Xiaomi has formally launched its latest phones for the UK market, the Redmi Note 9 Series, with an interesting dig at fellow corporate citizen Huawei as it bids to become the successor to that company in the West.
Just look at the side of the box. Either side, in fact. In a nod to Huawei's current woes with Donald Trump's US administration, the Redmi Note 9 Pro unit received by The Reg starkly notes that it comes with the usual Google apps.
Huawei, if you recall, was put on the so-called Entity List by the US Department of Commerce on the grounds of national security around this time last year. Yes, it seems like centuries ago to us too.
Not being in the business of telecommunications puts Xiaomi in a better place in terms of accessing American kit such as Google's software. (Along with competition and trade concerns, the Trump administration's ban was ostensibly due to worries Huawei's 5G kit could be backdoored by Beijing.)
This is on both sides of Xiaomi’s latest phone for the U.K. market.— Matthew Hughes (@matthewhughes) June 3, 2020
I wonder who they’re referring to. pic.twitter.com/VcsuC6cNgz
It's about as subtle as a sledgehammer, but it's not without basis.
Xiaomi wasn't really a factor in the UK smartphone market prior to 2018. Since then, it has released much of its lineup on Britain's shores, opening (and then closing) high street stores, and inking deals with carriers. And it has aggressively targeted the segment of the market where Huawei often performed strongly, particularly in the sub-£500 space.
The Redmi Note 9 series fits towards the bottom of that picture. The cheapest Redmi Note 9 costs just £180. The more potent Redmi Note 9 Pro is pricier, with a base price of £250.
And in true Xiaomi style, there's a lot of bang for buck. Both models pack quad-camera setups, with the Note 9 touting a 48MP sensor, and the Pro version equipped with a 64MP snapper.
The entry-level model predictably uses a cheaper MediaTek Helio G85 platform, while the Note 9 Pro comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G processor, which uses a modern 8nm process.
Both flavours come with generous 5,020mAh batteries, with the cheapest model offering 18W fast charging, and the Pro touting more nimble 30W input.
The Redmi Note 9 has 3GB/64GB and 4GB/128GB configurations. Sadly, the storage is based on the slower eMMC 5.1 tech. At the top of the table, the Note 9 Pro offers choices of 4GB and 6GB RAM, with either 64GB/128GB storage in eMMC and UFS 2.1 flavours.
Both phones are loaded with Android 10 skinned with EMUI. There's also the usual gubbins from Xiaomi, including an IR blaster and a 3.5mm jack.
The models will hit Amazon and the Xiaomi store later this month. ®