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(Pocket-lint) - Xiaomi is convinced that the future is very much 5G. And that the tech shouldn't be exclusive to those with large pockets.

Not only has it announced its first 5G handset on the eve of Mobile World Congress, but confirmed that it will be launching many more 5G devices going forward in the coming years.

"Every year we will continue to bring more 5G products to our portfolio," the company's senior vice president, Wang Xiang, told Pocket-lint after its MWC press conference in Barcelona.

"We believe that 5G will change people's lives a lot and are in a very good position to drive the innovation in 5G technology.

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"One of the challenges for 5G devices is that they are going to be very expensive. But, we want to set the example that you don't need to pay that high to get a 5G service."

That philosophy will start with its very first 5G handset, the Mi Mix 3 5G. It will launch in May for a very competitive €599 (£520).

It's an aggressive pricing stance that could give Xiaomi the competitive edge in 5G.

So far, the only other major (non foldable) 5G handset announcement was from Samsung, with the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G being part of its Unpacked launch event on 20 February. Its cost and release date are yet to be revealed, but is thought to come with a premium price tag.

Another strategy of Xiaomi's that could give it a considerable foothold in the market is speed of release. Many phone makers are proving reticent in launching 5G devices before 5G networks become widely available.

That doesn't seem to bother Xhang or Xiaomi, however: "We want to see more and more 5G networks, but that phone can also be used on 4G networks. The deployment of 5G will gradually happen in different markets in Europe and we want to make sure the consumer can buy a product now that will work once the 5G service is ready. And not pay an additional premium.," he added.

Writing by Stuart Miles. Originally published on 24 February 2019.