Mobile World Congress, the mobile industry’s annual shindig, is next week, but Xiaomi can’t wait to reveal its newest top-end phone. The Chinese company instead picked today to unveil the Mi 9.

Once again Xiaomi’s design ethic closely resembles Apple’s iPhone, with a minimal bezel and notch-like front-facing camera, but Xiaomi has gone hard on photography with a triple lens camera.

There are two models available, with the regular Mi 9 priced from RMB 2,999, or $445, and the Mi 9SE priced from RMB 1,999, or $300. A premium model, the Transparent Edition, includes beefed-up specs for RMB 3,999, or $595.

The phone runs on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 chipset and the headline feature, or at least the part that Xiaomi is shouting about most, is the triple lens camera array on the back of the device. That trio combines a 48-megapixel main camera with a 16-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera and a 12-megapixel telephoto camera, Xiaomi said. The benefits of that lineup are improved wide-angle shots, better-quality close-up photography and performance in low-light conditions, according to the company.

The premium Mi 9 model, the Transparent Edition, sports 12GB of RAM and 256GB internal storage and features a transparent back cover

There’s also a “supermoon” mode for taking shots of the moon and presumably other night-sky images, while Xiaomi touts an improved night mode and, on the video side, 960fps capture and advanced motion tracking. We haven’t had the chance to test these out, which is worth noting at this point.

Xiaomi also talked up the battery features of the Mi 9, which ships with an impressive 3,300mAh battery that features wireless charging support and Qi EPP certification, meaning it will work with third-party charging mats. Xiaomi claims that the Mi 9 can charge to 70 percent in 30 minutes, and reach 100 percent in an hour using 27W wired charging.

Alongside the Mi 9, it unveiled its three wireless charging products — a charging pad (RMB 99, $15), a car charger (RMB 169, $25) and a 10,000mAh wireless power bank (RMB 149, $22.)

Xiaomi, as ever, offers a range of different options for customers, as follows:

  • Mi 9 with 6GB and 128GB for RMB 2,999, $445
  • Mi 9 with 8GB and 128GB for RMB 3,299, $490
  • Mi 9 with 12GB and 256GB for RMB 3,999, $595 (Transparent Edition)
  • Mi 9SE with 6GB and 128GB for RMB 1,999, $300
  • Mi 9SE with 6GB and 128GB for RMB 2,299, $342

Notably, the Mi 9 goes on sale February 26 — pre-orders open this evening — with the SE version arriving on March 1. As expected, the launch market is China but you can imagine that India — where Xiaomi is among the top players — and other global launches will follow.

Xiaomi said it plans to announce more products on Sunday, the eve of Mobile World Congress. It recently teased a foldable phone, so it’ll be interesting to see if it will follow suit and join Samsung, which had its first foldable phone outed by a leak.

Note: The original version of this article was updated to correct the Transparent Edition price and specs.



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