Mi7, Xiaomi’s Newest Flagship

When we hear Xiaomi, we are often reminded of good features at a budget. Xiaomi, also called Mi, is no stranger to us fellow Indians. Being one of the biggest phone manufacturers for the Asia pacific, it has managed to gather quite a fan base here in India. The thing that we like about Mi is their mix of features at a budget. They literally sell their phones like hot cakes here in India, with its partners constantly having them out of stock for the most part. It’s safe to assume that the demand for the Mi outpaces the supply here in India.

What makes Mi so beloved among us fellow Indian’s is their assurance to quality. To survive in a challenging place like India, you need to have a decent game plan and do your market research properly. And by some magic, every Mi device that launches has the exact blend of specifications and features that we expect in a phone of that price bracket to have. Xiaomi recently announced a much needed successor to their Mi6, named the Mi7. It is touted to be an upper mid-tier device and will be in direct competition with the likes of One Plus and Motorola when it launches. So let’s quickly jump into what you can expect from the device.

Mi7, Xiaomi’s Newest Flagship

Design and Display:

Mi’s previous flagship, the Mi6 boasted one of the most beautiful build and design that we have seen from a device of that price in a long time. It was a simplistic design all round and we expect Xiaomi to keep it in tradition. While it won’t be a bad idea to pray for a bezel less display, it would definitely render the Mi MIX and the MiX2 pointless by default if Mi decided to take this route. Also, the Mi6 had a nice Aluminium and glass build and we kind of expect more of the same.

Display wise, it could boast a 5.7 inch display which would be quite a step up from the Mi6’s 5.15 inch. However, a bigger display means a bigger footprint and unless Mi goes bezel less, chances are that we can expect a bigger footprint for the entire device which would be a definite downer. Also while sticking to the display, it could possibly feature a 4K panel which would be a first for a Mi at this price bracket. The 2160×3840 resolution also means that the screen would have an insanely high pixel density of 773. The only other phone to even have a 4K panel is Sony’s Z5 Premium which resides at another galaxy if we compare the price factors.  

Performance:

If the rumour for the screen does pan out, it would need a very powerful CPU to push all those pixels. The Mi6 had a Snapdragon 835 at the heart to power its FHD panel so we might see Mi use this same processor since it has enough power to push 4K but also rumours do suggest that Mi could just use the Snapdragon 845 CPU which would be even more powerful and energy efficient version of the SD 835.

The phone will have anywhere from 6-8GB of RAM as per the rumour mill which is good and has future proofing potential. Also with this configuration, most resource hungrytasks will be a breeze to work with but I doubt if mobile GPU’s have so far as to process graphics at 4K resolutions. Hopefully, they’ll still look great playing at a scaled down resolution.

Software:

The Mi7 will probably come preloaded with Android 7.1.1 (Nougat) which is Android’s latest offering for the mass market at the moment until Android O arrives.  While it is very likely that the phone will get an update to Android O, we can’t say for how long Mi will continue to provide software support as Mi isn’t really consistent with it. It will also be skinned with the usual MiUi skin which is Xiaomi’sdefault skin ever since the company’s inception. They do provide subtle updates to improve the UI regularly and keep it fresh. The MiUi is a very simple Android interface with an iPhone-esque layout for the menu. But while it’s unlikely but we would love to have a default Android Ui for a change in its flagships with no bloatware to bog it down.  

Camera and Storage:

Camera wise, the Mi7 will likely feature a similar dual camera setup like the Mi6 but all rumours up until now point towards a single 21MP shooter and I don’t mind this if it comes with a decent sensor and lens setup with additional support for OIS. The rear camera is also likely to support 4k recording at 120 fps. Apart from this, the front will likely house 13MP camera setup with 1080p video support for video calls and selfies.

Storage wise, the Mi7 will probably come with a 32GB variant with options for higher storage variants at higher prices.  The base variant is very disappointing in this regard as a single 1 Min 4K video can almost take up to a whopping 500MB of storage in no time at all. And we don’t expect Mi to break tradition and include options for expandable storage anytime soon in their flagships.

Battery and Connectivity:

The Mi7 will probably ship with a 3500mAh battery which might sound good on paper but let’s not forget the fact that it will be powering a 4k display with a beefy CPU to begin with. So everyone’s mileage will vary depending on the usage scenario.

Connectivity wise, the phone will support all 4G (VOLTE), 3G & 2G bands of Indian ISP’s as well as Wi-Fi 802.11, a/ac/b/g/n/n 5GHz, Bluetooth V4.2, NFC, GPS with A-GPSand USB Type-C.

Verdict:

The Mi7 is supposed to launch in October only. It may be a very exciting launch from Mi as the spec sheet suggests. It could go even toe to toe with the industry big guns like Samsung if priced according to the rumour mill,which brings us ultimately to the price. The Xiaomi Mi7 price in India is rumoured to retail for a price of around Rs.26,990which is pretty good for a rumoured price. Let’s just hope that it isn’t a case of Hype disaster like many others.

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