Xiaomi announcements might not mean much in the U.S., but in China they are treated like Apple announcements, with millions on Weibo talking about the recently announced Redmi 2. Selling over 60 million smartphone units in 2014, Xiaomi is currently the largest smartphone seller in Mainland China, recently expanding to India, Indonesia and Singapore, and its best selling range is Redmi.
The original Redmi sold millions when launched, followed by the equally successful Redmi Note. The Redmi 2, starting at just 699 CNY ($112), should be able to surpass the original Redmi’s 18 million sales.
Internally, the Redmi 2 packs a 4.7-inch 1280 x 720 display, 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of onboard storage and dual SIM 4G LTE support. Xiaomi has fitted an 8MP camera on the back, and a 2MP camera on the front.
Xiaomi has added its MIUI skin over the top of Android, similar to all its smartphones. Stock Android isn’t really a thing in China, meaning it is a battle between hardware manufacturers for the best re-skin of the OS, and Xiaomi appears to do the best job.
The Redmi range offers affordability in a well built package and Chinese fans love it. India has also warmed to Xiaomi immediately, after a short sales ban, following a patent complaint from Ericsson on networking technologies.
Xiaomi’s CEO Lei Jun has confirmed the company will expand to other countries in 2015, following a $1.1 billion round of funding, valuing the company at $45 billion. Turkey, Mexico, Russia and even the U.S. are being considered by Xiaomi as the next destination.