A Little know company called Xiaomi has been making a big splash in the mobile phone market. This relatively new company which only started back in 2011 has been producing top spec Android handsets in China. Their secret sauce is that they haven been selling their handsets at cost price with no markups! Impossible! they claim they making their profits off selling accessories for their handsets!
This basically means you can purchase a highly spec phone for cheap, for example, their latest release is the Mi 2S which comes in either 16GB or 32 GB internal storage, it runs on a quad core snap dragon 600 at 1.7GHz (which is what the HTC one and the new Samsung S4 are using). 4.3 inch screen size at 1280 x 720 (342 ppi compared with iphone 5 at 326 ppi), 2MB front facing camera and 8MB (16 GB version) or 13MB (32GB version) back camera. Battery is a tat weak at 2000 mAh and runs on Android 4.1 Jelly bean, another downer is no LTE support (understood for China as they have not launch their 4G networks). Some of the other features are wifi display (output to TV with wifi support), F2.2 aperture lens, HDR camera with 1080p recording at 30 fps.
Currently these phones are only available in China but they are hoping to expand into Taiwan and Hong Kong to tapped into more westernized countries. The handsets looks similar to an iphone4 but they do have their own twist on the design. I mean for the price of $1999 yuen (approx USD$324) you are getting a top of the range handset with everything on it (except LTE of course). Browsing through their website, they do sell a lot of accessories ranging from wallets to shirts to RC cars to colored batteries. I can understand how they have build a marketing world around the handset and it seems that this model is working. They have claimed to have sold over 7 million phones in 2012 without any formal marketing or promotions!!
I might pickup the Mi 2S when they launch in Hong Kong just to see what the fuzz is all about, and if this kind of thing interest you please check out their website here. Go browse through their accessories section, you will be pleasantly surprised what is on offer, oh don’t forget to use google translate on the site unless of course you are well versed in Mandarin.