Xiaomi has been keeping a low profile at the MWC 2017, but has no intention of staying out of limelight. The Chinese company showed off two new smartphones Redmi 4x and the Mi5c at a separate event in China. The Mi5c is a variant of the Mi5 (launched last year), but runs on Xiaomi’s proprietary Surge S1 octa-core processor and is exclusive to China at the moment.
Also Read: Surge S1 chip gives Xiaomi the hardware edge
The Redmi 4x could be the successor to the Redmi 3s and 3s Prime phones released last year and which are currently selling in India at Rs6,999 and Rs8,999, respectively. This new phone has a very similar metal finish as its predecessors but has slightly flatter edges. The finger print sensor is placed on the back panel. The Redmi 3s had more rounded edges on the back panel. It will be available in some very unique colour options such as the cherry pink, matte black and champagne gold. The new phone also has a 5-inch 1,280x 720p LCD display like its predecessor.
What really distinguishes the two smartphones is the 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 octa-core chip used in the Redmi 4x. It supports big.LITTLE technology allowing the chip to switch to the more powerful cores when the phone is handling heavy tasks like games and to less powerful core while checking mails or web browsing. The only other phone that uses this processor is the Oppo A57 (Rs 16,990), at the moment. The other advantage of the Snapdragon 435 is that it is based on the X9 LTE technology which supports Cat 7 downlink speeds of up to 300 Mbps and uplink speed of up to 150 Mbps. Cat 7 is a category of LTE technology and the 4G speed a phone can allow depends on the category it uses. The Snapdragon 430 uses X6 LTE technology which supports Cat 4 downlink speed of 150Mbps and uplink speed of 50Mbps.
The Redmi 4x runs Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) with MIUI 8. The MIUI looks a lot slicker than the previous versions of Xiaomi’s custom UI, but the lack of new Android Nougat means users will miss out on some interesting features such as side by side multi-tasking, better battery management and the option to reply to messages from the notification panel.
The Redmi 4X has two variants. The model with 2GB RAM and 16GB internal storage is priced at CNY 699 (Approx Rs 6,794) and the variant with 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage at CNY 899 (Approx Rs 8,741). The phone will be available in China from 3 March onwards. There is no update on the phone’s date of availability in other markets yet.
The Redmi 4x will be competing with the Lenovo K6 Power (Rs 9,999) which also runs on Snapdragon 430, packs in a higher resolution (1,920x1080p) 5-inch screen, and also offers a dual UI with a near plain version of Android and Lenovo’s custom Vibe UI.