At the end of May of this year, Xiaomi announced three new Mi 8 smartphones, a standard model, Mi 8 Lite and Mi 8 Pro. There’s also an SE version, lower-specced and cheaper with the Snapdragon 710 headlining, plus the Explorer Edition, which has a cool transparent rear cover and an in-display fingerprint sensor. Xiaomi has always cherished their Mi-series as an affordable flagship, and the eighth edition continues that trend.
The first big change that takes apart Mi 8 from all previous Mi flagships is the screen, which is so advanced it makes this phone almost futuristic. Although we still have to see resolution higher than full HD on a Xiaomi phone, Mi 8 has amazing AMOLED panel that is rich in contrast (the company claims it’s up to 60000:1), with striking colors and great brightness.
Additionally, Mi 8’s display is way bigger comparing to its predecessors, with 6,2″, which is a big jump from 5,15″. A remarkable fact is that this upsize add an only a centimeter to the phone’s height, thanks to the controversial notch, which you can hide in the screen settings if you really don’t like it, and the fingerprint sensor which is now on the rear. With the fingerprint sensor moved to the back, the phone’s top bezel and chin are way thinner, which as a result gives a screen-to-body ratio of 86.7%. The display got an upgrade in height without the width following it, so now it has 18.7:9 aspect ratio which many flagship phones adopted. More screen space means more enjoyment in multimedia and overall better look of everything on screen.
The default position for the recent apps, home, and back buttons is at the bottom of the screen but it is possible to turn them off and use full-screen gestures instead. There are visible changes on the backside of the phone too. Dual camera is now in vertical alignment with the top left side. The glass furbish looks very fancy, and is gently curved in all four sides, making the bigger phone seeming more comfortable in hand. The glass in front and back is divided by an aluminum frame at the middle, which is a very premium trait.
In order to follow all the other flags phones made this year, Mi 8 underwent the boost of its core specs to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, which is clocked at 2.8GHz in this model, and 6GB of RAM. This combination of core strength and RAM results in breathtaking performances that are on the level of much more expensive flagship models. The default Mi 8 model has 64GB of storage, but there are also 128GB and 256GB variants. This is important because there is no support for microSD.
Even the battery is formidable, with 3400mAh, which is some 50mAh more comparing to Mi 6. The battery was tested in Geekbench 4, and it lasted for 7 hours and 10 minutes, which is more than its competitors. We are kind of disappointed because there is no support for wireless charging, but the support for Quick Charge 4.0 is truly a way to make up for it.
Similar to the previous Mi models, Mi 8 sports a dual rear camera with two 12mp lenses. One of them is a Sony IMX363 which has four-axis OIS, dual-PD focus, f/1.8 aperture, 1.4um pixels, and a dual-LED flash; the other is a 12Mp Samsung S5K3M3 lens with 1.0um pixels and a f/2.4 aperture, which you can shoot telephoto and portraits with. Being 12Mp, it can shoot 4K video, but OIS is supported on only one lens. It’s the same type of camera we can see on Mi Mix 2s, but the user interface is different.
The front camera is quite improved, with a 20Mp selfie camera replacing the previous 8Mp lens. Xiaomi is seriously upgrading its selfie game, with a ‘Micro-Plastic’ Beauty mode, which uses AI for deep learning of facial features. Speaking about the operating system, Mi 8 runs on MIUI 9,5, although MIUI 10 was announced during the same launch event. MIUI 9,5 is based on Android Oreo and has all of its features, plus some more.
The best feature of this phone would be a significantly lower price compared to the competition. There are some features that are dearly missed, like waterproofing and wireless charging, but to make up for that there’s a beautiful 18.7:9 AMOLED display, 3D face recognition, and some seriously powerful hardware. Beautiful design and luxury finish are just icing on the proverbial cake. This phone is one of the best deals in the current market and you won’t regret a penny spent on it.