Chinese smartphones maker Xiaomi launched the much-awaited Redmi Note phablet in India on Monday carrying a price-tag of Rs. 8,999, while the Redmi Note 4G is priced Rs.9,999, unleashing another specs-war with biggies like Apple and Samsung in a vast market of millions of smartphone lovers.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note will be sold online only for pre-registered participants and the registration will begin from Tuesday, November 24 after 6 PM IST, said the company. The flash sale on Flipkart will take place at 2 PM on December 2 but the number of units put on sale is not revealed this time by the company.
Coming to the Redmi Note 4G, which is priced Rs.1,000 more than the Redmi Note, will also be available in Airtel stores in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Hyderabad but customers should register online ahead.The company said it is fast moving in the direction of setting up more than 100 service centres across the country in few months’ time.
This time, a contest for design and campaigning preceded tha launch of the devices in India and the contest on details on its Facebook page invited from people the best design possible for the phone. Next week, an invite was sent to the launch event and today, the company showcased both the Xiaomi Redni Note and the Redmi Note 4G phablets.
Features of Redmi Note include dual-SIM support with dual standby, sporting a 1.7GHz octa-core MediaTek
MTK6592 SoC featuring a Mali-450MP4 GPU. It will support 2GB of RAM and runs on old version of Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2 with its own Xiaomi’s MIUI.
The Redmi Note 4G too sports only single SIM and runs on a quad-core 1.6GHz Snapdragon 400 CPU coupled with 2GB of RAM. It will run on Android 4.4.2 KitKat with MIUI v5 skin. Xiaomi said it would facilitate updates to the latest
Android 5 Lollipop in the future.
Most of the specs in both the Redmi Note and Redmi Note 4G are similar in terms of display at 5.5-inch 720×1280-pixel IPS LCD screens and 13-megapixel rear autofocus camera and LED flash and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera for selfies.
The storage in both phablets is also the same at 8GB built-in storage and a microSD card slot for expansion up to 32 GB in Redmi Note and 64 GB in Redmi Note 4G. Both devices can be connected via GPRS/EDGE, 3G, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n with Wi-Fi Direct and sport the hotspot functionality, Bluetooth 4.0, a Micro-USB port with OTG support, and A-GPS.
The battery in both devices is of 3,100mAh capacity with provision for fast charging.
New Sale Strategy:
Xiaomi, which outsells other phones on Flipkart, will push its Redmi Note too on every Tuesday, holding the flash sales at 2 PM and is likely to begin the counting in seconds, if not minutes. The pre-registration for the next Tuesday event will begin tomorrow, Tuesday, November 25, 2014. In addition, the company is foraying into the Airtel stores this time with pre-registration being compulsory.
The currently ongoing flash sale saga of Redmi 1S may end tomorrow as the pre-registration was still open for it till today. Xiaomi is excelling, where other giants are struglling to sell their highly priced smartphones and tablets. Both Apple and Samsung phones are competing with Xiaomi phones now, which are catching up faster than expected since July this year.
The first smartphone of Xiaomi Mi3 created record selling 40,000 units in 40 minutes on its opening Tuesday sale on Flipkart but the next week it saw the time shrinking radically to 5.2 second and the record sale for its online “flash sale” event is 40,000 units sold in 4.2 seconds.
Brushing aside rivalry with top guns, Hugo Barra said, “I don’t think about Samsung, HTC, Micromax as competition. The only thing that keeps me up at night is product quality. If your product is good, one of the natural consequences is that people will start buying your product.”
Currently, Samsung controls 29% of the Indian smartphones market, with Micromax, a home-based company coming next with 18% and Karbonn, another home-grown company at 8%. xiaomi is in the fourth position and followed by Motorola in the fifth position, according to a report from research firm IDC.
India’s smartphone market has grown 84% year-on-year and phablet accounted for 20% growth every quarter. Xiaomi was selling 100,000 per week as of mid-October this year and has a capability to double the number going by its flash sale strategy.
In fact, Xiaomi has displaced Samsung to the second position even on its home ground in China, grabbing a 14% share of the market while growing 240% year-on-year.
The main rival for Redmi Note will be the latest iPhone 6 Plus from Apple and Samsung Galaxy Note series.