Xiaomi’s latest flagship smartphone has a speedy processor, a triple-camera system, support for fast wireless charging, and an in-display fingerprint sensor.
It’s also about half the price of some other company’s flagships: the Xiaomi Mi 9 smartphone goes up for pre-order in China today and begins shipping February 26th, and the phone sells for about $450 and up.
There’s also a smaller, less powerful votersion called the Mi 9 SE which sells for about $300 and up.
The Mi 9 features a 6.4 inch, 2340 x 1080 pixel AMOLED display with a small waterdrop-style notch that houses a 20MP front-facing camera.
The rear camera system consists of:
- 48MP wide-angle camera (Sony IMX586 image sensor)
- 16MP ultra-wide camera
- 12MP telephoto camera with 2X optical zoom
Xiaomi says you can use the primary camera to either shoot 48MP pictures, or combine data from multiple pixels for better low-light photography (at lower resolutions). The phone can also record slow-motion video at up to 960 frames per second.
The Mi 9 features a 3,300 mAh battery and a USB Type-C port with support for 27 watt fast-charging using a wired charger. But it also supports 20W wireless fast charging.
Xiaomi says you can get a full charge using a wired charger in about 60 minutes, or a 70 percent charge in just a half hour. Things will take a little longer if you go wireless, but with support for 20W charging, the Mi 9 should charge more quickly via a wireless charger than just about any other phone on the market so far.
The company also plans to sell a few 20W wireless charging accessories including a 10,000 mAh power bank, a car charger, and a new version of the company;s wireless charging pad. Prices range from about $15 to $25.
Note that you’ll need one of those chargers to hit 20W fast charging speeds though, because Xiaomi uses some proprietary technology to get there. A standard Qi charger will work, but it will be slower.
The entry level model Mi 9 smartphone sells for 2,999 RMB ($450) features 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. There’s also a 3,299 RMB ($490) version with 8GB/128GB.
Xiaomi also plans to offer a 12GB/256GB Transparent Edition model with a curved glass body and an “upgraded large f/1.47 aperture and 7p camera lens.” It’s priced at 3,999 RMB ($595).
Xiaomi’s new Mi 9 SE is features a similar design including its AMOLED display, waterdrop notch, and in-display fingerprint sensor. But it’s cheaper, smaller, and less powerful.
The phone has a 6 inch display, a Qualcomm Snpadragon 712 processor, and comes with a choice of 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage for 1,999 RMB ($300) or 6GB/128GB for 2,299 RMB ($340).
The Mi 9 SE will be available starting March 1st.
Other features for the Mi 9 SE include a triple rear camera system (48MP IMX586 + 13MP ultra-wide angle + 8MP telephoto), a 20MP front-facing camera, a 3,070 mAh battery, 18W fast charging support, an IR blaster, and NFC.
Unfortunately neither smartphone is likely to be work well in the US, where Xiaomi smartphones typically have limited support for cellular networks.
This feels like a solid device, and one to truly rival the other flagships: Apple, Samsung, LG, Huawei.
However, there’s one glaring omission and it is becoming tiresome to bring it up over again, and that is the lack of IP68 Waterproofing.
It’s enough for me to forgo this, and I’m willing to bet a lot of other potential buyers. Until they make it decently resistant, with an independent testing committee (IP-group) validate it, this will always be one grasp away from true flagship status.
And the most annoying part is that Xiaomi can do this even with price increases, since they have other midrange-highend line of devices to fill in the void such as the: Xiaomi Mi Mix, BlackShark, Pocophone, and Redmi Note Pro.
Why waste money on having a wide angle and a telephoto, when the wide angle is 48mp? I’m willing to bet that you could crop the 48mp wide angle pictures to pretty close to the same picture as that 12mp telephoto.
I don’t even know the lens focal lengths, but I’m pretty confident that the telephoto isn’t going to be much of a “telephoto”. Phone makers aren’t bold enough to put a real telephoto length lens on a phone, because people wouldn’t hold it steady enough to take decent pictures.
The 48MP camera is more like a tweaked 12MP.
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