Chinese consumer electronics company Xiaomi unveiled its latest low-cost flagship smartphone, the Xiaomi Mi 9, late last month. While the latest premium smartphones from Samsung and Huawei push the $1000 mark, Xiaomi’s Mi 9 starts at nearly half that price. On paper, Xiaomi doesn’t seem to be making very many compromises with the Mi 9. It’s one of the first smartphones to launch with the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, and the first smartphone to support 20W wireless charging. It has a triple rear camera setup including a 48MP sensor, telephoto lens, and wide-angle lens. It has a fifth-generation optical under-display fingerprint scanner, a gradient back with a holographic effect, and nearly bezel-less design with a tiny notch. High-end specs aren’t enough to give you a decent experience on their own; it’s up to Xiaomi to take full advantage of the Mi 9’s hardware so you don’t notice where they may have cut corners.
There are compromises nearly everywhere, but when you’re getting a flagship smartphone that costs $450 (for the base 6GB of RAM/64GB of storage model), you’re likely to be pretty forgiving of a few compromises here and there. Fortunately for Xiaomi, the compromises they’ve made are easy to overlook. The Xiaomi Mi 9, in my view, is the best full-compromise smartphone on the market. Here’s why.
Xiaomi Mi 9 Specifications – Click to expand
Front: Waterdrop notch, 3.6mm chin sizeBack: 243 sq. millimeters of sapphire glass covering the triple rear camera lenses
Frame: Stainless steel. No IP rating.
Colors: Lavender Violet, Ocean Blue, or Piano Black; Holographic effect