Xiaomi has launched a number of smartphones this year already and the Chinese brand is not done yet, as they are yet to launch the Xiaomi Mi 8 and Mi 8 Lite in India, despite already releasing the smartphones elsewhere. The brand recently launched the Redmi 6 series smartphones, while the Xiaomi Mi A2 got launched previous to that. Xiaomi’s sub-brand, POCO also launched its flagship device the POCO F1. However, it’s not been a smooth sail for Xiaomi, especially, for the Mi A2 and Poco F1 in the Indian market, as increased competition has threatened the brand with difficulties. With the news that Xiaomi is planning to launch their flagship device, the Mi 8 and the low-end Mi 8 Lite into the Indian markets, we try to understand if Xiaomi should take caution and wait to launch these smartphones.
POCO F1 and Xiaomi Mi A2 facing fierce competition
The Poco F1 is a flagship device, which at its unbelievable price would have certainly appealed to a wide audience. However, not to say the smartphone didn’t do well, it still lacked the character of a flagship model, and hence, was always looked at with caution. It’s not to blame what Poco were trying to achieve, the brand is in its own league to provide flagship specifications like a Snapdragon 845 processor at the price of a mid-range phone. But there is an individual perception a flagship smartphone carries along, which extends not only to the hardware but also in terms of the look and feel, the build quality and other essential factors. The Poco F1 might have lost a few customers based on the build and design factor alone.
The problem with Poco F1 is that it’s not only competing with flagship smartphones but also with some mid-range phones. As we had highlighted the Samsung Galaxy A7 might be a better fit than the Poco flagship, as the Samsung phone offers way more features than the Poco, despite an inferior chipset. Other flagships have the design and build factor on their side. Furthermore, an even critical factor suggests that the Poco F1 might, on the outside have impressive features, but apart from a top chipset, the phone may fall short in other ways where many flagship offerings score more. It looked like the Poco device has been packed with more stuff than its necessary, as many problems discovered pretty much early in the smartphone. However, the Poco F1 might beat most of the mid-range smartphones pretty quickly, it’s doubtful it could hit other flagships.
The Xiaomi Mi A2, on the other hand, has been facing intense competition from many smartphones in its range. Additionally, the Honor 8X and Lenovo Z5 are about to launch and expected to provide stiff competition for the Mi A2. For instance, when the Mi A2 got launched, it was the only smartphone under Rs. 20,000 to carry the Snapdragon 660 chipset, but now the Vivo V9 pro and Realme 2 Pro are in the same league. Additionally, the Honor 8X is powered by the Kirin 710 chipset, which is far more superior regarding performance and graphics. The price for the Honor 8X might become an even bigger problem for Mi A2 in the coming days, as it becomes more evident that the Honor device offers more value than the Xiaomi phone.
Should Xiaomi take caution and delay the launch for Mi 8 and Mi 8 lite?
The Mi 8, as compared to other flagships, could instead provide competitions to the likes of OnePlus 6 and 6T when it launches. The price in India is below Rs. 29,000, so it could appeal to those who are looking at an alternative flagship phone at a relatively affordable rate. The Mi 8 could additionally provide competition for the Poco F1, as the Mi flagship device is more powerful in many aspects than the Poco device. So in this case, it threatens the sale of the Poco F1 in India, Xiaomi could look into delaying the launch to possibly the end of the year.
As for the Mi 8 Lite, it could be a trendsetter. The smartphone has features such as a Snapdragon 660 processor, 4GB RAM and a dual camera setup, for a price in India of Rs. 15,000 (expected). This could be the real deal in the current scenario, as the Mi 8 Lite could provide much-needed competition to the likes of Realme 2 Pro and Vivi V9 Pro. But then again, it could disrupt the sales of the Mi A2, which has similar specifications and price to the Mi 8 Lite.
Overall, Xiaomi could do with a delay in launching the Mi 8 and Mi 8 Lite into the Indian markets, until at least the end of the year. Such a decision could boost the chances of the Poco F1 and the Xiaomi Mi A2 further, while also creating value for the Mi 8 and Mi 8 lite later on. It’s not to say the smartphones are inferior to others, or lack features, in fact, these Mi smartphones are fantastic in terms of specifications; the only problem is the timing of the launch, which may not only pit them against some other smartphone brands but also disrupt their own phones currently available for sale.