Xiaomi Unveils Game Changing Budget Phone
Fast-growing Chinese OEM Xiaomi has revealed its next iteration of the Redmi lineup with a successor appropriately named Redmi 2. This phone will feature mid-range specifications that are considerably higher than those of most mid-range offerings and for a surprisingly low price, in a package that also seemingly beats most handsets the in the middle gamut when it comes to aesthetics and build quality.
The new smartphone will feature leading specifications in its segment, featuring a rich 4.7″ 720p IPS display with a modest 312 PPI, a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 64-bit processor clocked at 1.4ghz, and based on Cortex A53 architecture that is allegedly 150% faster than the A7 structure. It also features a 4G LTE modem, an 8 mega pixel camera and a 2200 mAh lithium-polymer battery. The device has 8gb of storage but support for up to 32gb extension through an sd card slot. It will run MIUI 6, a Kit-kat based ROM publicly released in October that features an iOS-inspired user interface and many theme capabilities, as well as some additional functionality not found in vanilla Android. However, since the device will be running Kit-kat, the Snapdragon 410’s 64-bit capabilities will not really shine the way they could on a Lollipop fork.
Xiaomi was founded in 2010 and since its inclusion in the smartphone market, the company has grown substantially and has claimed its place as the third biggest seller of smartphones in the world. Their business strategy is unlike Samsung’s or Apple’s, however, as they have a low mark-up on their devices, selling them at almost the bill-of-materials pricing. Xiaomi sells its devices in the market for 18 months instead of the short 6 month periods used by Samsung to profit off build component prices declining. They only sell in online stores and offer wide amounts of accessories for each handset. This model has led them to become the most valuable tech start-up of 2014 and some analysts predict its market share to grow substantially with a possible US debut early this year.
The device is set to compete directly with other offerings in the middle-tier affordable spectrum, which has prices usually ranging from $130 to $250 in American markets. The widely successful Moto G from Motorola took the world by storm with its impressive performance-to-buck ratio, as it featured a powerful Snapdragon 400 processor alongside 1gb of RAM, which are specifications comparable to that of 2012 flagships such as the Galaxy S3 that was still over twice the price at the time of Motorola handset’s launch. The Moto G went on to become Motorola’s best selling device of all time. That handset was priced at $180 at the time of its release, and in 2014 it got a refresh featuring a better 8 MP camera (upgraded from the 5 MP camera before it) at the same pricing. If you believe that to be the steal it was touted to be, you’ll be amazed to see that this considerably better speced handset sells for less than $120.
Xiaomi still has not fulfilled its incursion into the US market, and despite this it still has grown at a faster rate than any other of its competitors. With the industry expecting Xiaomi to hit America sometime this year, its cheap offerings could create a swift in industry standards for the world as a whole and provide the American public with competitively priced handsets that could drive other OEMs to improve their game and change their strategy. In the end, just as the Moto G that started a “budget trend” before it, this phone could be a game-changer for the smartphone world and a considerable weapon for Android’s arsenal.
The Redmi 2 was not given a release date yet, but it is expected to hit in the first half of 2015. We will report more on this device as more information arrives.
What do you think of the Redmi 2’s bang for buck? Leave us your comment!