[Bricking] Xiaomi Mi 9 SE Moon mode and May security patch arrives in Europe (Download links inside)

New updates are being added at the bottom of this story…….

Original story (published on June 22, 2019) follows:

The trend of releasing a ‘Lite’ variant of a flagship is basically a win-win state of affairs for both the smartphone maker and the consumer. While end users are happy to get their hands on a budget friendly premium device, companies can further expand their market size as well as attract potential new customers.

oneplus_7_black_official_front_back
2019’s OnePlus 7 is a perfect example of a non-Pro flagship

The naming convention of these variants is kinda cluttered though – while Samsung prefers the ‘Mini’ moniker, various other marketing terms like ‘Lite’, ‘SE’ and ‘Youth edition’ can be seen in the wild.

After the arrival of the iPhone SE, Android OEMs started to copy the phrase. I shouldn’t call it a coincidence, as Xiaomi spawned their own ‘SE’ lineup with Mi 8 SE in 2018 and Mi 9 SE as a successor in 2019.

mi_9_se_front_back
Mi 9 SE

The Chinese OEM decided to use mid range Qualcomm Snapdragon 7xx series SoC in the SE variant to cut the corners, but the hardware independent features are usually being backported from the regular edition.

For example, Mi 9’s DC dimming functionality is scheduled to be rolled out on Mi 9 SE. The latter also received the notch smoothing option from its bigger counterpart.

mi_9_eu_10.2.17_adjust_notch

The global version of the phone is now receiving MIUI 10.3 update in batches, which packs May 2019 security patches along with tons of fixes and new features. The European units run a different branch of MIUI, and they are on one month old patch level until recently.

Well, the May update is finally rolling out on the EU models. The newest OTA reportedly bumps the MIUI version number from 10.2.9.0 to 10.3.1.0. Apart from the updated security patches, Mi 9 SE users can finally shoot the Moon with dedicated Moon mode in camera.

mi_9_se_eu_miui_10.3.1.0_ota_changelog

Xiaomi incorporated this overly-hyped feature from Mi 9 in the Chinese variant of Mi 9 SE back in May. Users need to switch to the built-in AI mode in stock MIUI camera app. Afterwards, changing the zoom level to 4x gives you the Moon mode toggle.

The 48MP mode is reportedly available under camera options as well, although there is no such mentioning in the official changelog.

mi_9_se_eu_camera_48_mp

The download link of the full OTA zip can be found below for manual sideloading. I like to thank my friend yshalsager and the Xiaomi Firmware Updater project for tracking these OTA update URLs.

  • Device: Mi 9 SE
  • Codename: grus
  • Channel: Europe Stable
  • Version: V10.3.1.0.PFBEUXM
  • Android: 9.0
    • Type: Recovery
      • Download: Link
      • MD5: 3d43a95581e30d2ebf3f3338037b2064

Are you excited about the Moon mode feature in your Mi 9 SE? Go on, show us some of your snaps!

Update (June 26)

According to a large number of European Mi 9 SE owners, this update allegedly bricked their phones. After downloading and installing the OTA via built-in updater, they were greeted with the message: “The system has been destroyed ; Press power button to shutdown”.

mi_9_se_eu_eu_10.3.1.0_bricked

Although we did spot some of these bug reports while reporting the original article, we decided to wait a bit. The error message is kinda vague as it is related to Android Verified Boot (AVB).

However, the volume of reports has been increased since then. Looks like manually rebooting to bootloader/fastboot interface can be helpful to escape from this situation.

FIXED IT (at least temporarely)
TRY AT YOUR OWN RISK!!! – worked for me but i take no responsability

– boot into fastboot mode. press volume down and power until you see the mi bunny.
– install and run minimal adb & fastboot on a pc
– plug phone to pc
– run “fastboot devices” you should see a line with device id & fastboot
– run “fastboot continue”

wait for it

tadam you will be back into the old miui 10.2.9.

(Source)

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Kingshuk De

I came from a mixed background of Statistics and Computer Science. My research domains included embedded computer systems, mobile computing and delay tolerant networks in post-disaster scenarios. Apart from tinkering with gadgets or building hackintosh, I like to hop on various subreddits and forums like MyDigitalLife and XDA.