Xiaomi announces Mi7
MARIE BLACK looks at the ultimate Chinese phone of 2018
Having introduced the new trend with its Mi Mix, Xiaomi will once again jump on the 18:9 ‘borderless’ display bandwagon with its next flagship. The Xiaomi Mi7 will be announced in standard and Plus models, and could arrive in June.
It will pack some powerful hardware, including the Snapdragon 845 and a colossal 8GB of RAM, and it could be one of the first flagships to feature a fingerprint scanner embedded in the display. It could also be the first second Xiaomi phone to include 7.5W wireless charging – as we saw on page 8, the firm has also launched the Mi Mix 2S with 7.5W Qi.
The Mi6 was announced in China on 19 April 2017, and began shipping in June. Xiaomi follows an annual release schedule like all major smartphone makers, so we expect to see the Mi7 announced at a similar time in 2018. Recent rumours point to a June launch, however, and a Weibo post from industry insider Mocha RQ points to the embedded fingerprint scanner as a reason for this.
Xiaomi phones aren’t officially sold in the UK, so their RRP has little importance here. To buy the Mi7 in the this country you’ll have to go through a Chinese site such as GearBest or Geekbuying. The latter is already listing a product page for the Mi7 Plus with a price tag of £343.17, though expect this to change before the phone actually becomes available.
If you are planning to ship the Mi7 from China, bear in mind that you will be liable for import duty, which is calculated at 20 percent of the value printed on the shipping paperwork, and usually with an additional admin charge of around £11.
Something else to watch for is that the Mi7 may not support all UK 4G LTE bands, and depending on where you buy it Google Play Services may not be preinstalled. It will also be running MIUI 9.0 rather than stock Android.
The Geekbuying listing alludes to a 6.01in 18:9 display on the Xiaomi Mi7 Plus, while the standard Mi7
should finally see an update to its usual 5.15in screen dimensions with a 5.65in 18:9 display. On the Mi7 Plus at least this is said to be an OLED panel from Samsung.
Xiaomi has never implemented a display panel with a higher than full-HD resolution before, and we’re not expecting that to change. If it maintains the full-HD resolution with an 18:9 aspect ratio we should see 2160x1080 pixels on the Xiaomi Mi7 and Mi7 Plus.
This is backed up by a screenshot leaked by Playfuldroid, which suggests the Mi7 will have a 5.6in full-HD (18:9) screen. It also alludes to the inclusion of the Snapdragon 845, 128GB of storage, a colossal 8GB of RAM, 16Mp dual-cameras and a 4,480mAh battery.
What’s particularly interesting from the image associated with Geekbuying’s listing (although we should point out that we do not know from where Geekbuying has got its information) is the fingerprint icon shown on the screen itself. The tech is ready to embed fingerprint scanners in smartphone displays, and we’ve already seen such a feature in an upcoming phone from rival Vivo at January’s CES 2018. There’s certainly no fingerprint scanner pictured on the front of the Mi7 Plus, and neither is one visible on the rear.
However, a render leaked by Android Headlines shows a fingerprint scanner on the rear of the device, along with a glass back panel.
Something else Xiaomi has never done before in its flagship line is to implement wireless charging in its smartphones. Xiaomi has joined the Wireless Power Consortium, and the Mi Mix 2S is the first to include 7.5W Qi. We’d expect the Mi7 to follow suit.