Which Xiaomi Redmi smartphones are the best to buy in South Africa

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With not a lot of pomp and ceremony, on the 5th of November 2022, Xiaomi Africa opened its first physical store in South Africa. Xiaomi (pronounced “Schow-mee”) launched its smartphones and Internet of Things (IoT) store in Sandton City mall, Johannesburg.

Xiaomi Africa’s Sandton City mall store launch, Nov 2022. Image Source: twitter.com/Xiaomi_ZA/

Xiaomi, a Chinese smartphone and smart devices company, officially launched in South Africa in November 2015 with the sales of its Xiaomi Redmi 2 and Xiaomi Mi 4 smartphones.

Xiaomi Redmi phones range in South Africa

The different Xiaomi smartphones are marketed to users who are looking to buy well-specced budget, mid-range, and high-end smartphones. So, their phones are also in the entry-level to budget smartphones category, the low and high-end mid-range smartphones, plus high-end smartphones.

Xiaomi flagship smartphones don’t fetch premium prices like its rivals in the flagship category, Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max and the Samsung Galaxy S22, but they produce premium-feeling high-end phones that look the part and give a premium performance.

The Xiaomi 12T Pro is the latest high-end Xiaomi smartphone to arrive in South Africa in 2022. It features a 200MP camera that can record up to 8K video, Harman Kardon-tuned stereo speakers and a battery that can be charged to 100% in under 20 minutes!

The range of Xiaomi smartphones that are for sale in South Africa includes these:

  • Xiaomi
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note
  • Xiaomi Redmi

Some great Xiaomi phones are not available in South Africa

In August 2022 Xiaomi announced the latest iteration of their foldable phone, the Xiaomi Mi Mix Fold 2. It is a slick and thin foldable phone that directly rivals the Samsung flagship foldable phone, the Fold 4.

The Xiaomi Mi Mix Fold is a flagship smartphone that folds along into half with a 6.5-inch screen on the outside and an 8-inch screen on the inside.

The flagship Xiaomi Mi Mix Fold 2.
The flagship Xiaomi Mi Mix Fold 2.

Unfortunately, these are not available for sale in South Africa, along with other Mi Mix smartphones.

Xiaomi smartphones

Under the Xiaomi phones are the Mi series, T series, and Note series. These are high-end and flagship smartphones.

The Xiaomi Mi series, which has also been updated almost annually, is a series that Xiaomi uses to enter new markets.

A highlight on this range is the T series, and in particular the latest T Series smartphone, the Xiaomi 12T Pro, with its 200MP camera. And to go with this camera are Xiaomi’s video shooting modes, which include motion tracking, an ultra night video mode, and a 2x in-sensor camera zoom.

A quick preview of the Xiaomi 12T Pro.

Here is a list of the Xiaomi phones and the year of their release:

  • Xiaomi 13T and 13T Pro (2023)
  • Xiaomi 13 and Xiaomi 13 Pro (2022)
  • Xiaomi 12T and Xiaomi 12T Pro (2022)
  • Xiaomi 11T Pro (2021)
  • Xiaomi 12 and Xiaomi 12 Lite (2022)
  • Xiaomi Mi Note 10 (2019)

Xiaomi Redmi Note smartphones

The Xiaomi Redmi Note smartphones are a series of Xiaomi’s Redmi brand. This range competes in the hotly contested mid-range category of smartphones.

Smartphone brands in this market know that they need to bring a good product to market in order to compete. The Redmi Note series of phones are few but they defend the Xiaomi brand well by being highly specced and well priced.

Xiaomi may have the most important specifications sorted out, with a big camera, a big screen, and high-performance hardware to boot. This is achieved while making sure that the pricing is low enough for consumers.

The Redmi Note 13 was announced in January 2024, and will deliver the latest high-end Xiaomi smartphone. The Redmi Note 13 and 13 Pro are available for backorder, with expected delivery by the beginning of February 2024 But whether it’s the 2022 of 2021 Redmi Note these are competent smartphones for this market.

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro. Image source: twitter.com/BerangkasBrand

Here is a list of the Xiaomi Redmi Note phones and the year of their release:

  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 and Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 Pro 5G (2022)
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 and Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro 5G (2022)
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 and Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro (2022)
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro and Xiaomi Redmi Note 10S (2021)

Xiaomi Redmi smartphones

The Xiaomi Redmi series has a list of great entry-level smartphones. The current crop of phones have an up-to-date Android operating system with Android 11, 12, and 13 for the Xiaomi Redmi 12.

The Xiaomi Redmi A1 is an excellent entry-level budget smartphone that features a good-sized battery, a big 6.5-inch display, and dual rear cameras.

Xiaomi Redmi has no shortage of cheap smartphones with the excellent Xiaomi Redmi 9A as a direct competitor to the Samsung Galaxy A02.

