Xiaomi is known for its value-for-money smartphones: meaning that for the same amount of money, you get better specs and features from Xiaomi than from most other brands. Yet, there is one area the brand is weak at – the entry-level end of the market. The last time that Xiaomi played there was in 2019 when it announced the Redmi Go. It cost just below US $100 and was the cheapest Xiaomi phone back then. It was quite a phone.
I suspect that Xiaomi got burnt with that experiment, because after that, they completely abandoned the entry-level market and did not look back till date. Up till recently, the most affordable Xiaomi smartphone was probably the Redmi 9A, which costs about US $105 for the base variant. But in June 2022, Xiaomi has announced a new smartphone with an odd feature – a chipset with a name we had never heard before. I had never heard of the chip-maker called JLQ before now, but the chip that powers the new Xiaomi Poco C40 is from them.
The JLQ JR510 is an 11 nm chipset clocked at 1.5 GHz, and it is paired with 3 GB RAM, 32 GB storage and 4 GB RAM, 64 GB storage options in the Poco C40. The display is a 6.71-inch LCD, and there is a big, 6000mAh battery coupled with 18W fast charging. The sales box comes with a 10W charger, though. That is clearly a cost-saving measure. In all, the Poco C40 is clearly a budget smartphone. Perhaps it will take the place of the Redmi 9A as the cheapest Xiaomi phone in the market. Find below the key specs.
Xiaomi Poco C40 Quick Specs
- 6.71″, 1650 x 720 HD+, Dot Drop display, with Corning® Gorilla® Glass
- MIUI 13 for POCO, based on Android 11
- 13MP wide angle lens + 2 MP depth sensor at the back
- 5MP camera at the front
- 6000mAh battery
- 18W fast charging
- Rear fingerprint sensor
- AI face unlock
- 4G: LTE FDD: Band 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 20, 28
- 4G: LTE TDD: Band 38, 40, 41 (2535MHz-2655MHz)
- 3G: WCDMA: Band 1, 2, 4, 5, 8
- 2G: GSM: Band 2, 3, 5, 8
- Bluetooth 5.0
- Wi-Fi: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
- IP52 Water & dust resistance
- GPS | GLONASS | Galileo | BeiDou
- 3.5 mm headphone jack
- FM radio
The specs are not bad at all. They are quite decent, if I may say so. But it is definitely not an entry-level smartphone. The presence of Gorilla Glass is intriguing. It will likely be an older version, like v3.
What is the price of the new Poco C40 budget smartphone? It costs € 114 in the European Union, and £162 in the UK. That made it the cheapest Xiaomi phone in 2022.
Xiaomi mentioned global availability, but we don’t know how global the Poco C40 will get. The Poco sub-brand is not known to sell its models in many regions. Thankfully, you can get it in the UK and countries in the European Union (EU). But is it still the cheapest Xiaomi phone in 2023?
The Cheapest Xiaomi Phone in 2023 is the Redmi A2
Xiaomi has announced the Redmi A2 in 2023 and coming in at €97-€100 makes it the new cheapest Xiaomi phone available in the market. Now, this is a proper entry-level Android smartphone. Let’s look at the specs.
Redmi A2: Quick Specifications
- OS: Android 13
- Release Date: 2023
- Network Type: 2G/3G/4G
- Display: 6.52-inch, 720 x 1600 pixels resolution
- Processor: MediaTek Helio G36
- Selfie Camera: 5 MP
- Rear camera: 8 MP dual
- RAM: 2 GB
- ROM: 32 GB
- Battery: 5000 mAh
Note that the Redmi A2 lacks a fingerprint scanner. There is no splash resistant rating, either. A number of other specs are dropped, too. Which should not be strange; you have to give up something to have the lower price. If a fingerprint scanner is non-negotiable for you, you might have to consider another model. But if you really must have the cheapest Xiaomi phone, this is it. Knowing how Xiaomi is not prolific with entry-level devices, it is doubtful that the Redmi A2 will have a replacement till 2024.
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Way back from the days of EPOC, Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems, founder of MobilityArena, Mister Mobility, has owned a few hundred smartphones and tablets, and counting.