It's not going to be the company's first 108Mp smartphone, with the Mi Note 10 that launched late last year already stealing that claim, but Xiaomi's upcoming flagship Mi 10 is set to seriously impress at February's Mobile World Congress.
We've followed Xiaomi's phones for a long time, fans of their impeccable design and incredible value. It's always been difficult to believe top-end features could come at such a low cost, and in recent years Xiaomi has really been upping the ante where it counts.
Mi 10 is thought to arrive alongside a Pro version, and it's possible that both will support 5G. It's the Pro model that's thought to receive that 108Mp camera as one of four lenses on the rear, and the standard Mi 10 will most likely feature a quad-lens assembly with a 64Mp sensor headlining.
Mi 10 has also been tipped to be the first waterproof Xiaomi phone, but with little else new on the design front aside from a move to a punch-hole-style selfie camera from the previous notch and a slightly larger display. You'll notice the changes primarily on the inside, with the phenomenal Snapdragon 865 and up to 12GB of memory powering the show.
When is the Mi 10 coming out?
We know that Xiaomi is holding a press event ahead of MWC on 23 February 2020, and given that Xiaomi has confirmed a Q1 2020 launch date it seems likely that this will be when it launches Mi 10.
In 2019 we saw Xiaomi announce its Mi 9 five days earlier in China, and then globally at MWC, so it's possible we won't be waiting quite that long for full details. This means we could see a China launch for Mi 10 on 19 February.
Some reports also point to an 11 February launch date - we presume in an effort to steal Samsung's thunder with its Galaxy S20 - but we are not convinced by the poster that references this date, which carries an image of a phone with a Mi Mix Alpha copycat design.
How much will Mi 10 cost?
While Xiaomi's phones always represent excellent value, they are not as cheap in the UK as they are in China. This is primarily because Xiaomi has less control over sales and distribution.
So while the Mi 10 is rumoured to cost around RMB 3,000 (£330) and the Pro RMB 3,799 (£410), we should expect pricing for the standard Mi 10 to start at £499 in the UK (and €499 in Europe). The Pro will cost a little more.
It will be possible to pay less in the UK when you buy direct from China, and it's quite possible to pick up Global versions of Xiaomi phones from stockists such as GearBest with huge savings. You will also be able to purchase the Mi 10 on contract, most likely through Vodafone.
What's new in Mi 10?
The first photos of Mi 10 Pro 5G have arrived via Weibo, but have since been deleted, showing a design not dissimilar to Mi 9 and Mi Note 10. Prior to this we had only renders based on leaks, such as that from Ben Geskin at the top of this page.
You can see a quad-lens camera lying vertically at the top left on the rear, along with a dual-LED flash, as well as USB-C, speakers, mics and an IR blaster.
What you don't see is a fingerprint sensor, so we presume it is integrated to the display. Neither does there appear to be a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Intriguingly the pictures also reveal a 65W charger for the phone, and so it seems Xiaomi is about to raise the ante even higher in the fast-charging game. For the first time in Mi 9 we saw fast wireless charging as standard in the range, so expect minimum 20W here. We've heard that you might see as much as 40W wired/30W wireless on the standard Mi 10 (as on Mi 9 Pro) and 66W wired/40W wireless on the Pro.
Some of the core specifications for the upcoming Mi 10 are logical, such as the inclusion of the next-gen Snapdragon 865 octa-core processor with Adreno 650 GPU, as Xiaomi confirmed in December 2019. That chipset includes Qualcomm's X55 5G modem by default, which may mean that at very least the Mi 10 Pro will be one of the 10+ 5G phones Xiaomi has promised in 2020.
In early January, some seriously impressive AnTuTu benchmark scores were released for Mi 10 via Weibo. The phone apparently scored higher than 560,000 points, making it 15% faster than any phone running the Snapdragon 855+.
Along with that top-end processor is thought to be up to 12GB of memory in the Pro (8GB/12GB in the standard Mi 10), and between 128GB and 256GB (standard) or 512GB (Pro) of storage.
Another spec that is almost certain is the fact that the Pro version will include a 108Mp camera, using the Samsung ISOCELL Bright GW1 sensor we've already seen in Mi Note 10. This is said to be accompanied by 38-, 12- and 8Mp lenses in a quad-lens assembly. The standard Mi 10 is thought to instead get a 64Mp + 20Mp + 12Mp + 5Mp setup.
We can also be pretty certain about the fact Xiaomi will not increase the screen resolution beyond Full-HD+ - it has yet to release a Quad-HD phone. The display itself may be tweaked, of course.
Currently sized at 6.39in in the Mi 9, both models could see their AMOLED display increased to 6.5in, along with punch-hole style cutouts for the selfie camera (or selfie cameras, with two lenses rumoured at 32- and 8Mp).
This is most likely going to be a 90Hz panel, whereas other 2020 flagships such as the Galaxy S20 and OnePlus 8 are thought to be arriving with 120Hz displays. Xiaomi has actually shown off the Redmi K30 with a 144Hz display, so it's possible it could one-up those competitors, but probably unlikely.
The Mi 10 has already appeared at a couple of online stores, including Cect-shop and GearBest, but some of the specs provided by these sites seem dubious. GearBest, for example, references a smaller 6.2in AMOLED display, which is unlikely, but it's probably on the money when it references an Infinity-O style display and a fourth-generation ultrasonic fingerprint sensor from Qualcomm (made more likely since Qualcomm announced exactly that new sensor).
Some of its more believable claims relate to the inclusion of NFC for mobile payments, dual-GPS, Bluetooth 5.1 and Wi-Fi 6. As always we'd also expect to see dual-SIM support, with both slots able to support 4G, but microSD is not currently a feature of Mi 9.
One rumour we hope hasn't been simply plucked from thin air is that there will be a waterproof version of Mi 10 with a ceramic case, though it's unclear whether it will be splashproof or fully waterproof.