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Xiaomi Mi 6 news and rumors

Xiaomi Mi 6 may launch with Snapdragon 821 instead of Snapdragon 835

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Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Rumors of a successor to Xiaomi’s 2016 Mi 5 flagship smartphone have begun to heat up, and while the phone didn’t launch at MWC 2017 as some expected, we’re still hearing quite about it and when it will be launched.

There’s almost no doubt a successor is on the way — just not as soon as many had hoped. Here’s everything we know so far about the Mi 6.

More: Facebook’s new head of virtual reality is former Xiaomi, Google man Hugo Barra

Rumored specs

The Mi 6 has long been rumored to sport Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 835 processor. The latest rumors from Android Pure, however, suggest that instead the company will opt for the older and lower-powered Snapdragon 821. That said, the rumors indicate that there will still be a Snapdragon 835 variant, which will be launched once the Snapdragon 835 is more available.

Previously, we heard that the Mi 6 would feature the Snapdragon 835, but that it would be underclocked, meaning it just won’t be as fast as it could be. Why is this happening? Well, it’s complicated. Samsung co-developed the Snapdragon 835 processor with Qualcomm, and as such gets first pick of the fully clocked supply. Instead of waiting for supply to pick up a little, some manufacturers may instead opt to go for underclocked chips that Samsung may not want to use. This wouldn’t be uncharacteristic for Xiaomi, which launched the Mi 5 with an underclocked Snapdragon 820 in an effort to get the handset out sooner.

The flat Mi 6 is also expected to feature the same underclocked processor, but at a lower price, and the third Mi 6 variant will be flat but will house a MediaTek Helio X30 processor. The latter will be the cheapest option, if reports are accurate.

The flagship Mi 6 will likely have 6GB of RAM, while the other models may be stuck with 4GB. The flagship may cost around $363 for 6GB of RAM.

Information about the specs of the Mi 6 is sparse and often from little-known sources. There are conflicting reports that suggest a 3,000mAh battery, for example, while others say to expect a 4,000mAh capacity. If there are three models with various specs, it would certainly make sense as to why the information varies. All such information should be viewed with some skepticism until official announcements are made.

Other specs that have been suggested are support for Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 4.0, as well as a fingerprint sensor on the front of the device.

Release date

Previous rumors indicated that the phone would be launched in April, and we even saw a report from Gizmo China as recent as a few days ago corroborating that report. New reports, however, say that instead the phone will instead be launched at some point in May.

According to the article, Xiaomi was going to launch the phone in April, but ended up having to push forward the date for a somewhat predictable reason — Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 availability. Samsung has first dubs of the chip because of the fact that it helped develop and manufacture it, meaning other device-makers may have to wait. That report comes from Phone Arena.

Ceramic design

We’ve gotten a few leaks of the Mi 6 so far, leaving little to the imagination — assuming those leaks are authentic. The latest leak comes from Weibo, and contrary to previous leaks, it shows a device without a home button on the front. Instead, there could be a home button embedded in the software — like other Android phones.

Previous leaks from MyDrivers suggest the Mi 6 could have a ceramic back — one of the prime features of the nearly bezel-less Mi Mix smartphone.

Other previous leaks offer us a glimpse as to what the phone could look like. If the leaked pictures are actually of the Mi 6, the front of it will resemble Samsung’s Galaxy S7 Edge with a curved display and a similarly styled home button. The back is fairly different from the Mi 5, and is more reminiscent of the iPhone 6S.

There are reports that there will be three models of the Mi 6 — one with curved edges and one without, as well as a second flat variant with a different processor.

We will continue to update this post as we learn more about the Mi 6.

Updated on 03-17-2017 by Christian de Looper: Added news that Mi 6 may ship with Snapdragon 821 instead of Snapdragon 835.