Xiaomi Redmi 5: Xiaomi Blurring The Lines?

Xiaomi Redmi 5: Xiaomi Blurring The Lines?

Introduction:

Xiaomi is no stranger to us. It is a new company that caught on with us very soon. Launched in India not too long ago, it quickly gathered a huge fan base owing to its good quality and service. Xiaomi isn’t really limited to Smartphones, they make a huge line of products in markets such as China but they haven’t really opened up their entire product line-up in India probably due to cost factors. But despite that, people share a special love for the company in the budget segments.

Xiaomi has always been one of the hot sellers in the smartphone category in India and it all kick-started with the launch of the Xiaomi Redmi series of smartphones. They followed the philosophy of providing cheap and good quality smartphones in relatively cheaper budget segments. Even now, the Redmi line-up of smartphones is one of the best sellers in India because of their attractive pricing and good feature set at the budget categories. However, like all companies must move on and the current Redmi 4 is soon to be replaced with the much awaited Xiaomi Redmi 5. But the Redmi 4 is a very good device in its own right, so what can Xiaomi do to improve upon it? Let’s discuss.

Design and Display:

The design for the Redmi 5 will likely get an overhaul as the Redmi Note 5 will likely be getting a bezel less display. Plus since the Redmi 5 is likely to stay in the same Price bracket as the Xiaomi Yi smartphone, so the design has to be different for it to differentiate itself from its own sibling. And since the Redmi 5 has always been like a scaled down version of the Redmi Note series or vice versa, we can also expect to see a thinner bezel version of the Redmi 5. On a side note, the Redmi 5 could also be called the Redmi 5 Plus which could indicate a slightly bigger screen area for the Redmi range.

Xiaomi could also upgrade the existing display with a 1080p panel as the previous generation Redmi 4 came with a 720p panel. While it is a novel idea, we certainly hope that the speculated cost for the Redmi 5 doesn’t get hiked because of these upgrades. Also, Xiaomi could put the entire Redmi line of phones in jeopardy because of its selfie centric Yi series of smartphones which come with similar specs as the current gen Redmi 4 but with bigger screens and better cameras.

Performance:

Redmi’s have never been number crunchers. Xiaomi has an entirely different line of smartphones for that. Still current reports suggest that the Redmi 5 will likely ship with either the slightly older Snapdragon 652 or the newer Snapdragon 625 which could make for a very powerful device for the price range. But although it is unconfirmed at the moment but the Redmi shipping with a snapdragon 625 will be a very expensive addition for the phone that generally retails at around a budget of 10,000 and it’ll be interesting to see what corners Xiaomi choose to cut in order to keep the prices similar. Also while we are on the subject, the Redmi 5 will also probably ship with three or more variants, each carrying different RAM configurations like the previous models.

Software:

There is still time for the Redmi 5 to launch here but the good news is that Google recently unveiled the Android 8 Oreo with their Google Pixel 2 line up of smartphones and that makes us believe that the Redmi series of smartphones might just launch with the aforesaid version of the Android OS. And even if it doesn’t, Xiaomi has been known to update their devices with important security patches and updates from time to time and we could easily see the device getting and update to Android Oreo soon, albeit with their custom skin a.k.aMiUi. The MiUi is a decent skin that changes the characteristics of the device globally, adding nifty features and a decent balance of ease of use and accessibility.

Camera and Storage:

There is no concrete information about what cameras Xiaomi chose to include in their Redmi 5. But it is probably going to have to be of slightly lower quality than the Xiaomi Yi as the camera of the Xiaomi Yi is the USP of the device and the Redmi 5 will probably retail at around the same price range. But all recent leaks indicate that the Redmi 5 will probably feature a 16MP camera at the rear and a single 8MP camera at the front. The differentiating factor here would be that the Redmi 5 will not feature the front dual camera setup as the Redmi Yi.

On the storage we can probably expect a similar configuration as the current gen Redmi 4 will three variants offering 16, 32 and 64GB of on board storage respectively with an additional option to expand it via the traditional Xiaomi hybrid sim slot. I wish Xiaomi stuck with the dual sim + expandable Micro SD slot as the Yi series but it is highly unlikely.

Battery and Connectivity:

The Redmi series has never let us down in the battery department and with the last two Redmi phones featuring massive 4000mAh batteries, we kind of expect Xiaomi to stick to the formula even if it makes for slightly thicker devices.

And as the Redmi series is primarily aimed at developing markets, we expect an Indian launch soon and so it is safe to conclude that the phone will definitely support Indian network bands with the 4G LTEstandard. Also the usual set of features such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS along with the IR blaster should come bundled as standard.

Conclusion:

Perhaps the biggest hurdle for the Redmi 5 should come from Xiaomi themselves. We got a surprise launch for the Xiaomi Yi which features bigger displays, better cameras and roughly the same specifications as the current gen Redmi 4. So, Xiaomi will have to undercut or outdo themselves in the budget range if they want the Redmi line of smartphones to stay relevant. The Xiaomi Redmi 5 price in India is expected to be around Rs.10000 for the top end model for which it will be a tight fit between the Redmi Note series and the Redmi Yi series. How Xiaomi solves this problem is yet to be seen.