After 4 years of silence in the flagship market, Xiaomi has launched the rather popular Mi 10 in India as its first offering that offers 5G support and the flagship Snapdragon 865 SoC. But, all’s not rosy. The Mi 10 will be the company’s first phone in India to cost a whopping 49999 INR (premium phone territory). Despite being quite feature packed, we here at TechQuila feel that its quite asinine of Xiaomi to retail the Mi 10 at this rather whopping asking price. Here’s why.
Despite selling powerfully specced phones at competitive price points, Xiaomi has never really established itself as a “premium” smartphone brand in the country. Sure, some of its phones are quite feature packed and are touted to be flagship killers (Redmi K20 Pro), but they also compromise on certain key areas like haptics and camera performance to achieve their intended target price. Need we remind you how poorly received the K20 Pro was when it launched at a slightly more expensive price of 28999 INR?
That’s precisely where this argument lies in its entirety. The average Indian consumer has gotten used to the VALUE that Xiaomi offers through its reasonably priced smartphones (the poor man’s Apple if you will) and doesn’t exactly associate the brand with putting out products of excess or luxury. Placing a product like the Mi 10 in the 50000 INR price bracket is sure to ruffle to a few feathers, but I’d hardly expect any Indian with common sense to shell out that amount of cash to a brand associated with value rather than pride of ownership. It’s very human to expect a sense of pride when you’ve paid a significant sum to acquire something – something that the Mi 10 lacks severely.
Xiaomi smartphones have always been about throwing a plethora of features at the wall and seeing which one sticks without affecting the cost of production too much. If you were to step out right now and ask people if they liked MIUI on their smartphones, you’d probably see a look of hesitation on their faces before they’d shrug and say that they’re “okay with it”. At the end of the day that’s what MIUI is – an ad riddled compromise in the guise of an exclusive skin that is still not smart enough to realize that the average Indian knows better than to buy into their embarrassingly marketed value-added services (for chrissakes what is Mi Video??) and default apps that are CLEARLY inferior to Google’s, whilst still being more of a security risk! Quite a mouthful eh? Okay, so tell me, would you WILLINGLY pay 50000 INR of your hard-earned money for a wily pyramid scheme that makes money off of your usage in the guise of a skin? I think not.
At the end of the day that’s what MIUI is – an ad riddled compromise in the guise of an exclusive skin that is still not smart enough to realize that the average Indian knows better than to buy into embarrassingly marketed value-added services (for chrissakes what is Mi Video??) and default apps that are CLEARLY inferior to Google’s, whilst still being more of a security risk!
Some Final Thoughts On The Mi 10
See, I haven’t even brought out certain glaring faults in the Mi 10 like the camera performance from initial tests (inexcusable for a 50000 INR smartphone) and it has most likely already dawned on you that the battle is half lost for Xiaomi. However, I’m not going to pick apart the other aspects at this time because many of you here would accuse me of being prejudiced against a smartphone I haven’t even used yet. I know because I’d feel the exact same way! Since the phone hasn’t gone on sale yet, I’d like to recuse myself from critiquing aspects as variable as the camera performance (that was sarcasm by the way). Rather I’m going to wait and watch for something else that Xiaomi desperately needs to incorporate into this phone to make it succeed – a miracle.