A poster announcing the Xiaomi Redmi event. Xiaomi

Huawei kicked off the trend of sub-brands with Honor back in 2013, and 2018 saw other players jump on the trend as well. Now, Xiaomi has announced that it’s turning its Redmi range into a sub-brand.

The company made the announcement via an image on its official website, confirming that we’d learn more at a January 10 press conference (at 2PM local time).

A closer look at the image also reveals the number 4,800 in the shadows. Chinese entities (such as TENAA) occasionally use this convention for megapixels, with 1,200 referring to 12MP and 500 referring to 5MP. So it looks like the first device under the Redmi sub-brand will pack a 48MP camera. It could also potentially refer to battery size, but Xiaomi traditionally sticks to a 4,000mAh battery for its larger Redmi phones.

We don’t know how this new device will fit in with the rest of the Redmi range. It could potentially be a sequel to Xiaomi’s Redmi Pro (its first dual-camera phone), a Redmi 7 Pro, or even an all-new Redmi family. It’s also unclear whether this is the same 48MP phone teased by Xiaomi last month. That tease showed us the “48MP” branding as well as a massive camera bump.

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In any case, the decision to make Redmi a sub-brand is a rather interesting move, as the brand is responsible for most of Xiaomi’s shipments in the first place. This could mean greater autonomy for the division’s device and business strategy, while still taking advantage of Xiaomi’s supply chain and research efforts.

It wouldn’t be the first time Xiaomi went down this road either, having already launched the Pocophone sub-brand last year. Hopefully it’s still business as usual for the Redmi family in general, as these devices consistently offer amazing value for money in the low-end price bracket. We’ll just have to wait a week to find out…

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