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Some Xiaomi phones are getting a much-needed name change

Xiaomi Mi 11
(Image credit: Future)

While Xiaomi's highest-end series of smartphones is currently called the 'Mi' line, as in Xiaomi Mi 11, that's changing soon, as the company has confirmed it's dropping the 'Mi' name.

The company confirmed as much to XDA Developers, and apparently has already started this change beginning with the recent Xiaomi Mi Mix 4 - oh, the Xiaomi Mix 4 in that case! Due to that phone only launching in China, most of us missed the Mi title's absence.

This means future Mi handsets will likely see the same change - so Xiaomi 12 will be the 2021 flagship, not the Xiaomi Mi 12, and perhaps the imminent launch event will bring us the Xiaomi 11T, not the Mi 11T.

It's not clear when this change will begin - the company's old phones are still listed with the 'Mi' title - but it might only affect future handsets.

It's unlikely this change will affect the Pocophone or Redmi lines, as they didn't use the superfluous 'Mi', but due to the repetitive naming pattern of the Xiaomi Mi line (Xiaomi Mi 11), this makes total sense.


Analysis: going the right way

'As many words as possible' seems to be the current smartphone naming trend. Even this year we've seen the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, Honor Magic 3 Pro Max, Motorola Edge 20 Pro, Oppo Find X3 Pro, Sony Xperia 1 III, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 - all of which have four or five words and can be rather head-scratching for people who aren't up on their phone news.

With that in mind, Xiaomi cleaning its names up is a welcome change. Though it's only a small tweak, seeing a 'Xiaomi 12' on store shelves will easily communicate to less tech-savvy buyers that this is the twelfth-gen version of the phone, after the 11 and preceding the 13. The 'Mi' in there could have thrown some people - is there a 'You' or 'We' version as well?

Sure, Xiaomi's names were already pretty clear, and the above examples could really do with cleaning up a lot more. But positive change is always positive change, regardless of if it was made by the company that needed it most.

The only true 'victims' here are tech journalists, who are going to keep forgetting to drop the 'Mi', and will therefore keep misnaming the phones. Anyway, time to edit this article...

Tom Bedford

Staff Writer, Phones

Tom's role in the TechRadar team is as a staff writer specializing in phones and tablets, but he also takes on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness trackers and more. Outside of work he's an award-winning filmmaker, trained mixologist, expert baker, keen runner and okayish gamer.