Rumors of a successor to Xiaomi’s 2016 Mi 5 flagship smartphone have begun to heat up, and while the phone didn’t launch at MWC 2017 as some expected, we’re still hearing quite about it and when it will be launched.
There’s almost no doubt a successor is on the way — just not as soon as many had hoped. Here’s everything we know so far about the Mi 6 and newly rumored Mi 6 Plus.
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The Mi 6 has long been rumored to sport Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 835 processor, and while we’ve heard rumors suggesting that the device may instead offer a Snapdragon 821, fresh rumors renew our hope that instead the phone will feature Qualcomm’s latest and greatest 835.
The new rumors come from Slashleaks, and actually show a full spec sheet for the Xiaomi Mi 6. On top of the Snapdragon 835, the phone looks to offer a 5.15-inch Full HD display, and either 4GB or 6GB of RAM with either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of storage. The camera on the back of the phone also looks to be pretty nice, and will feature a 19-megapixel Sony IMX400 sensor. The front-facing camera will reportedly come in at 8MP and the battery will come in at 3,200mAh.
The spec sheet also shows a Xiaomi Mi 6 Plus, and notes that this version will only come with 6GB of RAM and either 64GB or 128GB of storage. Interestingly, the camera is also different, boasting a Sony IMX362 12-megapixel sensor. The display sits in at 5.7-inches with a full HD resolution, and the battery offers a pretty huge 4,500mAh.
The rumors suggesting Xiaomi would stick with the Snapdragon 821 came from Android Pure and suggested that instead the company will opt for the older and lower-powered Snapdragon 821. That said, the rumors indicate that there will still be a Snapdragon 835 variant, which will be launched once the Snapdragon 835 is more available.
Previously, we heard that the Mi 6 would feature the Snapdragon 835, but that it would be underclocked, meaning it just won’t be as fast as it could be. Why is this happening? Well, it’s complicated. Samsung co-developed the Snapdragon 835 processor with Qualcomm and it gets the first pick of the fully clocked supply. Instead of waiting for supply to pick up a little, some manufacturers may instead opt for underclocked chips that Samsung may not want to use. This wouldn’t be uncharacteristic for Xiaomi, which launched the Mi 5 with an underclocked Snapdragon 820 in an effort to get the handset out sooner.
Other specs that have been suggested are supported for Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 4.0, as well as a fingerprint sensor on the front of the device.
The Xiaomi Mi 6 may have an April launch date. The device was recently confirmed by Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun to Chinese site MyDrivers. However, there is a bit of ambiguity in Jun’s statement and it’s possible he could be referring to an April announcement date rather than the device being available for sale in April.
Previous rumors indicated that the phone would be launched in April and we even saw a report from Gizmo China as recent as a few days ago corroborating that report.
Then, we heard rumors that the device would instead arrive in May. According to the article, Xiaomi was going to launch the phone in April but ended up having to push forward the date for a somewhat predictable reason — Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 availability. Samsung has first dibs of the chip because of the fact that it helped develop and manufacture it, meaning other device-makers may have to wait. That report comes from Phone Arena.
We’ve gotten a few leaks of the Mi 6 so far, leaving little to the imagination — assuming those leaks are authentic. The latest leak comes from Weibo, and contrary to previous leaks, it shows a device without a home button on the front. Instead, there could be a home button embedded in the software — like other Android phones.
Previous leaks from MyDrivers suggest the Mi 6 could have a ceramic back — one of the prime features of the nearly bezel-less Mi Mix smartphone.
Other previous leaks offer us a glimpse as to what the phone could look like. If the leaked pictures are actually of the Mi 6, the front of it will resemble Samsung’s Galaxy S7 Edge with a curved display and a similarly styled home button. The back is fairly different from the Mi 5, and is more reminiscent of the iPhone 6S.
There are reports that there will be three models of the Mi 6 — one with curved edges and one without, as well as a second flat variant with a different processor.
We will continue to update this post as we learn more about the Mi 6.
Updated on 04-04-2017 by Christian de Looper: Added leaked spec sheet and confirmation from Xiaomi CEO of April launch.