But in this case it is different. Hugo Barra, vice president for international at Xiaomi, says there are several reasons why the Mi 4i lacks a microSD card. Do You Like This Story?
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That said, Xiaomi's Redmi phones still offer removable batteries along with a microSD slot -- the latter a necessity as these dirt cheap devices come with relatively little internal storage space, which is typically just 8GB.
You're gonna blame the phone, you're gonna blame the manufacturer, you're gonna shout and scream and try to get it fixed, so many different ways until you say, 'Actually, let me just take the SD card out and see what happens. If all goes well, this will be Xiaomi's ninth market globally, and also the first outside of Asia.
He said, "For high performance devices, we are fundamentally against an SD card slot. In the company's current lineup, only the Redmi-series include SD card slots. It lacks a slot for microSD card and hence you can't add more storage to it. It's as if Xiaomi is contradicting itself, but Hugo Barra, the company's Vice President of International, gave us a more definitive answer after launching the Mi 4i in Hong Kong.
While it will not be an issue for most people, some users have already voiced their concerns at the lack of microSD card slot in the Mi 4i.
According to Barra, the trend in the industry to include a microSD card slots will soon change. In fact, according to company's surveys it has found that SD cards are a significant cause of device failures up to 30 per cent of customer support complaints due to the poor quality of SD cards in the market, many of which are actually fake.
Share Save If you were to compare iOS and Android, the latter's storage expansion option via microSD -- up to a whopping GB these days -- is often regarded as an advantage, though not all devices come with such offer.
Speaking about the decision to offer removable batteries in Xiaomi's lower-end handsets, Barra added, "Our thinking is if you're going to have a removable back for the purposes of having an SD slot, you might as well make the battery removable.
Xiaomi says that it will sell the Mi 4i with more internal memory most likely 32GB and possibly 64GB in the coming months in India for users who require more space.
One the biggest exceptions in Xiaomi's product range is the Redmi series which include both removable battery and microSD card slots.
It's gonna be a while before you finally accept that maybe the reason why it's not performing is because you put in an SD card, right? You should basically not expect SD card slots in any of our flagships," he said. But in case, users need more space, according to Xiaomi, they can use Mi Cloud feature that allows users to automatically save full-resolution photos in the cloud.
Despite many techies' desire to have storage expansion option, all Google Nexus devices bar the Nexus One lack microSD expansion, and Matias Duarte, VP of design, once explained that this is because "in reality it's just confusing for users.
Barra revealed that the Chinese company is gearing up to launch its first product as Mi 4i in Brazil.
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To start with, Xiaomi believes that 16GB in the Mi 4i is going to be enough for consumers even if they want to carry full-length movies in the phone. Pointing out that counterfeit SD cards are quite common, he added they are usually of "extremely poor quality" and slow as well.
Barra said that's not an issue as Xiaomi already has local manufacturing partners namely Foxconnand he hinted that the launch is happening in just a matter of weeks. You're gonna blame the phone, you're gonna blame the manufacturer, you're gonna shout and scream and try to get it fixed, so many different ways until you say, 'Actually, let me just take the SD card out and see what happens,'" Barra added.
We have seen companies defend product decisions even when they don't make sense. Here is what Xiaomi told us: He added that Xiaomi's Brazil launch is in just a matter of weeks.
So what are these reasons? SD cards will disappear.
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The inclusion of the microSD card slot is because these budget phones typically come with small amounts of built-in storage. Also, these are the same reasons why most of the high-end phones nowadays don't come with a microSD card slot. But what about consumers that require more space.
More importantly, microSD cards "are incredibly prone to failure and malfunctioning of various different sorts," and the fact that there are a lot of fake cards out there -- and we've seen it ourselves -- doesn't help, either. On a similar note, Xiaomi's flagship line has also long abandoned the removable battery. But what's really keeping this exec busy is the preparation for Xiaomi's entry into his home country, Brazil, which is a notoriously tough market for foreign electronics brands to crack due to local policies -- you must either manufacture locally or pay heavy import taxes.
It doesn't really increase the cost of the battery that much. However, Xiaomi has now explained that a microSD card slot is not part of the Mi 4i because there are some good reasons to do away with it.
Talking to EngadgetBarra at the side-lines of Xiaomi Mi 4i launch in Hong Kong explained why his company is against the use of microSD card slots in its high-end devices. It might come as a surprise to a few, considering that the majority of Android smartphones do support expandable storage via microSD card slots; though Hugo Barra, Xiaomi's VP Global, believes that it adversely affects the performance of the handset.
Xiaomi's argument is solid and xiaomi mi4i memory slot reasons why its latest phone lacks microSD card slot do seem genuine. These are valid reasons. Xiaomi's Hugo Barra shows off the Mi 4i's small logic board.
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Barra said his company's sales data indicate a low demand for spare batteries and external battery chargers these days. Barra says some of the issues caused by microSD cards reported by Android smartphones users are app crashing and loss of data.
Xiaomi, on the other hand, seems to be on the fence: Similarly on the lines of giving microSD card slots a miss, Xiaomi has also avoided using removable batteries. Barra went to explain that Xiaomi's team doesn't want to compromise on battery capacity, ergonomics, and appearance of the handset to include a microSD card slot, and in the case of the Mi 4i, didn't want to do away with the second SIM card slot.
SD cards will disappear," Barra added. For instance, while HTC and LG have made the microSD slot a standard feature on their recent flagship devices, Samsung oddly decided to remove it from its Galaxy S6 series ironically, the company has just announced new microSD cards.
Barra, citing Xiaomi's sales data, claimed that demand for spare batteries were low alongside external battery chargers. SD cards will disappear. After yesterday's Hong Kong event, Barra had already rushed back to Beijing for the Mi Note Pro launch earlier today, and then he'll be off to Taiwan for another regional Mi 4i launch tomorrow.
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