Can Redmi 3S help Xiaomi regain lost market share?

3 Aug, 2016

Redmi-3SChinese handset maker Xiaomi has unveiled its latest offering, the Redmi 3S, for Indian users in a bid to capture a bigger pie of the entry-level smartphone market.

Xiaomi, which claims to have sold more than 110 million units of Redmi devices worldwide, faces stiff competition in the segment for smartphones below Rs 10,000 from a number of Chinese vendors including Oppo, Huawei, Coolpad and Vivo as well as India's Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd.

Reliance Jio's Lyf devices, launched last year, have rapidly gained market share. According to a June report by Cyber Media Research, Lyf was the third-largest brand with 12.6% market share among 4G smartphones in the January-March quarter of this year. The third spot was occupied by Xiaomi last year. Samsung and Lenovo are the market leaders.

Xiaomi has launched two variants of the Redmi 3S smartphone. The two differ in their RAM, storage and the fingerprint scanner. However, both phones come with expandable storage via microSD card (up to 128GB).

The Redmi 3S device that comes with 2GB RAM and 16GB internal storage is priced at Rs 6,999 while the Redmi 3S Prime, which comes with 3GB RAM and 32GB internal memory, is Rs 2,000 costlier.

Both variants have a massive 4,100 mAh battery and feature a Snapdragon 430 Octa-Core processor. The phone is packed with a 13-megapixel rear camera and five-megapixel selfie shooter. The phone comes with a metal body and has a five-inch (720x1280 pixels) HD display.

The Redmi 3S device was first launched in China last month.

Xiaomi's earlier launch in India was the Redmi Note 3. This was a massive success for the company, which claimed to have sold over 6,00,000 units in the country in the first 60 days of launch. The Redmi Note 3 had been out of stock on various e-commerce portals in the weeks leading to the Redmi 3S launch. The company has trimmed down the specs on the Redmi 3S as compared with Redmi Note 3. The basic differences are in the screen size, camera, RAM and the processor. The Redmi 3S comes with a bigger battery that the company claims will last two days.

Looking at the specs and the pricing, the Redmi 3S is a tempting buy in its price range. The large battery is a major plus point and other specs are also competitive. The Redmi 3S Prime variant goes on sale on 9 August.

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