Xiaomi, the Chinese smartphone manufacturer known for well-performing, low-cost devices, is betting that your two biggest qualms with smartphones today are high price and shoddy battery life.
Its latest phone, the Xiaomi Redmi 3, aims to fix both issues: It’s a 5-inch Android phone with a 4,100 milliamp-hour (mAh) battery — unheard of in its size class — and a price tag of just $699 yuan, or $106 US.
Xiaomi managed to fit that battery into a metal case that’s 0.33 inch (8.5mm) thick, with the total phone weight being 5.1 ounces (144 grams). As far as design goes, we’re not going to beat around the bush: It’s pretty much and Android in iPhone 6s clothing, which can be a good or a bad thing, depending on your perspective (right, HTC?).
The rest of the specs on the Redmi 3 are midrange at best: a 720p screen, an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 processor, 2GB of RAM, a 13-megapixel camera, a 5-megapixel selfie cam and 16GB of storage (thankfully expandable via microSD cards). But the price — we’re talking about $106 for an unlocked device — makes this one a very attractive option for those on a budget.
Other specs of note include a dual-SIM option (though you’ll have to forego the memory card if you plan to use both card slots for SIMs), and three color options: silver, gold and dark gray. On the software side, the phone will be running Xiaomi’s MIUI Android shell; while there’s no official word on which version of Android will be underneath, one retailer’s listing says it’ll be Android 5.1.1 Lollipop.
The Redmi 3 comes half a year after the Redmi 2, which had a plastic case and a much weaker, 2,200mAh battery. Its cousin, the 5.5-inch, $140 Redmi Note 3 was launched last November, and the company’s new flagship, the Xiaomi Mi 5, will likely launch in February.
The phone is currently only available in China, but you can already pre-order it (albeit at a slightly higher $139.99 price) from international shipping sites like Honorbuy.