The Xiaomi Redmi 9A 32GB.
The Xiaomi Redmi 9A 32GB.

Here is a list of the Xiaomi Redmi phones and the year of their release:

  • Xiaomi Redmi 12 and Xiaomi Redmi 12C (2023)
  • Xiaomi Redmi 10 2022 (2022)
  • Xiaomi Redmi 10 and Xiaomi Redmi 10A (2021)
  • Xiaomi Redmi 10C (2022)
  • Xiaomi Redmi 9C and Xiaomi Redmi 9A (2020)
  • Xiaomi Redmi A1 (2022)

Best cheap Xiaomi Redmi phone

Xiaomi Redmi 9A for around R2,500
Xiaomi Redmi A1 for around R1,900

The sweet spot for a cheap smartphone is definitely under R2,000 for us. This is for a phone you can use for daily tasks like surfing the internet and checking out WhatsApp statuses.

Xiaomi Redmi 9A 32GB (2020)

CamerasMain camera 13MP
Selfie camera 5MP
RAM and StorageRAM Size 2GB
Storage Size 32GB
Internet speed4G, Dual SIM
Screen resolutionHD (1600×720) 6.53-inch screen
Features5000 mAh battery
PriceR2,120 from loot.co.za
Xiaomi Redmi 9A 32GB specs, price, and features.

Although the Xiaomi Redmi 9A is priced at over R2,000 with a little bit of bargain hunting you can find one on special for under R2,000.

The Xiaomi Redmi 9A 32GB on special for R1,899 from takealot.
The Xiaomi Redmi 9A 32GB on special for R1,899 from takealot. Screenshot source: takealot.com

Best budget Xiaomi Redmi smartphone

A great budget phone should:

  • Perform well in doing everyday tasks like browsing the internet and posting videos on social media
  • A good camera that can take good and clear pictures on a high-resolution screen
  • Because it is not intended for heavy use it should last a relatively long time (minimum of three years)
  • It wil usually be bought in cash, so it is best priced between R5,000 and R3,000

Xiaomi Redmi 12C 64GB 3GB Ram (2023)

CamerasMain camera 50MP
Selfie camera 5MP
RAM and StorageRAM Size 3GB
Storage Size 64GB
Internet speed4G, Dual SIM
Screen resolutionHD (1650×720) 6.71-inch screen
FeaturesFingerprint unlock
PriceOn sale for R2,399 from Ackermans
Xiaomi Redmi 12C 64GB 3GB Ram specs, features, and price.

Best mid-range Xiaomi phone

A mid-ranger needs to carry a bit of a punch when it comes to its technical specifications. The more surprised I am of a feature the more attracted I am.

When looking for a mid-range Xiaomi try and find one that:

  • Has the ability to be a good gaming phone
  • Has a main camera with 50MP and above
  • Be a distinctive range of phones, with a unique look from the rest of the brand’s phones
  • Make use of NFC for contactless payments (e.g.: FNB’s Tap to Pay), 5G connectivity, and fast charging
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 for around R5,000
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro

Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 128GB 54 Dual-SIM (2022)

CamerasMain camera 48MP
Selfie camera 13MP
RAM and StorageRAM Size 4GB
Storage Size 128GB
Internet speed4G, Dual SIM
Screen resolutionHDR (2400×1080) 6.67-inch screen
FeaturesNFC, Face and fingerprint unlock, fast charging
PriceR8,999 from takealot
Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 128GB 4G Dual-SIM specs, features, and price.

A bargain if you can find one online, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 is the best mid-range smartphone because it delivers a great experience for an affordable smartphone, with a price that comes in under R5,000!

Best Xiaomi Redmi camera phone

Depending on your end goal for photography, consider these two phones: the Xiaomi 12T Pro for still photography, and the Xiaomi 12 Lite for vlogging.

Xiaomi 12T Pro 256GB 5G Dual-SIM

CamerasMain camera 200MP, 8K and 4K video
Selfie camera 20MP
RAM and StorageRAM Size 8GB
Storage Size 256GB
Internet speed5G, Dual SIM
Screen resolutionFHD+ (2712×1220) 6.67-inch AMOLED screen
FeaturesDual LED flash, Harman Kardon-tuned speakers
PriceR13,903.97 from bobshop
Xiaomi 12T Pro 256GB 5G Dual-SIM specs, features, and price.

For image photography consider the Xiaomi 12T Pro for its massive 200MP camera sensor. It will, of course, satisfy your 4K and 8K video demand, but that camera will also take care of your point-and-shoot camera requirements.

For the bloggers consider the Xiaomi 12 Lite 5G for its 19 vlogging modes, which include:

  • Eye tracking
  • Ultra night video mode
  • Slow motion

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