Xiaomi Redmi Pro brings dual-cam system to budget phone category

About time, too

We knew it was only a matter of time before the dual-camera set-up in a smartphone becomes mainstream. After all, one camera just doesn’t cut it when you want better focus and depth perception. Xiaomi is the latest company to join the fray with the newly launched Redmi Pro.

The 5.5-inch device uses sensors from different manufacturers: a 13-megapixel Sony IMX258 main lens for the still image and a 5-megapixel Samsung assistive sensor for that DSLR-like bokeh effect you probably want. You may even adjust the focus point after taking a photo.

To show the Redmi Pro’s camera prowess, Xiaomi has released the following sample images.



The Redmi Pro is also Xiaomi’s first smartphone to get an OLED display — a full-HD at that — to make visuals eye-popping.

We’re surprised the company has introduced the dual-camera and OLED screen technologies into the entry-level Redmi lineup, not into the flagship Mi series. It makes us wonder how Xiaomi is going to set its next top-of-the-line phone apart.

Not that we’re complaining, considering the base model, which comes with 3GB of RAM, 32GB of ROM, and MediaTek Helio X20 10-core processor, costs only 1,499 yuan or about $225. Even the variant with 3GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage, and MediaTek Helio X25 64-bit deca-core chipset is priced at just 1,699 yuan or roughly $255, and the version with 4GB of RAM, 128GB of internal memory, and Helio X25 processor sells for only 1,999 yuan or around $300.

At those prices, you already get a brushed-metal unibody, a 2.5D curved glass up front, a fingerprint sensor at the bottom of the screen, a USB Type-C port, dual-SIM and VoLTE support, an IR blaster, and Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow-based MIUI 8 OS.

Lumia 735/830 Hands-On

To top it off, you may not have to worry about charging the Redmi Pro often because it boasts a huge, 4,050mAh battery. Fast charging should keep you sane as well.

Xiaomi has not announced any international launch for the Redmi Pro yet. The August 6 availability of the gold and silver models is only for the Chinese market, but we’re pretty sure it will soon be sold in India, the second largest smartphone market after China.

The low-cost Redmi series is Xiaomi’s most successful line of devices. The Chinese company sold more than 110 million Redmi units — or 1.2 units per second — in three years.

With the entry of the Redmi Pro, coupled with Xiaomi’s strategy to use celebrity brand ambassadors and traditional advertising for the first time, that number may probably rise significantly, hopefully enough to take on Chinese rivals Huawei, OPPO, and Vivo, which research firm IDC says beat Xiaomi in terms of global shipment volumes in the first quarter of 2016.

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