Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi has come under criticism for including social India-specific modes that include cows, temples and statues in its new Redmi Note 6 Pro
Xiaomi on Thursday launched the Redmi Note 6 Pro with the cameras as the highlight. Not dual or triple, but there are four cameras available on the handset. A setup of 12-megapixel and 5-megapixel sensors on the rear and a combination of 20-megapixel and 2-megapixel sensors on the front. Xiaomi India MD Manu Kumar Jain said that Redmi Note 6 Pro has been specially customised for Indian users so that they can squeeze the most out of the device’s features.
One of the touted features available for the cameras is the AI Scene Detection mode that will optimise the camera settings according to the scene. During the presentation at the event, the company showed India-specific features that include modes such as ‘Cows’, ‘Temples’, and ‘Statues’. While these animate and inanimate things can be served as different scene modes that a phone camera can optimise the settings for, Xiaomi is being criticised on social media for participating in the row that has separated the Indians over who are in favour of erection of statues, the sensitive topic of temples, and considering cows as the national herald for Hindus in India.
Anuj Sharma, CMO at Xiaomi, did not explicitly mention the India-specific modes while speaking about the Redmi Note 6 Pro features. However, the company may have landed in hot water over the special treatment given to the highly sensitive topics related to the construction of temples, statues and protection of cows. The India-specific features include an animal and two objects that resemble buildings, which is a separate element in the ‘Scene’ category. There are five categories in total – Environment, Scene, Plants, People/objects, and India-specific.
We have reached out to Xiaomi for a comment on this development and will update the story as and when an official statement is available to us.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro comes with AI Scene Detection Mode, which has been available on quite a few other Xiaomi devices. With the help of algorithms, the camera software detects the scene and optimises the settings in the camera, such as brightness, saturation, contrast, ISO, and aperture, to leverage them for shots. Some of the modes that cameras have been integrated to detect automatically include architecture, blue sky, candlelight, night, sunset/sunrise, riverside, beach, cat, dog, text, ppt, cars, grass, leafy plants. The India-specific modes include jewellery, statues, cows, motorcycle, and temples.