Xiaomi K20 series Alpha Sale promo poster featuring four devices. Xiaomi

Xiaomi is readying the Redmi K20 series smartphones for India where they’re set to go on sale July 17. In the lead up to their release, Xiaomi has announced a special sale — the first of its kind — for those who want to buy them first. The “Alpha Sale” is more a glorified reservation system than a sale, though.

Xiaomi is asking fans to cough up 855 rupees (~$12.50) to reserve one of the devices — either the K20 or K20 Pro — from July 12 to guarantee they can purchase the phone some days later on July 17.

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Once the customer buys the phone, via Mi.com or Flipkart, the money will be immediately taken off the device total — the 855 rupees is essentially a non-refundable deposit.

In an emailed press release, Xiaomi said fans who reserve but don’t go through with the final purchase will have their deposit refunded to either their Mi.com account, or will receive it as a Flipkart coupon. These fans won’t necessarily lose their money, then, but it will become locked into another system.

The Redmi K20 Pro. Xiaomi

Is this good or bad news?

This is a curious move from Xiaomi. Its phones often sell out within minutes of becoming available through the flash sales the company has become known for. This inevitably leads to some eager fans missing out on purchasing a device at the first opportunity.

The Alpha Sale means those who are most interested in the phone (i.e. those willing to offer up 855 rupees for the privilege) can guarantee themselves one. Ultimately, that seems like good news for the biggest Xiaomi or Redmi fans, providing Xiaomi reveals the device prices on or before July 12.

In China, the K20 Pro starts at 2,499 yuan (~$362, ~25,000 rupees), while the regular K20 model begins at 1,999 yuan (~$289, ~20,000 rupees). We’ll keep an eye out for the K20 prices in India over the coming days.

The Redmi K20 series has been one to watch this year as the Pro model is expected to be one of the cheapest phones to hit India with a Snapdragon 855 chipset. For more on both devices, head to our Redmi K20 and K20 Pro coverage at the link, and sign up for reminders regarding the Alpha Sale here.

Read next: The best Android phones in India

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