The Chinese mobile market is booming with news today. On one side we have Xiaomi releasing the higher-end Redmi Note. Then there’s a new smartphone announced, named the Voto X6. All while popular chat app Tango is trying to make a move into China.
We have already seen the Xiaomi Redmi Note in action, but that is not the best the Chinese manufacturer can do. In fact, the company announced that device along with a higher-end version, which would cost a bit more and offer better specs. This improved Redmi Note is now available and ready for purchase in China.
The new Redmi Note is literally the same as the 799 Yuan affordable version, but comes with a 1.7 GHz octa-core processor and 2 GB of RAM (instead of 1.4 GHz and 1 GB of RAM). It’s available for only 999 yuan, which is equivalent to about $160 USD.
Opinion: Xiaomi’s Redmi Note devices are great for those looking for a good smartphone on a budget. We tested the affordable version and walked out very impressed with what so little money can get you. 999 yuan is still very affordable, so you might want to keep an eye on it if you live in China.
The Mountain View-based Tango chat app is making its way into the Chinese market. This application is popular for video calls in the USA, and has been around for quite some years now. Needless to say, it is mostly Americans who use it, but Tango has recently partnered with Chinese Alibaba and got a $280 million funding round.
Tango is seeking to bring the Chinese market more options, as WeChat is the prominent messaging app in the country. They don’t plan to compete, exactly – they want to “add on”. They want to do this by releasing “Channels”, which is a service similar to Twitter, but supporting video, photo, voice, text and more.
This is their way of taking the US market into China.
“We know that China is opening more and more. So there is a percentage of the population in China that will find it very nice for them to interact with (for example) Disney, Hulu, all the content providers in the US. Content providers are working with us to attract the US user, but we say hey — let us take you into China.” -Uri Raz, Tango CEO
Opinion: It’s surprising to see Tango continue to be so successful, even after so many apps have started competing with the service. Really, competition is probably why they are changing directions and aiming for the Chinese market. If you make it into China, you are pretty much set.
The Voto X6 is one of the few “high-end” smartphones that use a Mediatek processor. The device is priced at almost 3000 yuan (about $481 USD) and is made with premium materials. The Voto X6 is made with magnesium alloy, Gorilla Glass and a Galaxy Note 3-like leather back (probably not real leather).
When it comes to internals, you will find a 5.5-inch 1080p display, a 1.7 GHz octa-core processor, 2 GB of RAM, 13MP/8MP cameras and 32 GB of internal storage. Not bad, but is it worth all that money?
Opinion: Mediatek processors may be getting better, but I am not sure there is yet a market for high-priced devices carrying said processors. There are many other options at that price range.