Daily Xiaomi Mi 6 rumor (over)dose: Snapdragon 821 and not the 835 in line for initial launch?


Lots of Xiaomi Mi 6 rumors to go around these days, eh? Well, here’s another one to throw into the basket. According to a new report from China, the upcoming smartphone will initially launch with Qualcomm’s older Snapdragon 821 processor and a version with the latest Snapdragon 835 will be released sometime after it. With three versions of the phone allegedly in the making, one reportedly set up with a MediaTek chipset, it’s hard to predict how Xiaomi will be distributing processors. And with rumors of the Mi 6 being scheduled for a May announcement, Xiaomi should be able to wait for a Snapdragon …


Xiaomi Mi 6 rumor round-up: Specs, features, price and release date

It’s been roughly a year since Chinese superstar Xiaomi unveiled its not-too-shabby Xiaomi Mi 5. Equipped with excellent hardware, hip design, and an attractive price tag, it was one of the best Android devices you couldn’t get due to its rather limited availability. Regardless, it was a rather good all-around smartphone that showed Xiaomi knows how to make an appealing Android device.
The Mi 5 is a bit long in the tooth already, though, so it’s only natural that it will be eventually succeeded by the Xiaomi Mi 6. Rumor has it this device might become official …

Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 to boast a 93% screen-to-body ratio

2016 saw a lot of new and exciting smartphones hit the scene, but few raised as many eyebrows as the Xiaomi Mi MIX. For many years, manufacturers have continued to increase the screen-to-body ratio of their premier handsets, but Xiaomi really grasped the nettle and took things to the next level. With an 84.16 % screen-to-body ratio, the MIX’s numbers aren’t quite as impressive as the 91.3% first claimed at announcement, but still ahead of most of its peers. According to the latest rumors, the successor to the MIX will make the jump once more, with the display accounting for 93% of its overall …

Xiaomi unveils its own in-house octa-core Surge S1 chipset, which powers the new Xiaomi Mi 5c


Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi became the fourth such company to produce its own line of chipsets when it unveiled the Surge S1 today. Built with the big.LITTLE architecture, the Surge S1 is made up of four 2.2GHz Cortex-A53 cores to handle tough tasks. Four 1.4GHz Cortex-A53 cores work on the light housekeeping. The result is an octa-core CPU and the Mali T-860 MP4 GPU. The latter uses 40% less energy than the previous generation Mali GPU. A 32-bit DSP supports VoLTE and high quality calls, even in a noisy environment.

One of the best things about producing your own chipset …

Xiaomi to sell the Mi MIX in new markets

If you’ve been dreaming about picking up the gorgeous looking Xiaomi Mi MIX, but you don’t live in China, there is still hope for you yet. The manufacturer says that the 6.4-inch phablet will be available starting next month in the UAE. One Xiaomi executive, who was asked whether this is the start of a global roll out for the device, answered in the affirmative and added that the “Mi MIX will be making its way to other markets.”

The Mi MIX will be available in the UAE in March, priced at the equivalent of $816.50 USD. The phone will be offered by online and retail outlets Etisalat and Carrefour. …

Xiaomi's Mi Max 2 will boast a 6.44-inch display and 6GB of RAM; rumored to launch this May

Based off of what we’ve seen so far, smartphones with bezel-less displays appear to be the main attraction for 2017. Leaks of the upcoming Galaxy S8 and LG G6 look mighty impressive, but a company that’s already proven to know a thing or two about phones with very minimal bezels is that of Xiaomi. The Xiaomi Mi Mix had everyone drooling when it was announced and released last year, and it certainly got our attention when we were able to go hands-on with the new white variant of the phone at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show.

Previous leaks have indicated that Xiaomi will …

Xiaomi home market share slips, the smartphone maker reportedly looks to build its own chips

Last year Xiaomi’s market share slid notably in its native China, as the smartphone maker moved from first to fifth place (and tellingly avoided publishing its own sales figures for the first time).

Xiaomi-Mi-Smartphones

2017, meanwhile, has already has seen its own share of issues for the company, with head of international Hugo Barra jumping ship a few days before it announced that it didn’t have anything on tap for Mobile World Congress, the year’s biggest phone show.

It seems the company needs some time to ready its next big step. This week, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Xiaomi is planning to join Samsung, Apple and fellow Chinese manufacturer Huawei in the elite club of smartphone makers building their own processors.

According to the paper’s sources, the company is planning to release its Pinecone chip within a month (which could have been great timing for MWC, as it happens). The chip is said to be the product of Beijing Pinecone Electronics, a company tied to Xiaomi that resulted from a $15 million technology buy from Datang subsidiary Leadcore Technology Ltd.

