the United Kingdom.
Headline by the Xiaomi Mi 8 pro-Android flagship phone and the opening of an Authorized Mi Store in Westfield shopping centre in London on November 18th 2018.
“It’s a year after launching a series of products in Spain, expect the company’s European foray in the United Kingdom.”
Europe has shown its interest to Xiaomi’s charms of high specification devices at the breakthrough prices. The company has ten stores up and running in Spain. Also expanded into France and Italy in May, and now it’s ready to storm the market in one of the most anticipated big cities which is most contested consumer electronics markets in the region.
Speaking to THE VERGE ahead of the announcement, Xiaomi stressed that its first UK store wouldn’t be a just pop-up shop, and it won’t be there merely to serve up Mi 8 Pros. The Mi 8 Lite that accompanied the 8 Pro when it launched in China in September will also be making the trip.
Xiaomi plans to offer a wide selection of its ecosystem products, such as the Mi Band 3, a Mi computer mouse, earphones, a laptop, headphones, a pen, various backpacks and luggage, an electric scooter, and a projector. If you want to think of it as China’s Muji, Xiaomi won’t mind that one bit.
Mi 8 Pro is a device that has built interest and earned some notoriety at its launch mostly from how it looks. It’s a top-notch device that resembles that of iPhone X, one of the colour options is a translucent shell that shows off a set of components. Xiaomi claims that the components are functional should in case you think it’s just a design.
“presumably they’ll be functional”. However, they’re not the real Snapdragon 845, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage that makes up the spec of the UK edition of this phone.
A pressure-sensitive in-display fingerprint reader is the highlight novelty with the Mi 8 Pro. This handset joins the OnePlus 6T and Huawei Mate 20 Pro in offering a fingerprint scanner built directly into the OLED display, though each manufacturer seems to be taking a slightly different approach to making that nascent technology work.
Regarding size, the Mi 8 Pro is comparatively compact, with a 6.21-inch display that has a resolution of 2248 x 1080. Still a big phone, but it measures 154.9mm in height.
Xiaomi’s efforts to go beyond the boundaries of the Greater China region have been paying off so far this year, and they’re part of a wider push by Chinese hardware makers into Europe and beyond. Huawei started the year with ambitious plans to enter the US market with a partnership with AT&T, which was only thwarted by the US government at the last moment.
OnePlus has also greatly expanded its UK mobile carrier partnerships for the OnePlus 6T, while also adding support for US carrier Verizon for the first time.
In the UK, Xiaomi’s phones offered by local carrier Three, part of the Hutchinson group that earlier this year agreed to promote Xiaomi phones across its stores in nations like Austria, Denmark, Ireland, Sweden, and the UK. Other retailers where you’ll see Xiaomi’s name showing up are Argos, John Lewis, Very, Carphone Warehouse, and Currys PC World.
At a time when the US phone market is quickly losing its diversity in favour of an Apple-Samsung duopoly, it’s encouraging to see OnePlus making a push to fill the void left by HTC and LG’s continuous struggles, and it’s also good to see Xiaomi inching that little bit closer to the US.