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Redmi wants to produce a mini phone, but there's one major hurdle

Would you buy a compact Redmi smartphone if battery capacity suffered in a big way?

Published onOctober 19, 2020

Redmi 9 device photo 12
Gary Sims / Android Authority
  • A Redmi executive says the Xiaomi sub-brand wants to produce a small phone.
  • Unfortunately, the executive asserts that battery life would be sacrificed.

There aren’t many options if you want a smaller smartphone, with Apple’s iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone SE 2020, and the Google Pixel 5 being three of the more prominent recent examples. Instead, we’ve seen loads of brands opt to produce large phones with screen sizes way above six inches.

Xiaomi is no exception in this regard, as almost all its phones released in 2020 feature 6.4-inch screens or larger. Now, Redmi general manager and Xiaomi executive Lu Weibing has confirmed on Weibo that the Xiaomi sub-brand wants to produce a small or “mini” phone.

Unfortunately, he noted that battery life would be “sacrificed a lot” if they took this route. Check out a machine-translated version of the post below.

Lu Weibing Redmi Weibo
Weibo/Lu Weibing

There’s plenty of truth to this statement, as a smaller phone simply means less space for a big battery. It’s for this reason that the likes of the iPhone SE 2020, Pixel 4a, and Sony’s older Compact phones had smaller batteries on paper than their larger stablemates.

Would you sacrifice battery capacity for a smaller smartphone?

4769 votes

The aforementioned phones often rely on software optimization to eke out more endurance though, and we’ve seen the likes of the Pixel 4a yield good results in our review despite its 3,140mAh battery. However, battery degradation tends to be more keenly felt with a smaller battery, so this is another challenge to overcome even if software optimization does the trick. Furthermore, the transition to power-hungry 5G means that a larger battery is more important than ever.

Nevertheless, one option for a manufacturer wanting to make a smaller phone is to increase the device’s thickness. This way, you’ve still got a small footprint and a sensibly sized battery, albeit by sacrificing a thin design.

Would you be willing to sacrifice battery life for a smaller smartphone? Let us know in the poll above!

Next: Xiaomi Mi Watch Revolve review — A larger Mi Band

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