Xiaomi, the Chinese smartphone and electronics manufacturer reputed to be the 4th biggest manufacturer in the world, is introducing a successor to the popular flagship Mi 5 this year. There have been conflicting reports on when the new phone is going to launch, however. The upcoming smartphone will look to upstage the Apple iPhone 8 and the Samsung Galaxy S8 when they launch later this year. We have confirmed news that this new phone is to be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, reputed to be extremely powerful and yet strangely pacific. Xiaomi Mi 6 will be the first Chinese smartphone to be powered by this new SoC or System on Chip. The Snapdragon 835, often referred to as SD 835 in short, will have an octa-core processor clocked at 2.2GHz.
Let us look at the launch dates first. The Xiaomi Mi 6 was initially rumoured to have been tipped for a Valentine’s Day 2017 launch, on the 14th of February. That translates to a post-Chinese New Year launch. The Chinese tradition holds that the New Year starts on January 28. Late last year, news broke that the new phone would perhaps launch in March and not before, but later reports seemed to suggest that a CES 2017 launch was also possible. The Consumer Electronics Fair 2017 is being held in Las Vegas from January 3. One of the new devices to see the light of day is the Xiaomi Mi 6. The SD 835 SoC may ultimately prove to be its downfall. While the Snapdragon 835 is 30% smaller, 27% more powerful and 40% more efficient than any previous designs, it might also be delayed. This delay will also delay Xiaomi’s launch. This has two consequences: Xiaomi will have to work harder to reach out to its customer base as well as garner new customers in lesser time than it had anticipated and will risk direct competition with the two giants of the smartphone universe, Apple and Samsung. Two, mobile device technology will catch up with the Xiaomi Mi 6 faster than normal and may result in a truncated product lifecycle. Such a disruption for the Mi 6 is not welcome news at all and may result in Xiaomi ending up producing two variations of the Mi 6, one more powerful than the other, possibly with a mammoth 8 GB of RAM.
We have received reports that Xiaomi is looking to release some models with MediaTek and the in-house ‘Pinecone’ procesors as well. The star of the show is the SD 835. This new chipset is built upon the new Samsung 10nm manufacturing process, which the Korean giant has recently commissioned for mass production. The new system-on-chip achieves significant power efficiency gains over the previous Snapdragon 820 designs like we mentioned before. The new chipset is also designed to power next generation mobile VR and AR experiences. The VR experience is the technology of the future with game developers, software manufacturers and sundry app developers trying to capture the market. The SD 835 will look to ensure that the new chipset upsets the ones manufactured by competitors including Apple.