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Manu Jain explains why we shouldn't expect the Mi 10 to be aggressively priced in India

(Image credit: Xiaomi)

We’re finally getting closer to the Xiaomi Mi 10’s India launch. As the company starts to hype up the launch, a quick word of caution came from Xiaomi India bossman— it might not be priced as competitively as other Xiaomin products.

Earlier this year, Xiaomi announced that its Mi series of flagships will return to India after a long hiatus, indirectly confirming that the Mi 10 will indeed make its way to India. Almost a quarter after that announcement, today, we got our first set of teasers around the phone’s launch. However, it was quickly met with a follow-up disclaimer that they will have to move to a different pricing model, which will make the phone more expensive in India.

Manu Kumar Jain of Xiaomi India took to Twitter to explain why the Mi 10 is likely to be more expensive when it arrives. Firstly, all units will be imported as India lacks the manufacturing facilities required. It will subject the phone to a 22% import duty as a part of the 'Make in India' campaign. Secondly, the GST rate on smartphones was recently increased from 12% to 18%, which will create a direct impact on the final selling price of the units. Lastly, the Indian Rupee has also been depreciating against the US Dollar, which will directly affect the bill of materials (BOM).

These are very reasonable factors, and Xiaomi probably doesn't want consumers to keep unrealistic price expectations for the Mi 10. Historically, Indian consumers have often compared the local pricing with their Chinese counterparts. With this announcement, Xiaomi is hoping to avoid such comparisons at launch. Currently, the most expensive phone from Xiaomi is the Redmi K20 Pro, which tops out at Rs 27,999.

What to expect from the Xiaomi Mi 10

Xiaomi Mi 10 is a high-end smartphone from the Chinese manufacturer. It sports a curved 6.67-inch Super AMOLED display with a refresh rate of 90Hz. On the inside, it is powered by the Snapdragon 865 chipset along with up to 512GB of UFS 3.0 storage and 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM. It will also be 5G capable.

The most significant talking point will be the cameras. The array consists of a 108MP f/1.7 primary camera, followed by a 13MP ultra-wide shooter, a macro camera, and a depth sensor. There's also a Mi 10 Pro, which adds a 2x "portrait" lens and a 5x telephoto lens to the mix, but it's unclear if it will make its way to India.

In China, the Mi 10 is priced at CNY 3999 (about Rs 40,000) for the base variant with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. But considering the increments mentioned above, we're looking at a significantly more expensive phone to come to India.

The company is yet to confirm the Indian launch date for the Mi 10. The phone will be making its global debut on March 27, but no countries have been mentioned yet.