We are getting close to the start of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, which means we should see a number of high-profile mobile device launches over the coming days. Today Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi has thrown the first punch by launching its new Mi 9 flagship smartphone and, at least on paper, the new Xiaomi looks like an enticing option for smartphone photographers.

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The Mi 9's triple-cam setup is built around an 48MP Sony IMX586 1/2" sensor which comes with a quad-bayer filter and produces 12MP image output. The lens offers an F1.75 aperture and 26mm equivalent focal length.

The primary module is joined by an ultra-wide-angle with 17mm equivalent focal length and F2.2 aperture. It uses a 16MP 1/3" Sony IMX481 sensor. The tele offers a 2x magnification for a 50mm equivalent focal length and captures image information on a 12MP 1/3.4" Samsung S5K3M5 sensor with 1.0µm pixels and a F2.2 aperture.

A combination of PDAF and laser is used for focusing and for very dim conditions a LED flash is on board. By default the Mi 9 records 4K video at 30 frames per second but the frame rate can be increased to 60 fps.

Images can be viewed and edited on a 6.39" AMOLED display with 1080p+ resolution and hidden in a display notch you'll find the 20MP front camera with F2.0 aperture which in some regions will use artificial intelligence to power a face-unlock function.

An in-display fingerprint reader and fast charging for the 3,300mAh battery are on board as well and Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 855 chipset is paired with 6GB of RAM to power the Android operating system. Photos and videos can be stored on 64GB or 128GB of internal storage.

Pricing starts at approximately $455 for the 6/128GB version. The 8/128GB variant will set you back approximately $490. No information on exact pricing and availability outside China has been released yet.