Xiaomi Mi 9 hands-on: Now playing with the big boys
Intending on keeping a high profile with MWC’s impending arrival, Chinese company Xiaomi took the wraps off its flagship smartphone ahead of mobile’s biggest tradeshow. The Xiaomi Mi 9 has been leaked frequently in the last week ahead of its official announcement, but we managed to get a solid look at this up and coming powerhouse that’s rocking some impressive gear.
Vibrant colors, intriguing see-though design
Even more impressive is the transparent glass finish of the Explorer Edition of the Mi 9, which reminds us of the components of a hard disk drive. It certainly looks cool and definitely fetches a lot of attention! The HTC U12+ most recently offered a transparent casing, but Xiaomi’s implementation is definitely more alluring because of how it emulates the look of a hard drive. Even though the components in there are all static and merely for show, it’s still cool looking nonetheless! Beyond that, the Mi 9 brings to the table all the modern design characteristics we crave – like a premium construction, curved edges, and an edge-to-edge display.
A powerful triple camera system
All of this is making us drool, given the level of utility we’re given with a package like this. Of course, we’re eager to see how its performance stacks up against its contemporaries in the space. We’re particularly intrigued by the 48MP camera, just because we’ve seen something similar with the recent Honor View 20. For what it’s worth, it does indeed offer a smidgen more detail than normal-sized snapshots, but it’s anyone’s guess as to how it’ll perform with the Mi 9. We’re not totally sold by the pixel crushing resolution offering just yet, unless it proves to offer a substantial level of improvement.
Sweet charging abilities
Not ending there, Xiaomi will also have this in-car wireless charger that relies on sensors to mechanically open up the cradle to accommodate the phone. It may be a minor thing in the greater scheme of things, but this kind of implementation indicates that a lot of thought is put behind these accessories. It could’ve been another boring car charger of some sort! Instead, it matches the phone’s cool demeanor by offering that convenience of wireless charging while automatically opening up to hold the phone in place.
Just playing catch up?
Despite this, the biggest question left unanswered is its pricing. Considering this is Xiaomi we’re dealing with, we’re expecting them to be more aggressive – meaning, undercutting the competition would do wonders in getting this smartphone to be noticed on a grander scale. And ultimately, this is the last piece of the puzzle that may substantiate its package! If it’s priced along the same lines as other flagships, say around $900 for the base model, then it’s no doubt going to have a tough time competing on the market. However, if it’s able to push under the $750 mark, then we have a serious contender here, especially knowing it’s powered by the Snapdragon 855!