Dear Xiaomi, there is a problem with smartphone names

Xiaomi redmi poco black shark

Lately, one of the most annoying worries when it comes to has reappeared Xiaomi and more generally the world of smartphones: the choice of names. In the bulimic technology market, creating a coherent and logical line between products can be challenging. Utopistically it would be nice if the devices followed one another in an orderly manner, but the reality of the facts is very different. The sector most affected by this problem is that of smart TVs: have you ever read the actual model name of the one you have in the living room? We take the most sold on Amazon: the average user will define it "a 4-inch Samsung 50K”Any, but the real name is Samsung UE50TU7190UXZT. Yes, a nice mess: fortunately with smartphones it goes better, but there are those - like Xiaomi - who seem to do everything to further complicate things.

Names of smartphones, a problem that afflicts Xiaomi but not only

I state: is not the first time that we point the finger at Xiaomi, but it must be specified that we do not do it with malice. If you are used to reading us, you will know very well that when there is a problem to deal with, whether it is Xiaomi, Huawei, OnePlus, OPPO and so on, we do it. On the other hand, the important thing is to always do it with education, objectivity and without inciting flame of any kind. In more than one circumstance we have avoided dealing with news that would bring us clicks but that would have aggravated the community, but I don't think this is the case.

All the fault of Redmi Note 9 and 10

The inspiration for writing this article arose from the latest Redmi models. But the situation was still confusing before. Why do I care? Because in more than one situation I happened to talk to the friend on duty who wants to buy the classic € 200 phone and see it floundering in the all too varied choice. And since apparently I'm not the only one facing this dilemma (1, 2), it seems only right to talk about it. And to do that you need to analyze the topic from different points of view.

xiaomi miui mitu

Xiaomi chronology does not seem to make sense

First point: trying to reconstruct a sort of family tree of Xiaomi models of recent years, a certain inconsistency is quickly noticed. Here is the evolution of the Mi main series models ...

Xiaomi Mi 4Xiaomi Mi 5Xiaomi Mi 6Xiaomi Mi 8Xiaomi Mi 9Xiaomi Mi 10Xiaomi Mi 11
   Xiaomi Mi 9 ProXiaomi Mi 10 Pro-
    Xiaomi mi 10 ultra-
  Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer---
  Xiaomi Mi 8 SEXiaomi Mi 9 SE--
  Xiaomi Mi 8 LiteXiaomi Mi 9 LiteXiaomi Mi 10 Lite-
    Xiaomi Mi 10 Lite Zoom-
   Xiaomi Mi 9TXiaomi Mi 10T-
   Xiaomi Mi 9T ProXiaomi Mi 10T Pro-
    Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite-
Xiaomi Mi 4SXiaomi Mi 5S---Xiaomi Mi 10S-
Xiaomi Mi 5S Plus-----
Xiaomi Mi 5XXiaomi Mi 6X----
Xiaomi Mi 4CXiaomi Mi 5C-----
Xiaomi Mi 4i----Xiaomi Mi 10i-

… And Xiaomi mid / high-end models.

Xiaomi Mi MIXXiaomi Mi MIX 2Xiaomi Mi MIX 3-
 Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S- 
Xiaomi Mi MaxXiaomi Mi Max 2Xiaomi Mi Max 3-
Xiaomi Mi NoteXiaomi Mi Note 2Xiaomi Mi Note 3Xiaomi Mi Note 10
Xiaomi Mi Note Pro--Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Pro
   Xiaomi MiNote 10 Lite
   Xiaomi Mi CC9
   Xiaomi Mi CC9 Pro
   Xiaomi Mi CC9 Meitu
   Xiaomi Mi CC9e

The same goes for Redmi, starting from the high end ...

Redmi K20Redmi K30redmi 40
Redmi K20 ProRedmi K30 ProRedmi K40 Pro
Redmi K40 Pro +
 Redmi K30 ProZoom-
 Redmi K30 Racing-
 Redmi K30 Ultra-
 Redmi K30S-
 Redmi k30i-

.. passing through the mid-range series ...

Redmi Note 3Redmi Note 4Redmi Note 5-Redmi Note 7Redmi Note 8Redmi Note 9Redmi Note 10
Redmi Note 9 4G
Redmi Note 9 5GRedmi Note 10 5G
Notes redmi 3 Pro-Notes redmi 5 ProNotes redmi 6 ProNotes redmi 7 ProNotes redmi 8 ProNotes redmi 9 ProNotes redmi 10 Pro
      Redmi Note 9 Pro MaxRedmi Note 10 Pro Max
Redmi Notes 9 Pro 5G-
    Redmi Notes 7S -Redmi Notes 9SRedmi Notes 10S
     Redmi Note 8TRedmi Note 9T-
  Redmi Note 5A-----
  Redmi Note 5A High-----
 Redmi Notes 4X------

… And concluding with the entry-level one.

