Xiaomi revealed its intention of spinning out Redmi as an independent brand earlier this month, and today, it announced the first phone under the new arrangement. In addition to being the first phone under the independent brand, the Redmi Note 7 is special in terms of specifications and price.
Redmi Note 7 features impressive specs at a very affordable price
The Redmi Note 7 looks similar to the Mi Play, which was also showcased recently. Although Redmi is an entry-level brand, the Note 7 features a premium design, including a glass back and gradient color schemes. The handset has a 6.3-inch full HD+ display and a waterdrop notch. It also sports a headphone jack, a USB Type-C port and 18-watt wired charging.
The most impressive specification of the Redmi Note 7 is undoubtedly its rear-facing camera, which features a 48-megapixel main lens with f/1.8 aperture and a secondary 5-megapixel lens. According to the company, the primary camera is capable of using pixel-binning to take better shots, but at 12-megapixel resolution. On the front, there is a 13-megapixel camera.
Redmi’s Note 7 is powered by the Snapdragon 660 chipset. Although this is not the latest processor, it still is a good one for a budget handset. The battery capacity is expected to be 4,000 mAh, in line with previous Redmi Note phones. A recent Geekbench listing for the handset showed a score of 4,556 in the multi-core test and 1,462 in the single-core test.
In addition to the 48-megapixel camera, another great thing about the device is its affordable price. The entry-level model with 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage is priced at just 999 yuan (about $147). The 4 GB/64 GB variant costs 1,199 yuan (about $177), while the 6 GB / 64 GB variant is priced at 1,399 yuan (about $206).
This could be the cheapest smartphone with a 48-megapixel camera. Currently there are only two other phones with 48-megapixel cameras so far: the Huawei Nova 4 priced at 3,399 yuan and the Honor View 20 priced at 2,999 yuan.
Xiaomi also announced that the Redmi Note 7 Pro is also in works. The Pro version will have a 48-megapixel Sony IMX586 sensor instead of Samsung’s 48-megapixel camera in the standard Redmi Note 7. The Pro variant will probably arrive some time later, possibly with upgraded specs.
Xiaomi makes big strategic changes
A few days ago, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun talked about their plans to focus the Redmi brand on e-commerce and cost efficiency, while the Xiaomi brand will cater to the mid- and high-end market and offline sales. The Chinese company also runs another sub-brand called Poco, which was created last year to take on OnePlus.
Due to this strategic change, the Redmi Note 7 will carry a new logo on the back saying “‘Redmi by Xiaomi.” The handset will first hit store shelves in China, and it will be made available in India and other markets where the company operates later.
Xiaomi is not the only company to operate multiple smartphone brands. Oppo launched a new smartphone brand called Realme in India in 2018. Similarly, Huawei owns the Honor brand, while Lenovo sells the Motorola brand, and there are other examples.
Xiaomi also bought a small 0.48% stake in TCL, the company which makes Blackberry- and Alcatel-branded phones. Reports suggest this strategic agreement between the two will enable both Xiaomi and TCL to help each other in developing smart devices and appliances.
Xiaomi, which is already a big name in the smartphone and smart TV market, is reportedly planning to make a mark in the smart home and Internet of Things business. Reports suggest the company has established a new business unit to target the household appliance market. Xiaomi will reportedly offer several products in the household appliance category, including smart air conditioners, washing machines, sweeping robots, air purifiers, smart cameras, electronic pots and more.
Meanwhile, Xiaomi has overtaken Apple in unit sales of wearables. The Chinese company surpassed Apple in the third quarter of 2018, according to data from IDC. Xiaomi’s unit sales increased 90.9% in the third quarter from the same quarter last year. The company shipped about 6.9 million units in the quarter. The phenomenal growth is largely attributed to three factors: the growing wearables market, the launch of the Mi Band 3, and aggressive expansion outside its home territory of China.
Huawei and Samsung bagged the fourth and fifth places, with sales growing 20.3% and 91%, respectively. Fitbit remains in third place, but its unit sales dropped by 3.1%.