There’s good news for Indian consumers who’ve been waiting for Xiaomi to launch its ultra-affordable smartphone, the Redmi 3S in India. The Chinese smartphone maker is expected to release the Redmi 3S, an upgraded variant of the Redmi 3, which was a successor to the popular Redmi 2, at an official event to be held in New Delhi on August 3.
The Redmi 3S, launched in China last month, came with a few upgrades over the Redmi 3, including a rear fingerprint sensor, Qualcomm’s new 64-bit class Snapdragon 430 octa-core SoC and Adreno 505 graphics engine, instead of the Snapdragon 616 octa-core processor and Adreno 405 GPU inside its predecessor.
This aside, both the smartphones share the same specifications, including a full metal body with 5-inch HD screen, 2GB/3GB RAM, 16GB/32GB storage, 13MP/5MP rear/front cameras, and a 4,100mAh battery. But we can’t confirm yet if the Redmi 3S released in India will come with the same specifications as its Chinese variant, as Xiaomi had earlier launched the Redmi Note 3 with a SoC which was different from the one powering the China version.
Indian consumers are yet to get their hands on the Redmi 3 and Xiaomi’s decision to release its upgraded version could come as a surprise to quite a few of its fans in the country. However, during a round-table teardown session of the Redmi Note 3, Xiaomi’s vice president for global operations, Hugo Barra had specifically said that it had no plans to launch the Redmi 3 in India anytime soon. The company was apparently concerned that the Redmi 3 could eat into sales of its highly popular Redmi Note 3, which has sold over 60,0000 units in India, as of May 2016. Still, Hugo did mention that it could consider launching an upgraded variant of the Redmi 3 in India.
Xiaomi’s decision to release the Redmi 3S in India could have a lot to do with the competition heating up in the country’s smartphone market, which has become important for handset makers. The latest data from Counterpoint research shows that Indian shipments of only seven brands managed to cross the one million mark, while Xiaomi’s global shipments have declined, though it still remains among the world’s top ten smartphone vendors.
Given these facts, it’s hardly surprising to see Xiaomi renewing its focus on India this year with the launch of the Redmi Note 3 in April, followed immediately by its flagship Mi 5, and the Mi Max phablet, and making its handsets available on more online platforms.
There’s no information about the pricing of the Redmi 3S in India, though what we can tell you is that its Chinese variant costs US$108 (Rs 7,200) for the 2GB RAM/16GB version and US$138 (Rs 9,200) for the 3GB RAM/32GB one. Among the other markets, the Redmi 3S is also available in the US where it is currently being sold by GearBest with free shipping thrown in.
Going by the images of the Redmi 3S on the company’s China website, the smartphone seems to have the same look and feel as that of the Redmi Note 3 and could notch up similar sales in India. Of course, Xiaomi’s aggressive pricing strategy for the Redmi 3S will be key, but you can count on the feature-rich smartphone giving the Moto G4 series, Lenovo K5 Plus, Samsung Galaxy On5 Pro, and the Galaxy J5 (2016) a run for their money when it hits the Indian market.