Xiaomi revels budget OnePlus 7 and Honor 20 rival – sort of

UPDATE: Overnight Xiaomi unveiled a new series of phones, without actually revealing the phones themselves. Xiaomi’s CEO announced the new CC series which stands for ‘Colorful and Creative’. This new brand will sit alongside the current Mi and Redmi brands and will be aimed at ‘young fashion trendsetters’ (via GSMarena).

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Xiaomi is expected to unveil two new smartphones in China on June 21, and we’re hoping they can combine excellence with a tight budget once again.

The two devices in the new range are the Xiaomi Mi CC9 and the Mi CC9e. GSMArena reports that the former will have a triple camera array (including the same 48-megapixel camera as the OnePlus 7, plus an ultrawide lens, and telephoto sensor) that can flip over to function as a selfie camera, just like the one on the Asus Zenfone 6.

Under the hood of the CC9 there’s a Snapdragon 730, whereas the CC9e will have a Snapdragon 712 and a 4000mAh battery. The CC9e is expected to have a 32-megapixel selfie camera and the same 48-megapixel main camera (plus ultrawide and telephoto options).

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In our Asus Zenfone 6 review we praised the unique selfie camera idea, especially because you can use all the power of the main cameras when you’re snapping selfies. However the software has got to live up to the hardware if you want to snap a great picture, and unfortunately, it didn’t quite manage it in this case.

The OnePlus 7 has the same main sensor as the Xiaomi Mi CC9. In our of the OnePlus 7 review we found it to be a decent all-round camera, even if it doesn’t quite measure up to the OnePlus 7 Pro overall. Lowlight shooting is an improvement, but while colour and dynamic range are pleasing, the detail is not the best.

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So can Xiaomi pull it off better than OnePlus with its new range of CC9 smartphones? In our review of the Xiaomi Mi 9, we highly praised the performance of the 48-megapixel IMX586 sensor for its impressively fast and accurate focus, while shots retained plenty of detail. That’s a promising sign, but you’ll have to wait for our full in-depth review to see whether they can pull off the same trick again.

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