New Redmi Pro gives Xiaomi’s budget smartphone line a touch of class

Xiaomi dropped a surprise today when it outed its first laptop — perhaps predictably a cheap rival to Apple’s Macbook — at an event in Beijing, but it also made a more routine reveal: the Redmi Pro.

The Redmi family is Xiaomi’s low-cost device series. Redmi phones are typically around the $150 mark, and they’ve been Xiaomi’s most successful in terms of sales — with over 110 million units shifted in the past three years. (That’s “1.2 units sold every second,” Xiaomi clarified, for those of you who were wondering.)

With the Redmi Pro, the company is looking to bridge the gap between its lower-cost phones and its higher-specced/more expensive Mi range. The Redmi Pro is the first Xiaomi phone to feature an OLED display, measuring 5.5-inches, and two cameras on the rear. Xiaomi said those two lenses — a 13-megapixel Sony IMX258 sensor a 5-megapixel Samsung sensor — work in tandem to help replicate DSLR-style image capture. Xiaomi supplied the below samples.

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The device is available in China from August 6 in gold, gray or silver with variable pricing based on specs, including different versions of its MediaTek Helio processor:

  • 3GB RAM and 32GB ROM model: 1499 CNY, or $225
  • 3GB RAM and 64GB ROM model: 1699 CNY, or $255
  • 4GB RAM and 128GB ROM model: 1999 CNY, or $300

(There’s no word on international launch plans right now.)

For an idea of the market gap that Xiaomi is looking to plug here: the Redmi 3 was unveiled in January and is priced at 699 CNY; Xiaomi’s current flagship is the Mi 5, announced in February and priced from 1999 CNY; the deluxe version, the Mi 5 Pro, retails for 2699 CNY.

Xiaomi sold “over 70 million” smartphones last year. That’s impressive given that growth is slowing worldwide, but it came in below internal expectations and there’s more competition than ever in China with Huawei leading the charge. Xiaomi will hope that filling in potential product gaps helps boost its sales in China which, according to reports, have been stagnant.