5G is slowly gaining traction in the smartphone market, but the main barrier at the moment is price. For example, a Samsung Galaxy S10 5G costs $1,300, as does the Galaxy Note 10 5G, while something ‘mid-range’ such as a OnePlus 7T Pro 5G, or even Samsung’s cheapest option, the A90 5G, will still cost $900. But Chinese manufacturer Redmi has now announced a 5G handset that will cost around a quarter as much as these existing phones.
The Redmi K30 5G is estimated to start at $285 based on the entry price in Chinese yuan, but features the 5G connectivity that its name suggests. This affordable phone also includes a 6.67-inch 120Hz LCD display, a 64MP main camera (along with 8MP wide angle, 2MP depth and 5MP macro sensors), a dual 20MP/2MP selfie camera array in a punch-hole notch, and a 4,500 mAh battery that fast charges at 30W.
There are also some welcome features that may seem a little old fashioned for a 2019 smartphone, including a 3.5mm headphone jack and a side fingerprint sensor like on the Honor 20 Pro.
Of course, some parts are a little under-powered compared to premium 5G smartphones. The K30 5G runs on a Snapdragon 765 CPU, a new chip that’s less powerful than the 855 series chips used by most other 5G phones but one that includes a 5G modem within it. In addition, the K30 maxes out at 8GB RAM, whereas the Samsung 5G phones both use a massive 12GB of RAM.
There’s also a 4G version of the K30, which changes a few of the other specs but does make the phone cheaper to buy for end users who live in places where 5G isn’t fully set-up or doesn’t exist at all.
Both the 4G and 5G K30 versions of the Redmi K30, each available in four different RAM/storage specs, are expected to be released soon in China, with a possible UK and US release to follow. The price may have gone up a little due to different local costs and the expense of exporting/importing products, but this still looks to be the cheapest 5G option available.