The products have left the venue. And so have those who presented them. And as the echoes of the launch of the Redmi Note 7 and the Redmi Note 7 Pro fade away, it is time to perhaps ponder what the event told us about Xiaomi India. Broadly, there were five notable takeaways from the launch:
No secrets anymore? We can keep some
A few days ago, I had written a grumpy piece about how launch events had become reduced to leak confirmations and price announcements. Well, credit where credit is due – most people were totally caught off balance by the spec sheet of both the Redmi Note 7 and the Note 7 Pro. While most were predicting they would be between Rs 10,000-15,000 types, in best Redmi Note tradition, not many expected a main Sony sensor and a Snapdragon 675 chip on the 7 Pro. There was even a level of surprise when the Redmi Note 7 was released with a Snapdragon 660 chip. Well, it would seem that the art of surprises is alive and well. Well played, Xiaomi.
Back in the price – spec…and design game
Although it has always been known for offering very good specs at surprisingly affordable prices, there was a feeling in some quarters that Xiaomi was not exactly the force it was in this department, with the likes of Realme, Asus and Honor running it close, especially in 2018. With the Redmi Note 7 and 7 Pro, however, it would seem that the Chinese brand has pretty much laid down a new benchmark for the competition. We are sure the competition will get its act together at some stage, but as of now, the Redmi Note 7 and Note 7 Pro are in a bit of a zone of its own.
Still lord and master of the big event
We have seen our share of high profile events from a number of brands, with celebs, influencers, fans, et al. But we have to concede that no one is handling their community and launches as well as Xiaomi does. We saw proof of that today as well. Yes, there was a large crowd, but it was well managed. Yes, the presentation was elaborate, but it was very well designed (note to other brands: use LARGE fonts) and yet there were hardly any false steps and thanks to a few innovative tweaks, audience interest was maintained right through. Presenter extraordinaire Hugo Barra might have left the building in 2017, but the company retains its event wizardry.
On the radar: Realme
Perhaps the one brand that has come closest to threatening Xiaomi’s hold on the sub-Rs 15,000 price band in recent times has been Realme. And while all the attention was focused on the Note 7 Pro, given THAT sensor and processor combination, what cannot be denied is that the Redmi Note 7 (the non-Pro so to speak) is a clear shot fired across the bows of the Realme Pro U1 and Realme 2 Pro. There were even some oblique references to the brand and its CEO. Enough to indicate that Realme is firmly on the Redmi radar.
A new tone?
Perhaps it was just us, but we could notice a new edge in the tone of the presentation this time around. The company has always been very good at making product presentations but by and large, has steered clear of taking too many verbal pokes at the competition – letting those famous “comparison spreadsheets” do the talking. However, that definitely seemed to change this time around. There were quite a few jibes taken at the opposition, even if it was not named. Is this a one-off or the sign of a new trend? We do not know. We are not totally sure we like it though. A few remarks always spice matters out there, but when you have such a great product proposition and are the top gun rather than the underdog, we are not sure having a go at the competition in public helps. That said, it WAS sorta fun. Kinda. Definitely Note-able…