According to fresh rumours out of China, the new Redmi Note 7 launched on 10 January isn't the only upcoming Xiaomi phone to get a 48Mp camera. The company's 2019 flagship, the Mi 9, will also receive the tech, along with faster performance and faster wired charging.
Xiaomi has confirmed it is holding a MWC press conference on 24 February, though it's not known whether it will be for the 5G Mi Mix 3 or the upcoming Mi 9. We're likely a good few months from the Mi 9 launch, with the Mi 8 appearing in May 2018.
If it's to be trusted a new leak gives away many of the phone's specs. That 48Mp lens is one of three on the phone's rear, with the Mi 9 also expected to sport a 12Mp secondary lens and 3D TOF camera. Around the front we may see the 24Mp selfie camera present in the Mi 8 Lite, up from the 20Mp snapper in the standard Mi 8.
With a Snapdragon 855 onboard the Mi 9 has the potential to support 5G networks - but only if Xiaomi decides it is practical at this price point, and that's a big if. It sounds as though the phone will feature the non-5G X24 modem rather than the X50. It's not a surprise, given that we're still yet to see such luxuries as wireless charging, Quad-HD screens and waterproofing in Xiaomi's flagship line, since it hopes to keep pricing lower than the competition.
5G is definitely coming to the Mi Mix line (also see Mi Mix 3S/4 rumours), but we don't think we'll see it in this upcoming flagship. And this suspicion is seemingly confirmed by the expected dimensions of the upcoming flagship - at 155x75x7.6mm it is identical to the Mi 8, yet adding the necessary chips for 5G would demand a larger chassis.
Then Snapdragon 855 should offer incredible performance, and a Xiaomi phone with the codename 'Cepheus' has just popped up on Geekbench confirming this. We're almost certain that this is the Mi 9, with the Cepheus recording 3524 points in the single-core component and 11,260 multi-core - a huge improvement over the Mi 8's 2456 and 8984 respectively.
Though no genuine images of the Mi 9 have leaked online just yet, at the top of this article you can see a concept of what it might look like based on rumours from Benjamin Geskin.
In the Mi 9 you can once again expect to see a Full-HD+ screen, this time a 6.4in 19:9 AMOLED display with a waterdrop notch. It's rumoured to come with an in-display fingerprint sensor, but there's no news yet on whether this will be reserved for the Pro model as in 2018.
Memory and storage options are expected to start at 6GB and 128GB respectively, so we don't expect Xiaomi intends to add support for MicroSD removable storage.
While the battery itself could get a boost, from 3,400mAh to 3,500mAh, wireless charging will remain unique to the Mix line. There is some suggestion the Mi 9 will see 32W wired fast charging, however.
When is the Xiaomi Mi 9 release date?
The Mi 8 arrived on 31 May 2018, a little later than we anticipated. Since flagship smartphone launches are typically annual, this would place the Mi 9 launch in mid-2019. However, early rumours suggest we could see an MWC (February) announcement, with a March on sale.
Xiaomi is, indeed, holding a MWC press conference on Sunday 24 February. But it could be for the 5G Mi Mix 3.
Xiaomi phones are now officially on sale in the UK, but they still tend to launch later here than in China. Should the Mi 9 launch in China before the UK, you'll be able to pick up a handset by importing it from the likes of GearBest or Geekbuying, though we urge you to look for a Global or International ROM model.
How much will the Xiaomi Mi 9 cost?
Rumours suggest the entry-level Mi 9 will be priced an CY 2,999, which converts to around £345. Expect pricing to be a little higher in the UK, where Xiaomi has less control over distribution. As a guide, the current flagship is available from £459 (buy here), and with few major upgrades here we wouldn't expect the Mi 9 to soar any higher.
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