We’ve known since March that Xiaomi were planning the launch of their very own Mi store for the United States of America and European markets but until now, we didn’t know the date. And now we do: it’s the 19 May, which is this coming Tuesday. Xiaomi are going to be selling their range of power banks, headphones and fitness trackers into the United Kingdom, United States, French and German markets. However, there are some points to remember. The first is that the Xiaomi Mi Store is being opened as a beta launch and the second is that they are only launching products in “limited quantities.”
Xiaomi announced the opening of the Mi store in a Facebook post and has suggested that people wishing to buy from the store set up accounts before the 1300 EST opening time on Tuesday to avoid disappointment. This is standard, sensible practice for any new online opening store of course! Xiaomi are going to be selling both the 5,000 mAh and 10,400 mAh power banks, the Mi Band and the Mi headphones. Of these products, the easiest to explain are the power banks, which are essentially a rechargeable battery (in either 5,000 mAh or 10,400 mAh capacities). Power banks are a great way of extending your device’s battery life: they are not completely efficient, so if your smartphone has a 2,500 mAh battery you won’t be able to fully charge it twice, but you will be able to significantly extend your uptime away from a mains charger. You do need to remember to independently recharge the power banks of course! The Xiaomi Mi Headphones are, like the power banks, relatively easy to describe. These are relatively expensive for a Xiaomi product but are good quality and great value for the money; if you’re looking for a pair of over the ear headphones, Xiaomi Mi Headphones could serve you well.
The Mi Band is designed as a wrist-worn fitness and activity tracker. It offers similar features to the Jawbone and Fitbit products but is significantly cheaper. As in, $15 rather than the $80 or more that the big name band manufacturers want for their product. The Mi Band promises one month battery life and is designed to monitor activity, which the companion app then extrapolates into calories burned, distance traveled, active and sleep time and other features. Compared with the Jawbone and Fitbit competitors, the companion software is relatively simple but let me get to the price: the Mi Band is significantly cheaper than the competitors. Xiaomi’s assault on the western markets is not going to be especially quick, but then Xiaomi do not need to be. Their next big market is likely to be India but getting a brand presence into the UK, US and core European markets is going to be very useful in the coming years ahead.