One of the biggest mistakes the “old” Nokia made was not to pay enough attention to competition and being ignorant on changes coming to the smartphone industry. The same mistake was done by Microsoft with their mobile operating system, but that’s out of the scope even of this article.
Nokia Mobile’s Chinese competitor Xiaomi, that gained a quite a market share outside Europe and the US, and a lot of mindshare with consumers, announced an interesting phone in China as the part of their Qin series that is crowdfounded, because even for Xiaomi some projects aren’t commercially viable.
The device, called Xiaomi Qin 2, looks more like an evolution of Lumia or Nokia X smartphones with Android, and on the promo shots we can see an UI that at first reminds me of Nokia Technologies’ deprecated ZLauncher. Down below, you can see Xiaomi’s Qin 2 alongside the Nokia XL Android phone and never released Nokia id326-3 (Mi Mix before Mi Mix) and a Nokia QWERTY touch Asha phone that surfaced some time ago.
The phone does share some design clues from Google Pixel phones like the placement of the camera and the red side-button. The UI is interesting and it seems it is optimized for small-screen phones like the Qi2 and features gestures.
The specifications of the phone include a 5.05-inch HD+ display (22.5:9), Android 9 GO Edition, Spreadtrum SC9832E SoC with 1GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. There is no front camera, while the back one has a 5MP sensor. The battery capacity is 2100mAh and this phone features USB Type-C port, which is amazing considering the €65 price tag (INR 5000, USD 72).
Lately I noticed a lot of users on social media suggesting to manufactures that a market for smaller or as some say “normal-sized” phones exist, and phones like the new Palm phone or this Qin2 do look cute and more practically than 6+ inch devices, unless you really need the big screen.
The two images above are concepts from @PhoneIndustry_ of the Google Pixel Mini. The Mini Pixel does look nice and surely there is a market for a 5 to 5.3 inch device with decent specs. Nokia 8 is a great example of a nice 5.3 inch display smartphone that looked well. Imagine the same device but bezel-less. It would look great, right?
The Xiaomi Qin2 from this story is useful in showing us how low phone vendors can go with the price while including specifications decent for normal user experience at that price point. The crowdfounding is a success, raising 10 times more than Xiaomi asked for, so Nokia Mobile should be aware that their Android Go devices like Nokia 1, Nokia 2.1 or Nokia 1 Plus could get fierce competition from Xiaomi. To be honest, just having USB Type C makes this device an attractive buy, not to mention that it looks good.
What do you think about Qin2 and is there a market for higher end smaller phones? Tell us down below. 🙂