tdlr; Xiaomi announces the Xiaomi 12T Pro limited edition made together with Daniel Arsham.
Despite being one of the juggernauts of the smartphone industry with over 190 million mobile devices sold in 2021, Xiaomi is still considered a mid-range brand from China in the eyes of many consumers. Facing a need to build a strong and premium brand overseas, the manufacturer started investing more to build a more legitimate brand. Artist collaborations have been a way for brands to grow their influence out of their worlds.
This week, Xiaomi announced a very exciting collaboration with Cleveland-born artist Daniel Arsham, consisting of a limited edition Xiaomi 12T Pro. The phone was developed to be a “sculpture with a purpose outside of it as a functional object”.
Who is Daniel Arsham?
Daniel Arsham is an American artist who first came to prominence as part of the artist collective known as Snarkitecture. His work is often described as ‘architectural sculpture‘ as he often repurposes everyday objects and materials in order to create his artworks. Arsham was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1980. Arsham‘s work often deals with the idea of time and change, and he has said that he is interested in ‘the things we forget, or the things we leave behind’. This is evident in his series of ‘Future relics‘, which are everyday objects that have been ‘aged‘ or ‘eroded‘ to look like they come from a future civilization.
Arsham is also a prolific collaborator and has worked with a number of fashion brands, including Louis Vuitton, Dior, Adidas and recently Tiffany. Daniel Arsham is one of the most exciting and innovative artists working today. His unique vision and willingness to experiment with new mediums and materials mean that he is always pushing the boundaries of what is possible in art.
What makes this device special?
Released in October 2022, the 12T Pro is a great phone for anyone that wants a high-end phone without a high-end price tag.
The phone uses the latest Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset from Qualcomm and comes with a 12 GB RAM 256 GB storage as well as a 200 MP camera. Unlike the original model, the back shows a striking green panel, with copper-colored crystals that shine differently under an angle. It boasts a flat AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, with a resolution of 1220×2712. This is not the highest, but it is plenty sharp.
According to an article in the Xiaomi Community, Daniel Arsham got full access to Xiaomi R&D team and resources to give him freedom to develop a unique phone that could stand out among the competition.
In 20 years, people will use Daniel Arsham‘s devices as a piece of art according to the artist. He experimented with creating different textures, so the back panel is a result of “his sculptural propositions of obsolescence and natural erosions on a smartphone“.
According to Xiaomi, the collaboration is based on “an imagined future of digital dematerialization.”
Interestingly enough, the collaboration with Xiaomi got announced right after Arsham unveiled a limited edition lock bracelet with Tiffany & Co, following the same contemporary style as the device.
How to get it?
The company plans to produce only 2,000 units of the phone, which will cost €899. Pre–orders begin on December 5, with the actual sale of the phone scheduled for December 16. A pop–up store will open for two days in Berlin, organized by Highsnobiety.
Considering this device will be extremely limited, do you plan to buy it?