Xiaomi MI3S comes in April. Red Rice becomes Redmi and makes it out of China on February 21
Xiaomi, the darling of the Chinese smartphone space for the past few years, is working on slowly expanding internationally. At the same time, the company is expected to churn out a new model in just a couple of months.
Yesterday we told you about a new Xiaomi device that got caught running a benchmark. It was called MI4W, and we assumed this was the Xiaomi MI4 in the making. However, it now seems that we were actually looking at the specs of the MI3S.
The “S” update is something Xiaomi has done before, so this wouldn’t be surprising at all. The MI3S is expected to be identical to the MI3 on the outside, but should come with updated innards – such as the 2.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 (MSM8974AC) processor, 3 GB of RAM, and 8 MP front camera that were revealed through that benchmark result. It will also have 4G LTE support.
All in all it won’t be a revolutionary update, but it’s not meant to be, not so soon after the MI3 landed. The big new launch will happen sometime during the third quarter of this year (so between July and September), and it will be the MI4. This should sport a 2,560×1,440 touchscreen and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor.
In the meantime, Xiaomi may refresh its cheapest offering, the Red Rice, too, with at least one version claimed to feature MediaTek’s MT6592 “true octa-core” chipset.
Speaking of the Red Rice, this incredibly cheap handset is called Hongmi in China, which literally means “red rice”. Yet Xiaomi is preparing for a global expansion, and it’s decided to use a new brand for this device outside of China: Redmi (combining English and Chinese to mean essentially the same thing, though arguably Redmi is more compact and less odd-sounding than Red Rice).
The first market to get the newly branded Xiaomi Redmi is Singapore, where the phone will become available on February 21. It will be priced over there at S$169, which is about $133 at the current exchange rates – a very similar price to that asked for the Hongmi in China.
Needless to say, we’re hoping that the Redmi will quickly make it to many more territories, but realistically speaking that may take a while. Singapore is a good market for Xiaomi to make its debut outside of China because it’s geographically close, but also small.