Xiaomi’s Latest $100 Smartphone is Why We Should Be Excited About its Africa Launch


Xiaomi has a new budget smartphone. Unveiled early today, the Redmi 3 is Xiaomi’s latest effort at beating the competition in providing real value for money at the segment where it really matters – the budget segment. What makes the Xiaomi Redmi 3 standout is its pricing, its feature-set and the all-metal design, rarities at the bottom of the smartphone food chain.

Here are specifications of the Xiaomi Redmi 3:

  • Size and weight: 139.3 x 69.6 x 8.5mm, 144g
  • Display: 5-inch HD (1280 x 720 pixels)
  • Processor: 64-bit octa-core Snapdragon 616
  • Memory: 16 GB internal memory (expandable via microSD up to 128 GB); 2 GB RAM
  • Camera: 13-megapixels rear sensor (f/2.0) with PDAF; 5-megapixels front-facing sensor (f/2.2)
  • Operating System: Android (MIUI 7)
  • Network: 3G, LTE
  • Battery: 4,100mAh
  • Others: Dual-SIM (second SIM slot doubles up as microSD card slot if only one SIM is inserted)

Even though Xiaomi has seen a meteoric rise to the top of the smartphone charts since it was established in 2011, last year (2015) was turbulent for the Chinese startup. It failed to reach its set target of selling at least 100 million smartphones. It revised its target in the course of 2015 to 80 million and ended up managing just 61 million, falling short of rival Huawei’s astronomical 100 million units figure. It is devices like the new Redmi 3 which is expected to be extremely popular with the masses thanks to its $107 (about Kshs 11,000) pricing that can bring back the shine in 2016. That and Xiaomi’s foray into new markets like Africa.


In Africa, Xiaomi is already selling its devices in South Africa where the Redmi 3’s predecessor, the Redmi 2, is going for R2,000 (about Ksh 14,300). Going by this, it may not be long before the new Redmi becomes available on the continent as Xiaomi continues with its continent-wide rollout in 2016. Since price is a key factor in influencing smartphone sales in Africa, coupled with its impressive feature-set, it is not hard to see why we’re excited about the Redmi 3’s launch.

That excitement will, however, have to be contained for now since it is not clear if the Redmi 3 will show up outside China where it will be available from tomorrow (January 12th) through Xiaomi’s online stores.