In a surprising move, Xiaomi has announced a new feature phone series dubbed as Qin.
The Xiaomi Qin feature phones are actually crowdfunded and it has more to it than just cellular capabilities like messaging and voice talk. It comes with 4G connectivity and embedded with some AI abilities to help improve the overall experience.
But how big is this crowdfunding project? As of writing, it currently has a total pre-order value of CNY 6.5 million (~Php50.5 million) and is backed by over 23,000 people.
The Qin name actually came from a very famous Chinese dynasty. Since this is their first try, Xiaomi started with only phones for now. They both have the same 2.8-inch that has a modest 240 x 320 pixel resolution, packed with a physical keyboard all inside its 132 x 53.8 x 8.5 mm body. Like every Chinese smartphone out there, the Xiaomi Qin features phones also have dual-SIM card slots.
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Among the two, the Xiaomi Qin 1 is the more affordable device. It uses a MediaTek MT6260A processor which comes with one ARM7 CPU core. RAM and storage are limited to 8MB and 16MB, respectively. But that’s because they don’t need much of those anyway.
There’s no LTE and GPS connectivity available, but Bluetooth v4.2 and Wi-Fi are in tow. It has a fairly large 1,480mAh battery capacity which should last for at least 15 days on standby.
The higher-end model is called the Xiaomi Qin 1s. Running the show is two 1.2GHz Cortex-A53 cores in a Spreadtrum SC9820 chipset, together with 256MB of RAM and 512MB of storage. Being a more expensive phone, Xiaomi managed to include other connectivity options like GPS and VoLTE here.
Both phones run on an operating system called Nucleus. Surprisingly, they also come with USB-C which is still unheard of even in the entry-level smartphone market. Speaker is located on the bottom part of the body.
What else is missing? The cameras. But the reason we haven’t mentioned it is because both phones don’t have any. Unfortunately, there’s also no 3.5mm audio jack so it’s not the best feature phone for listening to music.
The Xiaomi Qin 1 and Qin 1s will be available on the 15th of September in either white or black colors. Price starts at CNY 199 (~Php1,600) for the Qin 1 while the Qin 1s costs CNY 299 (~Php2,300).
UPDATE: The phones are actually manufactured by Shenzhen Duoqin Technology Co., Ltd and are offered through Xiaomi’s crowdfunding platform.