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Latest Redmi phone from Xiaomi shows significant localization for India

From Vishnu Anand
Bangalore,November 27 2014:  Xiaomi's R&D group , with help from its  Indian team has incorporated quite  a few key  India-specific features in the company's latest  handset launch this week.-- the Redmi Note 4G. The phone will be available in a 4G variant towards end of the year. At an asking price of Rs.9,999, it is creating quite a buzz in the Indian mobile ecosystem.
'Band'ing over for India
The biggest of these customizations lies in the core of the network. The folks at Xiaomi have engineered the device to support two 4G spectrums -- Band 3 and Band 4. "India is unique in a way that very few countries will be, in the months to come. While most countries adopt only one of the two 4G bands, service providers in India are already embracing both the bands. While this may mean increased adoption, it also poses a challenge for handset manufacturers whose devices might not work if the operator shifts to a new band. The Redmi note will be compatible with both these bands, providing increased usability and reach", said Xiaomi Global  Vice President, Hugo Barra, speaking to IndiaTechOnline on the sidelines of the launch event here.  
Additionally, the Redmi Note 4G will feature a smart text prediction technology called Swiftkey 5.1, providing support for 13 Indian languages.
Desi themes
Xiaomi's R&D teams in India are already providing theme customizations for the local market. Across three broad categories -- Bollywood, Cricket and Festivals -- Xiaomi engineers have been creating themes around events like Sachin Tendulkar's cricketing milestones, Diwali greetings and even a Rajnikant special set of themes.
Manu Jain, head of India operations, added, "These are ideas that we have collected from our strong community of Redmi lovers. We constantly engage with them to understand how we can go that extra mile to make their experience more desi."
Xiaomi's long term plans for its global operations also has an Indian element to it.  Barra said, "For our global portfolio of offerings around security, smart home strategies, fitness monitors, power banks etc, we plan to tap the Indian startup ecosystem. In the months to follow, our Indian R&D is set to grow and engage with many more specialist engineers and companies."
For a few days, our  Tech Video spot on the home page carries a brief look at Redmi Note 4G