Well, now Engadget released their review (a first in the English-speaking internet world) on the product and it is positively raving. To summarize, the reviewer(s) were impressed by the MIUI version of the Android OS, the large battery size, the transflective LCD screen, and (shockingly!) the Xiaomi phone's low price. The knocks/criticism was minor at worst: its relative heft and processor performance. All in all, Engadget's review validated the Xiaomi M1 phone as a successful product that will be sure to sell millions....under the right market conditions. Only problem is, the device will not be available outside China PR. I'm sure you can purchase it off Ebay or other international retailers, but that is a serious obstacle to the device's popularization.
So what's the point of this blog post? It's not just to regurgitate the contents of the Engadget review. Instead, I am declaring the very real possibility that I may purchase one in about a month's time. You see, my father will be traveling to China for a business trip and I realize that I could have him bring me back one (I would reimburse him of course). Furthermore, this possibility is made more real by the opportunity the Xiaomi phone presents to improve my fluency in Chinese. Figure that having a device in native Chinese would force me to re-learn some things, right? The Engadget review already mentions that the device should work with the AT&T network. Bingo.
For repeat visitors to my blog, you may remember my former discussions about possible gadget acquisitions from iPads to a new phone. Fast forward from then to now, we have seen the formerly "possible" devices become reality. For instance, the iPhone 5 is right around the corner, the Samsung Pad 10.1 has been released and, after much agonizing delays, the Samsung Galaxy S II phones have been released (or close to) at AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile. I am no longer in the market for a tablet computer, due to my company's expected transition to Windows 7 -- which nets me a Lenovo X220 laptop. But I am still very much in the market for a new cell phone. Do I risk purchasing the new phone from overseas? That is very much possible.