By 2015, Xiaomi had become a well known name in the Indian smartphone market. But then, in 2016, Xiaomi made the big leap to become the third biggest seller of smartphones in India, becoming a household name in the process. A large part of the credit in Xiaomi's India success story goes to the Redmi Note 3 smartphone.
Yesterday, the Chinese smartphone maker launched its successor, the Redmi Note 4, at an event in New Delhi. The device was originally launched in China in August last year and the 5-month gap in the India launch can be attributed to a couple of factors.
For one, the Redmi Note 3 was launched in India in March 2016 and the phone sold amazingly well here. By the end of the second quarter, it became one of the most sold devices in the country. Xiaomi sold 880,000 units in the second quarter of 2016, 1.5 million units in five months after the launch, and a cool 2.6 million units by September, seven months after the launch.
With the Redmi Note 3 going so strong, there was little need to launch Redmi Note 4 which is not drastically different from its predecessor. Design wise, there is hardly any difference between the two except for the speaker grill having been moved to the bottom.
For the Redmi Note 4, Xiaomi has chosen to go with a Snapdragon 625 SoC processor with 14 nm FinTEC technology for better power saving performance than the 65x series in the Redmi Note 3. The RAM options are now 2,3 and 4 GB instead of just 2 or 3GB. The company says the newer model is less likely to heat up as the battery capacity has been upped by 1 percent to 4,100 mAh. Also, the new 13 MP camera has lesser resolution than Note 3's 16 MP camera but its bigger pixel size will settle the low-light photography issues.
As the table above reveals, besides the camera, the Redmi Note 4 fares better in all departments over its peers. And, while it is to be expected that competitors will come up with better versions of some of these devices, it is unlikely that there will be any major changes that will put the Redmi Note 4 out of contention altogether.
The main competitor for Xiaomi would be the Moto G series. While there might be some downside on the hardware front in the Moto G phones, their overall software experience is great. Xiaomi has promised a Nougat preview on Redmi Note 4 and a stable release very soon, but Moto G4 and G4 Plus phones are already running the Android Nougat 7.0 and their next iteration will be launching with the Nougat out of the box. For now, Xiaomi has a great head start and it plans to make the most of it.