The Mi 5 (review) was one of our favourite smartphones of 2016, packing flagship performance and a great camera into a cost-effective package. Well, at least when you compare the price to other high-end handsets.
Now, rumours have pegged the Xiaomi Mi 6 as coming soon. But what can you expect from the new flagship, then?
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Benchmarks can indeed be fabricated, but according to GFX Bench, the Mi 6 has an octacore chip that looks an awful lot like the Snapdragon 835 processor. In fact, the Adreno 540 GPU listed in the benchmark is only found on the Snapdragon 835 at present. This would immediately put the Mi 6 on an even footing with the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Sony Xperia XZ Premium.
Interestingly enough, the website also claims that the phone packs either 4GB or 6GB of RAM and 64GB or 128GB of storage. If confirmed, we can expect 4GB/64GB and 6GB/128GB models then.
However, earlier reports claimed that a Snapdragon 821-powered Mi 6 is on the way. Has the spec sheet changed since then? It’s anyone’s guess, but we could conceivably see the older chip in the 4GB/64GB variant. After all, Xiaomi often releases the same phone with different chips (such as one with MediaTek silicon and the other with Qualcomm hardware).
Last year’s model stuck with a very bright 5.1-inch LCD screen but, perhaps more importantly, it topped out at full HD resolution. It was a great display too, even if it have quite as many pixels as the competition.
The benchmark suggests that this could be the case again, so those hoping for a 2560×1440 display or thereabouts might be disappointed. Still, it wouldn’t be unheard of for Xiaomi to release a top-end model with a sharper screen.
Here’s the interesting thing: we’ve heard of three wildly different rumours for the Xiaomi Mi 6 camera setup. Dual-camera setup, dual and single camera setups and normal/super high-res variants.
The first one is that Xiaomi is using a dual-camera setup for the new handset. It wouldn’t be the first time, with Xiaomi having introduced the Redmi Pro last year. And we’ve seen a few sources for this, ranging from QQ websites to several Weibo posts. These sources don’t mention a single camera version though.
The second rumour comes from My Drivers (Google Translate), claiming a Sony IMX 400 camera sensor (a 19MP sensor that powers the Xperia XZ Premium), 4-axis image stabilisation (presumably OIS) and the ability to deliver 5x zoom without a loss of detail. An earlier report from the website seems to mention the aforementioned single camera model, as well as a dual-camera variant.
The third rumour is a bit more out there, for lack of a better term, and comes from Weibo too (h/t: Gizmochina). Users uploaded photos of what appear to be product boxes, showing the actual specs. The white box claims that the new phone packs a 12MP main camera and 4MP selfie shooter, while a black box purportedly claims a 30MP main camera and 8MP selfie shooter. Accurate? We’re not sure at all.
The Mi 5 wasn’t amazing on the battery front, packing a now standard 3000mAh cell that was good enough for a day or so of solid usage.
The aforementioned package photos point to a 3200mAh and 4000mAh battery respectively. The 3200mAh pack is in LG G6 territory, while the 4000mAh battery puts it squarely in the Huawei Mate 9 and Redmi Note 3 categories (i.e. two days of usage).
So, Mi 6 and Mi 6 Plus, then?
Unfortunately, we don’t have much to go on, aside from Xiaomi’s Lei Jun merely saying it would be coming this month.
Update: Xiaomi has announced a 19 April reveal date for the Mi 6.