Xiaomi Mi 9 is official and much like the Mi 8 before it, it is as premium a flagship as they come and as affordable. Much like the Mi 8 before it, the Mi 9 also has three different models – Mi 9 SE, Mi 9 and Mi 9 transparent limited edition (previously, Explorer edition). The Mi 9 SE brings Mi 9-like specs at a starting price of CNY 1,999 (roughly Rs 21,146), while the actual Mi 9 starts at CNY 2,999 (roughly Rs 31,748). The Mi 9 transparent edition, which sees Xiaomi partnering with the makers of the Hollywood cyberpunk action film, Alita: Battle Angel, obliviously costs the highest at CNY 3,999 (roughly Rs 42,304).
Xiaomi hasn’t exactly been keeping the Mi 9 a secret. Multiple Xiaomi executives (including CEO Lei Jun) had been literally handing out Mi 9 ‘secrets’ over the internet, so much so that today’s China launch event seemed more like a formality (of course, the Mi 9 SE was a surprise, come to think of it). Xiaomi will be now headed to MWC 2019 where it will showcase these devices to a broader audience.
The Mi 9 uses copious amounts of glass and will be available in a slew of attractive gradient colors including grey and blue. Xiaomi is using what it calls a “nano-level laser engraving holographic technology plus dual layer nano coating” to create a light-bending effect in the Mi 9.
The Mi 9 is notably Xiaomi’s first high-end phone to come with a teardrop/waterdrop-style notch on the front. The Mi 9 also comes with an optical in-display fingerprint scanner. An in-screen fingerprint reader was exclusive to the Explorer and Pro variants of the Mi 8, but this year, even the vanilla flagship is getting it. The whole setup entails in a screen-to-body ratio of a whopping 90.7 per cent, as per Xiaomi.
The company also says that it is using a “highly sensitive in-screen ambient light sensor” and “improved ultrasonic proximity sensor” which basically means all your key sensors are buried under the display in the Mi 9 for a near full-screen experience.
The Mi 9 transparent edition, just like the Mi 8 Explorer edition, also houses a cosmetic motherboard above the actual circuitry to create an optical illusion – that you’re seeing its insides, and that its insides are as perfectly aligned as they should.
The Mi 9 comes with a 6.39-inch Samsung-sourced 1080p+ Super AMOLED display with 600nits of brightness and Corning Gorilla Glass 6 protection.
Unsurprisingly, the Mi 9 is powered by Qualcomm’s latest and greatest Snapdragon 855 processor with the transparent edition getting a whopping 12GB RAM and 256GB storage variant. The phone also packs Xiaomi’s game turbo tech (Xiaomi’s take on Huawei’s GPU Turbo), that is said to “predict gaming scenes and intelligently allocate resources for complicated scenes.”
On to the optics, the Mi 9 comes with a triple camera setup on the back, consisting of a 48MP Sony IMX586 sensor (same as the Honor View 20), a 12MP tele-photo sensor with f/2.2 aperture for 2X optical zoom, and a 16MP ultra-wide sensor with f/2.2 aperture and a117-degree field-of-view. On the front, it comes with a 20MP camera.
Lastly, the Mi 9 packs a 3,330mAh battery and uses USB Type-C for charging and data syncing. The Mi 9 also supports 20W fast wireless charging straight off the bat and Xiaomi is also launching new power banks to seemingly highlight the Mi 9’s fast wireless charging capabilities.
While the 6GB RAM and 128GB storage variant of the Mi 9 will sell for CNY 2,999 (roughly Rs 31,748), the 8GB RAM and 128GB storage version of the phone will cost CNY 3,299 (roughly Rs 34,916). The maxed out 12GB RAM and 256GB storage variant of the Mi 9 transparent edition will meanwhile sell for CNY 3,999 (roughly Rs 42,304).
Xiaomi has launched the Mi 9 SE (which packs a smaller 5.97-inch screen, a Snapdragon 710, a 48MP+8MP+13MP rear setup, and a 3,070mAh battery) at a starting price of CNY 1,999 (roughly Rs 21,146) for the 6GB RAM and 64GB storage configuration.
The Mi 9 is exclusive to China for now and going by Xiaomi’s track record with its Mi flagships in India, we will have to keep our fingers crossed on this one until further information.