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MWC: Xiaomi unveils low-cost 5G slider smartphone

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The Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G.
The Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G.

There have been a flurry of smartphones launched in the past week at MWC 2019 in Barcelona, Spain, but most have been accompanied by hefty price tags.

Chinese electronics manufacturer Xiaomi, known for producing high-quality products at low prices, unveiled the Mi Mix 3 5G which will sell for under R10 000.

While South Africa does not have a 5G network as of yet, yesterday mobile data-only network operator, Rain, announced it has launched the first 5G commercial network in South Africa in partnership with Huawei, which will be available mid-year.

Other countries around the world, including the US, South Korea, Australia and countries in Europe will also all get 5G networks this year. 5G-enabled smartphones will allow users to experience high-quality content and high speeds.

Rival smartphone manufacturers who also made 5G announcements this week include Huawei and Samsung, however their devices' starting price comes in at more than double the Mi Max 3.

Huawei's foldable Mate X's recommended retail price will be EUR2 299 for 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. This roughly converts to R36 500 but will likely have a much higher price tag if it does launch locally due to import fees and mark-up.

Prices for the Samsung S10+ start at R20 999. There is no official pricing for the 5G version of the phone yet, but it will likely be higher than that.

The Mi Mix 3 5G is an updated version of its predecessor released last year and the official price is set at EUR599 which roughly equates to R9 500.

One of the unique features about the device is that its display is truly edge-to-edge, with the front-facing cameras in a separate compartment that reveals itself through a sliding mechanism.

The smartphone has a dual-camera set-up on the front and the back. The front lenses are 24MP and 2MP, and the lenses on the back are both 12MP, one wide and one telephoto.

The 6.39-inch smartphone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, and it also has the Qualcomm X50 5G modem. It comes in either a 64GB or a 256GB version with 6GB of RAM. It runs on Android Pie.

Xiaomi has not confirmed if the Mi Mix 3 5G will be coming to South Africa.

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