Xiaomi Mi 9 flagship launched in China

Image credit: Xiaomi

Xiaomi has launched its Mi 9 flagship smartphone at an event in China. The new phone is the successor to the Mi 8, and has some novel features and specs – but don’t expect to be able to buy it outside China yet.

The Mi 9 will have a 6.39-inch display, and an in-screen fingerprint sensor, while the notch and bezels are tiny – according to Xiami the screen-to-body ratio is more than 90%, and judging by official images this seems pretty accurate. 

While we don’t know the actual dimensions of the device, but one interesting feature is the curved back – since most modern flagship devices have flat backs, the Mi 9 will feel different to hold than many other phones.

One of the Mi 9's main selling points is its impressive three-camera rear setup, with a 48MP main snapper, 12MP telephoto lens and 16MP ultra-wide lens. Xiaomi is talking up the device’s ‘Moon Mode’, which allows the capture of subjects at a long distances  – including, of course, the moon – without a loss of quality. 

Joining the three rear cameras is a selfie cam with a whopping 20MP resolution, which should be enough to pick up on every freckle and nose hair on your selfies. 

Powering the device is a 3,300mAh battery, which is a pretty standard size for a flagship phone, but the Mi 9’s 20W wireless charging is some of the fastest you can get currently, with Samsung and Huawei still using 15W.

The phone is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset, which makes it the first device to launch using the processor – the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10 range and OnePlus 7 are expected to use it too.

Image credit: Xiaomi

Image credit: Xiaomi

(Image: © Xiaomi)

The Mi 9 also includes a Game Turbo mode, a setting designed for playing games which improves performance and framerate. We’ll be able to see just how big a difference this makes when we get hands-on with the device.

Two variants of the Mi 9 were also announced: the Mi 9 SE, a smaller sibling in the spirit of the Samsung Galaxy S10e, and a transparent limited-edition Mi 9, which has been created as a collaboration with the film Alita: Battle Angel.

The Mi 9 standard edition comes in three sizes: for a handset with 6GB RAM and 128GB memory it costs ¥2,999 (roughly $450, £340, AU$620), for 8GB/128GB it’s ¥3,299 ($490, £380, AU$690) and the special edition Alita: Battle Angel, with specs of 12GB/256GB, costs ¥3,999 ($600, £460, AU$830).

Image credit: Xiaomi

Image credit: Xiaomi

The Mi 9 SE comes in two sizes, both of which have 6GB RAM. With 64GB memory it’ll cost ¥1,999 (which converts to roughly $300, £230, AU$410), and with 128GB memory it’ll cost ¥2,599 (around $390, £300, AU$540). 

Those converted prices make the device seem rather affordable – however, it’s likely the phones would launch at very different prices if and when they make their way outside of China. There’s no word yet on a wider release, but the Mi 8 eventually made its way to the West so the Mi 9 likely will too.

The two standard sizes of the Xiaomi Mi 9 start shipping on February 26 and launch dates for the other devices, as well as international releases, will be confirmed at a later date.