Ideally, the Xiaomi Mi 6 flagship should have been announced by now. But the company, for some reason, has decided to delay the release of the device until April or maybe even May. While this might give some time for the recent releases like the Xiaomi Mi 5S and the Mi 5S Plus, there is no denying that Xiaomi fans are getting impatient.
Can’t really blame them, because according to the earliest rumors, Xiaomi was supposed to release the flagship as early as February this year — around the same time the company released Mi 5 in 2016. That didn’t happen and now latest reports indicate a delay in the Xiaomi Mi 6 release to May! There are even rumors about the Mi 6 coming with a Snapdragon 821 version, but to be honest, that wouldn’t make any sense.
Why Snapdragon 821 powered Xiaomi Mi 6 Doesn’t Make Sense
- Snapdragon 821 is Old!
Accept it or not, Snapdragon 821 is old. While the SD821 chip was only released in the later part of the second half of 2016, there are currently a lot of models powered by this chip. In fact, a few of Xiaomi’s own models released late last year, like the Xiaomi Mi 5S, Xiaomi Mi 5S, and even the Xiaomi Mi Mix use this upgraded Snapdragon 821 version. To top it off, they have 6GB RAM versions as well. Given that hardware has always been one of the biggest selling points for Xiaomi’s phones, it wouldn’t make sense to use the same config on a flagship that’s released 6 months later. This brings me to my next point.
- Mi 6 is Primarily for the Chinese Market
Xiaomi is not LG! Yes, LG made a bold decision to go with Snapdragon 821 on its latest LG G6 flagship. And to a great extent, the move has received positive feedback from fans as well as critics. But Xiaomi and LG operate at two different levels. Xiaomi’s main market is China where specs play the most important role, along with its price. That’s exactly why we see many 6GB RAM phones in China and less outside! Even the Galaxy S8 is said to feature a 6GB RAM version just for the Chinese market. In such a market, launching your first flagship of the year with last year’s specs may not be well received by fans.
- Hardware is the biggest selling point for Xiaomi
This brings us to another important point. Hardware has always been the selling factor for Xiaomi. The company is popular for releasing phones with the best specs at the best price. Xiaomi’s phones don’t have a great camera setup. Nor is its display or design out of the world which can solely drive its sales (except for the Xiaomi Mi Mix!). Now note that the LG G6 has a great camera. Even the display on board is one of its biggest selling points. So, the phone has a lot to offer apart from its internal specs, which is why having a capable but old chip like SD821 makes sense. But like I mentioned above, specs are everything in a Xiaomi phone and the company can’t simply compromise on its biggest selling feature.
- Cheaper Snapdragon 821 Phones Around
Now, some might say that a low-end version of the Xiaomi Mi 6 with Snapdragon 821 is a good idea. But even that would make things more confusing. There are quite a few Snapdragon 821 phones selling for less than 1999 Yuan ($290). In fact, the Xiaomi Mi 5S (SD821 + 3GB RAM + 64GB) is selling for as low as $260 in China! Now, the starting price of the Mi 6 is expected to be at least $290. So, unless the Mi 6 brings something spectacular (unlike the usual incremental upgrades we see in new generation models) in some other department like camera or battery, it doesn’t give much incentive for customers to go for the Mi 6 low-end edition with SD821 that will cost higher.
So, I would personally be surprised to see a low-end Xiaomi Mi 6 running Snapdragon 821. I feel Snapdragon 835 is the only chip that should be inside the Mi 6!