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Move over Samsung, Xiaomi’s set to announce a premium metal-bodied smartphone

Massively popular Chinese smartphone brand Xiaomi will launch a new smartphone on July 22, and the unusual event invitations drop a very strong hint the device will have a metal body. Revealed on Xiaomi’s social networking pages, and its own forum, the event has been given the title “Journey of a Piece of Steel,” and the invitation itself is really made from the metal.

Xiaomi’s current crop of smartphones, such as the big screen RedMi Note hybrid device, are made from plastic, just like the majority of mid-range Android devices. The new event indicates the firm is ready to take on the likes of HTC with a flashier smartphone made from premium materials. It’s something Samsung has been promising to do for a while, but the Korean firm hasn’t quite managed to put all the components together yet.

Xiaomi Steel Invitation

Xiaomi’s event invitation is made of steel.

If you’re wondering what Xiaomi will show off at the end of July, it’s expected to be the sequel to the Mi 3, tentatively known as the Mi 4. It’s likely to be the highest specification device Xiaomi has produced too, with rumors suggesting it’ll have a 5-inch, 1080p screen, a Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB of RAM, and a 13-megapixel camera. Wrapping all this up in a metal body should make it a very desirable device indeed, particularly if the expected $322 price tag turns out to be accurate.

Xiaomi is rapidly growing its international sales division, having already expanded its operation out to Singapore, and plans to visit ten more by the end of this year, including, India, Russia, Turkey, the Philippines, and Mexico. We’re still waiting for news on a U.S. debut, but perhaps we’ll hear more about it once the Mi 4 hits the streets.