Xiaomi, a company once known for releasing cheap knock-off of Apple products, unveiled its 2019 flagship handset, the Mi 9 in China. Showing how times have changed, the Mi 9 packs a lot of features that Apple perhaps needs to copy for its upcoming 2019 iPhones.
The Mi 9 offers faster wired and wireless charging setup when compared to the iPhone XS, it comes with a massive 48MP rear shooter that’s a part of a more useful triple-camera setup. While the Mi 9 lacks the headphone jack, it does feature an in-display fingerprint scanner along with face unlock. And there’s a system-wide dark mode as well!
Like previous Xiaomi flagships, the Mi 9 offers an insane value for money. It comes with a 6.39-inch FHD+ AMOLED panel with a waterdrop notch. There’s no punch-hole cutout here but the waterdrop notch is still better than a traditional notch. The AMOLED panel also features Reading Mode 2.0 and Sunlight Mode 2.0 aimed at improving sunlight eligibility and reducing eye strain.
The Mi 9 features an aluminum chassis with Gorilla Glass 6 panels at the front and rear. The rear panel features a gradient pattern at the back that changes hues depending on how light strikes it. This is similar to what Huawei and Honor phones do and a nice change from the usual single-tone color finish of previous Mi flagships.
Inside the Mi 9 is Qualcomm’s 7nm Snapdragon 855 chipset clocked at 2.84GHz, Adreno 640 GPU, 6GB RAM, and 128GB storage. For improved gaming performance, there’s Game Turbo which promises higher peak performance while gaming and under sustained load.
The rear of the Mi 9 packs a triple-camera setup at the rear. This includes a primary 48MP f/1.75 aperture shooter featuring a 1/2″ Sony IMX586 sensor, a 16MP ultra-wide angle lens, and a 12MP telephoto shooter for 2x optical zoom. The handset has received a DxOMark score of 107 highlights that this is a capable camera setup which ranks ahead of the Galaxy Note 9, Pixel 2, and other heavyweights. At the front, there’s a 20MP selfie shooter.
The Mi 9 comes with a 3300mAh battery which seems a bit on the lower side considering its massive 6.4-inch display. Nonetheless, the phone features 27W of fast wired charging and 20W wireless charging so a few minutes of charging is going to be enough to get a few additional hours of use. Xiaomi is also bundling the 27W fast charger with the device. Since the Mi 9 will be coming to European markets as well, Xiaomi has included a dedicated Google Assistant button on the device. Other specs include NFC, GPS, Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi ac, in-display fingerprint scanner, and USB-C. Yep, there’s no headphone jack here!
While the Mi 9 still runs on MIUI 10 based on Android 9.0 Pie, Xiaomi has added some new features to it. This includes a new Dark mode which the company claims brings about an 83 percent reduction in power consumption.
The Mi 9 will be available in Lavender Violet, Ocean Blue, and Piano Black colors.
As for pricing, this is where the Mi 9 excels. The base variant with 6GB RAM/128GB storage is priced at roughly $445 in China. The version with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage comes for $490, while the top-end ‘transparent’ edition with 12GB RAM and 256GB storage is priced at $600. That’s an incredible value for money that very few other flagships in the market can match. A European launch of the handset will take place at MWC 2019 in Barcelona next week.