Their latest offering is the Mi6, 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 Mi6 Plus! Or rather, maybe enter the Mi6 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 release information purporting to be a Mi6 model that was certified on a Chinese website under the model number MDE40.
So what are the rumours surrounding the Plus version of the Mi6? 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 5.15in screen of the normal Mi6. 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 Mi6 and Mi6 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 Mi6 costs half as much as Samsung’s new prize asset has turned many a head in China already. If the Mi6 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.