It’s a pricey move – and a risky one, as much of the competition focuses on undercutting prices. Though it could help distinguish the company from a seemingly ever-growing number of smartphone makers in its home country. It would also make Xiaomi less reliant on Qualcomm, which is currently under heat for patent issues in India, a major market for the smartphone maker, where it launched the Snapdragon-powered Redmi Note 4 earlier in the year.

Xiaomi is also aggressively pushing for growth in additional markets, including Indonesia, where the company opened up a new plant this week, with the goal of manufacturing up to one million phones a year for the local market.

Nostalgic about the Blue Coral Note 7? Xiaomi has just the Mi Note 2 fix

Call it what you will, but Chinese darling Xiaomi will be releasing a blue Mi Note 2, among other color versions, and the hue somewhat resembles that of the infamous Note 7 Blue Coral version. That one proved so popular that Samsung decided to bring it down to the next best thing in its flagship Galaxy line – the S7 edge – and it has been selling like hot cakes ever since, often on back order from US carriers.

Even if you decide that the blue Mi Note 2, as showcased in the photos below by Xiaomi’s CEO Lei Jun, is not at all like the Blue Coral Note 7, bear in mind that it’s still …

Xiaomi Mi Mix review

Previously a concept phone, Xiaomi has entered its Mi Mix into production. At its November unveiling this revolutionary new Android phone entirely overshadowed the amazing Mi Note 2, with a design quite unlike anything we’ve seen before.

xiaomi-mi-mix-2017

We’ve been reading rumours for months that the iPhone 8 and Galaxy S8 could come with a bezel-less display, and Xiaomi just beat both to the punch with the Mi Mix. Although the screen is huge at 6.4in, the loss of the top bezel means the phone itself isn’t much larger than most 5.7- to 6in phablets. The Mi Mix has an incredibly high screen-to-body ratio of 91.3 percent.

Strictly speaking it’s not entirely edgeless – there is still a bottom bezel, plus a thin black border around the screen as is common on Xiaomi phones – but the Mix is the first phone we’ve seen where the screen runs right to the edge on top, left and right sides.

This has presented some logistical problems for Xiaomi, now needing to relocate the selfie camera, proximity sensor and earpiece from their usual homes. It’s moved the selfie camera to the bottom right corner below the screen, which admittedly takes some getting used to, but getting around its poor shooting angle is a simple matter of turning the phone on its head.

For the proximity sensor and earpiece Xiaomi has been more intelligent in its workarounds. The Mi Mix uses an ultrasonic distance sensor that sits behind the display rather than a standard proximity sensor, and instead of an earpiece there is ‘cantilever piezoelectric ceramic acoustic technology’ to transmit sound. We have no idea what is cantilever piezoelectric ceramic acoustic technology, but we can tell you that mid-call the Mi Mix’s audio is just as clear as any other phone we’ve tried.
The gorgeous design extends beyond the edgeless screen with a full ceramic body designed by Philippe Starck. Turn it over and on the rear you’ll find 18K gold trims to the camera and fingerprint scanner surrounds – a fancy finishing touch for a very fancy phone.

Performance is staggering, with what is currently the best flagship smartphone processor, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 running at 2.35GHz (also see our piece on the forthcoming Snapdragon 835, which should make an appearance in the Galaxy S8). This is paired with a very generous 6GB of LPDDR4 RAM and a massive 256GB of UFS 2.0 storage. There’s no microSD support but, honestly, do you really need it?

Battery life is also amazing, and even with heavy use the 4,400mAh cell inside the Mi Mix showed more than 50 percent capacity remaining when we went to bed at night. This phone would easily last us two days, and for some users potentially even longer. Quick Charge 3.0 support means it’s also very fast to recharge when required.

A second version of the Mi Mix is identical save for smaller helpings of memory and storage, at 4GB and 128GB respectively, and the loss of the 18K gold detailing. Both phones come only in black – for now. At CES 2017 last night Xiaomi announced a new white version of the Mi Mix, but unfortunately it wasn’t unveiled in a Global edition and is exclusive to China – see Mi CES 2017 recap.

The lack of a Global edition of the Mi Mix is a real shame. Up until the release of the Mi Note 2 (for which there are standard and Global editions), all Xiaomi phones lacked support for 4G FDD-LTE Band 20, aka 800MHz or the one band used by O2 and any virtual mobile operators that piggyback its network (GiffGaff and Sky Mobile, for example) for 4G connectivity in the UK.

