Xiaomi's Mi flagships have always offered great value for money, and that was the case last year with the Mi 6. The phone managed to undercut rivals by a few hundred dollars while still offering a similar user experience. Xiaomi isn't looking to change the formula this year, with the Mi 7 also expected to feature top-of-the-line hardware and a price tag under $500.
The Mi 7 will be powered by the Snapdragon 845
Qualcomm announced the Snapdragon 845 platform back in December, touting significant improvements across the board. Qualcomm is heavily relying on AI for its Hexagon digital signal processor, and is claiming a 10-20% bump in performance from the Kryo 385 CPU and a 30% boost for the Adreno 630 GPU.
Xiaomi has always been one of the first manufacturers to roll out phones featuring Qualcomm's latest hardware, and that tradition will continue this year. Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun was on hand at Qualcomm's annual tech conference last month to announce that the Mi 7 will be the first phone to be powered by the Snapdragon 845.
Cameras will be the differentiator
Xiaomi's focus in 2018 is going to be on the camera segment. The manufacturer prioritized battery life last year, leading to devices like the Redmi Note 4 and Mi A1, which could easily last two days on a full charge.
We don't have any details on what Xiaomi has in store, but it should certainly be interesting. The company switched to a dual camera configuration with the Mi 6, and that's likely to remain unchanged this year. Whether we'll see a telephoto lens as the secondary shooter remains to be seen.
It will have an 18:9 Samsung-made display
The 18:9 form factor is fast becoming the standard, with Xiaomi being one of the first to introduce a thin-bezel display in the first-gen Mi Mix. The manufacturer hasn't seen fit to do the same for the more mainstream Mi 6 last year, but that's set to change this year with the Mi 7.
Early rumors suggested the Mi 7 will come with an 18:9 panel manufactured by Samsung. There's no indication of screen size or resolution, but we're likely to see a 6-inch display. Xiaomi is set to introduce a phone with a Quad HD panel, but that could change with the Mi 7.
3D face recognition rumored to be a key feature
Another rumor that made the rounds hinted at a face unlock feature coming to the Mi 7. Xiaomi is said to be considering getting rid of the fingerprint sensor in favor of facial recognition tech.
Interestingly, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun said during the unveil of the Mi Mix 2 last year that the brand tried out different approaches to integrate the front camera module into a device with thin bezels, including an iPhone X-style notch. So if the brand decides to roll out facial recognition as the de facto way of unlocking the phone, we could see a similar cutout at the front of the Mi 7.
Don't hold out for a 3.5mm jack
Xiaomi ditched the headphone jack last year in favor of additional battery life, and it's unlikely to make a return with the Mi 7. It's a shame that the brand removed the 3.5mm jack, but the industry at large is moving away from the analog standard and embracing wireless headphones.
Unveil slated for MWC
There's no official confirmation on when we'll see the Mi 7, Xiaomi is scheduled to exhibit at Mobile World Congress next month, and it is possible the manufacturer could use the venue to unveil the Mi 7. Even though Xiaomi is primarily focused on Asian markets, the brand took to the global stage to showcase the Mi 5 two years ago, and it's likely it will do so again next month.
What are you interested in seeing from the Mi 7? Let us know in the comments below.