Xiaomi Mi 10: a move upmarket for the new Chinese flagship – DigitalVersus


Xiaomi has just unveiled its new flagships: the Mi 10 and Mi 10 Pro. In addition to high-tech data sheets, it is especially the price increase of these phones that impresses.

As expected, it was on February 13 that the Chinese company finally presented its new high-end smartphones. The Xiaomi Mi 10 and Mi 10 Pro have all the weapons to tease the competition once again. Only, this time, the targeted segment is a little superior to the habits of the brand.

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Strong arguments to make

After the Mi Note 10 at the end of 2019, Xiaomi does it again on its Mi 10 Pro with a 108-megapixel sensor (lens opening at f / 1.7). According to the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, it is the third smartphone to have such a definition on a main sensor. It is coupled to three other modules: a x10 hybrid telephoto lens (8 megapixel sensor), another x2 telephoto lens, which will also be used for taking portraits (12 megapixel sensor); and, finally, an ultra wide-angle module (20 megapixel sensor).

The Mi 10 is not left out in the photo. It also offers four modules, as well as a main 108-megapixel sensor. It also has an ultra wide-angle module with a 13-megapixel sensor, a 2-megapixel macro module, as well as a 2-megapixel depth-of-field module.

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The photo is the only field where we find big differences on the phones. Otherwise, the data sheet is similar. It starts from the inside since they are both equipped with the Snapdragon 865, coupled with 8 to 12 GB of RAM depending on the model. When it is released in France, it will be the first phone to offer the latest Qualcomm chip. It could have been Samsung with its recent flagships, but the South Korean company prefers to offer us the Exynos 990.

For the battery, the configuration is not exactly the same. The Mi 10 has an accumulator of 4,780 mAh when the Mi 10 Pro offers 4,500 mAh. The latter also offers fast charging at 50 W wired and 30 W wireless. In addition, smartphones should heat very little. For several months now, the internal cooling of phones has been the workhorse of the lips of all companies. For its Mi 10, Xiaomi offers a solution consisting of graphite and graphene over the entire surface, which is itself coupled to an AI. Its role will be to regulate the temperature and dynamically adjust the performance of the phone.

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The cooling system of these new smartphones. © Xiaomi

Finally, let's go to the screen. Xiaomi has equipped its smartphones with a 6.67-inch Oled panel, with a refresh rate of 90 Hz and a Full HD + definition. There is a notch in the shape of a punch on the left corner of the display. It houses a 20 megapixel sensor. The fingerprint sensor is placed under the screen.

A delayed European arrival

The announcement of February 13 concerned only China. For Europe, Xiaomi had planned to present its phones on February 23 during the Mobile World Congress. Despite the many withdrawals from companies, Xiaomi had maintained its presence, as well as its rally. But the Barcelona show was canceled on February 12 due to the health risk posed by the coronavirus. And therefore, the firm is forced to delay its release on our territory. Xiaomi indicates – in a tweet since deleted – that the launch will be made later and that a new conference will be planned, without giving more details.

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To find a place in the big leagues?

Xiaomi is well known for offering phones with technical specifications that are always more interesting given the prices charged. This was the case with the Mi 9 last year, and even one of its versions, the Mi 9T Pro last August. With Redmi, its other “brand”, it's more or less the same thing. For around € 200, these phones easily compete with devices sold at twice the price. Xiaomi's popularity has largely been built on this rock-solid value for money. But things could change with these newcomers.

Indeed, the arrival of the Mi 10 and Mi 10 Pro is accompanied by a fairly significant price increase. In China, the Mi 10 starts at 3,999 yuan, which gives a gross conversion of € 527. The highest price for this model climbs to 4,699 yuan, or € 690. As a reminder, the most expensive Xiaomi mobile released here is none other than the Mi Note 10 (550 €).

With these new flagships, we realize that the brand has made a fairly significant price increase since the cheapest Mi 10 is equivalent to the price charged by the Mi Note 10. And again, these are only raw conversions, without the taxes. It will surely be expected to a higher price grid during the French release. It is especially with the Pro version that prices are likely to cringe. 4,999 yuan (about € 660) the entry ticket, which can increase up to 5,999 yuan (€ 790). At this price, the Mi 10 Pro is likely to be placed in front of the flagships of Samsung or Huawei.

The explanation behind this small price explosion may come from the fact that Xiaomi is finally looking for profitability. So far, the firm has released only 5% margin on its smartphones. A percentage far too low to truly hope to become competitive in the long term. The production costs, the technological innovations that are coming in droves, and especially 5G represent a significant investment that must be managed to finance. By raising its prices too strongly, Xiaomi could perhaps cut itself off from a part of its audience which praised above all the competitive merits of the company.

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