MIUI, one of Android's most popular custom ROM flavors, has been limited to purely software for existing devices... until today. Made by a Chinese company Xiaomi which has been in charge of MIUI's software development, the MIUI phone was just announced in China (where Xiaomi is based), and I must say - it's no hush puppy and leaves us highly impressed.

image image

First and foremost, the MI-ONE, or Millet, sports a whopping 1.5GHz dual-core MSM8260 Scorpion CPU (from the 3rd generation Snapdragon family).

Dissecting the beefy specs further, we find the Adreno220 GPU, 4GB of ROM and 1GB of RAM, a 4" Sharp screen (854x480 - not qHD), 8MP rear camera, and a juicy 1930mAh battery. Did I mention an unlocked bootloader and (duh) MIUI OS, which is currently based on Android 2.3.5?

The phone weighs 149 grams, which is quite a bit heavier than one of its most notable competitors - Samsung's Galaxy S2 at 116 grams. The cost - 1999 Chinese yuan, which is equal to roughly $313. Wait, what? A bit over $300 for a top-of-the-line dual-core device? Where do I sign up? Oh, right, this price is only valid in China.

And that, folks, is how you make an affordable phone more powerful than what most of us had in our desktops only a few years ago, and some even now.

Update: According to Engadget, who seems to be present on location, the M1 will be available for pre-order August 29th and will ship in October. They have more photos from the launch available here.

Having seen what an independent software manufacturer can achieve in the Android world, is there hope we'll ever see a CyanogenMod-based phone in the U.S. or Europe, especially now that Steve "Cyanogen" Kondik is working for Samsung? Probably not in the near future, but I sure hope so, especially if it means CM is stabilized enough for bug-free use.

image image

Source: MIUI Android, Sohu (Chinese)

Artem Russakovskii
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.

  • Tee

    I wonder what Apple thinks of that design... Another law suite?

    • George C

      They'd patent the ability to use your hands if they could. I will say the old MiUI looked very iphon-y but the new one isn't too horrible.

    • Elvis

      I was thinking the EXACT same thing lol

  • Apple

    What in the world! That phone has a touch screen and a much better OS! Sue them!

  • http://www.ericcamil.com Eric

    I'm gonna need this to be available in the states.

  • truth

    I wonder if it would be possible to buy this and have it shipped to the us?

    • http://www.ericcamil.com Eric

      Of course Truth. You can have ANYTHING shipped ANYWHERE. The issue is, will it be legal, or is this going to be like buying a pair of bootleg Oakleys from Ebay.

  • http://androidpolice.com jselt

    no front facing camrea=fatal flaw

    • Al McDowall

      Since it has been developed for the Chinese market, this is not a flaw at present.

      I'm in Shanghai, and the 3G here is really not up to much. Low speed and an unreasonably high price mean that it has not been taken up by many here. For the average person, the price of 3G is exhorbitant so subsequently there is little interest in video calls or other data heavy applications.

      Having said that, if they were interested in exporting to Taiwan or Korea, it would have been a mistake. However, since both those countries have their own home-grown producers (HTC and LG) they wouldn't make much of a dent in those markets anyway.

      The price is just about affordable for China's middle classes, the specs are plenty to boast about and it's running Android. I think they have a success on their hands.

    • Tony Cerda

      I don't care for a front facing camera. I never used it on my Nokia N95 8gb back in 2005. I didn't even use it 6 years later when Apple put one one their iPhone 4 and claimed they invented it. Therefore I wouldn't consider it a "fatal flaw." I read an article recently that said only 1 out of 7 people actually want a front facing camera.

  • StanWilder

    I don't know anyone who uses their FFC more than once a month or more than just to show people their phone has a FFC. I work i a compter store with 120 HUGE nerds and it's not a big deal, everyone has the latest android phones or iphone4 and no FFC use at all.
    It's a buzzword for the most part.

  • lincthra

    The cross-section image of the parts is pretty spiffy looking.

  • vexierspiegel

    nah! Skype now allows video-calls. I use my ffc every day and I do it real hard. so it's a flaw.

    • http://www.ericcamil.com Eric

      Flaw: "A mark, fault, or other imperfection that mars a substance or object."

      No FFC - more of a choice or a feature not implemented. a FLAW I would say is that it's not pre-selling here in the states, or if the FFC didn't work. To not offer it I am sure was a choice (why, I have no idea as I would bet having a FFC isn't a "bank breaking" feature to implement.) Either way the specs are amazing and the cost puts a lot of the phones here to shame.

    • Tony Cerda

      That's hardly a flaw. It's a preference you have for a front facing camera. Don't be such a Drama Queen!

  • Denis

    $313 my a**..!! 1.5GHz dualcore + 1Gb RAM.. there must have been some sort of miscaltulation somewhere LOL

    • hyperbolic

      no, to manufacture this phone cost between 50-100 usd

  • http://androidosc.blogspot.com mekonca

    all these comments and you talk only about FFC....whooo caresssss its 217 EURrrrrrrr
    aaaaaaa neeed one

  • Jacky

    I'm in Hong kong. I was wondering when it will be on stock and when it will be shipped to Hong kong legally. It's gonna blow up GS2!!!

  • kecske35

    the camera is 8Mpx but nowhere is shown what kind of videos makes....wvga or HD ???

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      HD, from what I've read.

      • paul oberman

        let's hope it's 1080p, because I think that's what iphone 5 will be next month.

  • 云石海涯

    Let's welcome the mi-one ! Believe me, it won't disappoint you

  • china

    1.5G to
    1G RAM
    I know, I am Chinese

  • china
  • tdounnyy

    Too early to judge.

  • http://www.game-sait.com radioactive

    a must get i think

  • Dkfjdifj

    actually,, it's just A$300 outright phone

  • Rodrigo E. De León Plicet

    No qHD or better, no dice...

  • Jacob Favila

    the outer cover looks like an Apple. Can they not design their own.