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New Redmi 4 lineup completes Xiaomi’s stellar year

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Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime

Xiaomi has been absolutely killing it this year with releases such as the bezel-hating Mi Mix, dual-camera-touting Mi 5s Plus, and visually stunning Mi Note 2. However, these are all premium products, so the China-based company made it a point to launch a trio of budget-friendly offerings before the year ends.

Here’s what we have in order of most to least expensive: the Redmi 4 Prime, Redmi 4, and Redmi 4A. Priced at CNY 899 ($133), CNY 699 ($104), and CNY 499 ($74), you can’t expect anything out of the ordinary, but they sure are affordable.

Redmi 4 Prime

Let’s begin with the top-level Redmi 4 Prime. The all-metal variant feels kind of like a midrange device for what it offers. You get a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor, which can handle everyday tasks with ease, plus a decent amount of memory and internal storage at 3GB and 32GB, respectively.

Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime

Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime

What it holds back on is screen size; it’s only 5 inches in diameter, but has more than enough pixels packed into it at 1920 x 1080. There’s also a 13-megapixel shooter above the fingerprint scanner at the back, and a 5-megapixel front camera for selfies. A thick 4100mAh battery keeps the lights on.

Xiaomi plastered its iPhone-like MIUI 8 interface over Android 6.0 Marshmallow on the Redmi 4 Prime, as well as on the other two phones. Gold, silver, and gray are the available colors, and they can be purchased beginning today.

Redmi 4

The 5-inch middle model of the pack looks nearly identical to the Prime version, except its LED flash is located to the right of the rear camera and isn’t as fancy as the dual-tone unit of the more-capable variant.

Xiaomi Redmi 4

Xiaomi Redmi 4 (left) and Redmi 4 Prime (right)

As expected, everything is toned down to lower the price. The processor is a less powerful, yet still decent Snapdragon 430, and both the memory and screen resolution have been reduced to 2GB and 1280 x 720 pixels, respectively.

While the battery capacity remains at 4100mAh, the built-in storage is limited to 16GB, so you’d have to rely on a microSD card to squeeze in more files. The three offered colors are the same, and are available as of November 7, as well.

Redmi 4A

Despite being the cheapest of the lot, the Redmi 4A is still a good deal, thanks in part to its full-metal body and similar hardware configuration to the regular Redmi 4 — the same 5-inch 720p display, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of expandable storage, and same pair of cameras.

Xiaomi Redmi 4A

Xiaomi Redmi 4A

What it lacks is a fingerprint sensor, and both the processor and battery capacity take a hit; you only get a Snapdragon 425 chipset and 3120mAh battery here. The bonus is you have a choice between more attractive gold and rose gold colors, and the latest MIUI with Marshmallow is still on board.

Availability comes a little later — November 11, to be exact.

Limited shipping, for now

Like most Xiaomi smartphones, these three Redmi 4 handsets are exclusive to China at the moment. But unlike their more expensive siblings, they should experience international shipping like past generations of the Redmi line.

We predict India seeing the next launch, while the rest of Asia will have to rely on gray market shops before Xiaomi decides to expand further.

[irp posts=”7235" name=”Mi Mix is Xiaomi’s ceramic concept of the future”]

Source: Xiaomi, (2)

India

How to identify counterfeit Xiaomi products

Always purchase via official channels

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Xiaomi is most popular for its smartphones, but the brand makes a wide range of other products that range from lifestyle to smart home. It has also invested in a lot of companies like Yee Light, Amazfit, Huami, and more.

Most of the quirky products are sold exclusively in its home market of China, though the brand is slowly trying to get them to other markets. Accessories like power banks and earphones are among the fastest-selling and Xiaomi is often unable to match the demand.

This has created a huge vacuum for counterfeit products. Recently, fake Xiaomi products worth INR 13 lakh (US$ 18,200) were seized by the local police in New Delhi, India. Even in Mumbai, counterfeit copies are sold widely on the streets as well as reputed offline stores.

These counterfeit products are not trust-worthy because they barely have any quality norms. Using fake copies can also be hazardous in case of powerbanks or charging bricks.

If you’ve recently purchased a Xiaomi product or intend to buy something in the future, follow these steps to ensure you’ve received a genuine offering.

  • Mi Powerbanks come with a security code that can be used to verify its authenticity. Just enter the code on Xiaomi’s website here.
  • Ensure that the packaging is original. Makers of counterfeit products are trying to replicate the original packaging, but often fail.
  • Mi Band will have no compatibility issue and will seamlessly connect to Mi Fit app.
  • Lastly, purchase products via authorised channels only. These include Mi.com, Mi Stores, and Mi Partner Stores.

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India

Vivo V17 launches with quad-cameras and Snapdragon 675

But is it better than Xiaomi or Realme’s offering?

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Vivo’s V-series has been a top-seller for a few years and the brand has positioned it perfectly in the midrange segment. The brand unveiled the phone in India today and it’ll be going up against the Redmi Note 8 Pro, Realme XT, and Nokia 7.2.

The phone’s unique selling point is its quad-camera setup on the rear, a punch-hole camera on the front, and 4500mAh battery. It’s elder sibling — the Vivo V17 Pro, has already been launched in the Philippines and we expect it to come to India soon.

On the front is a 6.4-inch AMOLED display with better screen-to-body ratio thanks to a punch-hole cutout. Other additions include a blue-light filter and a wide color gamut.

Powering the phone is a Snapdragon 675 processor with 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage. Similar to other phones in the segment, it also gets a microSD card slot and dual SIM support.

The rear sports a quad-camera setup consisting of a 48-megapixel primary lens, an 8-megapixel wide-angle sensor, a 2-megapixel macro lens, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. The punch-hole cutout houses a 32-megapixel selfie camera. Night mode is now supported on the front as well as the rear and other additions include AR stickers and portrait mode.

Backing these internals is a 4500mAh battery with Vivo’s proprietary dual-engine fast charge technology. For gaming, a dedicated mode has been provided that optimises the system and controls heating.

The phone is priced at INR 22,990 (US$ 320) and will be available for purchase from December 17 via all major online as well as offline retailers.

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OnePlus 8 Lite could be a midranger with a punch-hole camera

It’ll come at an affordable price

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OnePlus 8 Lite could be in the works if we are to believe a few leaked renders. The CAD-based renders of the OnePlus 8 Lite have been leaked by popular leakster OnLeaks and suggest the company could launch a more affordable offering soon.

We expect the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro to launch in Q2 2020 and they could be accompanied by the 8 Lite. It can be a substitute for Samsung’s S10e, a smaller phone that doesn’t cost as much as the flagships.

The OnePlus 8 Lite appears to be a serious deviation from the typical OnePlus design, moving the camera bump back to the corner. The phone doesn’t have any headphone jack but it comes with a USB-C port and a speaker grille. But, it may have an under-screen fingerprint scanner, translating into an OLED display.

When it comes to the internal specs, it’s not clear exactly how it might differentiate itself from the standard offering.

OnePlus is now a well-established brand and controls quite a huge chunk of the premium market in countries like India. Within a short span of time, it has managed to challenge Samsung’s status quo and sometimes even Apple.

The brand has been focused on making premium flagships for a few years and recently also expanded to TVs. OnePlus X was the first and last midrange phone from OnePlus and the top management has been quite vocal about not going down the path again.

However, changing times require changing strategies. The S10e has received a phenomenal response and a midrange price will make it easier for users to purchase the phone.

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