Redmi might finally be ready to shed its budget status and enter the flagship market space with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855-powered smartphone. The only problem is that Xiaomi will soon have a branding problem on its hands.
The announcement came from Redmi general manager and Xiaomi Group vice-president Lu Weibing, who posted a picture on microblogging site Weibo of his Redmi team. According to GSMArena‘s translation of the post, the team is discussing the future of the Redmi brand and two upcoming smartphones.
One of those phones is the upcoming Redmi Note 7 Pro, which might be a slightly beefier version of the normal Redmi Note 7. The second smartphone is the Snapdragon 855 flagship, though Weibing didn’t say much else about the device.
From Redmi’s point of view, having a Snapdragon 855 flagship makes sense. It seems like the sub-brand wants to shed its budget label and be taken more seriously in the flagship segment of the market. Redmi could succeed, given the name recognition and goodwill that it garnered over the years.
That said, this could also lead to some brand confusion. When Xiaomi turned its Redmi range of smartphones into its sub-brand, Xiaomi said Redmi would stick to mid-range smartphones. Xiaomi’s Poco brand, meanwhile, would focus on high-end smartphones at mid-range prices.
With today’s announcement, Redmi could follow the “affordable flagship” footsteps of its fellow Poco sub-brand and its Pocophone F1. Even though that’ll make budget-conscious consumers happy, it makes us wonder what’ll separate Redmi from Poco.
Either way, it’ll be interesting to see how Redmi defines itself in 2019.