(Yicai Global) Dec. 10 -- Xiaomi launched its first fifth-generation dual-mode mobile phone in Beijing today. Powered by semi-conductor firm Qualcomm's Snapdragon 765G chip, the Redmi K30 is the cheapest 5G handset on the market with prices starting from just CNY1,999 (USD284), the Beijing News said.
The Redmi K30 is also the Beijing-based company's first smartphone to support both standalone and non-standalone access networks, the report said.
Dual-mode phones are the latest advancement in 5G, as many previous models only provide NSA support. NSA 5G relies on upgrades being made to existing 4G network infrastructure while SA 5G needs infrastructure to be built from the ground up and enables more of the technologies' core capabilities.
The Redmi K30 series will be followed by the Xiaomi 10, a dual-mode 5G handset featuring the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chip, in the first quarter of next year, co-founder and Vice Chairman Lin Bin said on Dec. 4. The firm plans to release more than 10 5G models in 2020, co-founder and Chairman Lei Jun said earlier in the year.
With 200 million people expected to be using 5G by the end of next year, the race is on to provide consumers with the most hi-tech phone for the best price. Tech giant Huawei Technologies released its first 5G dual-mode handset as part of its Honor V30 series at the end of last month. Equipped with the performance-enhancing Kirin 990+ Barron 5000 5G dual-mode chip, it sells for CNY3,299 and above.
Rival handset maker Oppo Mobile Telecommunications' Vivo X30, due to be released on Dec. 16, is equipped with Samsung's Exynos 980 5G dual-mode chip while its upcoming 5G dual-mode phone Reno 3 also features the Snapdragon 765G platform, the Dongguan-based firm said yesterday. The prices of the two phones have not yet been announced.
Total shipments of 5G smartphones will reach 1.4 billion by 2022 and by 2025 there will be 2.8 billion 5G-connected devices worldwide, according to San Diego-based Qualcomm.