Samsung’s much-awaited Galaxy S10 has been dominating the tech news for weeks. The Korean company will unveil at least three variants of Galaxy S10 at its Unpacked event in San Francisco on February 20. Now Chinese vendor Xiaomi has made its intentions clear that it’s going to steal some of the Galaxy S10 thunder. Xiaomi founder Lei Jun announced in a Weibo post that the company would unveil its flagship Xiaomi Mi 9 on the same date as the Galaxy S10.
Xiaomi Mi 9 is going after the Galaxy S10
The fact that Xiaomi will announce Mi 9 on the same date as Galaxy S10 is more than just a coincidence. Samsung had sent press invites for its February 20 event more than a month ago. The Chinese company was fully away of it and still chose to unveil the Xiaomi Mi 9 on the same day. The Mi 9 is internally code-named “Battle Angel,” suggesting that Xiaomi is fully prepared for a fierce battle with the Samsung flagship, at least in the Chinese market.
Xiaomi will host an event in Beijing, China on February 20 to unveil the Mi 8 successor. The Mi 8 was announced in May last year. The company has moved forward the Mi 9 launch significantly to take on Samsung and other vendors that would unveil their phones at the MWC later this month. Though both events are scheduled for February 20, there will be a 16 hours of time difference because one is taking place in Beijing and another in San Francisco.
Xiaomi began its journey by making affordable entry-level and mid-range smartphones. But in recent years, it has been giving tough competition to Samsung and Apple by offering premium smartphones at mid-range prices. The Mi MIX 3 and Mi 8 have turned out to be blockbusters in China, India, and many other countries.
By unveiling its phone on the same day as Galaxy S10, Xiaomi could divide fans to choose one of two brands. It’s unclear whether the Xiaomi Mi 9 would launch in the US and other Western markets, but it will certainly launch in China. Samsung was once the biggest player in the Chinese smartphone market, but it has been losing ground to Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo in recent years.
Will Xiaomi Mi 9 be capable of challenging the Galaxy S10?
Yes, it will be armed with everything it needs to take on the Galaxy S10, at least in the Chinese market. Pictures of the device were posted on the MIUI forum. The pictures reveal that Xiaomi Mi 9 would sport a vertically aligned triple camera system on the back, with the top lens featuring a circular highlight around it. The LED flash is placed below the camera setup.
The triple camera setup would consist of a primary 48MP Sony IMX686 sensor, a 12MP secondary lens, and a 3D Time-of-Flight sensor that helps create a 3D image of the scene. It would feature a 24-megapixel Sony IMX576 lens on the front for selfies. For authentication and security, there will be an in-display fingerprint sensor.
The upcoming Xiaomi phone would sport a waterdrop notch for the front camera. There are incredibly slim bezel bezels, though the bottom chin is a bit thicker. According to the rumor mill, it would feature a 6.4-inch AMOLED display with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection. The power and volume buttons are placed on the right side. GizmoChina claims that there will be a dedicated AI button on the left side of the phone.
On the inside, it will run Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 855 processor with 6GB RAM and 128GB of built-in storage. There will also be an 8GB RAM variant with 128GB or 256GB of storage options. The phone would run Xiaomi’s custom MIUI skin on top of Android 9 Pie.
The rear panel appears to be made out of glass in blue and black colors. Xiaomi has also hinted at the possibility of a translucent rear panel, which could be exclusive to the Explorer Edition of the handset. The Mi 9 would pack a decent 3,500mAh battery with 27W fast charging technology. Some reports claim it would offer up to 32W of fast charging.
On its part, Samsung is moving fast with the Galaxy S10 models. It has already started taking reservations for the S10 and is promising savings of up to $550 to reservation customers. People who reserve the device right now will get priority during a 72-hour window when pre-orders go live next week.
We will see at least three different variants of Galaxy S10 at the February 20 Unpacked event. There will be a standard Galaxy S10 with a 6.1-inch Infinity-O display, a larger Galaxy S10 Plus with 6.4-inch display, and a budget-friendly Galaxy S10 E with watered-down specs. All three devices are rumored to run the same Snapdragon 855 or Exynos 9820 chips depending on the market. Samsung could also unveil a 5G variant of Galaxy S10 at the same event.
The Galaxy S10 series phones would have a hole-punch in the top right corner of the screen to accommodate the selfie camera. They would run Samsung’s new OneUI skin on top of Android 9 Pie. The devices would offer USB-C ports, an IP68 for waterproofing, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The budget-friendly model would arrive in a new Canary Yellow color. All three phones will be available in Prism Black, Prism White, and Prism Green colors.
In terms of camera, the Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus would sport a triple camera setup on the back consisting of a 12MP wide-angle lens, a 12MP telephoto lens, and a 16MP sensor. On the front, the S10 would get only a single 10MP lens while its bigger sibling would feature a combination of 10MP+8MP lenses for selfies. The budget model would sport dual cameras on the back and a single 10MP lens on the front.