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Xiaomi launches the Mi 4, a metal-framed smartphone powerhouse which costs $320

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Lei Jun, founder and CEO of China's mobile company Xiaomi, shows the new features at a launch ceremony of Xiaomi Phone 4, in Beijing, July 22, 2014. (REUTERS/Jason Lee)

Xiaomi, the Chinese smartphone brand which has an Apple-like reputation in its home country, has announced the Mi 4, it’s latest and most impressive smartphone to date. Teased late last week, we were expecting a premium device with a metal chassis. It turns out we were half right. The Mi 4 has a stainless steel frame, which holds a curved plastic rear cover, and a 5-inch IPS display panel together.

Not quite the metal beast we hoped for, but certainly a step in the right direction. Xiaomi has chosen a Snapdragon 801 processor running at 2.5GHz to power the phone, making it identical to most flagship Android phones released this year, including the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the LG G3. It has paired the chip with 3GB of RAM and a choice of either 16GB or 64GB of internal storage memory.

The 5-inch display has a 1080p resolution, and there is a 13-megapixel camera on the phone’s rear panel. Xiaomi says it has a real-time HDR mode, 4K video recording, and is based on Somy’s IMX214 sensor complete with an f1.8 aperture. It hasn’t skimped on the selfie camera either. It has a whopping 8-megapixels and an 80-degree wide-angle lens. The final specs include a 3080mAh battery, which should easily see it last the day.

We’ve not been given a good look at the phone yet, but in the early press images, it’s a sleek looking device, which reminds us of the Galaxy S5 from the rear and a Nexus 5 from the front. Xiaomi will charge around $320 for the 16GB model, and $400 for the 64GB Mi 4 smartphone, which is a great deal for such a high spec phone. Sadly, there are no release details shared at the moment, but it’s unlikely the phone will be launched outside of Xiaomi’s established markets very soon.

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