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Chinese phones add premium features in crowded battlefield

Xiaomi launches new brand for 'geeks and gamers' in Asia and Europe

HONG KONG -- No longer content to be known for budget devices, Chinese smartphone makers are moving faster into the high-end segment with models that claim to match some functions offered by top-of-the-line Samsung Electronics and Apple phones, but at lower prices.

An early mover is Xiaomi, which raised $4.7 billion in a June initial public offering in Hong Kong. The Beijing-based company last week launched Poco, a brand targeting tech-savvy gamers outside China. Poco means "small" in Spanish.

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