Xiaomi Mi 8 SE wasn’t sold outside China, but the fact that we have a new Xiaomi Mi 9 SE speaks volumes about the market performance of the 2018 edition. Like its predecessor, the Mi 9 SE is a toned-down version of the Mi 9, featuring the same design language but with a few tweaks on the inside.
Of course, being a cheaper version of the flagship Xiaomi Mi 9, Xiaomi had to cut some corners to arrive at its price point, but truth be told, there’s nothing entry-level about this handset. To begin with, let’s check out the specs sheet.
Xiaomi Mi 9 SE specs
- 5.99-inch 19.5:9 FHD+ AMOLED display with a waterdrop notch
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 processor
- 6GB RAM
- 64GB or 128GB storage
- Tri-lens 48MP (standard) + 13MP (ultra-wide) + 8MP (telephoto) main camera
- 20MP front camera
- 3070mAh battery
- Android 9 Pie with MIUI 10
- Extras: Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, NFC, 18W fast charging, IR Blaster, in-display FPS, dual LTE, etc.
Xiaomi Mi 9 SE pricing and availability
As pointed out at the beginning, the predecessor to the Xiaomi Mi 9 SE didn’t sell outside China. Although Xiaomi hasn’t confirmed anything, it’s likely that the Mi 9 SE will be sold outside its home country. After all, it’s possible that market performance of the Mi 8 SE impressed the company hence the decision to release a successor and possibly try it outside China now that they are pretty guaranteed of its success locally.
In China, where the Mi 9 SE begins selling on March 1st, the base model of 6/64GB goes for CNY 1,999 and the 6/128GB variant will set you back CNY 2,299. These convert to about $300 and $342, respectively, but of course, if they make it out of China, they’ll definitely command slightly higher price tags.
The Mi 9 SE is sold in three color choices of Blue, Gray, and Violet.
Top 5 Xiaomi Mi 9 SE features
Xiaomi Mi 9 SE is a significant step up from its predecessor in terms of design, features, and perhaps photography, but on the inside, the change is not that big, but still a welcome. That said, let’s check out the top 5 features that make the Mi 9 SE quite an interesting handset at its price range.
In-display fingerprint scanner
This is perhaps the biggest feature of Xiaomi Mi 9 SE. Like the premium Mi 9, you get support for the latest in-display fingerprint scanning tech. This means the back panel is as clean as it gets, although the usual Xiaomi logo and accompanying texts still keep their place in the bottom third.
For facial recognition, you still depend on the front camera, just like the Mi 8 SE.
Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 processor
In case you haven’t noticed, the Mi 9 SE has a first-of-its-kind processor – a Snapdragon 712. As you may have guessed, this is a small upgrade over the Snapdragon 710 used in the Mi 8 SE, so don’t expect a huge change in performance levels.
Still, there is just something about being the first to own something new on the market. If you are into such stuff, the Snapdragon 712-totting Mi 9 SE is your bet and it gets even better.
Tri-lens camera with ultra-wide lens
In this price category, you will struggle to find another device that matches the performance specs of the Mi 9 SE and complements all that with a tri-lens camera. The same Sony IMX586 once again takes center stage as the main shooter allied to a 13MP ultra-wide sensor and an 8MP telephoto lens.
The ultra-wide lens that can capture a field of view of up to 123 degrees should prove to be a shrewd addition in a range where many vendors are offering only depth-sensing lenses.
Recording 960fps slow-motion videos in HD
The ability to record super slow-motion HD videos of up to 960fps is no longer limited to $1000 phones like the Galaxy Note 9 and Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium. With Xiaomi Mi 9 SE, you can also record HD slow-motion videos of up to 960fps, just like the Mi 9.
It’s as compact as it gets
The Mi 9 SE is nearly the same physical size as the Mi 6, measuring 147.5mm tall yet it houses a massive 6-inch panel compared to the latter’s 5.15-inch panel. At a time when every other vendor is obsessed with large-screen phones, it’s great to see that fans of competitive compact phones are still being thought of.
Skip the Mi 9 SE and you’ll struggle to come across a similar premium-looking compact phone in the same price range.