Xiaomi’s latest flagship didn’t take much time to get an official launching this year, as the company seemingly didn’t want to delay the release date any more than it needed.
You might remember from when the Mi 8 was launched that the company split the flagship into two variants – the base Mi 8 and a higher-end Mi 8 Explorer Edition. The Mi 8 Explorer Edition had top-of-the-line specs as well as a transparent back option. This time, however, you can get a transparent back cover even if you don’t wish to buy the Explorer Edition.
Moving on, the company already disclosed quite a bit about the Mi 9 two days prior to the launch, so the event didn’t really bring any surprises.
If you haven’t been keeping up with the leaks, rumors, and official posters, continue reading the article below to find everything you need to know about the big new Xiaomi flagship.
Design & Display
The all-new Mi 9 takes design cues from current smartphone industry trends, featuring a water drop notch display and a boxy overall footprint that looks similar to the Mi 8. The fingerprint sensor is right underneath the display and has been improved to reduce device unlock time by 25 percent. Mi 8 already offered the fastest under-display fingerprint scanner in the market, so this is a big achievement.
The notch, on the front, houses a selfie camera AI facial recognition. This combination became popular earlier and was seen first in the Mi 8 Explorer Edition. Xiaomi is sticking to the same design this year as well. The body is made up of glass with curved edges protected by Gorilla Glass 5, while there’s also a dedicated Google Assistant button on one side.
The gradient body has been made using nano-level laser engraving holographic technology and a dual layer nano coating, to give this cool color shifting effect on the rear.
There’s also an Always-on display feature, which displays colorful content and turns on relevant pixels only, saving the battery in the process.
Moving on to the display unit, Xiaomi is using a tall 6.39-inch Samsung-made AMOLED display with an FHD+ (1080×2280) resolution protected by Gorilla Glass 6. The display has been improved for better viewing outdoors, and also for comfy nighttime reading. The brightness can go up to 600 nits.
The good thing is the phone also has a dark mode feature that changes the UI theme to a pitch black, in turn, saving even more battery. The AMOLED display is able to completely shut down dark pixels so the more black color it has to display, the more battery it saves.
Hardware & Storage
Being a 2019 flagship, the Xiaomi Mi 9 is packing the latest Snapdragon 855 chipset paired to an Adreno 640 GPU. It is among the very few chipsets capable of 5G connectivity and comes with slight improvements over the SD 845. The phone will be packing either 6 or 8 GB RAM for the base variant, however, a 12 GB RAM Explorer Edition version will also be made available for purchase.
The phone’s internal storage will come in two sizes of either 128 GB or 256 GB. There’s no way to expand the storage, so you might want to choose carefully.
Camera & Software
The Mi 9 is among the few phones from Xiaomi with a triple camera setup. The cameras have been reworked for the new flagship, with an impressive 48 MP main sensor and two accompanying 16 MP and 12 MP cameras. The 16 MP one is an ultra-wide unit with a 117-degree field of vision. The smaller 12 MP shooter is a telephoto sensor capable of providing up to 2x optical zoom, which is a cool feature to have these days in a pocket-size smartphone.
Of course, the camera set up is also packing a number of flagship-grade features like PDAF, CDAF, image stabilization, AI control, 4K videos at 60fps, laser autofocus, closed loop VCM, and so on.
The protective glass on top of the cameras is made of Sapphire, capable of lasting much longer without getting scratched than ordinary glass.
The Transparent Back Edition has an upgraded camera with a larger f/1.47 aperture and a 7P camera lens.
The selfie camera is a 20 MP unit for good quality self-portraits. You get a whole portfolio of selfie effects and filters to pick from, as well as all the portrait mode features to easily shoot glamorous selfies.
Software, by the way, is going to be Android 9.0 Pie with a MIUI 10 skin on top. The latest MIUI comes with a new interface designed carefully to work with Android Pie, and has a number of performance enhancing features that use AI and machine learning to better allocate hardware resources. And Xiaomi has worked to improve the overall gaming performance as well.
The new phone has support for the company’s Game Turbo technology, an AI-fueled software component that ensures steady framerates without causing performance hiccups or heat-up issues. The feature also carefully allocates resources like the battery, chipset processing, and GPU usage to help you get the most out of the Mi 9 during each gaming session.
There’s also real-time processor state and GPU performance monitoring for gamers.
Battery, Price, & Availability
Xiaomi is going for a decent 3,300 mAh battery this time that supports wireless charging via a USB Type-C cable. The phone is getting reworked wireless charging system that uses circular coils instead of conventional rectangular ones, providing up to 20W wireless charging speed.
We have already talked about most of the Mi 9’s variants and color options. As expected, the phone will ship in three colors – Piano Black, Ocean Blue, and Lavender Violet. Of course, there’s also going to be a separate transparent back edition, as well as a transparent back Explorer Edition for those willing to spend a little extra.
The pricing details are as follows:
- 6/128 GB — ¥2,999/$450 (~Rs. 62,500)
- 8/128 GB — ¥3,299/$490 (~Rs. 68,500)
- 12/256 GB “Transparent Back Edition” — ¥3,999/$595 (~Rs. 83,000)
Xiaomi is also launching three wireless charging devices, including 20W version of Mi Wireless Charging Pad (RMB 99/ Rs. 2,000), a 20W wireless car charger (RMB 169/ Rs. 3,500), and a 10000mAh wireless power bank (RMB 149/ Rs. 3,100).
Xiaomi Mi 9 Specifications
- CPU: Octa-core (1×2.84 GHz Kryo 485 & 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 485 & 4×1.8 GHz Kryo 485)
- GPU: Adreno 640
- Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 (7nm)
- OS: Android 9.0 Pie, MIUI 10
- Networks: 2G, 3G, 4G LTE
- 6.39” 19:9 Super AMOLED FHD+ (1080×2280) resolution
- Sunlight Mode 2.0
- Reading Mode 2.0
- RAM: 6/8/12 GB
- Internal: 128/256 GB
- Card slot: no
- Primary: Triple: IMX586 48 MP, f/1.8, 1/2″, 0.8µm, Laser/PDAF
16 MP, f/2.2, 13mm (ultrawide)
12 MP, 1.0µm, (telephoto), Laser/PDAF, [email protected]
- Secondary: 24 MP, HDR
- Primary: Triple: IMX586 48 MP, f/1.8, 1/2″, 0.8µm, Laser/PDAF
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.0, A2DP, aptX HD
- Fingerprint sensor (in-display), 3D IR facial recognition
- Battery: 3,300 mAh, QC4.0+ 27W wired fast charging, 20W wireless charging
- Price: $450 (6/128GB), $490 (8/128GB), $595 (12/256GB)