I've always found wide-angle cameras more useful than telephoto cameras, though, and the Mi 9's 16-megapixel wide sensor seemed plenty capable, too. (Granted, that's partially thanks to a bit of machine learning that automatically corrects barrel distortion at the fringes of the frame.) I do wish this sensor could capture a little more of the vistas in front of it, though — its field of view is 117 degrees wide, which is a bit narrower than wide-angle cameras found on some of its competitors.
Sadly, there were a few flourishes I wasn't able to test at all. The Mi 9 apparently packs some tweaks to optimize video in the popular app TikTok, which I guess is great if you're 14 years old and flush with enough cash to buy one of these things. And more importantly, the phone comes with an 18W charger in the box that Xiaomi says should be powerful enough to fully charge a Mi 9 in under an hour. Considering the phone's svelte profile meant the company could only squeeze a 3,300mAh battery inside, this added bonus is sure to come in handy more often than not.
I'll be blunt: while Xiaomi still says it wants to find its footing in the United States, there's basically no chance the Mi 9 will wind up here in any official capacity. It shouldn't be long before we figure out when Xiaomi's latest starts to make the rounds out of its native China, though — the company has a press event right before MWC officially kicks off, so we'll have more of those juicy global launch details in just a few days.