Xiaomi’s next challenge in Europe: after smartphones, it’s time for the IoT ecosystem
Say Xiaomi, and think of the rapid rise the brand has made in the smartphone market within five years. Founded in 2010 by Lei Jun, the Beijing-based group grinded out sales at the beginning with models above the price at which they were offered, growing from a 4 percent market share (first quarter of 2017) to 12.7 percent in the last quarter of 2021. Volume growth is now worth third place in the list of largest manufacturers on a global scale, behind Samsung and Apple.
Following in the wake of what has happened in China, the company is now dedicated to spreading its ecosystem to European markets, where perception and credibility allow Xiaomi to aim to broaden its customer base, going beyond the very young first-timers who are tied to the novelty effect and smartphones with lower average prices than the competition. The many Mi-branded series up to the most recent Xiaomi 12 series (with which the Chinese have entered the high-end industry), plus the famous (and much-purchased) Redmi and Poco models for mid-and low-end, summarize Xiaomi’s recent history in Europe.
The first laptop 2-in-1 for Europe
At a European event held in Paris, Xiaomi unveiled a series of new products that add to a consumer AIoT platform that has nearly 480 million devices globally. From purifiers to toothbrushes, soundbars to robot vacuum cleaners, TVs to cameras, electric scooters to televisions, hair dryers, and shavers, Xiaomi’s strength lies in the wide range of offerings it provides and continually updates. The presentation in the French capital was an opportunity to show off some new products, starting with the Book S, the first 2-in-1 laptop Xiaomi brings to Europe.
The idea is to offer a solution that can be used on multiple occasions, when working but also for entertainment. Together with the 12.4-inch touchscreen LCD display (2560 x 1600 pixel resolution) are the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 processor and a 38 Wh battery with a battery life of about 13 hours and fast charging thanks to the 65W charger. With the rise of smart working and the replacement of office meetings with virtual meetings, a laptop needs to provide vision, listening, and audio well beyond sufficiency.
Galaxy Book S is well equipped, with a 1080-pixel resolution webcam, dual microphones, and two 2W speakers. Then, if you want to capture some shots in the tablet version, there is the 13MP rear camera and the 5MP front-facing camera. Another critical factor is that this laptop inaugurates the collaboration between Xiaomi and Microsoft, with Windows 11 running the Book S, which is also appreciated for its size (8.95 millimeters thick for 720 grams) and design similar to Microsoft’s own Surface. Those who wish also can upgrade the setup with a magnetic keyboard and smart pen, which are to be purchased separately (priced at 149.99 and 99.99 euros). Xiaomi Book S costs 699.99 euros.
The importance of the smart band– Xiaomi
Now that it is an established manufacturer, it may come as a surprise, but among the most significant products that have helped Xiaomi’s popularity in Europe is the smart band, which has been renewed every year and is now in its seventh version, with a number of new features and dimensions. The most noticeable is the 1.62” AMOLED display, which is 25 percent larger than the previous model, allowing more information to be displayed more clearly.
For functions, however, there are 110 sports that users can set to monitor workouts and set goals in the short and long term. Smart Band 7 has a battery life that averages more than a week, even when worn at night, as monitoring sleep can help understand any discomfort or abnormalities that occur during rest. Activities also include measuring heart rate and oxygen saturation, as well. However, one should always be aware that wearables are not professional tools, so in case of problems, one should still seek the help of doctors and specialists. The smart band is waterproof to 5 ATMs for water sports enthusiasts, although Xiaomi specifies to avoid saunas and hot showers. Weighing 13.5 grams and available with straps in ten different colors, Smart Band is on sale for 59.99 euros.
New TV: there is Android Tv but Lcd display and not Oled– Xiaomi
Some models have already arrived in Europe, but Xiaomi intends to strengthen the audio-video sector as well, starting with the new A2 Series TVs, which feature a metal unibody structure supported by a single stand and bezel-less design. Planned sizes are 43, 50, and 55 inches, all equipped with 4K Ultra HD displays, Dolby Audio technology, and, for the largest model, a 178-degree viewing angle that allows comfortable viewing from any position. On the content side, the TVs count on movies, TV series, and shows included in Android TV, while Google Assistant can be used to manage the TV and other connected IoT devices. Starting with the smallest, the three A2 Series models are sold for 449.90, 499.90, and 549.90 euros.
Electric scooter, everything gets bigger
Rounding out the Paris presentation was Electric Scooter 4 Pro, the latest and most powerful electric scooter developed by Xiaomi. At the heart of the design is a 700W motor on an aluminum body that allows it to touch 25 km/h and move about 45 km on a single charge of the 12,400 mAh battery. Xiaomi also promises that the scooter will be able to tackle terrain with gradients of up to 20 percent without problems, thanks in part to the 10-inch tubeless tires, which are designed to resist punctures thanks to a gel that protects the inner tube from nails and other treacherous objects.
There is also the front eABS and rear dual-disc braking system to reduce risks. In short, the profile is more than reasonable. It refers back to the Ninebot Max G30 II, so much so that Electric Scooter 4 Pro costs 799.99 euros, 100 euros less than its rival, which, however, incorporates the charger for fast charging and front, side and rear reflectors.