There are plenty of people that don’t believe phone leaks are accidental, with ‘controlled leaks’ now considered a vital part of any product launch.
In some cases, the ‘controlled leak’ goes a step further, like when Xiaomi decided to use its various social media channels to talk up the upcoming Mi 9, due to be launched at MWC this upcoming weekend (as well as in China a few days earlier).
This may of course be a clever trick to defer attention away from another announcement, or it might just be to work everyone into a frenzy.
UPDATE: 20th February 2019 – Xiaomi has now launched the Mi 9 (and Mi 9 SE) at an event in China, which has given some more information that I’ve added below. In addition to this update, the UK PR has confirmed a short while ago that there are more product announcements at MWC to come!
I’m inclined to go with the latter, and it has certainly got people talking. Although I would love to see more products from Xiaomi too.
The Mi 9 is shown to come with Qualcomm’s new 855 SoC, with a Sony 48-megapixel camera (as first seen on the Honor View 20) as part of its triple camera setup, with AI, plus a large full HD+ Samsung-made display with teardrop notch and embedded fingerprint sensor.
There’s no hint at pricing (but a supposed 12GB variant is unlikely to be cheap) but in the UK, an exclusive tie-up with Three means that if any network is going to sell it, it’s them.
Of course, you’ll also have the option of buying the Mi 9 SIM-free too.
UPDATE: 20th February 2019 – Following the Chinese product launch, it is now known that the triple-camera setup on the back consists of the already mentioned 48-megapixel Sony sensor, plus a 12-megapixel 2x zoom telephoto camera, and 16-megapixel super-wide camera.
The phone also has ‘Charge Turbo’ wireless charging support for an industry-leading 20W wireless charge on its optional charging pad. There’s also an in-car holder/charger with a motorised grip that automatically opens and closes when used.
Finally, the battery is confirmed as 3,300mAh (a little disappointing) and supports 27W wired charging. Variants of the phone include 6GB RAM and 128GB storage, going up to a model with 12GB of RAM and 256GB storage (also sporting a transparent back, akin to the Mi8 Pro).
Pricing information will have to wait until the Barcelona unveil, but based on Chinese pricing the Mi 9 is equivalent to around £350 (6/128GB) – £460 (12/256GB). Realistically, you could assume the UK pricing to be nearer £400 & £500 respectively.
For now, check out the images below that have been posted thus far. And keep a watch on Xiaomi’s Twitter feed because between now and Sunday you can probably expect even more ‘leaks’ to come!
Xiaomi officially unveils the global Mi 9 handsets on Sunday 24th February, with the event starting at 1030 CET.
UPDATE: 24th February – Xiaomi has now confirmed two models of the Mi 9 for Europe: 6GB/64GB priced at €449 and 6GB/128GB for €499.
More info: Xiaomi Store