Xiaomi Turns to China for OLED

Xiaomi’s latest flagship smartphone boasts an OLED screen – which may not have come from Samsung Display.

According to Xiaomi, the suppliers for the Redmi Pro’s 5.5″ (1920 x 1080) screen are two Chinese firms: Everdisplay Optronics and BOE. Although the ratio is unclear, we do know that EDO is the main supplier. The screen has 2.5D glass and covers 100% NTSC.

Aside from the display, the highlight of the phone is its dual rear camera setup. Xiaomi has chosen to use a 13MP Sony IMX258 sensor (with a 5-lens module, f/2.0 aperture and PDAF) and a 5MP Samsung sensor for the secondary depth-sensing camera. A two-tone flash sits between the sensors. On the front, the phone has a 5MP camera with an 85° wide-angle lens.

Three variants of the Redmi Pro will be available, based on the processor: one with a 10-core 2.1GHz Helio X20 (3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage) and two with a 10-core Helio X25 (3GB and 64GB/4GB and 128GB). The top-end model is clocked at 2.5GHz and uses a Mali-T880 GPU, while the step-down edition has a 2.3GHz processor.

A fingerprint sensor and hybrid dual SIM slots are featured. The phone has a 4,050mAh battery. It will cost CNY1,245 ($190) (X20), CNY1,410 ($210) (2.3GHz X25) or CNY1,660 ($250) (2.5GHz X25), ex VAT.

Analyst Comment

It is of course unlikely that EDO and BOE can compete with SDC – which makes 95% of the world’s OLED screens – on price, unless they are selling these early units at a loss to secure scale. Yield rates and quality are also likely to be somewhat low at the moment. However, the fact that a tier two (and aiming to be tier one) maker like Xiaomi is investing in OLED outside of SDC highlights the fact that Samsung will be under pressure to maintain its market share. This is why SDC has been investigating other areas, like flexible OLED displays. (TA)