Xiaomi launches the Mi 9 Pro 5G with MIUI 11, Snapdragon 855+ and new Mi TV Pro lineup with 8K support
Xiaomi has taken a major leap from launching two flagships every year, as part of its Mi and Mi MIX lineups. Besides the expected Mi 9 flagship, Xiaomi’s off-shoot brand, Redmi, stepped into the flagship arena with the “Flagship Killer 2.0,” i.e. Redmi K20 Pro (our review), which was later rebadged as the Mi 9T Pro. Today, Xiaomi launched two new flagship devices – the Mi 9 Pro 5G and the Mi MIX Alpha 5G – in China along with a new lineup of its new Mi TV Pro lineup which supports 8K video playback. The company has also made announcements about MIUI 11 and the futuristic all-screen Mi MIX Alpha, both of which are covered in separate articles.
Mi 9 Pro 5G
Xiaomi is debuting 5G smartphones for China, although its first 5G smartphone – the Mi MIX 3 5G – is already available in part of Europe. Xiaomi’s new launch includes the Mi 9 Pro 5G, an upgraded version of the Mi 9. As per the company’s announcement, the Mi 9 Pro 5G supports all the three 5G-enabled carriers in China. The frequency bands supported by the Mi 9 Pro 5G includes N41, N78, and N79 and all of these are sub-6GHz bands. The smartphone gets as many as seven antennas for unhindered 5G reception.
The Xiaomi Mi 9 Pro is powered by the Snapdragon 855+ SoC and it sports 12GB of memory. There’s 512GB of storage onboard. The smartphone also gets a vapor chamber-style heat sink made out of copper. This allows for the heat from the SoC to be dissipated to the center of the back panel which is relatively cooler.
The Xiaomi Mi 9 Pro 5G also supports Mi Charge Turbo at 40W which is claimed to charge 20% of the battery in 5 minutes and the full battery in 48 minutes. However, the charger within the box is rated at 45W and it can be used to charge laptops including Apple’s MacBooks as well as Xiaomi’s and Redmi Notebook lineup.
Xiaomi has announced a new snow-inspired color variant, called Dreamy White, of the Mi 9 Pro 5G which varies between blue and light pink based on the light falling on it. There’s an anti-glare glass, most likely to be a frosted version, on the back of the smartphone. The other variant, i.e. the Titanium Black comes with a reflective glass back that transitions between black and gray with the angle of the light falling on it. The power button and the camera ring on the black variant have been accented with red colors. The Mi 9 Pro is claimed to be lightest 5G smartphone with a weight of 196 grams and a thickness of 8.54mm.
The display on the Mi 9 Pro is the same as its predecessor – the Mi 9. This is a 6.39-inch AMOLED display with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio and a claimed peak brightness of 600 nits. Notably, this is not a Super AMOLED, even though the high brightness value may indicate so. Xiaomi is, however, calling it a “specially designed” display. The screen-to-body ratio of the Mi 9 Pro lies at 90.7% and the display supports features such as DC dimming.
In terms of camera, there have been no changes in terms of the camera setup but Xiaomi claims they have reworked the camera algorithms to improve the camera performance.
The haptic feedback on the Mi 9 Pro is refined and Xiaomi says it will give you the impression that you’re using a mechanical keyboard while typing on the phone. Even while changing the zoom level on the camera, the phone will now offer haptic feedback to emulate the feeling of a mechanical dial. Xiaomi has expanded the applications of NFC on the Mi 9 Pro 5G and it can now be used as an electronic ID at airports and hotels in China. They will also extend support for unlocking cars in partnership with automakers.
The Mi 9 Pro 5G also supports reverse wireless charging at 10W. The smartphone can also charge accessories such as the Xiaomi wireless earbuds wirelessly apart from other smartphones.
The speaker chambers on the Xiaomi Mi 9 Pro 5G are now larger for a louder output. Xiaomi has introduced the Mi Air Dots 2 wireless earbuds for CNY 399 (~$56).
Xiaomi says that since 5G is in a nascent stage, prices similar to the 4G-enabled Mi 9 will not justify the company’s efforts. Since they want people to experience 5G at an economical price, the prices of the Mi 9 starts at CNY 3699 (~$520) and this is for the 8GB/128GB version of the Mi 9 Pro 5G. There are three other higher variants including the 8GB/256GB version which for comes for CNY 3799 (~$535), the 12GB/256GB variant for CNY 4099 (~$580), and the 12GB/215GB priced at CNY 4299 (~$605).
Since Xiaomi is also launching the MIUI 11, the Mi 9 Pro 5G comes with MIUI 11 out-of-the-box.
30W wireless charging dock
To complement the 40W wired charging on the Mi 9 Pro 5G, there’s 30W wireless charging support, and this is faster than any of Xiaomi’s competitors. So far, Huawei’s 15W wireless charging pad was considered to be the fastest in the lot and Xiaomi outdoes it with double the charging rate. The Xiaomi wireless charger can charge half of the battery in 25 minutes while it only takes 69 minutes to charge the battery on the Mi 9 Pro 5G fully.
Xiaomi’s 30W wireless charger also features a vent to prevent the setup from overheating. Xiaomi is calling it wind-cooled and the graphic used indicates there might be a fan beneath the resting pad. The wireless charger will be priced at CNY 199 (~$28).
Along with this, Xiaomi has also announced the 20,000mAh power band which supports fast charging at up to 50W and you can charge a lap and two phones simultaneously. This will be priced at CNY 299 (~$42).
Mi TV Pro with 8K video playback
As always, Xiaomi has improved the Mi TV Pro both – aesthetically and functionally. The new Mi TV Pro 65″ comes with smaller bezels and a 3D kevlar-like pattern on the back. The most exciting feature of the TV is support for 8K video playback on the 4K panels. We’re currently unsure how Xiaomi’s latest Mi TV Pro lineup scales 8K content into half the resolution – as well as the repercussions of this scaling but we hope to learn more through the company’s official handle on Weibo. Xiaomi has announced three TVs today in 43″, 55″, and 65″ sizes and all of these displays have a 4K resolution.
The Amlogic T972 chip that powers the new 8K Mi TV brings a 63% performance increase and a 55% higher power efficiency. This is a 64-bit chip with a 1.9GHz frequency. The new Mi TV Pro lineup begins at CNY 1499 (~$210) for the 43-inch variant, CNY 2399 (~$340) for the 55-inch model, and the 65-inch variant is priced at CNY 3,399 (~$480).