Xiaomi to Enter Premium Smartphone Segment; Here’s What You Can Expect


Xiaomi MI Smartphone

There was commotion in the affordable smartphone market when Xiaomi entered India in July 2014 with the Mi 3. In 2014, most flagships would sport similar features and 2x or 3x the price of Mi 3. A winner in the home country, Xiaomi made ripples in the Indian market with its other smartphones as well.

The company was also one of the first Chinese smartphone makers to enter India, which actually led the way for other Chinese companies in India. Fast forward two years, and Xiaomi has already launched its flagship smartphone Xiaomi Mi 5 with the latest MIUI8 ROM.

India is a very important market for the Chinese player and the recent relaxation in local sourcing norms is expected to propel Xiaomi’s sales in India to another level. However, the company is not looking to be a leader in just the budget smartphone segment.

Liwan Jiang, Co-Founder – Xiaomi, communicated that the company is planning to move away from the lower rung of the market and get into the premium segment. This does not mean Xiaomi will not launch cheaper smartphones, but they will be announcing a high-end spec’ed smartphones by the end of this year.

You can imagine what high-end premium smartphone for Xiaomi would be, when their medium-range Mi series carries hardware comparable to that of smartphones worth more than Rs. 40,000.

What can we expect from Xiaomi’s premium phone?

The smartphone will sport a price tag of $600 or Rs. 40,000 and will come with top-notch specifications that will make the price look low. Xiaomi’s mantra has been creating hype in the smartphone market to increase sales, rather than depending on advertising and marketing.

Our take on what specifications this phone could possess –

  • Display: 5.3 to 5.5-inch 4k HD AMOLED panel
  • Processor: Snapdragon 821 or 823, depending upon the latest CPU from Qualcomm
  • RAM and Internet storage: 6GB RAM and 128GB internal storage, considering 6GB RAM is available in cheaper smartphones, it is possible Xiaomi launches one with 8GB of RAM
  • Graphics: Adreno 530 GPU
  • Camera: Top-of-the-line 21MP primary camera with phase detection autofocus and optical image stabilization, 16MP front-facing camera with flash
  • Battery: 3,500mAh battery to support all the high-end features with further fast charging innovations
  • Miscellaneous: USB Type-C support for quick charging, 4G LTE ready, Android Nougat, Bluetooth 4.2, fingerprint sensor, NFC

These specifications can also be put in a relatively cheaper smartphone, something like OnePlus 3, but Xiaomi can differentiate it by using innovate modules in the phone like the LG G5 or Moto Z/Z Force. Xiaomi can also bundle some accessories with the smartphone to make it unique and suave.

The smartphone is also expected to be a uni-body metal with very thin bezels (or even none at all) and a generally thin profile. These are all speculations, and it is possible Xiaomi comes up with something completely new and different to its users. The phone will compete with Samsung Galaxy S7, Google Nexus 6P 2016, iPhone 6S/7, LG G5 and HTC 10.

Mi Fans around the world would be excited to hear the news, and we ourselves and eager to know more about the smartphone. Let us see how other Chinese smartphone makers and Korean smartphone makers respond to this announcement.

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