Opinion: Xiaomi Mi 5X images add more weight to the fact that Chinese OEMs lack innovation in smartphone designs

Xiaomi Mi 5X

Over the past few years, Chinese OEMs have become a major force in the smartphone industry, with the likes of Xiaomi, Oppo and OnePlus managing to shake Apple and Samsung’s dominance in the market by a significant magnitude.

While the dominance of Xiaomi and Oppo may not be felt in the U.S., these two companies have a huge following in China, India and other markets such as Europe and Africa. These are markets that Apple and Samsung have been doing well, but lately, things have been growing tough, especially for Cupertino. One thing that has made sure that Apple no longer sells as much as it used to in China is the existence of many phones that look exactly like iPhones.

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Not so long ago, OnePlus 5 was unveiled and to be honest, it’s only the company logo that makes the phone look different from the iPhone 7 Plus. The story is the same when it comes to the Oppo R11 and R11 Plus, which have the same design as the Apple flagship. These are not the only ones, with the likes of ZTE Nubia Z17, Huawei Nova 2/P10/Honor 9/Honor V9, Gionee S10 and Xiaomi Mi 6 all having some huge resemblance with the iPhone 7 Plus.

It’s true that Apple is the smartphone brand that many upcoming OEMs look up to, but does this mean they should also be bold enough to copy just about every other aspect of the iPhone? What copying means, at least to me, is that these companies are lacking in terms of innovative designs and this is exactly what the latest Xiaomi Mi 5X is showing the world.

The Xiaomi Mi 5X is to be unveiled on July 26 and so far, we have a number of images showing off what to expect when the phone comes out next week. From the images, you’d be forgiven to think that Apple is lining up a new iPhone 7 Plus with a rear-mounted Touch ID. The two look identical, especially now that the Mi 5X has also placed the dual-lens camera in the same position as the Apple phone.

Xiaomi Mi 5X OnePlus 5 and Apple iPhone 7 Plus

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The only noticeable change in the camera arrangement is the placement of the LED flash, which appears on the opposite side when compared to the iPhone 7 Plus. The fingerprint scanner on the Xiaomi Mi 5X takes the place of the Apple logo on the 7 Plus, but the camera bump is still there, just like the Apple phone. The side buttons are on the opposite side, though.

At some point, Xiaomi was nicknamed the “Apple of China” and from the images of the Mi 5X, it all makes sense. With the changes Cupertino is working on with respect to the iPhone 8, I wouldn’t be surprised to see more of the same happening in 2018.

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