Xiaomi has finally announced its much-awaited flagship for 2017 – the Xiaomi Mi 6. Having skipped the telecom industry’s largest annual event, the Mobile World Conference this year (where it had actually announced the Mi 5 last year), Xiaomi made 2017’s announcement at an event in Beijing.
The device inherits its 5.15 inch display from Mi 5, and comes with 6 GB RAM – the most a Xiaomi device has had so far. The over-done RAM is coupled with the latest, and most potent processor, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835, which has so far only been seen in Samsung Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8+, and will be seen on the Sony Xperia XZ Premium (towards the end of this summer).
The phone comes with a 3,350 mAh battery that some may consider a little under par – however considering the Mi 6’s carrying a smaller screen than most other devices and the fact that the Mi 6 will launch on the most streamlined Android ever – the Android 7 Nougat – that much juice should suffice for one day.
Other notable features include dual speakers for stereo audio, improved 2.2 dual Wi-Fi technology, and new screen options that include a new night display which reduces the blue component of light.
What could prove to be a highlight for the phone is the fingerprint sensor, which is supposed to be under the glass, which could prove to be a trendsetter. Even though Xiaomi did bring this in their Mi 5s last September, presently no other brand in the market has an under-glass fingerprint sensor.
A few biggies have patented the related technology, including Apple, so we might see more of it in the market soon.
The most noticeable thing about this smartphone though, is that it shares plenty of similarities with Apple’s iPhone 7. The most obvious of these is the lack of a headphone jack on the device. Now here if Xiaomi is following a market trend, or simply doing what makes technological sense, is up for debate.
The device also includes a 12 megapixel dual rear camera, quite like the iPhone 7, but that is not all; it also borrowed a bokeh-style photography option, alongside 10x digital zoom, 2x lossless zoom, and optical image stabilization (OIS) technology. The device has an 8 megapixel front camera which should do well for selfies under most conditions.
Xiaomi does indeed share a lot with Apple on this device, but what it does not share is the price point. The variant featuring 64 GB of storage is priced at USD 360, the 128 GB option at USD 420, and the special Ceramic edition is priced at USD 435.
While all these are certainly far cheaper than their Apple equivalents, what is also noteworthy is that the range is more expensive than the usual Xiaomi flagships. Which is where one believes Xiaomi is breaking it’s mould of “inexpensive” smartphones, and busting a self-imposed glass ceiling of sorts.
The phone goes on sale in China on April 28th, for now, and will come to selected markets soon, as Xiaomi prepares for its global launch.
There is a lot riding on this phone for Xiaomi. given how the company has suffered a sales slump in the last year. They have been trying to build off on it, with the idea of treating this as a transitional period after growing too fast. But this could indeed be a make or break for them, a device that could put them back on track, and finally back on the scene.
Also published on Medium.