Last month, Xiaomi announced that it will be spinning off its Redmi series of smartphones to a sub-brand status and the first phone under the "Redmi by Xiaomi" series was the Redmi Note 7. At the time, Lei Jun, Founder, Xiaomi had mentioned that Redmi as a sub-brand will focus on mid-range smartphones while Xiaomi will create more premium phones under their Mi lineup.
In what seems to be a change of strategy, Redmi is gearing to launch a flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 powered smartphones this year. Lu Weibing, GM, Redmi posted a picture on Weibo of him along with the Redmi crew huddled together discussing the plans of Redmi as a sub-brand going forward. The two upcoming smartphones that found a mention in Weibing's post were the Redmi Note 7 Pro and a flagship smartphone powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 855.
Clearly, if this develops, Redmi will be venturing outside of the mid-range smartphone market and it makes sense for it as a brand to leverage the goodwill and experiment in value flagship categories. This is similar to how the POCO F1 came into being and it is a sub-brand of Xiaomi.
There's no information on any of the features or specifications of this upcoming flagship by Xiaomi other than it will have Snapdragon 855 at its heart. We'll be keeping our eye out for this one.