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Most people are still reveling in the latest iPhone, announced only a little over two weeks ago at Apple’s event in San Francisco. The smartphone showcased a 12MP camera (dual-lens on the 7 Plus), 7MP front-facing camera, a new home button, a new Jet Black color option, and more. It’s a perfect projection of where Apple is taking their smartphone technology. But despite its infancy, the mobile device already has a competitor: Xiaomi.
Just this week, smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi released follow up models to their popular Mi 5 device: the Mi 5s and Mi 5s Plus. These devices come with 12MP cameras (with a dual-lens on the Plus model), a Snapdragon 821 chipset, up to 6GB of memory, and more, all housed within a metallic form factor with a 5.2” display with pressure sensing technology à la 3D Touch.
But there’s one feature that stands out in the device, mainly because it has been on Apple’s ‘to do’ list for the iPhone: an ultrasonic fingerprint reader.
The Mi 5s and 5s Plus both feature this new technology, which is apparently more accurate than Apple’s own Touch ID. Plus, the fingerprint scanner sits underneath the device, meaning it takes up zero space on the front of the phone. According to a number of rumors, Apple was looking to integrate something similar into the iPhone 8 so that the devices could cut down in bulk without sacrificing screen size.
According to Engadget, Xiaomi has been exploring the option of an under-glass fingerprint reader since 2014; but the technology wasn’t ready to debut with the Mi 5 model.
When the Mi 5 appeared on the market, a number of sources believed that it would be in direct competition with Apple’s iPhone because it offered many of the same specs for a much lower price. And the Mi 5s and Mi 5s Plus follows suit: the devices will be available in China on September 29th for 1,999 yuan ($300) and 2,299 yuan ($345), respectively for the base models.