Xiaomi The Money

CNET and proud Xiaomi owner Ash Measures delves into why seemingly everyone in Chatteris has converted to Xiaomi

Ash's phone, the Redmi 5 Plus

Being part of Chatteris means you are inducted into quite a few eclectic crazes such as Club 7/11, HK McDonalds Lovers Association and ESA (engage, study, activate); however, the most prevalent and dominating is the Xiaomi bandwagon. The budget phone manufacturer is hardly mentioned in the West, despite being the 4th largest phone maker in the world - and by the far the most popular within CNET circles. Gone are the days of the $6000HKD (600 GBP) iPhone I left in a taxi and, instead, in with the glory of my Redmi 5 Plus. It may seem weird to those outside of Hong Kong to buy your phone from the same place that sells cheap rice cookers but the craze is strong. There are many circulating rumours of how the Xiaomi fascination started, but one thing is true...there is no better unpaid salesman within Xiaomi's workforce than senior CNET Elaine. The unappointed brand ambassador is known for giving her prepared and perfected sales pitch to anyone willing to listen, and she does have a point.

For those coming to live in Hong Kong, one of the first concerns is their budget. Often haunted with the memory of 40 GBP phone bills and higher back home, the price of a phone contract is a sticking point for CNETs. For most in Chatteris, however, the unlimited data deal from China Mobile (30HKD for 10 Days) is all they need, with Whatsapp being the main form of communication. Combined with the cheapness of Xiaomi, my phone only set me back around 1200HKD (120 GBP)... this means you never truly have to worry about money. Xiaomi runs on a custom built android system without any issues and the price point means that even the top range phones cost less than a third of a standard iPhone. So come and jump on the bandwagon, you won’t regret it.

A note from Elaine (the aforementioned Xiaomi ambassador):
Believe it or not, I was an iPhone gal through and through until coming to Hong Kong. I would cringe at the sight of receiving an ungodly green text message instead of a blue iMessage. I would swiftly click past the blurry, pixelated Instagram and Snapchat stories that could have only been filmed with a potato or, God forbid, an Android. However, with happy hours that got a little too happy and funds that were a little too tight, I was forced into the Xiaomi club. Believe me, I tried everything to avoid it... I even had an iPhone sent from home in Canada, only to have it stolen and tracked down in China a few days later. I definitely did not choose the Xiaomi life: the Xiaomi life chose me. Now here’s why you should let it choose you too! With a free one year warranty in case of junk boat accidents, 64 gb of storage for all those holiday insta's and cringe convo screenshots, and decent camera quality (check out the sub-par portrait mode), it is a great (second) choice! There is also something just so satisfying about opening your phone with facial recognition. And if nothing else, it serves as a great way to get out of a conversation. Mention your Xiaomi and you’ll have people groaning and rolling their eyes in seconds.

If this has not been enough to convince you, they say a picture taken on a Xiaomi is worth a thousand words…
A Xiaomi photo taken along The Dragon's Back hiking route


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