Xiaomi may have diversified its product range to offer flagship phones, but the sub-$200 segment is still where all the action happens. The fact that it has maintained its lead in the budget segment, despite the increased pressure from Realme and Samsung, speaks volumes about how well Xiaomi knows what it's doing. That shows in the 2021 Redmi Note series. With the Redmi Note 10, Xiaomi has once again managed to find the balance between performance and price, which matters more than anything else in a market like India. But that doesn’t mean the Note 10 has no weak spots — it's got its fair share of them, and they could easily be a dealbreaker for some.
Redmi is well-known for making attractively-priced smartphones, and while its focus is on the budget segment, it has also made phones with flagship specs in the past. Now, the company is betting on a gaming phone — part of the Redmi K40 series — that's debuting in China later this month.
The Redmi Note series is what really put Xiaomi on the map, and it played an instrumental role in making competitors like Samsung step up their game. The 10th generation of the lineup sticks with the company's ethos of offering oodles of value for money and is probably the most significant generational jump we've seen in the series so far.
Today, Xiaomi is known as one of the most recognized smartphone manufacturers and its value-for-money offerings have made huge inroads in several markets around the world. But a lesser-known fact about the Chinese company is that its first-ever product was not a smartphone, but MIUI: the software that runs on most of their phones today.
Between then and now, a lot has changed and MIUI is no longer a custom ROM developed for the Google Nexus One. It’s a full-fledged skin that’s on millions of devices out there and it also happens to be amongst the most feature-rich — I can attest to this with my experience of using MIUI 12 on several phones.
The Redmi Note series features some of the best-selling smartphones globally, and it doesn't take an expert to know why. They offer incredible value for money and often democratize technology, usually seen in the higher-tier devices. The newly-announced Note 10 series in India walks along the same line and introduces segment-first features like a 108MP camera and a 120Hz AMOLED display.
Xiaomi has announced the latest entries to its Note series today, and following the introduction of the Snapdragon-equipped Note 10 Pro and Note 10, we're turning our heads to the Note 10 5G and the Note 10S, both coming with Mediatek processors. Unlike the Snapdragon phones, these two apparently aren't headed for India and will be exclusive to other markets at first, launching in April.
The Snapdragon 888 from Qualcomm is the SoC we'll be seeing in a lot of Android flagships in 2021, and Xiaomi's already announced a phone powered by it — the Xiaomi Mi 11. The company's budget sub-brand Redmi is due to launch a model with the same chip next month, and it looks like it will be among the cheapest Snapdragon-888 powered phones to come out in 2021.
As part of the Mi 11 international launch event, Xiaomi has also announced the forthcoming MIUI 12.5 rollout. The new version might only be a point release, but it adds some thoughtful touches to the Xiaomi ROM, such as CPU usage improvements and uninstallable system apps. It's rolling out to the Mi 11 and a few other new phones first.
At one end of the spectrum, we have companies such as Sony and LG that launch a handful of phones and call it a year. Then there's Xiaomi sub-brand Redmi that launches so many phones that's it's hard to keep track. Adding to its selection is the newly-launched Redmi Note 9T 5G that — as the name suggests — gives you access to 5G networks without breaking the bank.
Xiaomi’s got so many phones under its budget Redmi line that, frankly, it gets a bit confusing to keep track of them all. But that's not about to stop the company from adding another model to its extensive budget range. The latest addition, called the Redmi 9 Power, focuses on maximizing endurance with help from a massive battery, while still keeping prices in check.