redmi 3redmi 4redmi 5redmi 6redmi 7redmi 8redmi 9
Redmi 9 Prime
Redmi 3 Pro--Redmi 6 Pro---
  Redmi 5 Plus----
 Redmi 4ARedmi 5ARedmi 6ARedmi 7ARedmi 8ARedmi 9A / 9AT
     Redmi 8a dual-
redmi 9T
      Redmi 9C / 9C NFC
      redmi 9i
Redmi 9 power
redmi 3S------
Redmi 3S Plus------
Redmi 3XRedmi 4X-----

Xiaomi, sub-brands and the chaos of rebrands

I think you will know well that, until a few years ago, Xiaomi only operated in Asia. The patatrac takes place in 2019 with the creation of the Redmi sub-brand, coinciding with the expansion in Europe. An operation that has contributed to further confusion in terms of names, models and variants. The first case was Notes redmi 5 Pro, initially presented in India and then in China and Europe in the form of Redmi Note 5. Xiaomi then took Redmi Note 5 base for India and brought it to China in the form of Redmi 5 Plus.

But already in 2016 a similar thing happened with the Xiaomi series Redmi Note 4, initially introduced in China with MediaTek Helio X20. They decided to create another version for India with Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor, and then bring it to China in the form of Redmi Notes 4X. Also in China, another variant was created, Note 4X High Version with MediaTek instead of Qualcomm. But we could give other examples, like the one between the series Redmi S / Y. Those that first launched in China as Redmi Note 5A and 5A Prime later arrived in India as Redmi Y1 Lite and Y1. Subsequently Redmi S2 was presented in China and Europe, and then became Redmi Y2 in India. Finally, there was also Redmi Y3, which is itself a rebrand but of Redmi 7.

xiaomi-redmi-notes-4x-18In 2019 we again witnessed further confusion, with Redmi Note 7 which was presented first in China with 48 + 5 MP dual cameras and then in India but with 12 + 2 MP dual cameras. A few months later Note 7 was re-released in India as Note 7S, this time with the 48 + 5 MP dual camera of the Chinese model. We continue with Redmi Note 8, which is subsequently followed Notes 8T, with the only difference being NFC. Things get even more complex in 2020, with a Redmi Note 9, intended for India and Europe, which is a rebrand of Chinese Redmi 10X 4G. In Europe there is also Note 9S, in India initialed as Notes 9 Pro India. But not to be confused with ours Note 9 Pro, in India instead marketed as Notes 9 Pro Max.

redmi note 9 pro vs redmi note 9 pro max

If that wasn't enough Redmi, there is also POCO

Further confusion has been created with the splitting of POCO from Xiaomi, with a dynamic naive in search of identity and independence. After the success of the actually unpublished POCO F1, it took more than a year for the launch of "new" models. POCO F2 never arrived, while POCO F2 Pro in India and Europe it is none other than one Redmi K30 Pro in China. POCO X2 in India it is a rebrand of Redmi K30 4G in China (among other things, POCO X1 does not exist) and the same could be said for POCO C3 (Redmi 9C), POCO M2 (Redmi 9 Prime) and POCO M2 Pro (Redmi Note 9 Pro).

Only with the next POCO X3 there was actually the desire to propose something new. But even in this case they still wanted to complicate things, creating two models: POCO X3 (Asia only) and X3 NFC. Was there really a need to create two models with different names for such a minor modification?

redmi k30 pro poco f2 pro

The rebrands have also hit Xiaomi

As you may have seen, most of the rebrands are related to Redmi, but in reality there are several cases that also concern Xiaomi. The first is from 2019, with the two Chinese flagships Redmi K20 e K20 Pro which were brought to India and Europe as Xiaomi Mi 9T e Mi 9T Pro. Similar thing happened recently, with the launch before Xiaomi Mi 10T in India and Europe and subsequently of Redmi K30S in China. Confusion was also created in 2018 with the launch in China of Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer and in the west of We 8 Pro, the same smartphone except for the transparent back cover of the first. We subsequently had Xiaomi Mi CC9 Pro, which has become in Europe My Notes 10, and how not to mention the curious case of Xiaomi Mi 10 Youth Edition, which should have arrived here as Mi 10 Lite Zoom, only to debut as Mi 10 Lite 5G but without periscopial telephoto lens.

And let's not forget about Android One, embraced (but then abandon it) from Xiaomi between 2017 and 2018. The will was to propose smartphones with Android Stock software for Europe, but taking existing smartphones in China. First with Xiaomi Mi 5X which became Xiaomi Mi A1, then with Xiaomi Mi 6X and Redmi 6 Pro, from us as Xiaomi Mi A2 and Mi A2 Lite, and finally Xiaomi Mi CC9e (instead of the never existed Mi 7X) that we had as Xiaomi Mi A3. In the past of Xiaomi, then, there are various cases of models launched but without successors in the following years. For example Mi Explorer and Mi SE, of which we do not have a successor in the Mi 10 family, not to mention the defunct Mi Max series and the missing Mi MIX series. But we could also mention Mi 4i in 2015, Mi 5S, Mi 5S Plus and Redmi Pro in 2016, Mi 5C in 2017, Mi 6X, Mi Play and Redmi S2 in 2018, Redmi Go in 2019 and perhaps also the Mi CC9 series in 2019. All models that have never had a sequel.

