Chinese handset maker Xiaomi has earned a reputation for building attractive handsets with capable hardware at attractive price points, and it has done it once again with the Mi 6. Announced at an event in Beijing today, the Mi 6 draws comparison to Apple's flagship iPhone 7 device, though not in price—the Mi 6 starts at 2499 RMB, or just over $360 in U.S. currency, versus a starting price of $649 for the iPhone 7 and $769 for the iPhone 7 Plus.
Like the Mi 5 that came before it, the Mi 6 sports a 5.15-inch display and has a curved rear edge. The phone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC featuring a 64-bit octa-core processor, a surprising inclusion at this price point. It joins Samsung's Galaxy S8 and Sony's XZ Premium as the only phones to date to use a Snapdragon 835 chip.
The Mi 6 also wields 6GB of RAM, the most Xiaomi has ever offered in a smartphone, and 64GB of built-in storage. And around back there is a 12-megapixel dual camera consisting of a wide-angle lens and a telephoto lens. Similar to the iPhone, this allows the Mi 6 to snap bokeh-style photos, which highlights subjects in clarity while blurring out the background.
That is not all photographers will like about the Mi 6. The rear camera also offers up a 10x digital zoom, 2x lossless zoom, and optical image stabilization (OIS). At a time when camera performance is paramount to a smartphone's value proposition, it appears as though the Mi 6 is a serious contender.
Other features include a near bezel-free design with four-sided 3D glass, stereo audio, a fingerprint sensor underneath the glass on the front, dual Wi-Fi technology, and a 3,350mAh battery all wrapped in a premium chassis with a splash resistant design. And in another nod to Apple, there is no 3.5mm audio jack to be found.
The Mi 6 with 64GB of storage will go for around $360, while a 128GB model will be priced at around $420. Xiaomi will also sell a Mi 6 phone with a ceramic backside and 128GB of storage for $435. These are aggressive price points, especially when you stack the hardware up against the Galaxy S8 and iPhone 7.