The Xiaomi Mi 6 is nearly here – but should you care?

The big smartphone news in recent weeks has been the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S8, which at this early stage looks set to be the best Android handset available.

But, as it turns out, other companies make smartphones, too, and over in China one of them is about to try its luck with a new flagship.

Yes, Xiaomi is gearing up to launch its new Mi 6 phone on April 19, and before the official reveal, the phone has turned up on GFXBench – revealing most of the important specs.

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So, is the phone worth getting excited about – especially considering those of us in the UK and elsewhere will likely have to import the handset from its native China if we want to try it out?

Well, first up, theres a 5.1-inch 1080p display, which doesn’t sound like much to write home about, but the rest of the hardware is actually quite impressive.

Xiaomi is making use of the Snapdragon 835 chipset, which is the same SoC used by Samsung in the Galaxy S8 for some territories.

mi5The Xiaomi Mi 5

Sammy was said to have a deal with Qualcomm that granted it exclusive rights to the chip until the Galaxy S8 was officially unveiled, so Xiaomi is one of the first firms to pack the 835 inside its smartphone following the S8’s launch – alongside Sony with its Xperia XZ Premium.

That processor will be backed up by either 4 or 6GB of RAM, depending on the model, with some fairly generous internal storage offerings of either 64GB or 128GB.

Beneath Xiaomi’s proprietary MIUI skin, the Mi 6 will run Android 7.1.1 Nougat, and there’s a 12-megapixel rear camera with 4K video recording, alongside an 8-megapixel front-facing shooter that can also shoot 4K video.

All of which is very impressive when you consider the price of this upcoming handset. Xiaomi’s new flagship is expected to start at CNY 1999 (about £232/$289) and up.

That’s a small price to pay for such top-end hardware, even if more advanced models of the phone with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage will run you up to CNY 2,699 (about £314/$391).

If that price is accurate, many will likely be looking to import the phone to their own country when it launches on April 19.

Let us know if you’d import the Mi 6 in the comments.