This rules out customers of those networks being able to receive anything faster than 3G connectivity, but it may at times also present problems for users of other mobile networks – Vodafone and Three both use the 800MHz frequency alongside either 1800MHz or 2600MHz. Only EE uses all three. (For more see How to tell whether a phone is supported by your network.)

The Global Mi Note 2, by comparison, supports 37 bands including full UK 4G support.

However, while we’d like to see 800MHz 4G on the Mi Mix, I can tell you I haven’t experienced any loss of connectivity on the Vodafone network, and have always been able to get online and make calls or texts. It does feel as though I haven’t been connected to 4G as often as I would on my previous phone, although this is difficult to prove without having two Vodafone accounts and carrying both phones with me at all times.

Xiaomi is looking to enter the global market, and in 2017 we should see its phones begin to go on sale in the US. However, for now the UK is not on its list. Xiaomi phones are not officially sold here, which means you need to import them via Chinese grey-market sites such as GearBest, which supplied our Mi Mix for review.

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This presents a number of issues, which means some UK consumers will choose to look elsewhere for their next mobile phone. The brave among you will be rewarded, though, provided nothing goes wrong and your device is delivered in full working order. And this has been the case for us with every Xiaomi phone (and other Chinese phones) we’ve reviewed.

Chief among the risks of buying from China is the fact you are not protected by the same consumer laws as you are when buying from the UK or Europe. That’s not to say you won’t be able to get a refund on a faulty product, but you should know that obtaining one may require you to jump through some hoops. GearBest recommends that people take advantage of the insurance option when buying from its site.
And while delivery to the UK may be free, there will likely be import duty to pay before you can receive the item. This is calculated using whatever pricing information is given on the shipping paperwork (20 percent), plus an admin fee of £11 (via DHL). You should factor this into the total purchase price. Check out our advice on buying grey-market tech.

All these phones, including the Mi Mix, are sold SIM-free, which has both its advantages and disadvantages. You can add whatever SIM you like and won’t be tied down to a 24-month contract where you pay over the odds for the phone but in more manageable monthly payments (also see Best SIM deals). However, it also means you must pay for the phone in full up front. And that could be an issue here.
Chinese phones are well known for undercutting their western rivals, offering similar specifications at a much lower (sometimes half) the price. Don’t get your hopes up just yet, though…

Consider that you would pay £919 for the iPhone 7 Plus with 256GB of storage. That phone comes with just 2GB of RAM, no edgeless display and no gold. The Xiaomi Mi Mix does undercut the 256GB iPhone 7 Plus, but not by as much as you might have hoped. The 6GB RAM, 256GB storage model we’ve reviewed here costs £799.91 ($887.78) from GearBest.

Until 31 May 2017 GearBest is offering 13 percent of the 6GB RAM/256GB storage Mi Mix with 18K gold, though unfortunately it is listed as out of stock at the moment. This takes the price down from, £799.91 to £695.92. Use the code GBMBP at checkout to claim.

With the Mi Mix out of stock at GearBest, here are some other places to try:

Where to buy Mi Mix with 4GB RAM/128GB storage
• £594.49/$724.99 at TomTop
• £613.45/$739.99 at Coolicool
• £658.87/$799.99 at Geekbuying

Where to buy Mi Mix with 6GB RAM/256GB storage
• £655.99/$799.99 at TomTop

Where to buy Mi Mix 6GB RAM/256 storage/18K gold detailing
• £654.90/$789.99 at Coolicool
• £683.58/$829.99 at Geekbuying

Where to buy white Mi Mix
We haven’t found anywhere the Mi Mix is available in white just yet, although GearBest has published an arrival notice for both the entry-level and standard models in white. You can opt to get an email when the phone is available to pre-order, at which point pricing will be available. Click here to pre-register your interest in the white Mi Mix.

Although you’ll need to have deep pockets to purchase the Mi Mix, we must point out that right now there is no other phone like it on the market. If you want to own the type of phone where people look over your shoulder and say “Ooh, what’s that?” or “Wow, that’s cool!” then this is absolutely it.

The upcoming Xiaomi Mi 6 will be available in three distinct versions

In 2016, Xiaomi’s most notable smartphone release was that of the Xiaomi Mi Mix. The Mi Mix and its massive 6.4-inch bezel-less display certainly is a sight to behold, and while the Mi Mix is the phone that most people will remember Xiaomi for in 2016, another handset that the company released last year was the Mi 5. The Mi 5 aimed to offer all of the features of a flagship smartphone at a considerably lower price, and while trying to get the phone imported into the States isn’t the easiest process in the world, we still called the Mi 5 a “great all-around smartphone” …