Many in Kenya might not be conversant with Chinese brand Xiaomi, probably because the company has yet to make a major entry into the market that is largely dominated by Tecno Mobile and Infinix Mobility.
However, a few might have come across a bunch of Xiaomi smartphones, probably via online retailers such as Kilimall, Jumia and Avechi. In case you have, it’s possible you’ve also noted the amazing price vs specs combination that Xiaomi devices come with. Case in point being the 2016 flagship Xiaomi Mi 5, which is currently available from as low as ksh 32,000, yet it packs the same hardware specs as Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, HTC 10, and LG G5 – all of which are priced above ksh 60K despite being over a year old.
Well, the Chinese OEM is at it once more, this time releasing an even better Xiaomi Mi 6 that packs powerful hardware specs, even much better than what you find on the Galaxy S8 and S8+, but as usual, the price is amazing. Samsung values the S8 and S8+ at $750 and $850, however, these two might hit the Kenyan market priced at above $900 or roughly ksh 90,000 for the standard S8.
Just so as you know, the Galaxy S8 has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (although Kenyan variant has an Exynos 8895 that offers the same performance), 4GB RAM and 64GB of expandable storage. There’s a 6GB/128GB variant of the S8+, but this might never hit the Kenyan soil. The back has a 12MP camera, dual-tone LED flash and a fingerprint scanner. The main camera also ships with PDAF, OIS, 4K video recording, HDR and other necessary bells and whistles expected in a high-end phone. To keep it alive, the S8 ships with a 3000mAh (3500mAh for the S8+) battery unit that is charged via a USB-C port and supports fast charging technology as well as wireless charging.
Now, the newly-launched Xiaomi Mi 6 will ship with the same Snapdragon 835 SoC, up the RAM to 6GB and has the same 64GB/128GB of non-expandable storage. On the back of the Mi 6 is a dual-lens 12MP+12MP camera that is also supported by a dual-tone LED flash, has 4-axis OIS, PDAF, 4K video recording and just about everything that you get from the high-end Galaxy S8 and S8+ cameras. Both sets of phones have an 8MP lens for selfies.
Even though the new Xiaomi Mi 6 gets a significantly smaller 5.15-inch Full HD display screen as compared to the 5.8-inch and 6.2-inch QHD+ panels on the Galaxy S8 and S8+, the handset gets a massive 3350mAh battery unit that is also charged via a USB-C port with support for fast charging. However, you won’t get a 3.5mm audio jack like with the case of the S8 twins, instead, the same USB-C port is used for audio output.
There’s a newer Android 7.1 Nougat OS running the show on the Xiaomi Mi 6 as opposed to v7.0 of the same OS that powers the Galaxy S8 duo out of the box. The Mi 6 keeps the front-mounted fingerprint scanner, which is much better-placed than Sammy’s version. Features such as NFC, Bluetooth 5.0 and 4G LTE connectivity are also available on the Mi 6, just like the S8 and S8+.
Now, onto the most interesting part – the price. As noted earlier, the Galaxy S8 and S8+ are destined to hit Kenyan soil priced at not less than ksh 90K. On the contrary, the Xiaomi Mi 6 might be available at half this price. In China, the base model of the Mi 6 is priced at about $363, which is under ksh 40K, but the phone could be sold in Kenya at slightly above this price, somewhere between ksh 40K and ksh 50K. For a phone that offers more superior hardware specs, a better camera (on paper), newer software and a much compact design than the Galaxy S8, this isn’t a bad price tag at all.
What do you think? Would you like to have the Xiaomi Mi 6 available for purchase in Kenya? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.