Xiaomi Redmi 2018 portfolio: Almost same phones, different names

The Xiaomi smartphones in 2018 looks the same, costs the same but come with the different name.

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    Xiaomi is the number one smartphone brand in India from last three quarters. The company surpassed Samsung, which was leading smartphone seller in India from past few years. Xiaomi India's concept was pretty clear. Launch affordable smartphones with best in class hardware. What happened in 2018, where does the Xiaomi is heading towards? Let's find out.

    Xiaomi Redmi 2018 portfolio: Almost same phones, different names

    Most of the Xiaomi enthusiasts had a high-expectation for the year 2018. The company has to launch a smartphone, which should surpass the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 in terms of design and specifications (which made Xiaomi the number 1 smartphone brand). So, Xiaomi launched the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 and the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro. Though the Redmi Note 5 does seems like the successor the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4, the Redmi Note 5 Pro is the actual device that could replace the Redmi Note 4.

    So why did company launch two smartphones? The answer is simple, the company has to launch a successor to the Redmi Note 4 with similar pricing and the Redmi Note 5 with 3 GB RAM and 32 GB ROM model fulfill this criteria. However, the company should also launch a smartphone which could compete against the likes of the competition so the company launched the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro (which was launched for Rs 14,000 and now available for Rs 15,000). In fact, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro is the costliest Redmi smartphone which is available for Rs 17,000 (6 GB RAM variant).

    After few weeks, Xiaomi also launched the Xiaomi Redmi 5, which is again a miniature version of the Redmi Note 5. However, there was still a void where there were no Xiaomi smartphones with a dual camera setup under Rs 10,000 and the recently launched Xiaomi Redmi Y2 for Rs 9,999 does that job.

    On the one hand, Xiaomi offering a tight line of smartphones with modern aesthetics like dual camera setup, 18:9 aspect ratio display, large battery, metal unibody and more. However, this also means these smartphones are competing against one another.

    Here is a generalized situation, where I have Rs 10,000 budget and I want to buy a phone with a good display, processor, camera, and good build quality. For Rs 9,999 I can get either the Redmi Note 5 or the Redmi Y2 or for Rs 8,999 I can buy the Redmi 5 but in all three options, I have to make some compromises in terms of features.

    The Redmi 5 and the Redmi Y2 has a typically smaller battery (3000 mAh), whereas the Redmi Note 5 has a single primary camera (12 MP) and a single mediocre front-facing camera (5 MP). If I am considering the build quality the Redmi Y2 has a plastic unibody design with a smaller battery. However, it has a dual camera setup (12 MP + 5MP). All three phones have a great number of features. However, they do have a void which is almost unbearable. The only practical choice will be to extend his budget by 50% and get the Redmi Note 5 Pro to get best of both words. People with a tight budget will not be able to do that, especially in India, as even I bought the Redmi Note 3 2/16 GB RAM and ROM option (in 2016).

    Conclusion

    I have no doubt regarding Xiaomi, as even now Xiaomi makes the best smartphones at any given price point. However, the company has to rethink the strategy of launching phones with identical specifications, which makes it difficult to make a choice between the lineup. And now, the company might also launch the Xiaomi Mi 8 SE in India as the Xiaomi Mi 8i under Rs 20,000 price slab, which is a good choice from Xiaomi, as it does not have a premium smartphone other than the Xiaomi Mi MIX 2.

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    If you are looking for a Xiaomi smartphone with overall features, then the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro is the only option. If you are looking for a Xiaomi smartphone under Rs 10,000 with dual camera setup, then the Xiaomi Redmi Y2 seems like a nice fit. If you are looking for Xiaomi smartphone with great display and build quality under Rs 10,000, then the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 should be your choice. Lastly, if you are in the market for a compact Xiaomi smartphone under Rs 10,000, then go with the Xiaomi Redmi 5.

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