XDA-Developers has done its usual firmware sleuthing to uncover the existence of an upcoming tablet. The publication dug through new Xiaomi firmware files, revealing references to a “pad”, for starters.
It also listed a few other reasons why we could be looking at a Mi Pad 4, such as the low PPI of 320, and references to a 6,000 mAh battery. The pixel density seems in line with the Mi Pad family’s 326 PPI. Meanwhile, the quoted battery figure also seems similar to Xiaomi’s tablets, which generally range from 6,190 mAh to 6,700 mAh. There are also references to a “tablet” interface, while the Mi Max phablets refer to a “normal” phone UI instead.
Qualcomm chip for first time?
The website reckons that we may be looking at a Snapdragon 660 chipset and a 13MP main/5MP selfie camera pairing (the latter would be the same setup as the Mi Pad 3). But probably the strangest finding was that the firmware references an 18:9 display, which would make for a rather tall tablet design.
A Mi Pad 4 and Snapdragon 660 combination would mark a major departure for Xiaomi, which has never used Snapdragon chipsets in its tablet lineup before. The original Mi Pad packed an Nvidia Tegra K1 chipset, the Mi Pad 2 opted for an Intel Atom x5 processor, and the Mi Pad 3 launched with a Mediatek MT8176 hexacore chip.
In any event, we’re due for a new Mi Pad, as the last one was revealed in April 2017. When could a successor arrive? Well, an analyst in China reportedly claimed the new tablet was still in the research and development (R&D) phase, suggesting it’s several months away from release at best. A company executive also confirmed in November 2017 that a new Mi Pad is in the works, Android Headlines reported.
Would consumers want a new Android tablet though? Our March 2018 poll found that only one in ten readers plan to buy a tablet in 2018, while roughly one in five are happy with their old slate. In addition to the cheap price, the Mi Pad 4 might need a unique selling point, such as a detachable keyboard, if Xiaomi wants to grow its tablet sales.