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Chinese Firm Preps Super-cheap iPhone 5 Rival

After the Philips-branded Samsung Galaxy S competitor, an unknown Chinese company called Xiaomi has upped the ante by delivering a top-end smartphone called the MI-ONE, which is set to take on all current high end smartphones including the iPhone 5.

Already 600 units have been delivered at 19,999 Yen, that's roughly £168 excluding VAT. The phone comes with a custom ROM (MIUI ROM) based on Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread and even features an unlocked bootloader.

The phone has hardware specifications that are better than the Samsung Galaxy S2; there's a Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8260, a dual core SoC clocked at 1.5GHz, 1GB RAM, 4GB internal storage, a microSD card storage, a 4-inch capacitive toushcreen with a 854x580 pixels resolution, a front facing two-megapixel camera and a rear eight megapixel one, GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a dedicated MI button, a 1930mAh battery (the biggest ever after the Atrix) and even customised back plates.

The phone is not currently available outside China and provided that the build quality is on a par with the likes of Huawei and ZTE, it could very well become a viable outsider.

Xiaomi hasn't confirmed whether it will launch other smartphones yet and who is backing the project. Given that the project was originally announced in mid-August, the MI-ONE project has had a surprisingly fast delivery.