By now, you've probably heard about Xiaomi. They are one of the many smartphone manufacturers over in China, and they have only been around for about 5 years now. They announced early this morning that they sold 34.7 million smartphones so far in 2015. Xiaomi has been very popular in China for a few years, and have recently started to expand into India. They did this with the Mi 4i, which is a pretty cheap smartphone for the Indian market. The Xiaomi Mi 4i is priced at Rs. 14,999, which is about $233 USD. It also packs a 5-inch 1080p Display and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor, we actually reviewed it recently and were pretty impressed with the device.
Now Mi Fans, which is what Xiaomi calls their customers, have another reason to be excited. The company just recently open sourced the kernel source for the Xiaomi Mi 4i. Now with having access to the kernel source code, this means that tinkerers can have even more fun. As they'll be able to develop kernels to go with those custom ROMs, or just a fresh kernel to go with the stock MIUI experience. That's something we've been used to for some time with Nexus devices and even Samsung's devices. Being able to flash a new kernel for better battery life or for some new features, etc.
Xiaomi seems keen on keeping the Mi 4i for India and Indonesia only. Which is unfortunate, as we'd all love to see this phone come to other countries. Especially considering it has a huge battery inside. Somehow Xiaomi's engineers packed a 3120mAh battery into this device, which isn't all that thick, and is just a 5-inch display, with relatively small bezels. Now if we could get that in the US, there's no doubt Xiaomi would have a hit on their hands. But on the other hand, it'd probably be tougher to keep up with production.
If you're interested in tinkering around with the kernel source code, you can check out the source below and download the source code yourself. But be careful with flashing your own kernel on your Mi 4i, we'd hate to see it get bricked.