For the last few days, we have been deluged by endless marketing from Xiaomi about the return of the Redmi K series to India. The Redmi K50i, which is the first Redmi K phone to be launched in the country since the Redmi K20 Pro in 2019, has been projected as the phone for those who want to “Live Extreme.” The phone was officially launched in India a short while ago, and while it does look very promising, we have no idea why Xiaomi has chosen to call it Extreme.
Extremely normal, actually
That is because when you think of an “Extreme” phone, you think of something that is radical and pathbreaking. The Redmi K50i is hardly that. Its design is actually very very normal – you can hardly call a silver, blue or black plastic back on a plastic frame “extreme.”
Yes, there has been a lot of hype around the LCD liquid FFS display with a 144 Hz refresh rate, but again, from what we have seen, it is hardly anything extreme – a good display definitely but nothing to give the AMOLED crowd nightmares. The same applies to the cameras – we are getting a 64-megapixel main sensor but with no OIS, and its performance again seems decent but then, since when did decent mean the same as extreme? The 5080 mAh Battery Charging at 67W is nowhere extreme either – Xiaomi has other phones with similar and even faster-charging speeds at around this price. The stereo speakers and IP53 rating are good but they are hardly path-breaking or extreme.
The Processor could be a little extreme, though
The only thing that can be called close to the extreme in Redmi K50i is the MediaTek Dimensity 8100 chipset. Many claim it delivers performance close to (Xiaomi says better than) the Snapdragon 888 flagship. But once again, there are devices with the very good Snapdragon 870 at close to this price – one of them being Xiaomi’s own Poco F4. The Dimensity 8100 has received a lot of praise in many quarters, and some even claim it is on par with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Generation 1 chip. So yes, that might be extreme, especially considering the Rs 25,999 price tag. In fact, if you happen to have an ICICI Bank credit card, even the early bird special price of Rs 20,999 can be considered extreme. But that really is about it.
Not the successor the K20 Pro deserved?
In most regards, however, the Redmi K50i is a very “normal” mid-segment phone, with what are very middle segment features – perhaps the most extreme feature it actually has other than the processor is the presence of the 3.5 mm audio jack.
This is a little disappointing when you consider how radically different the earlier Redmi K20 series was, especially the Redmi K20 Pro – a very different design, pop up cameras, a flagship chip and more at a surprisingly affordable price. Whereas it was very difficult to get a proper competitor to the Redmi K20 Pro, the Redmi K50i will have its hands full – the Xiaomi 11 Lite NE, the Realme GT Master Edition, the OnePlus Nord 2T, the Poco F4 and the iQoo Neo 6 are just some of the phones that can challenge it. Hardly the sign of an “extreme” device.
We are not saying the Redmi K50i is a bad phone. It might be an extremely good one, but there is nothing really extreme about it. No matter how many planes you jump out of with it or how many times you drive with it on a race track. A Nothing Phone this isn’t.