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(Pocket-lint) - It's 2017, it's the year of ultra-powerful phones. It's also the year that Xiaomi makes its way to Europe for the first time, launching the Mi Mix 2 flagship (and other devices) in Spain from 11 November 2017 - as its testbed for possible expansion into wider European territory.

The Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 is a 5.99-inch device with a near bezel-free 18:9 display, featuring the top-spec Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 platform and 6GB RAM. The kind of kit that would cost you £999 (we're looking at you Apple iPhone X). But, no, the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 will retail for €499 (£440/$580).

Speaking at a media Q&A session after the launch in Madrid, Spain, Xiaomi Senior Vice President, Wang Xiang, quipped that "the important part is not price.

"We [Xiaomi] don't charge a premium, because we are a smartphone company, a smart TV company, a new retail company - and we can offer an attractive price because of the efficiency in what we're doing.

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"We are not spending a huge amount of money on traditional marketing and advertising. We use a lot of social marketing. We build our brand not with money."

It's not just the price point that's impressive. We've been keeping a quiet eye on Xiaomi because of the company's innovation. The original Mi Mix was among the first phone to push for a bezel-free design. The Mi Mix 2 elevates the design yet further, hiding the camera from view and keeping the top edge free from clutter, screen notches or any distraction.

Since buying patents from Microsoft back in 2016, the expectation was that Xiaomi would eventually work its way into Europe. So why Spain as the first port of call?

"We already have many customers already in this market. Our fans in Spain are very active. That's one of the major reasons we picked Spain," said Xiang.

"Secondly, we want to really learn what the customer/consumer really needs in Spain. With the official channel we will have a direct route understand the needs and the taste of EU consumers."

So will we get a taste of the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 in the UK at a similar price? Not just yet. But signs are strong that it could happen.

"It's still early for us to say what is next," said Xiang, "but the EU has a lot of commonalities. What we learn from Spain - in capabilities, after-sales service, and so on - will help us go more aggressive in some other countries."

Here's hoping. Because we want one. And at that price, Xiaomi looks like it could knock the accomplished OnePlus from top spot in the affordable flagship space.

Writing by Mike Lowe. Originally published on 7 November 2017.