Hugo Barra Xiaomi Mi 4i teardown

Last week, Xiaomi’s Hugo Barra took to the stage in New Delhi to unveil the new Mi 4i smartphone, a compact and even more budget friendly version of the company’s flagship Mi 4. Somewhat uncharacteristic of a company vice president, Barra recently picked up a screwdriver to teardown the Mi 4i and talk us through a number of key design points.

Barra offers an interesting perspective on some of the engineering decisions taken with the Mi 4i. Such as making room for the rather large 3,120 mAh battery, avoiding compromises on the position of key components, and how the company stops the rear camera from protruding from the phone’s back.

The compact nature of the motherboard and accommodating dual-SIM slots explains why the Mi 4i doesn’t feature a microSD card expansion port. Barra also clarified that the 16GB internal memory leaves 10.9GB available for user apps and media. The company is also looking at user feedback to see if there’s demand for a 64GB model in the future. The phone also doesn’t feature Gorilla Glass 3, but has a custom glass solution designed by Corning for equal scratch resistance, but perhaps not quite the same strength, given its thin depth.

You can catch the teardown and talk in the video below.