There have been tons of speculations about Xiaomi’s upcoming announcement on August 13th. The company sent out invitations to the media earlier in the week, for an event to be held at the National Convention Center in Beijing on that day. Xiaomi is expected to unveil the seventh generation of its MIUI software, which will reportedly be based on Android 5.1 Lollipop. The company also hinted at a product launch on the same day, which is where, a lot of confusion has managed to creep in. Some sections of the tech media has even claimed that Xiaomi is prepping to launch its next generation flagship smartphone, the Mi 5, on the day alongside MIUI 7.
However, we here at Android Headlines have been categorical about the improbability of that happening. In an earlier post, we spelt out the reasoning behind our skepticism in no uncertain terms. Going by reports emanating out of China, it now looks as though Xiaomi will probably look to replace the first generation of its mid-range Redmi Note phablet with a brand new device, tentatively named the Redmi Note 2. The phablet has been leaked online, and for once, the leak also comes with an attached price-tag, which is more often than not an indication for a device’s imminent launch. In the image at the bottom of this post, we can see the Redmi Note 2 phablet with 32 GB storage listed at only 799 Yuan, which is roughly equal to around $130. Major Chinese retailer JD.com reportedly already has a Redmi Note 2 page on its website, which lists the device for pre-order from the 16th of this month, which gives further credence to claims that the company will announce the Redmi Note 2 on the 13th instead of the Mi 5 flagship.
While the pricing seems exceedingly aggressive compared to the pricing for last year’s first generation Redmi Note, it won’t be surprising if the price actually holds, as the smartphone landscape at the entry-level has changed dramatically over the past year in China and beyond. Increasing competition has made OEMs adjust their pricing to prevent their market shares from eroding. Vendors who have been slow to react to the evolving market dynamics, have seen their market share eaten into by dynamic new brands that keep springing up with alarming regularity. One of Xiaomi’s biggest competitors in China, Meizu, also happens to have a mid-range phablet with impressive specs called the M2 Note (also known as the Blue Charm Note 2) in the same price bracket in the country.
As a quick refresher on the hardware specs of the device being discussed, the Redmi Note 2 is said to feature a 5.5-inch full HD 1080p display and will be powered by an octa-core CPU, allegedly clocked as high as 2.0 GHz. Rumors have it that the CPU will be a part of MediaTek’s MT6795 SoC, which, if true, will be an extremely powerful chipset for the price-segment. The smartphone will also come with 2 GB of RAM, a choice or 16 or 32 GB of built-in storage and a 3,020 mAh battery. The cameras will be a 13-megapixel unit on the rear and a 5-megapixel unit on the front. While it does seem unlikely that a device with this sort of hardware can be priced at just $130 without any major compromises, Xiaomi is usually not known for any serious corner-cutting with its products. In any case, August 13th isn’t exactly a long way away, so we’ll just have to wait for Xiaomi to clear out our doubts.