In a time when phablets have become mainstream, small phones such as the iPhone 12 Mini are clear outliers to the norm. While their market size is debatable, they do have a certain appeal. However, if you’re an Android user, the number of compact options are few and far between.
Till a few years ago, many phones would come with a smaller counterpart for those who really prefer one. Over time, such ideas were abandoned owing to the corners that had to be cut to achieve a smaller footprint. It seems like Redmi wants to try its hand at making a ‘mini’ phone once again.
Lu Weibing, Redmi’s General Manager in China, took to Weibo to talk about the development. He shared “Redmi wants to produce a mini, but the battery capacity/life will be sacrificed a lot...”. No further information about the product was shared apart from this vague statement, making it unclear if he is teasing an upcoming product or just thinking out loud.
For phones to be small, not only will the battery have to be shrunk, but also opt for small alternatives for components such as the camera sensor and loudspeaker, negatively impacting the user experience. Fast charging and better software processing could offer some solace but it’s unlikely to match bigger phones.
These factors don’t affect Apple that much as it opts for significantly more efficient 5nm chipsets, leaner software and superior image processing, among other optimizations. Even with that, the iPhone 12 Mini and its 2,227mAh battery are still far behind what the rest of the iPhone 12 lineup offers.
The Xiaomi sub-brand will have to make some tough decisions if the Redmi Mini is to see the light of day and cater to the target customer. Perhaps we will hear more about it at the time of the Redmi Note 10 series launch in China, which is expected to happen later this year.