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Xiaomi Mi 9 comes with three rear cameras and a teardrop front camera

It'll also have great sound and superfast wireless charging.

xiaomi-m912

The Xiaomi Mi 9 delivers a full-screen experience with just a tiny waterdrop-shaped hole for the front 20-megapixel camera.

Lori Grunin/CNET

Chinese phone maker Xiaomi's latest flagship will stand out from the competition thanks to a few cool tricks.

The phone will come with a triple rear-camera set up, for starters, and its specs already show a lot of promise.

Now playing: Watch this: Xiaomi Mi 9 hands-on
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The rear triple-camera set up includes a 48-megapixel main camera, a 12-megapixel telephoto for 2x zoom and a 16-megapixel ultrawide angle shooter. The 16-megapixel camera has a 117-degree field of view that uses AI to fix distortion. The main camera shoots 12-megapixel images but will switch to a full 48-megapixel image if there's enough light. There's also laser auto-focus for more accurate shots.

Like recent Chinese phones such as the Vivo V15 Pro and the Oppo R17, the Mi 9 has a shimmery glass casing. There's also a Special Transparent Edition that appears to let you peek inside, but you're actually seeing an aluminum heatsink designed to look like the inner parts.

The rear is protected by Gorilla Glass 5, while the front 6.39-inch AMOLED display is guarded by Gorilla Glass 6. The 20-megapixel front selfie camera is located right at the top the screen in a teardrop shape, much like the Essential Phone and the Oppo R17.

You can unlock the Mi 9 with an in-screen fingerprint scanner, and there's no secure face unlock this time unlike with the Mi 8. The 3,300-mAH battery should easily last a day. If you run out of juice, you can quickly get it charged back up -- the Mi 9 supports fast charging of up to 20W, while wireless chargers, such as Apple's only do 7.5W of charging. Xiaomi says it will take 1 hour and 40 minutes to charge a Mi 9 from dead to full.

The phone will launch in China first for 2,999 Chinese yuan, which converts to $450, £340 and AU$620, but it will be available in international markets faster than Xiaomi's previous devices were. There's no word yet on when it will reach the US, UK or Australia though.

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The phone comes in violet, blue and black. 

Lori Grunin/CNET

Pricing has not yet been revealed, so check back for updates after the press event in China.

Xiaomi also showed off three wireless charging accessories, a fast-charging wireless pad, a car dock and a 10,000-mAh powerbank with wireless charging.

Quick specs

  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  • Memory: 6GB RAM, 64GB or 128GB onboard storage
  • Display: 6.39-inch AMOLED display full-HD+ (2,340x1,080 pixels)
  • Triple rear cameras: 48-megapixel main, 12-megapixel telephoto, 16-megapixel ultra-wide angle
  • Front camera: 20-megapixel selfie camera
  • Battery: 3,300-mAh, fast 20W wireless charging