While staying true to tech enthusiasts.
Poco just hit hard refresh. The Xiaomi spin-off brand launched the Poco C3 in India on Tuesday — its fifth phone this year. For Poco that launched its first phone Poco F1 in 2018 and its second phone Poco X2 after an almost two-year long hiatus, that is surely a lot of phones. A lot has happened since Poco launched Poco F1. It became an “independent” brand. And soon after this happened, the world was hit by a pandemic.
“One of the reasons why the Poco C3 exists is because it is 2020 and things have changed. Macroeconomics are not the same anymore,” Poco India country director, Anuj Sharma tells me on the side-lines of Poco C3 India launch. “Phones are becoming more and more essential. People are spending a lot of time online to research about them.”
With the Poco C3, Poco is looking to reach out to a wider audience because apparently, “85% of India’s market constitutes people buying phones under Rs 15,000.” The goal is to “expand the Poco family” and help enthusiasts eventually “graduate” to other models like the Poco X3. The Poco C3 costs Rs 7,499 for a model with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage. There is also a model with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage that will sell for Rs 8,999.
For that kind of price, you get an attractive dual-tone design available in blue, green and black, a tall 6.53-inch 720p+ LCD display with waterdrop-style notch housing a 5MP selfie camera, MediaTek Helio G35, triple rear cameras (13MP main+2MP macro+2MP depth), and a 5,000mAh battery. Most notably you get Xiaomi’s MIUI 12 skin without Xiaomi ads. Basically, there is a lot to like here, just like any other Poco phone out there.
Also Read Poco mojo: Understanding the Xiaomi spin-off brand, its product choices, and future goals including monetization prospects
By offering a Poco phone at multiple price points, Poco is looking to bring a Poco phone to categories that its core audience might be most comfortable with — rather than expecting them to spruce up their budget for something more expensive.
But there is also another aspect to Poco launching multiple phones this year. “We have to run independently (from Xiaomi) now and to have a sustainable business you need a bigger portfolio of products,” Anuj explains adding that contrary to popular opinion, “our business partners keep telling us, we still don’t have enough products. We should launch more.”
That said, Poco does not want to “overcomplicate” things by launching too many phones at the same time which is probably why it would be sticking to just one phone in each category for the foreseeable future.
And even when a phone like the Poco C3 or a Poco F2 — perhaps someday — will happen, it will stay true to its tech enthusiast focus. When asked who a tech enthusiast is, Anuj says, “for Poco, that is a technologically sound audience that can make an informed choice,” and probably would pick a Poco phone over mass market brands like Samsung, Oppo, Vivo and even Xiaomi.
As for future prospects, Anuj tells me the brand is looking forward to the festive season and hopes that sales will follow. As for specific products, you know those that were previously announced but never showed up like the Poco Pop Buds, he says, “it went through two versions but we did not like what we got so far. We are testing version three now, but rest assured, we are working on it.”