xiaomi mi 9t pro redmi k20 pro

The real chaos of Xiaomi lies in the suffixes

This too is not a problem relegated to Xiaomi alone, but perhaps this is the company that abuses it most. It may seem like a harmless parameter, but it is undeniable that the use of suffixes in smartphones is one of the reasons, if not the main reason for this entropy. Usually an abbreviation like "Pro"Indicates a more powerful model,"Max"A bigger one,"C”A more compact one and so on. With Xiaomi, however, the use of these nicknames becomes complex and very often incoherent. In these 10 years, for example, Xiaomi has used 7 different suffixes for Pro models and 9 suffixes for Lite ones:

  • Pro
    • Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro
    • Xiaomi Mi 10 Incredibly
    • Notes redmi 9 Pro Max
    • Redmi K20 Pro Premium
    • Redmi Note 9S
    • Redmi Note 4X
  • Lite
    • Xiaomi Mi 10 Lite
    • Xiaomi Mi 10 Youth Edition
    • redmi 9A
    • redmi 9C
    • Xiaomi Mi 4c
    • Xiaomi Mi CC9e
    • Xiaomi Mi 4i
    • Xiaomi Mi 4s

If that's not enough, Xiaomi uses some suffixes in almost incomprehensible ways. Let's take the letter "S". In cases like Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S and Mi 5s the "S" indicates that they are models of the next generation (but intermediate) to the previous one. On the contrary, Redmi 3S is the Lite model of Redmi 3, while Redmi Note 9S has specifications higher than Note 9. It does not end here: Redmi Note 9 Pro Max has neither dimensions nor specifications greater than Note 9 Pro: the real difference is that the Pro is the model for Europe, The Pro Max for India.

Even more confusing is the handling of the letter "X“, Usually associated with future or high profile specifications. On the contrary, Redmi 3X has lower specifications than Redmi 3, Redmi 4X is the rebrand for India of Redmi 4, Xiaomi Mi 5X and Mi 6X have nothing to do with Mi 5 and Mi 6 and we have already talked about Redmi Note 4X . Among other things, there would also be Redmi 10X but to date there is no Redmi 10. But we could also continue with the letter "C“, Usually used for compact or smaller models. And instead Xiaomi Mi 4C was a superior model to Mi 4 and Xiaomi Mi 5C was similar to Mi 5 but with proprietary chipset.

Xiaomi's strategies are not easy to follow, but there is a reason

It is difficult to be consistent in the market, especially with smartphones. Often manufacturers make claims that remain after years (if not months) and more generally struggle to maintain a constant line over time. It can be seen from the tables above, with Xiaomi that every year changes the cards on the table in an apparently disordered way. In these 10 years the amount of smartphones produced every year has progressively increased, passing from only 2 models in 2012 to more than 30 in 2020. An immoderate production that is the direct consequence of the desire to invade the market, occupying as many price ranges as possible.

This dynamic is valid both in China in that India and Europe, three geographical areas where Xiaomi moves differently and which must be taken into consideration to understand this behavior. Unlike an Apple, with few models and sold equally all over the world, Xiaomi has many models and not for all nations. Some are sold only in China, others in India, others in Europe and it may happen that a model for China is brought to India and / or Europe or vice versa under a different name. The reason for this division into three macro-areas is dictated by rival companies, which in turn do not operate equally in the areas where they trade. Let's take an example, to be clearer. In China, Xiaomi has Huawei, OPPO and Vivo. In Europe, Huawei and Samsung are the companies it mainly competes with. In India, on the other hand, Huawei is practically absent and they are Samsung, Vivo, OPPO and Realme the competitors.

oppo huawei xiaomi vivo apple

Here, the strategy that guides Xiaomi's choices depends a lot on what other companies in China, India and Europe do. If, for example, in China Huawei is preparing a flagship model for the mid-range range, Xiaomi will respond accordingly, but the same does not necessarily happen in India, where it may have to respond to a new OPPO entry-level. In all of this, Europe is often a rebound market, where models are launched later than China and India and therefore can undergo changes based on what the competition is doing.

And it is no coincidence that Xiaomi, Huawei, OPPO, Vivo and Realme are the companies most likely to have this naming policy, compared to names like Apple, OnePlus, and Nokia. We are talking about the most prolific companies in the world and careful to occupy the market as much as possible. Doing this means producing many models every year, chasing the latest technologies and the moves of rivals, a line that is almost impossible to marry with consistency.

We draw conclusions

In conclusion, our advice is to avoid looking for a logical thread in these dynamics. As bad as it may be to say, companies like Xiaomi are unlikely to stop doing this. And it's a shame: you readers are probably able to grasp the "malice" behind such dynamics, but there are millions of people out there who ignore all this. And the risk will always be to confuse them, without them fully understanding what they are actually buying.

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