Xiaomi’s new Mi5c is the first phone to be powered by its custom chipset

Xiaomi may be skipping Mobile World Congress, the year’s biggest phone show, but it is still making news this week after it unveiled its first processor and the first phone it is powering.

The device is the Mi5c, an updated model of its 5.15-inch Mi5 that it launched at Mobile World Congress last year.

The Mi5c is powered by the Surge S1, Xiaomi’s first SoC chipset and its bid to reduce its reliance on industry suppliers like Qualcomm, and also build customization and differentiation into its phones. That’s important because 2016 wasn’t a great year for the company, it stopped providing annual shipment numbers amid reports that sales had dropped below the 70 million-plus it sold in 2015. Xiaomi thinks that a new strategy, which includes designing its own silicon — something only Samsung, Apple and Huawei currently do — and growing its offline retail presence can turns things around.

So what of the Surge S1. Well, it’s an octa-core 64-bit processor that Xiaomi…

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