In a bid to reduce its reliance on Qualcomm and MediaTek, Xiaomi has launched its in-house chipset, dubbed the Surge S1. The SoC is built on a 28nm node and offers eight Cortex A53 cores in two clusters. The first cluster sees four cores clocked at up to 2.2GHz, whereas the second cluster sees two cores at 1.4GHz. The chipset also offers a Mali T860 GPU and a 14-bit dual ISP.

Xiaomi Mi 5c

The first phone to be powered by the Surge S1 is the Xiaomi 5c, a budget variant of last year's Mi 5. The phone features a 5.15-inch Full HD display, 3GB of RAM, 64GB internal storage, 12MP camera with f/2.2 lens and 1.25-micron pixels, 8MP front shooter, Wi-Fi ac, LTE with VoLTE, Bluetooth 4.1, USB-C, and a 2860mAh battery with fast charging (9V/2A).

Xiaomi shared a Geekbench score that shows the Surge S1 beating out the Snapdragon 625 and MediaTek's Helio P10. We'll have to wait until we get our hands on the Mi 5c to reserve judgement on whether the SoC can deliver in real-world usage. One positive aspect of using a custom chipset is that Xiaomi will be able to deliver updates faster.

The phone will go up for sale in China starting March 3 for ¥1,499 ($220), and as of now there's no mention of availability outside of Xiaomi's home market.