At an event in New Delhi, India today, Xiaomi announced its first Android Go phone, the Redmi Go. This is a low-end device with a 5-inch 720p 16:9 screen, 1GB of RAM, a Snapdragon 425 processor, an 8-megapixel camera, a 3,000mAh battery, and 8GB of expandable internal storage. It runs the Go version of Android 8.1 Oreo, which is optimized for less powerful devices and comes with Google apps designed to use up less storage and data.
The Redmi Go isn’t a powerhouse, but it doesn’t need to be — Xiaomi is getting close to featurephone pricing here. At Rs. 4,499 (~$65) for a full-fledged smartphone, devices like the popular Rs. 2,999 (~$45) JioPhone 2 — a QWERTY phone running KaiOS — will look quite a bit less appealing for some consumers. The Redmi Go is also cheaper than competitors like the Nokia 1.
Yesterday in China Xiaomi also announced the Redmi 7, the latest entry in the budget sub-brand series that Indian customers in particular have propelled to become some of the most popular phones in the world.
The Redmi 7 is essentially a lower-end version of the Redmi Note 7 that launched in January: it has a 6.26-inch “waterdrop” notched 720p display, a Snapdragon 632 processor, a 4,000mAh battery, 2 to 4GB of RAM, 16 to 64GB of storage, and a 12-megapixel camera with a 2-megapixel depth sensor. There’s also a headphone jack, USB-C, and an IR blaster.
The Redmi 7 will go up against phones like the Realme 3 from Oppo’s spun-out sub-brand, and — as is typical for this series — will be very competitive on price. A model with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage will cost just 699 yuan (~$105), while the 3GB/32GB variant slightly undercuts the equivalent Realme 3 at 799 yuan (~$119).