Nothing’s going to stop Xiaomi from expanding its product line. As if being the third largest smartphone manufacturer is not enough, this Chinese mogul released Mi Pen, just a few months ago. The pen itself is made of premium materials, but costs only $3/piece. While Xiaomi is known for producing other electronic products, this is a departure from their usual stint.
Recently, the company seems to capitalize the relatively wet climate of East Asia. It teased the mainland China about a new product release, which obviously pointed towards an umbrella. Finally, Xiaomi released the Xiaomi Umbrella last August. It’s true this everyday device is a necessity for China and its neighboring countries. Yet, the umbrella industry has become so saturated, at this point consumers are not particular with customer loyalty anymore.
This brings the question, what does Xiaomi Umbrella have to stand out? Turns out, quite a lot if you’re willing to pay $10 for it.
|Dimensions||Xiaomi Umbrella is 24 centimeters long and 3 centimeters thick when folded. It weighs about 228 grams.|
|Fabric||Xiaomi reported that the cloth used is called a Taiwanese carom cloth. Xiaomi Umbrella has also additional Teflon coating.|
|Expansion Radius||When opened, Xiaomi Umbrella reaches a radius up to 47 centimeters.|
|Price||You can get this for CNY 69, or roughly $ 10 through crowd funding.|
China is the global leader in terms of umbrella exports. In 2013, over 92% of all umbrellas were shipped from this country alone. Combine this tempting statistics with Xiaomi’s plan of extending its products, and we got this umbrella. This is currently sold under the company’s Mijia sub-brand and is named the Luo Qing Umbrella. But we’ll simply address this as Xiaomi Umbrella.
At first glance, the Xiaomi Umbrella exudes a premium feel, although there’s nothing much for its design. So far it is only available in black and white. Perhaps they are targeting the working class. Xiaomi Umbrella also comes with a pouch, where you can carry it when not in use. You might prefer getting wet than carry a heavy umbrella. Well, rest assured that this umbrella is light enough, as it’s just a little heavier than your smartphone. The handle also includes a non-slip mechanism, to prevent it from falling. Its texture might feel a bit weird at first, yet that’s not totally distracting after some use. Ultimately, you wouldn’t want to lose a $10 umbrella.
Xiaomi Umbrella has no buttons, so you have to manually open and close it. As Xiaomi foresaw a potential complaint about this, the umbrella features anti-resistance fringes, to easily fold it. It induces simplicity of use, yet it lags behind other competing brands when it comes to convenience.
Things begin to get interesting when you start to examine the materials Xiaomi Umbrella is made from. The fabric is made from carom, a Taiwanese cloth. Touching it feels very soft, but it is durable enough to withstand inclement weather. Xiaomi decided to add unique and useful features, to convince users to buy this umbrella. First, the cloth is known to shake water off much faster than other fabrics. This is also Teflon coated, meaning, you get UV protection if you tend to stay for too long under the sun. Xiaomi did not state whether this umbrella is wind-resistant, so it’s better not to use this over a windy day.
You will likely find cheaper alternatives, especially you live in an area where it does not rain much. Also, remember that umbrellas are one of the most common lost everyday objects. The price of the Xiaomi umbrella seems a bit expensive, at least for casual users. The specifications are a steal, though. In fact, rare are the $10 varieties which offer a superior fabric and Teflon coating. It’s up to the user whether he needs the add-ons for a basic everyday object or not.
Xiaomi Umbrella is relatively cheaper than its counterparts, though. Repel Lightweight is the other umbrella that has Teflon coating, but it costs $50. Other Teflon coated umbrellas are listed at well over $15 per piece and lack other features Xiaomi Umbrella has. Simply stated, the features you get with Xiaomi Umbrella are a steal. This object has some good value for money in the end.
Umbrellas are one of the most common everyday objects in our home. In fact, over 33 million units are yearly sold in US alone. You think this works as a simple industry, but four full-time staff are dedicated to handle umbrella patterns. Another amazing fact about this business is that a person regularly buys a new item every year. Xiaomi saw this opportunity and unleashed an umbrella that has its killer features. That is, if you can exchange the absence of buttons and wind protection.
Will you buy the new Xiaomi Umbrella? Voice your thoughts in the comments.