The past week we reported about Xiaomi launching two features phones in China dubbed as the Xiaomi Qin AI. The phones are designed for basic users, but Xiaomi has further equipped them with AI features to improve on the experience. It now appears that Xiaomi is christening the devices – Xiaomi Qin1 and Xiaomi Qin1s.
Xiaomi has built a reputation for developing good quality affordable Android smartphones, and so its feature phones don’t come as a huge surprise. The timing seems right since feature phones are appearing to make a comeback in the market. There’s no better example for this is Reliance’s JioPhone, which alone has accounted for 27 percent of the Indian market share in the second of quarter of 2018. The success of the phone suggests how a handful number key features, offered at an affordable price point can go a long way.
As the feature phone market seems to be heating up, we wonder how well the Xiaomi Qin1s can do when compared to the JioPhone. Let’s take a quick look at both their features. We’re choosing the Qin1s for the comparison and not the Qin1 as the latter does not support 4G. Do note the fact that the Qin1 or the Qin1s isn’t officially sold in India, and we don’t have clarity on support for relevant 4G bands in India.
Pricing and availability
The JioPhone is currently available for Rs 1,500 in India. The phone can be purchased from Jio’s official website and various other offline and online stores. It’s part of a three-year refundable scheme, by the end of which users will be refunded Rs 1,500.
On the other hand, the Xiaomi Qin1s is currently available only in China, through its crowdfunding Youpin website for RMB 199, which roughly translates to Rs 2,000. Currently, there is no word on whether Xiaomi plans to launch it in India or other markets.
The JioPhone features a 1.2GHz dual-core processor and comes with 512MB of RAM. It packs in 4GB of internal storage with an option to expand it up to 128GB with the help of a microSD card. For taking pictures, it comes with a 2-megapixel rear camera and a VGA front camera. It is backed by a 2,000mAh battery underneath the hood. Besides that, the phone supports 4G VoLTE, FM radio, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS and NFC.
In comparison, Xiaomi Qin1s features a dual-core Spreadtrum SC9820E SoC, clocked at 1.3GHz. It is coupled with 256MB of RAM and only 512MB of storage. However, storage expansion through microSD card slot is also touted. Like the JioPhone, it also comes with support for 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS. But where the JioPhone supports a microUSB port, the Qin1s features a much more conventional USB Type-C port to charge its 1,480mAh battery. Unfortunately, the feature phone does not come with front or rear cameras.
Xiaomi is also offering a 2G version of phone called the Qin1, which comes powered by a MediaTek MT6260A SoC with ARM Cortex A7 cores, 8MB of RAM and 16MB internal storage.
Software and features
The JioPhone comes loaded with KaiOS operating system, which is known for its simple interface and features. On top of that Jio has given access to a range of Jio suite apps including MyJio, JioMusic, JioTV and more. Additionally, the phone is touted to soon get support for media apps such as YouTube, Facebook and WhatsApp.
One the other hand, the Xiaomi Qin1s runs on an Android-based MOCOR5 OS, which as mentioned before comes with AI voice features. With help of its AI feature, the phone can offer real-time voice translation in 17 different languages. It can also be used to answer questions and tell poetry to children. The use of an Android-derived OS does place it above the JioPhone with capability to support a wider range of apps than the JioPhone which got WhatsApp and YouTube support only recently.
Watch: JioPhone First Look
Design and Display
The JioPhone comes with a 2.4-inch QVGA (320x240pixels) display, with T9 keypad placed underneath it. It offers a simple handy design that is only available in black color. Here the Xiaomi Qin1s seems to take a slight lead. The phone also flaunts a slightly bigger 2.8-inch QVGA display with a much sleeker design, wrapped around the T9 keypad. It is also available in black and white color options.
|Features||Xiaomi Qin1s||Reliance JioPhone|
|Display||2.8-inch QVGA||2.4-inch QVGA|
|Processor||Spreadtrum 1.3 GHz||Spreadtrum 1.2 GHz|
|Connectivity||4G LTE, Dual-SIM, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth||4G LTE, Dual-SIM, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth,|
|Android OS||Android-based MOCOR5 OS||KaiOS|