Xiaomi have been making some rather big waves in the last few years. Taking the lead from the likes of Apple and Samsung, Xiaomi have taken up the mantle in the far east of providing high end smartphone at slightly cheaper price points. While over in the United States and Europe, Xiaomi isn’t a name every consumer would have heard of, in the Far East, the Chinese manufacturer has carved out a bit of a niche for itself, which in turn has enabled the company to elevate itself to the lofty heights of 5th largest manufacturer of smartphones in the world. Not bad for a company that was only founded seven years ago.
Their latest offering is the Mi 6, which in itself is a phone that garnered positive results across the board. With the latest Snapdragon 835 processor (the same as the one used in the Samsung Galaxy S8), 6GB of RAM, and a 3350mAh battery, this phone competes with the other flagship devices across the board. It may lack a dazzling display, or one with an eye-catching curve, but the 1080p screen looks pretty decent regardless, and the lower resolution means it will sip at the battery rather than guzzle. The only issue some may point to, is the slightly small 5.15in screen. Go back 3 years, and 5.15 inches wasn’t a small phone at all, but then that was before the likes of the iPhone 6+ were on the market, and the consumer has taken the larger phones to their hearts.
Enter, the Xiaomi Mi 6 Plus! Or rather, maybe enter the Mi 6 Plus, as right now we have very little concrete information regarding the specs of this rumoured device. We are pretty certain it is on its way though, as tech website Playfuldroid released information purporting to be a Mi 6 model that was certified on a Chinese website under the model number MDE40.
Xiaomi Mi 6 Plus – More than a Size Upgrade or not?
So what are the rumours surrounding the Plus version of the Xiaomi Mi 6? Well firstly, and quite normally for plus models of any phone, we are expecting a larger footprint. Sources are suggesting a 5.7in handset would not be out of the question, and seems a reasonable jump from the 5.15 inch screen of the normal Mi 6. The chipset itself has been rumoured to be the same Snapdragon 835 as its predecessor, which isn’t surprising as this is a top of the range chip that is currently hard to top performance-wise. RAM is expected to also be the same at 6GB, and considering this carries some considerable clout anyway, a jump to 8GB would not only seem ‘overkill’, but would also add a substantial amount to the price of the handset. No information has been leaked about the screen resolution at all, which does beg the question, will Xiaomi stick with a 1080p display? While 1080p is perfectly fine for a phone of any size, companies tend to like fighting ‘number wars’ upon device releases, so it would not surprise anyone to see a higher resolution screen than it’s slightly smaller sibling. The only issue with this, is that we could see a performance drop in the Plus, considering the internals look identical from the rumours we have seen so far, and pushing more pixels around obviously takes more of a toll on the hardware. Given Xiaomi’s historically impressive battery life in their phones, one scenario is that they either stick to the 1080p display, or a more likely scenario is that they somehow include a performance boost (maybe a spec bump against the rumours, or merely a boost in the speed of the SSD). Nobody likes paying more for a phone that performs worse than its cheaper brother, after all.
With these kind of specs, you can see why Xiaomi is pitting the likes of the Mi 6 and Mi 6 Plus against the top dogs such as the Samsung Galaxy S8. While it may not sparkle in quite the same way the S8 does with its ‘infinity display’, the fact the Xiaomi Mi 6 costs half as much as Samsung’s new prize asset has turned many a head in China already. If the Xiaomi Mi 6 Plus brings the same powerful punch to the table, and manages to maintain the agreeable price point, these new flagship killers are sure to sell like hotcakes.
Unfortunately, consumers in Europe and the US shouldn’t get too excited yet though, as Xiaomi has not said anything about releasing either of these variants anywhere other than the far east (at present they lack band 20, needed for cellular access in NA and the EU). If they do sell well in the likes of China and India it does beg the question, are we going to see Xiaomi enter western markets in a meaningful way, and look to knock the current top dogs off their perch? The limited success of lower priced handsets such as the OnePlus, and the previous Nexus devices from Google should give Xiaomi some confidence in entering a space where a high-end budget device is very much needed.
The recent news suggest that Xiaomi Mi 6 Plus might be canceled. But, that’s not the official one.