Global feature phone market witnessed a sudden growth after Reliance Jio disrupted the market with the Jio Phone, an affordable internet-enabled 4G feature phone with Jio’s native services. While 2017 saw a dip in sales of smartphones, the feature phones posted growth for the first time in many years. The Jio Phone topped the feature phone market globally with 15% market share in Q1 2018.
Amid the rise of global feature phone sales, Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has released a forked Android running feature phone in China. Touted as the Xiaomi Qin AI, the feature phone was launched via Xiaomi’s crowdfunding platform.
It is a 4G VoLTE-enabled feature phone that runs on a forked Android OS called Mocor 5. The highlight of the device is its AI voice feature that does real-time voice translation in 17 different languages. Using AI, the phone is said to answer questions and tell stories to young ones.
It has a 2.8-inch QVGA colour display (320x240pixels) and a T9 Keypad. The phone doesn’t feature any camera, but what it does feature is an IR blaster to control your home appliances. It runs a SC9820E dual-core chipset clocked at 1.3GHz. It has 256MB of RAM and 512MB of internal storage. The storage can be further expanded via microSD. It has a 1480mAh battery that is claimed to offer 15 hours of talk time and 420 hours of standby.
We haven’t got a chance to get our hands on the phone, and we’re still to find out more about the OS and interface.
It is available for 199 RMB, which is approximately Rs 2,000, and the phone will start shipping from September 15. Xiaomi has shared no plans of launching it in other markets as of now.