April has become a prodigious month for new smartphone launches around the world, and especially in China, where Xiaomi is preparing to launch its next flagship device. The Xiaomi Mi 6 is now officially scheduled for an April 19th launch, and a premature benchmark run would appear to have provided an early indication of what to expect under its hood. A 5.1-inch 1080p doesn't immediately sound impressive, but the Snapdragon 835, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of built-in storage further down the spec sheet all point in a happy direction. There have been further leaks indicating a 5.7-inch Mi 6 Plus model in the works as well.
The big trend this year is the minimization of screen bezels, as sparked by Xiaomi with the Mi Mix last year, and taken to the global market by LG and Samsung's new Android flagships this spring. So, if Xiaomi sticks to that trend, the 5.1-inch Mi 6 could be one of the most compact new options on the market. It would certainly have the smallest display from among the three devices so far announced with the latest Snapdragon 835 chip, the other two being the Galaxy S8 and Sony's Xperia XZ Premium.
But one question that's arisen in the wake of Hugo Barra's departure from Xiaomi is whether people outside China should even care. Barra, who famously departed a senior role in Google's Android team to steer Xiaomi's international expansion, was the face and voice of Xiaomi in the west. It was his push toward a global audience that earned Xiaomi a wider audience and brand appreciation, but the company itself has failed to follow through and actually sell its devices much further than its home Chinese market and the countries on its periphery. Would the Mi 6 change or improve any of that? We'll have to wait and see.