Exclusive: the Xiaomi Mi Max 3 is coming with Wireless Charging and Possibly an Iris Scanner
Xiaomi’s most anticipated smartphones this year are likely their two flagship phones: the Mi Mix 2S and the Mi 7. Both will feature the latest SoC from Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 845, and are expected to launch at or soon after the upcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Not everyone is a fan of purchasing expensive flagship hardware, however, and that’s why companies like Xiaomi offer many different devices at all kinds of price points. One of Xiaomi’s mid-range brands is the Mi Max series, which are known for their gargantuan battery capacities. We believe that Xiaomi will continue that trend this year with the release of a new Xiaomi Mi Max 3, for which we have exclusively obtained the firmware files for.
The Xiaomi Mi Max 3 Continues the Trend
Back in December, a Chinese blog called CNMO reported that the Mi Max 3 would feature an enormous 5,500 mAh battery. The report also alleged that the device would feature a 7″ 18:9 display, have dual cameras, and have either the Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 or the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC depending on the model.
While we cannot confirm any information about the display size, the firmware files we have obtained allow us to confirm most of the other information, as well as a few new findings of our own.
The following information is based on firmware files obtained by @FunkyHuawei, the man behind the FunkyHuawei.club service, which allows users to update, unbrick, or rebrand Huawei and Honor phones for a fee. He has provided access to these firmware files exclusively to XDA-Developers.
First off, we’ll go over the most basic specifications. According to the various build properties, the device we are looking at will launch with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC. There might be a Snapdragon 630 variant, but we haven’t seen that one yet. The battery capacity is indeed 5,500 mAh, which should please any person who is interested in a device with a long battery life. We can also confirm that it will have an 18:9 display, though we can’t confirm the display resolution.
What’s most interesting about this device, however, is the fact that it may have wireless charging. Xiaomi phones have never supported Qi wireless charging before, but Xiaomi finally joined the Wireless Power Consortium late last year. The Xiaomi Mi 7 is supposedly going to be the first Xiaomi device with wireless charging capabilities, but we haven’t found any direct evidence for that yet. The Xiaomi Mi Max 3 will very likely support wireless charging, though, as we found two pieces of direct evidence for that in its firmware.
Within the MIUI Keyguard APK, we discovered strings relating to wireless charging. There are strings that tell you if charging has stopped and if so, whether it is because the device’s position has been offset from the charger base.
Furthermore, we found a help video and graphic made by Xiaomi that shows the user how to place their device on the wireless charger. The phone shown in the graphic is likely not how the Mi Max 3 will look in person, because it’s possible that the graphic is just showing off a generic device for Xiaomi’s future broad range of smartphones with wireless charging capabilities.
Next up, we were able to find out exactly what camera sensors the device will be using, thanks to a configuration file. On the rear, the device will have either an IMX363 from Sony or an S5K217+S5K5E8 Samsung dual camera setup. On the front, there will be a lone S5K4H7 from Samsung. However, it appears that the front of the device may be joined by another imaging sensor: an iris scanner.
The front auxiliary module mentioned here is the OmniVision 2281 which “leverages a 1.12-micron pixel with PureCel technology to enable accurate, reliable iris recognition for smartphones, tablets, and notebooks” according to its official page. It appears that this sensor is still in-development for the device, as the lines pertaining to it have been commented out. I don’t know if the final model of the device will have an iris scanner, but it’s clear that this is in the works. Given that this device will support wireless charging and will have a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, it makes sense for it to add iris scanning so you can quickly unlock the phone when it is sitting on a table.
Regarding the software, the firmware suggests the device is running Android 8.1 Oreo. Notably, the first API level set in the build properties was 25, which means this device started out running Android 7.1 Nougat. It’s possible that this device may launch with Android 8.1, but it’s also possible that the firmware we’re looking at is the developer ROM and that the stable release will be an older version of Android. Basically, don’t get your hopes up.
Other minor aspects we can reveal are that the device will have a dual SIM card slot, support dual SD cards, an IR blaster, LED light for notifications, audio tuned by Dirac, Qualcomm’s aptX and aptX HD Bluetooth audio codecs, but unfortunately no NFC. It will also possibly have dual speakers (though the firmware isn’t 100% clear on that), and something called a front “remosic” sensor.
If we learn more about the Xiaomi Mi Max 3, we’ll keep you updated on the XDA Portal. Until then, be sure to follow our new Exclusive tag for more posts like this!
Update: Snapdragon 636 vs. 660
It has come to our attention that the Mi Max 3 may feature the Snapdragon 636 rather than the 660, despite what the firmware says. There are two reasons for this:
- The Snapdragon 636 is a down-clocked 660. The maximum frequency listed in the firmware is 1.8GHz, which is below the maximum frequency of the 660’s 2.2GHz.
- The Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro features the Snapdragon 636 SoC, but within its firmware files it is listed as the Snapdragon 660.
Ultimately, the difference is very minor, but it’s worth mentioning in order to be accurate.