Xiaomi sub-brand Redmi will launch its first 5G Redmi phone next year. In post on Chinese microblogging site Weibo, the company said that it will be a “5G pioneer” and will popularise the use of 5G. This suggests Redmi plans on launching affordable 5G phones so that more people can adopt the technology. The first Redmi 5G smartphone could be the Redmi K30 as the device was recently confirmed by Redmi General Manager Lu Weibing.
While the announcement on Weibo only mentions that the first Redmi 5G phone will come in 2020, we believe that it might be the Redmi K30. Lu Weibing recently confirmed that the Redmi K30 will come with 5G support. We are still far away from an exact launch date for the Redmi K30, but we expect to see the device in the first half of 2020 considering the company launched the Redmi K20 series in China in May this year.
Considering how the Redmi K20 series has been priced in India, especially with the Redmi K20 Pro version offering a Snapdragon 855 SoC under Rs 30,000, we expect the Redmi K30-series to launch at similarly disruptive prices as well. This would indeed make the phones some of the most affordable 5G smartphones next year.
5G services are expected to begin in India next year, which is when we will start seeing OEMs launch 5G phones in the country. The Redmi K30 Pro will most likely come with a flagship Qualcomm chipset, like say the unannounced Snapdragon 865. But it will be interesting to see how the regular Redmi K30 will offer 5G support considering it will ship with a mid-range chipset. This suggests that chip makers may launch mid-range processors with 5G modem later this year or early next.
Xiaomi is not the only brand working on launching affordable 5G smartphones. Recently, HMD Global also confirmed that it plans to launch a cheap Nokia 5G smartphone next year. Realme India CEO Madhav Sheth also told India Today Tech in an interview that the company plans to launch affordable 5G phones in the country early next year even before 5G services begin to roll out.