Xiaomi launches ultra-affordable Mi Band 3i in India
Xiaomi recently announced the launch of the Mi Band 3i, an ultra-budget fitness tracker, specifically for the Indian market. The Mi Band 3i looks exactly like the more expensive Mi Band 3. However, it does not include a heart rate sensor. This allows Xiaomi to sell the Mi Band 3i at just Rs. 1299 (US$18.10).
With 39 and 27 percent market share respectively, Xiaomi is the leading player in both India's wearables and smartphone markets. By offering a full-fledged wearable experience to price-sensitive segments, Xiaomi seeks to cement its position with the Mi Band 3i.
Compared to the Mi Band 3, its more expensive sibling, the Mi Band 3i compromises little. The heart rate monitor is missing, which will undoubtedly prove a deal-breaker for some fitness enthusiasts. However, the rest of the Mi Band 3's feature-set is there, unchanged. This includes a 1.9-in AMOLED touchscreen, water resistance up to 50 m, and a 110 mAh battery that promises 20 days of usage.
The Mi Band 3i isn't the first Xiaomi wearable to launch at Rs. 1299. The 3i actually replaces the outgoing Mi Band HRX at this price-point. The latter was Xiaomi's cheapest wearable at launch-time and offered feature parity with the Mi Band 2, minus heart rate tracking.
The Indian mobile market continues to expand rapidly, with hundreds of millions of new users being introduced to smartphones. As smartphone use surges, demand for accessories, including wearables, will likely increase as well. In this environment, the Rs. 1299 Mi Band 3i is a viable, affordable first wearable for new smartphone users.