Nikhil SubramaniamAug 25, 2014 13:41:16 IST
Xiaomi will officially unveil the India launch details for the Redmi 1s tomorrow and we will find out when the smartphone will be available and the sales process. Hopefully, this time around Xiaomi has a better handle on how the Indian market works and the demand for its phones. So we can expect a bigger launch than the Mi 3.
While the availability date is still unknown, arguably the most important details are out in the open. We know the Xiaomi Redmi 1s will be priced at Rs 6,999, which makes it great value already. But the specifications are unheard of in this price range. The Redmi 1S sports a Nexus 4-like 4.7-inch 720p IPS display. It has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor like the Moto G, but the clock speed is higher at 1.6GHz, and there’s a healthy 1GB of RAM. 16GB onboard storage is present and there’s a microSD card slot as well for expansion up to 64GB. The 2000mAh battery sounds great and there are decent-sounding cameras on board as well – an 8MP rear shooter and a 1.6MP front camera.
Just like the Xiaomi Mi 3 which offered incredible specs making its direct competitors irrelevant, the Redmi 1S aims to destroy the competition, none of which can offer similar or specs close to it. In addition, the Redmi phone looks a notch above the competition in terms of design as well.
The entry-level segment threshold has been pushed lower and lower in the past few months with the invasion of the budget Android KitKat phones. So it’s not like Xiaomi won’t have any competition at all. But what the Redmi 1s does is make these feel significantly below par. For one, none of them can offer a similar HD display. Even the Moto E, which had a brilliant qHD display, pales in comparison. The storage is also pretty much the best you can get and the processing power is ample.
Moreover MIUI brings true software differentiation which no other brand can match in this segment. So the advantages are obvious and the lower price point will catch a lot more buyers in the dragnet.
In the Mi 3 review, we’d said that there’s literally no competition for the first Xiaomi phone in India, but the Redmi 1s seems like a better deal. It offers better value given its specs, at nearly half the Mi 3’s price. And it’s shaping up to be a massive success, likely to sell out in mere seconds each time it goes on sale, just as the Mi 3 has done.
Xiaomi has faced a lot of criticism for the way it’s handled the Mi 3 launch, despite the apparent craze for the phone. Even though they are officially here, the Indian market has posed some problems for the company. To repair that image of being all talk and no show, it has to meet the expected demand in a timely manner when it comes to the Redmi 1s. Here the margin for error is smaller as there are hundreds of alternatives. It’s up to Xiaomi to make sure there are enough phones to sell, and they could well and truly arrive in India.
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